Gina Holmes

In 1998, Gina Holmes began her career penning articles and short stories. In 2005 she founded the influential literary blog, Novel Journey. She holds degrees in science and nursing and currently resides with her husband and children in Southern Virginia. Her debut novel, Crossing Oceans, is set to release summer 2010 with Tyndale House Publishers. To learn more about her, visit: or

Impossible Dream

When I began writing my first novel back in 2003/04, I thought for sure it would not only publish but likely be a best seller. I thought that of the second as well. And the third. And the fourth.

Every one of them was rejected.

If you’re unpublished, you might be feeling a little nauseous reading that and thinking that couldn’t possibly happen to you. Maybe it will. Maybe it won’t. Either way, trust me when I say it’s all good.

Each time I had to despairingly shelve a manuscript I couldn’t sell, I had friends remind me that God’s timing is perfect. I know that’s true, but it still hurt each time I got a rejection letter, soared to pub board only to get shot down, or had an editor suddenly lose interest in my work.

If I had known then what I know now, I’d have delighted in those “nos.” Let me explain.

I grew up reading Stephen King, and so naturally when I decided to write a novel, I figured suspense was what I liked to read so it was what I should write. My first four novels were suspense. But then something happened . . . I started reading books like The Kite Runner, Memoirs of a Geisha, To Kill a Mockingbird, Watership Down, and authors like Charles Martin and Lisa Samson. I couldn’t get enough.

Because I hadn’t sold any of my suspense, I was free to try my hand at any genre I wanted, and so I did. My fifth novel was women’s fiction with a bit of a literary bent, very introspective, and thoughtful and with more love and betrayal than nail-biting intrigue.

This novel was, of course, the one I will debut with this May—Crossing Oceans.

What would have happened if I had sold my first, second, third, or fourth novels? I’d be writing suspense right now and that’s neither my strong suit, nor where my heart is. I don’t know if I’d be miserable or not, but I would definitely be longing to write what I truly believe I was meant to—stories that examine the scope of our hearts.

It’s a tough thing to see the longing in an unpublished writer’s eyes and to know just how it feels to want something so badly, to claw and climb for years and years only to get knocked off the mountain just as you see the summit. But this is my reminder to you—God’s timing is perfect.

You get only one chance to debut. One. You need it to be your best. You need it to be what you were meant to write. As you grapple with rejection and fight the hopelessness we all struggle with from time to time, know in your heart that God has your best interest in mind. Thank Him every time a no comes, because when the yes comes, it will be the right yes.

I’m so very grateful now that those four manuscripts I labored on for hours upon hours, day in and year out are not sitting on a bookshelf in Barnes & Noble, because that would mean Crossing Oceans most likely never would.

If you feel like you’ve been on the publishing path forever, and that moment’s never going to come, hang tough. Your yes will come, my friend. Right on time.

Crossing Oceans