Official site of Debbie Viguie, New York Times Bestselling Author

Part 4 of the Wicked 7 Part Miracle (52 Books in 52 Weeks)

The fourth miracle surrounding Wicked was that Nancy, my teacher at Maui Writers Retreat, and I really connected. She had to do a one-on-one meeting with each student and when she met with me she told me some wonderful things. First, she said that I was there, I had worked hard enough and my writing was good enough that I was publishable at that point. She also said that it was little like going home reading my sample for the Retreat since she had started in romance and she recognized that our writing styles were very similar.

Needless to say, I was over the moon! I had paid to attend the charity dinner that week. I was the only student from my class who did, but I figured that was where all the agents, editors, and professional writers would be and a good time to socialize. Nancy insisted that I sit at her table, which was awesome, and throughout the night she walked me around and introduced me to every person there. Such a blessing!

When I went to the Retreat I was at a crossroads. I was working as a church secretary and I had been a substitute teacher but I knew I wanted to pursue either acting or writing seriously as a career. I’d been doing a couple things in Hollywood acting wise and it had been difficult and frustrating. I had several bad experiences. Trying to go for it down there is nothing like doing local community theater. It’s very cutthroat and mean-spirited particularly at the lower levels.

When Nancy first sat me down at her table before dinner began she had to run off to go talk to someone. A man sat down at the table. He could tell from the lanyard I was wearing that I was just a student. He gave me a great big smile and said, “Hi, I’m Michael Palmer, and I write medical thrillers. What do you write?”

You could have knocked me over with a feather. He was a NYT Bestselling Author who had just had one of his books turned into a movie starring Gene Hackman not that long before. I knew who he was. He was famous. Yet he sat there genuinely wanting to know what I was writing.

That was the moment when I knew. All the professional writers were nice, supportive, encouraging. These were the people I wanted to associate with. I chose to pursue writing over acting then and there sitting at that table talking to him.

You want to know something truly amazing? I told Nancy about that story later. Thirteen years later Nancy, Michael Palmer, and I were all guests at a convention for readers. While we were waiting to be taken to the reception meet-and-greet I got a chance to tell Michael what it had meant to me speaking with him all those years ago. Nancy proudly piped up that I was now a NYT Bestselling Author, too, and that my first thriller was about to come out. He shook my hand, got a huge grin on his face and said, “Excellent! You’re now the competition!”

Nancy and I discovered at the Maui Writers Retreat that we lived about an hour and a half from each other and we both shared a love of Disney. We kept in touch after the retreat and met up at Disney several times for a meal or just to hang out for a little while. She even introduced me to her editor at the time who allowed me to pitch her a retold fairy tale for her new fairy tale line. The editor eventually rejected my proposal (I have a funny story about that, but I’m saving it for later!), but Nancy was right there to encourage me to keep going. Throughout all of this God taught me to BE FRIENDLY, BE WILLING TO LEARN, AND BE OPEN TO THE CONNECTIONS GOD IS FORGING FOR YOU.

  ©2019 Debbie Viguie