March 14, 2012

Emotion Becomes an Author

Our Editor-in-Chief, Susan Reichert, is taking a well-deserved break today. Please help us welcome Samantha Ryan Chandler to Suite T. Want to know how Samantha got 95,000 hits on her website? She wrote about it in the current issue of Southern Writers. Click here to get access.

by Samantha Ryan Chandler

I sat down one day to write…to write to myself; to better understand all that had happened to me that was just not understandable. I never expected my story to become a book as it was simply a guideline to see where God was in my life and in the horrors I had experienced. I wrote everyday beginning with childhood abuse on into the annihilation called divorce. After several months, I wrapped up my life with The End and Amen. I clicked off my computer and went for a long walk pondering what I had just accomplished in seeing my life from a different focus. As I walked, I murmured to myself, “I am free.” By the end of four miles, I was shouting, “I am free!”

After the exhilaration subsided by weeks end, I was confronted by, what now? Could I possibly think my scribbling might be a book? I boldly copied the text from the computer, stapled it and promptly put it into the trunk of my car; where it safely lived for weeks. Never being known as a quitter, I was forced to take courage from the recesses of my existence and search for publishers. With sweaty palms, I sent out the “proper query” to a list of publishers.

The day I heard from CrossBooks Publishing was an incredibly sweet day filled with awe and wonder as I asked, “So do you think I have a book?” To which he replied, “Me thinks you have a book!” This was over a year ago and the term “author” still holds amazement when it is combined with my name.

It takes five to six months for a manuscript to turn into a hand held book. In that period of waiting, I had many revelations. My thoughts, heart, soul searching emotions were about to become a book. I then began to think of the ramifications of inscribing raw and vulnerable emotions with the outcome of people I don’t know or more importantly; the people I do know peering inside of me. When friends or new acquaintances inquired as to the status of my book, I had one answer, “Please do not read my book!”

I began to marinate in the thought of writing a manuscript, submitting it to be published and not wanting anyone to read it! Even I am not this absurd even on a good day. Before the manuscript became a book, my publisher contacted me with the request to write more chapters so as the book could be hardbound. In the months after finishing the manuscript, I had an epiphany...why I wrote the book. It is the last chapter and brought with it clarity.
It has indeed been a journey. I have learned to put away the emotions that first led me to sit down and write. It is so true; writing is cathartic. My story seems to resonate in vastly different ways with dissimilar people. I feel fortunate when a reader reaches out to me and tells how my story affected them. It has become a pleasure to bare my soul and hear the results of how it is received.

What emotions can become the author in you?

The tale of Samantha Ryan Chandler's life is evocatively portrayed in her book: A Love Story, How God Pursued Me and Found Me. It tells of a life that is as disturbing and unsettling as it is uplifting and, in the end, gratifying. How "A girl from Nowhere, Louisiana" finds her way from such humble beginnings to live and walk amongst presidents and the supremely rich, only to find her trust and faith betrayed by those that she loved and trusted the most. She would be tested to the point where she began to doubt her own sanity and, at the moment of her greatest desperation and doubt, she was found by God and brought back from the brink of hopeless despair. Blessed with an almost unquenchable optimism and a unique sense of humor, she relates the story of a life that will speak to those who have encountered abuse, unfairness and anguish.  Her love for her children and her faith in God carried her through a crucible of fire and in the end, made her a better, stronger person, ready to carry on with a life that is again filled with love, joy and laughter. A Love Story, How God Pursued Me and Found Me will both inspire you and touch your heart.

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