Sunday, May 3, 2009

How I Got the Call

I had just graduated and been living in Nashville for about six months when I was sitting in the dark in my little five hundred square foot apartment crying to my mom and dad on the phone. "If something doesn't happen, I'm coming home." I had moved to Nashville to sing. Only problem, no one wanted to hear me, which is apparently a prerequisite for a record deal. Little did I know that an article I had written about an organization here in Nashville that helps troubled girls and unwed mothers was in the hands of the Founder and President of that organization.

The next morning she called me. She was in the middle of writing the story of how the ministry had been birthed and they had hired a writer to help with the story. But they wanted the story to read like the article I had written. That was when she asked me to come help her finish the book. I said, "Nancy, I don't write." She said, "Yes you do." That was when I realized the power we have to call someone into their destiny.

I had studied Journalism in college, but it was on the broadcasting side. I had written some massive love letters in school, some rather pathetic attempts at poetry, and when I got to college it was songs that I spent the majority of my time writing. I had never even thought about writing books. I loved to devour them. But never had even the slightest desire to write one. But that conversation with Nancy honestly changed my life. And for the next ten years I wrote other people's stories.

During that time I began to travel and speak a great deal and realized that I loved teaching. So, I began writing a non-fiction book that was rejected fourteen times. That was when I asked for my agent not to send me anymore. Wondering what it was that I was actually supposed to do, seeing as singing didn't work, and neither did writing my own books, I was sitting on my back porch thinking, "Wonder if I could write fiction." I had never written fiction a day in my life. I had told a great deal of it when I was little, but had never written any. So, while I was sitting there, I thought, "Where would I set it? How about Savannah." I had been there once, thought it was beautiful. Then I thought, "I could name the main character Savannah and everyone could go around calling her Savannah from Savannah. And there on my back porch my first novel began.

Savannah was a gift to me that I didn't even realize. Two offers later, Savannah from Savannah was published in the summer of 04. I wrote three books about that crazy girl from the south. And I fell in love with her. But more than that, during a really difficult time in my life, she allowed me the opportunity to express things that were on the inside that had no ability to be played out in my day to day life. She was a gift in so many ways. I am finishing my sixth novel now. And it all began because someone said, "Yes you do..."

Denise makes her home in Franklin, Tennessee where she teaches a weekly Bible Study, writes a blog for singles, takes care of Maggie and Sophie, enjoys Coca-Cola and every now and then writes a few books.

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