Monday, April 23, 2012

Silver Linings

For this Author Monday we welcome Priscilla Kissinger, three time Golden Heart finalist and an author to watch. Welcome Priscilla!

Many many moons ago I finaled for the first time in the RWA Golden Heart® contest and was blessed to become part of a fabulous group of ladies known as the Wet Noodle Posse. I was much younger, much wetter behind the ears and not sure of how to make the most of my flash of success in the writing industry.

Several years later I finaled again, and became a member of the Pixies, another supportive group of ladies. But life had other priorities for me, and writing was once again set aside for other obligations.

Flash forward to 2012…my life is again in transition, but for the past 2 years I’ve been able to focus more on my writing. Make it more of a priority. And truth be told, my writing, my writing friends, my newfound commitment to my craft….well, they’ve all helped to keep me focused on the positives life can offer rather than the negative aspects I’m wading through.

So when the call came from RWA board member and fellow Wet Noodle Posse member Terry McLaughlin ( letting me know my latest manuscript was a 2012 Golden Heart ® finalist (, I heard the gates of heaven clang open and a choir of angels began to sing “Hallelujah!”

Okay, not really. I was substitute teaching at a local junior high so it was actually the lunch bell ringing and a pack of adolescents jabbering away in the hall. But in my imagination, it was all heaven and angels. :)

So while I struggled to contain my giddiness, inside the butterflies zoomed in my chest, my heart sped up its pace, and my body literally shivered with excitement.

Many of us toil for years and years with little validation for our efforts. Writing is a solitary endeavor. Well, it can be unless you take the time to make connections with fellow authors. So you join groups like RWA, attend your local chapter meetings, travel to conferences… all so you can meet other people like you—those who speak to invisible characters like they’re real, create their own imaginary worlds, and speak the same romance lingo consisting of terms like GMC, point of view, and Big Black Moments.

Being a Golden Heart ® finalist for the third time is a blessing. And for me, it couldn’t have come at a better moment. A time when I needed to hear that my efforts haven’t been in vain. That if I keep on plugging away, my day in the sun will come.

Maybe I’m slogging through a difficult time right now in some areas, but there’s a silver lining around my world if I look close enough and pay attention, and that’s all I’ve got to focus on.

How about you? Any silver linings you care to share? Any light at the end of the tunnel moments that have pulled you through trying times?

The world of romance writing is all about happily ever afters. And some times, it’s all about the happily for right nows.

That’s what we have to celebrate. Well, that’s what I’m celebrating anyway. Care to join me?

Thanks for sharing your story, Priscilla. I admire your determination and wish you the best of luck in the final round!



Anita said...

Priscilla: I love your attitude and your writing must be fabulous to bring you this far! Best of luck to you...looking forward to reading your work.

Tori Scott said...

Priscilla got called in to work this morning, but she'll be back to respond to comments this afternoon.

Jennifer Della'Zanna said...

Priscilla, what happens if you win the Golden Heart?

TerriOsburn said...

I commented on the other site and it didn't work, so I'm trying it over here. LOL!

Congrats on all your success! This is my first final and I can't imagine doing it three times. You, my dear, are an inspiration!

robena grant said...

Congratulations, Priscilla. I say the third time is the charm. : )Like Terri, this is my first time and I must say I admire your persistance. I was just thinking yesterday if I would enter again for 2013. : )

A. J. Larrieu said...

Great perspective, Priscilla. One of my favorite things about writing is that it makes nothing feel wasted. All of the bad deciscions and hard times and stressful times are experiences I mine for my characters. Feeling like I can use those moments makes them worth a little something, and for me, that makes them easier to bear.

Deborah Wright said...

Priscilla, wonderful post! You are definitely an inspiration.

Life does have a way of throwing up roadblocks at times. Connecting with other writers through RWA--just knowing that others go through similar times--makes a huge difference.

Prisakiss said...

Anita: Thanks for stopping by! I've loved your middle grade novel, and can't wait to see your YA hit the shelves in the near future!!

Jennifer: If I win the Golden Heart I get a really pretty necklace and charm. :-) Right now all the finalist manuscripts are in the hands of editors who'll choose the winners. So, some writers may not win, but still sell their book! That's the beauty of making the finals-- getting your work in front of an acquiring editor!

Prisakiss said...

Terri, Robena, AJ and Deborah, it's great to see some of my GH sisters here! Thanks for popping in.

Terri and Robena, the thrill of finaling doesn't get old. :-) It's always wonderful to be in such talented company.

AJ, have you heard of emotion memory? Method actors use it to bring their characters to life. Tapping into our own emotions and experiences is the best way to create believable characters on the page.

Deborah, you're absolutely right. Knowing that there are other writers out there who have been through or are going through similar situations really helps to keep me going. Especially when I see others achieving their goals-- that's a huge inspiration!

John Dixon said...

Great post, Priscilla, and great news, too. Your book must be fantastic -- and while I'm hopeful it'll win the Golden Heart, I'm even more excited to see it in print!

Tori Scott said...

Priscilla, do you have any advice for the ones who are finaling for the first time? I remember how scary it was, trying to get ready for RWA, not knowing what to expect.

Prisakiss said...

Thanks, John! I'll definitely let you know when it sells. :-) We all know it's a tough business, but we just keep "keeping on" and eventually, perseverance will pay off. That's my plan anyway.

Prisakiss said...

Tori, one of the most important things I can remember from my first time is just to let myself enjoy the moment. Forget the nerves about whether or not you'll win.

Rather than heading to National thinking about the contest and the Awards Ceremony, head to National with a plan for which presentations you want to attend, which editors and agents you want to meet, which authors you're interested in learning from. Know your book and be ready to pitch-- any time, anywhere, to anyone.

This will be the best week of your year-- even if you don't win-- because you'll be hanging out with 2,000 other like-minded writers. The energy I find at National gets me revved up, and I head home ready to write, ready to submit, ready to conquer!! :-)

Ami said...

Hi Priscilla! Thanks for your inspiring post. Great things happen when we stick with it and I'm honored to share a GH category with you this year. :)

Prisakiss said...

Ami, I'm excited to meet you and the rest of our GH 2012 sisters this summer! Thanks for popping by today!

Angleat Shelikoff said...

We're so proud of you. I know you will continue to do well. Congrats and best of luck!

Prisakiss said...

Hi Angeleat, thanks for stopping by! I'm still trying to get up there to see you guys. I appreciate all the support!

Tori Scott said...

We really appreciate you coming to share your story with us, Priscilla! I've never figured out why so many talented, dedicated authors like you and so many other Golden Heart finalists have been overlooked by publishers for the past ten years, but I have a feeling this just may be your year. Wishing you the best of luck at RWA this summer!

Migdalia Hettler said...

Pris, Your dad and I are so proud of you, the amazing and unbelievable woman, mother, sister and daughter that you are. There is a "silver lining" around you. I see it in your eyes, in the way you go about helping others and the way you never give up. There is a light at the end of this tunnel and great things await you! I believe in you and I believe in happily ever afters!!!
I love you!


Prisakiss said...

Tori, thanks for inviting me to share with your readers. It's been great to hear from so many people. I'll see you on the loop and I'll definitely keep my eye on your blog, I'm sure you have more interesting tidbits to share with us!

Hope to see you in person sometime soon!

Prisakiss said...

Mom, I'm in a good place today in large part because of you and dad. I've been truly blessed to have such wonderful parents.

All the Happily Ever After endings in my novels are modeled after you and dad's relationship because you have shown me what true love and dedication means and how they are lived!

I love you!

Tori Scott said...

Y'all are welcome to continue to post comments and ask questions for as long as you'd like.

Pris's mom, we've heard so much about you. You're a large part of the reason Pris is such a strong woman. Anytime you'd like to adopt another child, I'm available! :)