President’s Message – February 2013

photo copyright Josh Hrkach

“The future starts today, not tomorrow.
Blessed John Paul II

Every year, around this time, winter seems like it will go on forever and many wish for the warmer days of spring. This is much like the mother with a small baby who longs for her child to grow older so she may get more sleep and enjoy her freedom. For the Catholic writer, we often yearn for the day when our current project is finished.

This month, I’ve already seen some of the most brilliant sunrises of the year. When it is stifling hot in August, I will wish for these cooler days. The years when my five children were small seem like a blur to me, and I yearn to experience their baby giggles and toddler exploits and all those joy-filled moments that made up for any lost sleep.

I’ve been working on my current “work in progress” for almost five years. For the past year or so, it has been going nowhere fast. All of a sudden, in late December, I sat down to work on it and it seemed to come together within a few short weeks. Yet, it didn’t, really. It was in the blood, sweat and tears of the previous five years that has allowed for the final stages to go more smoothly.

It is in these day-to-day struggles that we, as Catholics, not only can grow in our particular vocation, but we can also increase in virtue.

And so…I encourage you to see the positive in every day. Enjoy the winter sunsets, your baby’s smiles and your characters’ exploits.

In CWG news, the Board has recently approved a new logo. Plans are moving forward for the redevelopment of the CWG website. New members are joining. Soon, we will be organizing and planning for the Catholic Writers Conference Live (August 7-9) and the Catholic Writers Retreat in October.

And if I can brag for a brief moment: earlier this week, for the first time ever, ALL SIX of my company’s books (including my four) were simultaneously on at least one Kindle bestseller list for three days! How cool is that? When I first started writing Catholic fiction, a self-proclaimed expert told me, “Nobody buys Catholic fiction.” I guess that self-proclaimed expert had no idea what he was talking about.

As always, if you have a concern, a question or just want to chat about writing or publishing, please feel free to drop me a line: president(at)


Ellen Gable Hrkach
President, Catholic Writers Guild

About Ellen Gable Hrkach

Ellen Gable Hrkach is the president of the Catholic Writers Guild. Last year, she published her fifth book, A Subtle Grace (O'Donovan Family), which reached #1 on Amazon Kindle in Religious Historical Fiction, Christian Romance and Victorian Historical Romance in January and February of this year. Her third novel, Stealing Jenny, was an Amazon Kindle #1 Bestseller in Religious Drama (June/July 2012) and has also been #1 in Christian Mystery and Suspense. She is an award-winning author of In Name Only, (O'Donovan Family #1) the 2010 IPPY Gold medal winner in Religious Fiction. Her books have been downloaded over 625,000 times on Kindle. In addition to serving as president of the Guild, Ellen is a busy self-publishing book coach, a publisher, an editor and a speaker. She works part-time for Live the Fast as their marketing director. Her website is She and her husband are the parents of five sons and they live in Pakenham, ON Canada.
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11 Responses to President’s Message – February 2013

  1. KassieRitman says:

    Good advice to all!
    How often do we catch ourselves “wishing our lives away” as we rush to check off that next item on the list? Too often I’m guessing.
    And Congrats on your seller rating! Hearing news of your publishing success is a balm to the writers who haven’t been there yet. We share your joy and hope to see you there soon :)

  2. Congratulations, Ellen! Thanks for sharing the news about your bestsellers! I relate to what you said about your current project coming together overnight (but not really.) That describes my writing career. I’ve loved writing since I was 7 years old, but didn’t pursue it until I retired several years ago. Wasted time? I don’t think so. I believe that in my particular case God knew that although I loved writing, I didn’t have much to say until I’d gone through certain high and low life experiences.

  3. Thanks, for the update and congrats on your book publishing company’s success. Really looking forward to the new site.

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  5. When I first started writing Catholic fiction, a self-proclaimed expert told me, “Nobody buys Catholic fiction.” Anything is possible in, with and through God. I feel real joy for you Ellie. In fact I am grinning like a fool as I write this. We just checked our mail box and I received my gift from you, Angela’s Song, I am tickled pink, as they say

  6. I agree, Melanie! I’m glad you received the book! Thanks so much for commenting…

  7. Hi Ellen,

    I have just referred you to a friend whose daughter has written a novel. I suggested they join CWG also. I just want to give you a pat on the back and praise here because you are always so generous with your advice and suggestions. Your success NEVER comes across as bragging but rather as one who delights in the gifts and abilities with which God has blessed you. You are a perfect combination of ability and ambition tempered with the desire to use it in union with God. It has been a pleasure to meet you at 2 different CMN/CWG conferences. I love to hear what you are working on and of your latest successes. God bless you and your family.

    • Patti, Thank you so much for your comments! I’m happy to have met you as well (and look forward to seeing you at future conferences!) I’d be glad to connect with your friend’s daughter. Please feel free to give them my email address: fullquiverpublishing(at) God bless you!