Monday, March 31, 2014

Inspiring Creativity In A Novel Series

Today's April 1 and I'm happy to say hello from Gail Gaymer Martin at

As I prepared this post it reminded me of a blog post to the ACFW blog  on Inspiring Rejection. Weird topic but it was based on things I’d learned from my April Love Inspired release, Rescuing The Firefighter. As I wrote about the creative ways I dealt with changes I had to make in the final story, I also thought about the way research can also inspire a novelist.

Researching, I had learned so much about firefighting from both online research, phone calls and numerous other ways, but mainly, I learned the most important from two firefighter’s I met on Facebook. Yes, you heard me. I posted that I needed real life information, and I was contacted by two men willing to provide me with practical and real life details on their day to day encounters. One wrote and asked, if I would you like to know the psychological and emotional struggles of a firefighter. Writers will gasp here, since there’s nothing greater than that type of information.

Both men’s willingness to take time and share their experiences and feelings was truly a gift. So don’t
pass  up the opportunity to seek help outside normal methods. The Internet is very helpful, telephone calls to the local fire station and even a tour of the building helps, but reality details is a gift. And the same men asked if I would like him to read the scenes that involved these incidents so that he could offer suggestions if they were needed. That was a moment that will always stand out in my mind. He was extremely helpful and made very few changes.

After my author copies for the first firefighter novel arrived, The Firefighter’s New Family, I sent each man a thank you note and an autographed copy of the novel that included their names in the acknowledgments. The same man wrote back and after expressing his thanks for the book and acknowledgment, this is what he said, “I thought you did a great job of including the technical aspects we talked about. Good details, proper terms, sequenced correctly-excellent work. But what really got to me was the story itself. When I first started reading the story, I was looking to see if the issues you and I talked about ended up being part of the book. Before I knew it, I found myself lost in the story. I was rooting for Devon and Ashley to become a couple. I loved the way you interjected wisdom into the story line. Devon and Ashley are really role models-from the way they respected each other, to the way Devon respected Ashley’s relationship with her first husband, the way Devon and Ashley related to his ex-wife, the way Ashley and Devon related to Joey and Kaylee, etc. You were able to show the  struggles they faced had a solution, and that solution included following God's word. Really nice work. You now have another fan!”

The research was amazing. While writing the first book involving firefighters, I hadn’t noticed at the time how much I would set up characters for Rescuing The Firefighter. I had submitted a different storyline to my editor, but that idea was rejected and, I had to get creative. As I reviewed the second story, I realized I had already built my third novel hero and heroine into the second book. It had been done unintentionally, and it reminds me how the Lord works in His mysterious ways guiding us to into meaningful themes for our fiction.
Research and rejection can result in unexpected gifts to authors by inspiring new novel ideas that are both creative and meaningful to readers.

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