“Don’t be afraid to strive and sweat and pray and fail and strive and pray some more for the desires of your heart. Because my books and this site are proof that dreams can come true. That with God all things are possible.”
Where I Came From…
I wrote for ten years before I got my first book published. When I did get my first contract I had twenty finished books on my computer at home. I had just enough encouragement through those ten long years to keep me going.
I was a stay-at-home mom when I started but during those years my children grew up and I got a job. I’ve worked forty hours a week, teaching GED, for the last five years.
Somewhere in about the third year of my writing, I sent a manuscript into Silhouette Romance and they requested a full manuscript. From the time I sent the three chapters in, then their request for a whole manuscript, then finally their rejection, it took a full year. So I’m starting to see just how slow the publishing world is. I sent that book in as a result of placing third in a writer’s contest and I did pretty well in them.
I learned a lot from the critiques. Also when I’d final, I got judged by editors and agents.
There came a time when I expected to final in any contest I entered. The two years before I got published I was a finalist in eleven contests with five different books. And all the while I’m entering these contests, I kept writing.
I discovered ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and entered my manuscript Petticoat Ranch in their unpublished contest. I was a double finalist in 2004, another book of mine, Montana Rose, was in the running, too. (Montana Rose released in July).
I won The Noble Theme contest and got a lot of requests to send in my book. I also got a really simple request from Cathy Marie Hake. She asked me to send her my first three chapters. Cathy read what I sent her and said she thought I was ‘ready’. By this time, I had so many rejections I had a hide like a rhino, so submitting work didn’t even phase me. Okay, well maybe I crawled under my computer desk and sucked my thumb for a day or two every time I got one but other than that I was fine.
Just before the next year’s conference, Cathy Marie Hake told me she wanted to pitch my name to write a book as part of a three book series set in historical Alaska.
Every year at the conference the acquiring editor for Heartsong Presents gives a contract to an unpublished author. I was so hopeful! I knew there was a chance it could be me. The Heartsong editor, Tracie Peterson, said someone else’s name, so okay, I’ve been rejected before. I kind of expect it. And then she said, “And this year we’re giving two contracts to first-time authors. We’re offering a contract to Mary Connealy.” I get chills saying that! It was a wonderful, thrilling shocking moment. I had to go up and get the contract, in front of 350 other writers, all clapping. A great, great moment in my life.
Where I Am Now…
With numerous books published, I’ve also had the honor of being a Carol Award winner and a Rita and Christy and IRCC Award Finalist. Subscribe to my email newsletter for the latest information. You’ll also find me on Seekerville, Petticoats & Pistols, and my blog. More details are on my media kit page.