I have a confession to make. I have not always wanted to write a book. But I’ve always admired lighthouses. Of course, I’d never seen a real one until I moved to Florida. While working in my sales job, I found myself at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola. I had gone there to call on a restaurant located in the Naval Air Museum. When I walked out to my car, lo and behold, there was a lighthouse rising above the trees across the street! It was awesome, and I had to check it out for myself.
I saw a van turn onto a road leading to it and followed. Rain was falling, so the driver rolled down his window to talk to me.
“Do you need to get into the lighthouse?” he said.
“I don’t need to, but I want to,” I answered.
“I’m sorry, but it’s closed. I just came here to do some work.”
I had just started writing, but for some reason I summoned my courage and said, “I’m a writer, and I really need to see the lighthouse for my research.”
And to my surprise, he said, “If you can come back in an hour, I’ll let you in.”
And so I did. And I received a personal tour. I’m convinced that meeting was God-ordained, the first affirmation from him that I was headed the right way with my writing. You see, I’d been writing devotionals and going to writers’ conferences where people were talking about their books. At first, I thought I’d never write a book, just devotionals. But while researching the history of the area I’d recently moved to, I’d read about some of the Gulf Coast lighthouses and how they played a part in the Civil War. And quite by surprise, “What if…” came to my mind and the story of my first novel began to develop.
When I pitched the idea to an editor at the next conference, she said she liked it and wanted to see a proposal for it plus synopses for three more books to make a four-book series! Three more? I’d barely thought out one. But in writing the first book, the ideas for the next three were born, and so Coastal Lights Legacy became the title for my series set in coastal lighthouses in Florida during the 1800’s. The editor I first spoke with had moved on by the time I was ready, but another editor liked them, and my first book in the series, Rebel Light, comes out in August 2014.
At the conferences, I heard that I needed to write a blog to develop a platform. I couldn’t imagine what to write about that anyone would want to read, so I did the only thing I could. I prayed about it. I asked God what I could write that would be informative, encouraging and inspirational. And He told me to write about lighthouses. Funny thing happened when I started researching lighthouses for stories, which by the way is my favorite part of this job, is that with every story, a Bible verse popped into my head.
At first I wasn’t going to include them, thinking a secular audience wouldn’t read the blog. But then I realized that God put those verses in my head for a reason, just as he wanted me to write about lighthouses, and so the Lighthouse Blog became devotionals. I’ve been writing the weekly blog for two and a half years now, and many people have asked when I was going to make them into a book. Well, guess what? I am.
I’m thrilled and happy to announce that my Lighthouse Devotions book will be published toward the end of 2014.
I’ve been asked if I might run out of stories for the blog. To that I laugh, because there are thousands of lighthouses and thousands of Bible verses. Our God is infinite, and I’ll trust Him to keep supplying the material as long as I’m able, and He wants me to continue writing them. He hasn’t failed me yet.