Sunday, April 28, 2024

The Joy of Writing & Reading - Cheryl St.John


No mother should have to bury her child...
Amy Shelby had learned this sorrow well. Her heart had gone into the ground a year ago along with her boy's tiny casket. And not even her husband, Jesse, wrestling the same pain, could resurrect any hope in her.

Jesse Shelby mourned two losses—his baby son and his openhearted bride, for when their child died, Amy retreated behind a wall of grief as wide as the Nebraska prairie. But could a chance for a new family heal their wounded marriage—and guide them back to the comfort of each other's arms?


I was always a writer. As a child, I used to write stories, staple them into little books and draw the covers. As a teen I wrote stories on a Smith-Corona portable typewriter. My first rejection cam at age fifteen when I submitted a romantic short story to Redbook magazine. I still have that half-slip of paper form rejection in a file somewhere.

Even at that age, I imagined someone would love my story, and I’d see it in print. I thought the same every time I submitted poorly plotted and poorly-formatted manuscripts to real publishers. When I really dug in and got serious, I think my biggest hang-up was not thinking anyone would take me seriously. Who was I? I had a husband and four kids and wrote when they all went to bed at night. I had never taken a writing class, but I had read every out-of-date writing book in the public library. It was an immense joy to find the courage to join a group of writers and discover they were all people just like me, from all walks of life, and with a dream we shared.

Writing books to sell took a lot of work and dedication. Seeing my first books in print was that dream come true. Since those early days I’ve been fortunate to have learned from amazing editors, meet writers and readers from all walks of life, as well as writing craft books of my own, giving workshops and mentoring new writers. The writer/reader community is a joy to be part of. Still, with nearly four million books in print in over a dozen languages, it’s exciting to send a new story out into the world. I’ll probably always write, because ideas just never stop, and the desire to tell stories doesn’t fade.

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