Three years ago, during the snowiest winter on record in this valley, I wrote a manuscript. I then ignored it for a year — until my adult children began to lecture about taking risks, and repeated encouraging advice I’d dished out for two-plus decades.
To shut them up, I took master classes and affiliated with organizations. Attended seminars and recruited beta readers. Researched professional editors. And in November of 2012, found myself staring at an e-mail from an acquisitions editor at one of America’s Big Six publishing houses. This just doesn’t happen to real people. At least not real people without a single contact in publishing, or in the media.
I was signed by a fine literary agency. And I produced a second manuscript while story lines for three more took form. My literary agent worked hard, promoting my manuscripts to every publisher she thought would appreciate fiction written with a Christian worldview that was a little left of center, although Biblically sound.
Editors at three of the Big Six publishers said exactly the same thing: “there’s something here.” (If I never hear those words again…) However, publishing is its own risk-averse world, so each house eventually signed authors whose work was similar to books profitable in the past. It’s business.
Undeterred, I decided that if I wasn’t signed by the end of 2013, I was going to self publish. With decades in marketing and advertising, and more than 50,000 individual followers spread across my social universe (thank you all), I was comfortable with this choice. I assembled a dream team of cover designers and launch-team members, and completed forms for Amazon’s White Glove Service. (If you’re good enough for a literary agent, Amazon provides perks to entice you to self publish with them.) My plan was to release the first manuscript, When Camels Fly, April 15.
Then my agent called. An acquisitions editor at a Big Six wanted to keep the document a little longer. I rocked back in my office chair, laughing, because God reminded me He has a sense of humor. And He is in control.
One way or another, we’ll share something wonderful in 2014, and have a great time with previews of covers and chapters, and videos shot throughout Israel, western Europe (setting of the second manuscript), and Greece and Turkey (location of the third).
But for the moment, please hold again. I appreciate your patience and company during my mid-life adventure.