Desert Breeze, A Joy To Me

I’ve had a few days to let the rush of excitement over signing contracts with Desert Breeze Publishing for my Sanctuary Point romantic suspense series take me to the heights, and gently let me down. My first book contracting–not only one book, but a  series. Amazing!

I have to thank the Lord for this because that still small voice had been whispering Desert Breeze, for awhile. That they would get my writing. The Voice.. that Voice when I don’t listen, I regret it.

Speaking of voices, it has taken me a while to come into my author’s voice. It’s a voice that has a bit of roughness around the edges. It could be termed quirky.

I found out to my amazement, that I fall into the edgy category in terms of Christian writing. How can that be? I don’t write sex scenes, although I’m not opposed to somewhat steamy. I haven’t used profanity in any of my manuscripts, or at least anything I term foul language. I have used a few colorful words that can be found on any number of pages in the Bible. And yet, I’ve been told over and over my work is edgy.

Must be those darn rough edges. My Sanctuary Point series is historical romantic suspense with an action/adventure element. If you’re at one of my crime scenes the body is going to have an odor, flies might be attracted to the blood on the floor. The blood might even be on the walls.

I like my characters intense. I’ve found in life most people (even those sitting in the pews) have a few personal demons they’ve had to wrestle to the ground. I’ve had these internal wrestling matches. Members of my family have. So have friends. It’s life. I like to catch my characters in the midst of wrestling with their darker issues. I’m fond of putting my characters on a path whereby if they make the right choices, they’ll come out with a stronger, more mature walk with the Lord.

I don’t have too many Olive and Ollie Outstanding Christian characters in my books. Not too many white picket fences either. I do have a lot of characters who have been broken by the harsh realities of life, who are hurting.

One requirement for my heroines and heroes is that they have a little class. My novels are peopled with ordinary individuals who have a sense of personal dignity, or who are on a personal journey whereby they find their sacred honor.

I was at the point where I was thinking where in the world of Christian or even family friendly publishing am I going to find an editor to take a chance on me? And that tiny, quiet inner Voice kept nudging: submit, submit. So, I did. And Gail Delaney at Desert Breeze made the offer. Boy, did she. Thank you Gail, for this opportunity. I’m gonna work my tail off. Well, to be honest, I could stand a little buttocks reduction.

And thank you Lord for sticking with me, bringing me into focus when I’d get writer’s turmoil. That’s the opposite of writer’s block. Writer’s turmoil is too much going on. People pleasing. Trying to write something that would sell instead of sticking with the writer’s voice God gave. Then all I would’ve reaped is a bad imitation of what others are writing in the authentic voice God gave them.

Christian fiction is a wide playing field, or should be. There are many diverse genres, and the genres keep morphing into new sub-genres. Why am I surprised? I serve a multiplying God. There are many types of Christian readers and we need writers for all of them.

So, once again, thank you Lord, for pulling my creative fat out of the fire more than once — oh, and  for giving me great critique partners who don’t spare the  red ink — since way back, when my writing skill was laughable.

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About NikeChillemi

Nike Chillemi has been called a crime fictionista due to her passion for crime fiction. She writes literature that reads like pulp fiction. She likes her bad guys really bad, and her good guys smarter and better. She is the founder and chair of the Grace Awards, a member of ACFW. She has judged numerous literary awards including the Grace Awards, Carol Awards, Inspy Awards, and the Eric Hoffer Awards. View all posts by NikeChillemi

22 responses to “Desert Breeze, A Joy To Me

  • Parker L.

    Hi Nike, thanks for the kind words. I will link you up.

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  • Nike Chillemi

    Parker, I enjoyed you blog so much.Thx for dropping by. 🙂

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  • Tracy Krauss

    I am thrilled for you! I will be waiting with anticipation for the first of the series to release. Blessings always.

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  • Nike Chillemi

    Gosh Tracy, May 2011 is such a short time away.This is a new part of the journey. 🙂

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  • Rel

    Way to go, Nike 🙂 Congrats 🙂

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  • Judy

    Congrats on the contract! It's wonderful to hear that there are wider opportunities in Christian publishing.

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  • Tammy Doherty

    Congrats, Nike! I love your voice. I haven't been your CP since the laughable days – I've had the joy and pleasure of working with you on this Sanctuary Point series & can't wait for it to be "out." Then I can tell all my friends to buy it!!Keep up the good work. As short a time it seems till May 2011, it'll be even shorter till Christmas 2011 when #2 is released. No pressure. LOL!!Blessings always 😀

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  • Nike Chillemi

    Thx for stopping by Rel. :)I appreciat the thought. 🙂

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  • Nike Chillemi

    Judy, I believe Christian publishing is expanding its scope and its very exciting.Thx for the well wishes. 🙂

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  • Nike Chillemi

    Tammy, Thx. No pressure felt. Ooops I think my nose is growing. LOLThe time will go by fast and they'll be out.It's having you as one of those "red ink" crit partners. 🙂

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  • Donna Alice

    Wow! What terrific news! I always knew there was a place for your books. Can't wait to read your books in print! I always knew you could do it!!!!!!!Is this one of the books I've read?

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  • Deborah Anderson

    Way to go, Nike. I'm so happy for you. I can't wait to read your books. I also want to say that I'm blessed to have found you for a crit partner. (Ahem…you're not the only one who writes with a…a…different voice.)Anyway, it is hard at times, because we write with a unique slant, but I believe God will use us to reach a different crowd. The things we've seen, and lived through, have not been in vain.Deb

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  • Nike Chillemi

    Donna Alice, Thx for the kind words. I think you did crit a several of the chapters of Burning Hearts.It's changed a lot since then, however. I guess most novels change a lot during the critique process. That's why critiquing is so valuable. 🙂

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  • Nike Chillemi

    Deb, I believe God will use all of us who write with a "ahem" unique slant…whatever that slant may be, as long as we write to His glory. I've done crits of your work and you definitely write to His glory.Just keep on keeping on in your won unique writing slant. It's gonna work for you.

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  • JennaVictoria

    So thrilled to hear this. Although I have only just begun my second stint in ACFW (I had a lot of inertia that first year!) I am blessed to have met you through the Northeast Loop and now in the Crit group as well. What a unique ministry this is — to not only provide fiction for reader enjoyment and edification – but also to provide strands of friendship and mentoring with other Christian writers so that all of us can grow and mature in our faith and writing skills – all to Glorify Him.

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  • Nike Chillemi

    Beth a/k/a JennaVictoria, One of the best things about ACFW is the crit groups. That's where we polish our writing. It's soooo important to work on our craft.The Christian writing community is an amazing thing in it's support of one another. Oh, you get an occassional squabble or misunderstanding, but it's definitely more supportive than general market publishing. No doubt about that.Where else would you get a bunch of writers to pray for you? 🙂

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  • Cheryl Wyatt

    Saw this good new on Facebook! I am tickled PINK for you, Nike! You have worked so hard for so long!Excellent. HUGE, ENORMOUS CONGRATS! Hugs,Cheryl

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  • Nike Chillemi

    Thx Cheryl. Your kind words mean MORE than you could ever know. You were the FIRST person in the Christian writing community to encourage me. To sometimes kick me in the perverbial butt. Others at Steeple Hill followed and I got cyber hugged and kissed and prayed for and occassionally got a swift kick in the old patootee. All apprecieated by the way.This Thanksgiving I do give thanks for you Cheryl!!!!! And for all the people at Steeple Hill who got me going in the right direction. Now I have my own publisher and a new home, but I'll never forget my first home. I'll always return to the SH board to chat and pray with the writers there.

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  • Anonymous

    I was thinking back to our Shoutlife and Facebook days, and thanking God for giving you such a wonderful deal for a whole series of books. They sound like they will be right up my alley; I am very intense about both my faith and my reading. Congratulations, Nike!Susan ManchesterJacksonville, FL

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  • Nike Chillemi

    Susan, Yes, we do go all the way back to Shoutlife's heyday.Incredible how long it takes to get this writing thing down. But it's never really down pat. There's always more to learn

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  • Marcy G. Dyer

    Congrats Nike! I personally enjoy your style of writing. I like edgy Christian fiction. To me the tidy little world of non-edgy just doesn't work. I don't know anyone who hasn't wrestled a few demons and sometimes I think those of us in the pews have wrestled a few more in order to get there.

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  • Nike Chillemi

    Marcy, I don't write sex scenes (at least not yet), but my characters are not neat, get into jams, can come across as unseemly. Like members of my family, or the folks next door.I think most people in the pews have wrestled a few demons. 🙂

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