The Story Behind “To Call My Own”

By April 30, 2019 April 3rd, 2020 No Comments

I began writing To Call My Own when my oldest daughter left home for college, and as my other three children left, I experienced such a sense of loss that I had to ‘do something.’ Writing became my therapy. I had written short stories and children’s Christmas plays, but in my heart of hearts, I knew it was time to go after the ‘big one’-the novel. I took classes, I practiced, I read books, I pulled my hair out, I practiced some more, and 13 years later, To Call My Own became a reality. I’ve edited the story hundreds of times, submitted it twice, and had it rejected twice.

Why do I tell you all this? Isn’t it slightly embarrassing that it took me soooooo long to become an author? At this rate, I’ll probably be in the  nursing home when book 2 comes out; after all, I’m already ‘old.’ Actually, that’s precisely why I’m telling you.

As long as you’re breathing, it isn’t too late to try, whether it’s writing a book, losing weight, completing a degree, mastering a new language or fill-in-the-blank. But never settle for ‘easy.’ Big things require big effort. When we try to ‘get something for nothing,’ that’s what we get: nothing. Just start small and keep at it, and who knows, some day folks might talk about your unwavering perseverance or your incredible self-discipline. That’s what happens when we work and work and work some more. But I certainly hope it won’t take you 13 years!



Joy Cleveland is an author, histotechnologist, wife, mother, and shameless grandmother. She has published short stories, children's plays, and her debut novel, "To Call My Own." Best known for heartwarming and hope-filled stories, she calls Iowa home.

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