Today I’d like to introduce you to Patricia Beal and her debut novel, A Season to Dance. Patricia and I met at an American Christian Fiction Writers’ Conference, and it’s been exciting to watch the Lord open the way for her to see her first novel published.
Thank you, Carrie, for having me here today! My debut novel came out yesterday, and I couldn’t be more excited.
Excited and expectant. What’s God going to do next in the life of this book?
I wasn’t a Christian when I started working on A Season to Dance in January of 2011. But the whole time, God had me writing my own salvation story. My husband, my mom, and my children ended up coming to faith in Christ because of the writing of this book, and I can’t wait to see how it will touch other people’s lives.
Here’s how it all happened. I didn’t grow up in a Christian home, but for most of my life I believed there had to be some kind of god out there and that being a good person was important.
But in the summer of 2012, when an early version of the novel was rejected in three different continents on the same week, I had a major break down. I was tired and lonely, and I decided the notion of a loving god was absurd. There was no loving god, if there was a god at all.
Self-gratification became my sole purpose in life, and I looked behind every door for happiness and satisfaction. I didn’t find anything worth keeping though, and at the end of every new pursuit, I was still tired and lonely. And this time there was a darkness and an emptiness that was brand new and very scary.
Then Jesus passed by. I was born again in January of 2013, and soon after that, I realized the novel wasn’t complete. I cancelled a trip to a secular writers’ conference and started a fourteen-month rewrite.
I hired a proofreader to go over the whole thing before taking it to conference in 2014, and she later told me she’d been bitter over a disability and loss of work. God used the manuscript to touch her heart, and she ended up rededicating her life to Him. As of this day, I don’t know what part of the novel touched her so, but I’m sure glad it happened.
Later that year, I went to my first American Christian Fiction Writers’ conference and met agent Les Stobbe, who two weeks later, offered to represent me. The Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas publishing contract came a year later.
And now here it is. Published. What’s God going to do next? I pray that others will take the journey with me and with ballerina Ana Brassfield, beyond expectations and suffering and to the very heart of Christ: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eo1ndSOLUXk
I’ve had a colorful life and have many stories to share, but there will never be a better one than this, I don’t think. The story of how God suffered me to write my own salvation story. How does He do it?
Patricia Beal is a 2015 Genesis semi-finalist and First Impressions finalist. She is represented by Les Stobbe of the Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency, and A Season to Dance is her debut novel (Bling! Romance / Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, May 2017). Patricia writes from El Paso, Texas, where she lives with her husband and two children. To order your copy of A Season to Dance just click on the book cover above or visit her at www.patriciabeal.com.