God likes to surprise me, especially when it comes to writing. I fell in love with writing when I read Anne of Green Gables in the sixth grade. However, becoming a writer didn’t seem realistic, so I became a teacher instead.
A few years into teaching, God nudged me again. While flipping through my mother’s Better Homes & Gardens magazine, I found an ad for taking a class on writing for children. That led to several magazine pieces, including an article in Highlights, which I’d read as a child!
Eventually, I wrote my first novel, a middle grade sci-fi book, but it was never published. I tried writing a cozy mystery. It was never published, but it led me to join the Mystery Writers of America.
I worked on a middle grade mystery next, but I couldn’t get the plot right. In the midst of my discouragement, I got an idea for a young-adult story about a girl whose dreams of becoming an actress slip away from her. I wrote the first draft of Angelhood in a month, but couldn’t find a publisher.
One day, I received an email from someone in the Mystery Writers of America who was looking for a publisher who might publish a children’s book with some religious themes. That’s exactly what I needed for Angelhood. Even though my first book wasn’t a mystery, God found a way through the Mystery Writers of America to get me to the right publisher for my story! I hope it brings inspiration to many young people who are worried about pursuing their dreams.
A.J. Cattapan is an award-winning author, speaker, and middle school English teacher living in the Chicago area. Her debut young adult novel Angelhood won a Gold Medal in the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards for Young Adult Fiction—Religion/Spirituality and an Honorable Mention from Readers’ Favorite Book Awards. She’s also been a Chicken Soup for the Soul contributor and had numerous short stories and articles published in magazines for teens and children, including Highlights, Pockets, and Hopscotch for Girls.
Her next novel, a middle grade mystery titled Seven Riddles to Nowhere, releases in August. Cattapan is a member of several writing groups, including the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, and the Mystery Writers of America. When not busy writing or teaching, she can often be found baking or traveling. You can follow her writing and travel adventures at www.ajcattapan.com.
Find Angelhood on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Angelhood-A-J-Cattapan/dp/0990304264