Inspiration from a Rejection

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By Gail Gaymer Martin

How can an author receive an inspiring rejection? That sounds like an oxymoron, side by side contradictory terms. And yet a rejection recently inspired me.

I’m sure you’ve sent in a proposal to a publisher, especially one you write for, thinking they will love the new idea. But when you hear back, they tell you no-it won’t work or the readers won’t like it. You want to say, “But. . .” And then you stop yourself. You’ve learned to fight the big battles and let the little ones go.

This happened to me recently while writing the Sisters series. The mother had a secret which I insinuated in the first two novels, and I’d planned to have Neely and Ashley learn they had a half-sister given up for adoption before their parents were married. The “no” threw me. I had a third book to write and only two sisters in a book series called Sisters. So I improvised. Do sisters have to be blood sisters or can they be sisters of the heart? And so Paula become the heroine of my newest release, Rescued By the Firefighter.

The change worked out better than I expected. Paula, who appeared in book two, had a difficult backstory. She had reasons to never look for love or expect to find true love. She’d done things that shamed her, and when she meets the hero, she cannot admit her past life.

The hero? Yes, now I needed another hero since the half-sister would have been had different struggles than Paula, needing a different hero. Another inspiration fell into my mind. The second book was about Ashley’s hero Devon, a firefighter. He’d been friends in the book by another firefighter, Clint, who had a well-developed storyline. Clint had been wounded by a walk-away fiancé shortly before the wedding. How does a man deal with that when he doesn’t understand what happened? Clint became the perfect hero, and his firefighting added an inspired theme to the third novel.

My inspiration is sometimes triggered by rejection, but we can’t forget that the Holy Spirit is part of our work, too. I know that but it’s the Spirit who slips into my fingers and puts words on the page that startle me at times. If you’re a writer, you understand. It’s not a “drum roll” experience but often subtle and surprising. So in the face of rejection, I’ve learned that it inspires better ideas and opens me to the Holy Spirit’s guidance when I need Him the most.

So if a rejection comes along, take it as a way to stimulate a new and creative idea, to let the Lord be part of your work, and to learn how creative you can be in making a bad situation a truly good one. Rescued By The Firefighter has received wonderful responses from readers and 4 stars from Romantic Times.

Rescued By The FirefighterMulti-award-winning novelist, Gail Gaymer Martin writes Christian fiction romance, romantic suspense and women’s fiction. She has fifty-four contracted novels with nearly four million books in print. She is the author of Writers Digest’s Writing the Christian Romance and a co-founder and executive board member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and a member of Christian Authors Network(CAN). Gail is a keynote speaker and presents workshops at writers’ conference across the US. She was named one of the four best novelists in the Detroit area by CBS local news. Visit her website at Her newest novel is an April 2014 release, Rescued By the Firefighter, from Love Inspired and available where books are sold or at online bookstores.

Comments 0

  1. Thanks so much for sharing. I am just beginning the explore the possibility of writing novels – and it’s all exhilerating and overwhelming at the same time! I’m sure that many rejections lie ahead of me – and this is a nice reminder to take a “no” as a chance to improve or re-route, rather than as a sign that you’re a failure.

    It’s much like when we get a “no” or a “not now” from God – generally He has something much better in mind for us, if only we can trust in His will!

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