In April last year I started on my second manuscript. It was based on an idea that had been perculating in my mind since a trip to see my parents in Cambodia in 2007 and one that I thought would be a lot of fun to try and bring to life.
I started writing and, unlike my first manuscript, from the first time that I sat down to write, there was something about this manuscript that seemed to hold some special kind of zing.
In particular, there was one character, a guy, who had me falling for him as I wrote him. With every new scene that I wrote I found myself wishing that he was an actual person, not just a figment of my creative imagination. Of course, I told myself, that if he was the story would not be possible becaus such a great snatch would have been snapped up long ago!
In June, I had the first few chapters written and so decided to take the plunge and see if anyone else thought this manuscript had a bit of magic to it. It was the first time I had tried writing in the third person, as well as the first time I had written from a male point of view so all I was hoping for way some constructive feedback on my style and either thumbs up or down on the basic premise.
The weekend after the competitions closed, my pastors were in Sydney (ironically enough teaching at a marriage retreat). On the Sunday night they met a guy at church, were having a bit of a chat with him when his father came up and basically said "Can you find my son a nice Kiwi wife, because I'm not having any luck finding him one over here!"
For some reason they both thought of me. And so, upon their return, Sarah took me out for coffee and starting waxing lyrical about this great guy they had met in Sydney. Mostly I laughed at her. There was no doubt that he sounded great, but he was in Sydney, I was in Wellington, and neither of us had any plans to be in the other city anytime soon.
At the same time there was something niggling at me at the back of my head that I couldn't quite put my finger on. About three days later, as I sat down to write, it hit me on the back of the head.
The guy that my pastor was raving about had the same name as the character that I was smitten with. Josh. Not only that, but they lived in the same city, were the same age and the same occupation. Of course, proving that God does have a sense of hunour, the real Josh looked nothing like the fictional Josh, but looked exactly the same as one of the other main characters in the manuscript.
Two months later, God orchestrated a whole lot of things to bring Josh to Wellington, and me back from overseas early, where we met for the first time at the exact same place my characters meet - Wellington Airport. Whilst it wasn't quite love at first sight (it was at second, in Sydney three weeks later) there was definitely something there that could rival any good romance novel.
Two weeks later I found out that the magic transcended across both reality and fiction with my entry going on to final in both the competitions that I entered (and the first time I had finaled in any writing contest) - eventually winning the Inspirational Category of one, and coming third in the Inspirational category of another :)
I haven't quite gotten around to finishing the manuscript yet because God has been a bit busy writing my own love story with my fiction come real hero - in May Josh and I got engaged, in October he moved to New Zealand and next Thursday we get married! But you never know, hopefully one day I'll get around to writing the happy ending for my characters that I'm busy living!
For more details than you ever wanted to know about Josh and Kara's wedding, plus whatevever else is on her mind on any given day, you can find Kara at http://www.downundermusings.blogspot.com/ . Though she may not be around much during the next month as, after the wedding madness is over, she'll be busy lazing on a Pacific Island with the greatest guy in the world. If you ask really nicely, she might even share some wedding photos with you on her next post :)