by Laura O'Connell
Thank you, Narelle, for inviting me to be a part of International Christian Fiction Writers Blog.
I'm Laura O’Connell. I live on the sunny Gold Coast situated on the eastern seaboard of Australia. The photo below is from Twin Falls, Springbrook in the Gold Coast Hinterland. Before I started writing I worked in management Accounting throughout Australia. One year, my husband and I holidayed at Tryon Island on the Great Barrier Reef. This holiday changed my life. I came home from the holiday enthusiastic and ready to write my first non-fiction book. I jumped in with only a how-to book to show me the way. Surprisingly, it got published and so did many of my non-fiction articles.
After I’d been writing for about ten years, Jesus Christ became my Lord and saviour. I felt he was calling me to write fiction. I wrote a sci-fi, young adult and a romance novel. None of these were sent to a publisher because they were my learning the craft novels, and I didn’t feel they were up to publication standard.
I became insecure in my writing and turned to Jesus for help. He took me on a healing journey that wasn’t all that pleasant. I prayed for several months and meditated on his word looking for direction and asking if this is really where he wanted me to be. He told me, “I want you to write from your heart, Laura.”
I realised he wanted me to use my life’s experiences to inspire and encourage others in their life’s journey, that relationships can be difficult, but through Him all things are possible. God wanted me to write Women’s Fiction.
When I understood his purpose for my writing, He released me to reveal the stories deep within my heart. Making contact with God in a deep and powerful way has become a regular part of my life. The daily connection with Him leads me into my writing day. Because I’m fresh in the morning, I work on my current project trying to achieve at least 3,000 words per day. Once the words are done, I work on the administrivia of being a writer—learning more about the writing craft, blogging, editing, and writing more non-fiction works, or finding ways of deepening my characters in my current work.
To date, I have two completed novels awaiting publication. I continue to trust God has his hand on every aspect of my life including my writing. He has the time frame for publication of my work at hand. I trust Him because he knows the right path for my life.
I've been led to write stories that encourage and inspire through the themes of love, forgiveness, hope, grace, faith and belonging. Not all of my stories end in a happy ever after romance. However, by the end of my stories, I hope my readers are inspired to make changes in their lives by receiving the saving grace of Jesus, and become the people God created them to be.
My first book, Sarah’s Child, is set in Sydney and Gold Coast, Australia (see photo). It is currently under consideration by a publisher in London.
I also enjoy writing about other exciting parts of the world that have caught my imagination. My second book, A Noble Woman, is set in scenic Uganda, a country that has experienced its fair share of tragedy throughout history, but is striving to overcome its challenges in rebuilding to a country of hope with an exciting future.
My current work in progress is a military story. My husband served twenty-five years in the Australian Army. I bring many of my experiences to this work which is powering along much quicker than I could have anticipated.
Through my writing, I want to glorify God, give hope to my readers, and walk with Jesus every day.
Laura O’Connell lives in Gold Coast, Australia. She is married to her own hero, Frank, and they have one adult son. Laura loves writing in all its forms; reading fiction and non-fiction books from all genres; body surfing; bushwalking; and learning about technological gadgetry. Laura can be contacted at her website at http://laura-oconnell.com