Birdie Etchison’s writing journey

» Posted on Oct 1, 2009 in Blog | Comments Off on Birdie Etchison’s writing journey

This week I’m hosting Irene Hannon with An Eye for an Eye and Birdie Etchison with The Prairie Romance. If you want to enter the drawing for the book, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at The drawings end Sunday (Oct. 4th) evening.

Birdie Etchison’s writing journey:

I was the oldest in a large family and made up stories for my siblings and cousins. Made my own greeting cards and always wrote in a dairy – one of those 5-year ones, but I filled it up in a year. Got A’s in English and Journalism.

Since May 1963. First book sold to Herald Press – a juvenile for juniors. My first romance was published in 1994.

Rejections hit us all. I let myself cry for five minutes, and then get determined. My third juvenile book sold on the 21st time out. I don’t give up.

Writing satisfies an inner urge that I’ve always felt God gave me. I like making up stuff, but there is always an element of truth in what I write.

If not writing, I might have a cleaner house. I’d read more. Maybe do more volunteer work. I have given up writing for as long as two months, but it doesn’t stick.

I am now working on two novels. One is historical – about the cranberry bogs, which have been in my area for over 100 years. The other is a revision of a rejected book.

Yes, I do put myself into my books and characters. I think we all do to a certain extent. It just happens. I know I live and breathe my characters long before I start to put them on paper.

This next question deals with a novel I thought would be out now – Love Finds You in Charm Ohio is the one that was rejected for varied reasons. It is this book I am revising, hoping to find another publisher.

My advice is to just dig in. Write from your heart. Write what you know. Write every day. Don’t be in a hurry to send off your copy. Let it sit for a few weeks and then go over it page by page. Get a critique partner; work and brainstorm ideas.

Faith is very important in my books. It’s part of me that comes out onto the page, shown through my characters.

I’ve never thought about themes this much. I like to show the growth in a person – like lots of conflict and a happy ending.

The Oregon series because it was about my mother’s family and I so enjoyed doing the research. Oregon was the alternate selection for Crossings Book Club.

I write mornings. Revise in the afternoon. I try to write every day, even when on vacation, because once the momentum is broken it is more difficult to get started again.