Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Can you pass my second chance, please?

There is something completely deflating about following Anny Cook. That woman makes so much sense that I really struggle to find something to add. I'm gonna try anyway, cause it's a great topic. Be gentle with me.

I can't say I have a lot of experience with second chances, per se. I haven't re-dated, re-married, or returned to anyone or any place in my life. But the second chances I do know well are the professional and marital ones.

Marital: As Anny said, they are daily. Every time there's a disagreement, a differing of opinion, even a financial crisis a marriage finds its bearings and starts fresh. You'd no more give up on a minor problem than you would should yourself in the foot. Oh wait, my uncle actually did that. Yes, he did. But that's beside the point. You work through problems, generally. But I'm not going to linger on this point. I'm going to jet on through to the next example... professional second chances.

Professional: I'm in the midst of a rebirth so I feel like I can discuss this with some sense of authority. I haven't openly publicized this so as not to affect sales and whatnot, but things are shaking up. A little while ago I posted something on my personal blog about Gray Spaces. I told everyone, after their expressed concerns, that I had two identities. I went public about the double pen names for the record. There was more that I didn't say and will introduce today.

At the beginning of next year I'm closing down my pen names. Both of them. I won't be writing as either Kelly Kirch or Katie Blu because I'm taking my second chance. I'll be writing as Kelly Marstad. I'll be moving into the inspirational genre. For those of you who need a translation, that would be Christian Fiction.

Now I've heard a lot of comments on this already but basically it comes down to two things. First, my husband's career is at stake and that is tremendously important to me. I don't want to be the reason he is fired and black-balled from his vocation. I love what I write but that's what leads me to the second reason. I've been struggling with the decisions I've made and completely lacking in peace for them. The minute I decided to go this route, I felt like a weight had been lifted.

The second chance at my career is at hand. I'm not ashamed of what I've written which is why I'm telling all of you about it, making it public. I won't hide from it either. I will have to explain my past down the road to those in the Inspirational market, but then that's nothing new to me at this point.

I still have works out there that have yet to be published but they are contracted, and I will continue to promote them and sign them. Why? Because I'm not ashamed, just heading down a different track. The disconcerting thing is that my new market focus doesn't really embrace mainstream authors. I'll be starting over like an unpublished writer as my backlist carries no weight and I'm moving in a market that is REALLY picky about what constitutes overt sexual content. One woman told me her heroine commented on the hero's nice legs in one book and his back-side in another and that was a risk. Heh.

This second chance is scary, new, a little terrifying, and I may be making a huge mistake. That's why it's been under wraps. But I have to give it a go without burning my bridges behind me. So while I'm not giving a second chance, I'm collecting on one and that, my friends, scares me to pieces.



  1. Best wishes. Taking chances is always scary. Hang in there!

  2. Change can be scary and change can be uncomfortable too, since we are already living in our comfort zones & disturbances of overhauling can be painful. But Change, as they say, is also the only permanent thing in life.

    But beware, and Be aware that what you are doing is not just a changing of labels, because if it is so, it will only bring many anxieties in its wake. Ensure that it is a transformation of the same energy and accept it.

    It is an operation where the patient is also the surgeon . I see that you are dropping an identity. That is what is setting you free from identification ( which is the root of every pain) & that is what makes you feel relieved the way it does.

    Risk is the only way to live.There is no other way. In fact not to risk is the only wrong there is, risk is never wrong & it is beautiful to move in that openness where something can be right & something can be wrong. One grows through it, because even if you commit a wrong, you will never be the same again; through committing it you will understand much, & such a learning will become a part of your bones & marrow.
    So never be afraid of going astray,for people who are afraid thus, they become paralyzed. they never move.

    & you have nothing to be ashamed of. Don't be afraid of falling, otherwise your legs will lose their capacity to move.Nothing is wrong in falling. Falling is a part of walking, it is a part of life. Fall, get up again, and every fall will make you stronger, and every time you go astray, you will come back better, more experienced, more aware.

    Commit as many errors as you can...

    Only, Don't commit the same error again & again.

  3. Wishing you all the best in this new endeavor. Whichever name you use, you're still a wonderful writer and a person I'm proud to call my friend.

  4. This is the reason I mourn the loss of mainstream. The same acceptance is not found in the inspy genre in my experience.

    I'm not disappearing, fortunately, my subject matter is altering. However, I will NEVER be one of those preachy writers. I can't stand that and feel the genre needs a shake up with reality. I will only write what I would read. Since I've never read and inspy that didn't preach, this oughta be educational for me.

    The conference I'm going to in September is an ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) conference. I'll have a better feel for it all after that. But the change will still occur.

  5. You go, Kelly!

    Ya' know, though, there might be a bit of a loosening up in the Christian market. A couple news stories recently are evidence: an evangelical pastor challenging his congregation to make love frequently; an evangelical pastor leading "Christian sex" workshops; and a Christian couple committing to making love every day for a certain amount of time (can't remember if it was a few months or a year) and writing a book about it. Big article in the New York Times.

    Not saying that you can put hot monkey lovin' in your inspirational romances, but I think there's more wiggle room than there used to be.

    If I were turning toward the Christian fiction market, I'd use Madeleine L'Engle as my model. Wonderful writer, faithful Christian, and though most of her books were faith-filled, none of them ever approached preachy. (I'm totally with you on the non-preachy plan. Preachy = ick) Her YA book "A House Like a Lotus" deals with lesbianism, and includes a remarkably well-written sex scene. It's my model for sex scenes that are not explicit, but full of sensation, emotion, and repercussions. Her book "The Rock that is Higher" is nonfiction, and is about writing from a faith perspective.

    Anyway, I'll stop giving advice you didn't ask for.

    I'm behind you, Kelly. If you want a beta reader--someone who is a Christian but hates preachy--I'd be happy to help out.

  6. Here's the link to that NYT article about the couple who committed to frequent sex and the book they wrote about it:


    You might have to register to read it.

  7. Jamie Carie writes Christian romances and her second book was a Regency. Haven't read it yet; I'm waiting to get an autographed copy.

    Best of luck and lots of hugs:) Oh, and btw...lots of people asked me at the fair who I'd recommend for Christian Authors. I'll know who to talk up next year, besides Jamie!

  8. Starting over and heading into a new direction is a hard thing. Best of luck!

  9. Best of luck with the new direction, Kelly. I know you'll be successful in whatever you choose to do. :D

  10. Best wishes and luck. This is truly inspirational. Taking a chances on something new and outside what you are used to. Thanks for sharing.



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