I sold another novella to Barbour Publishing Inc.!
Love in Store is one of nine novellas in The Secret Admirer Romance Collection which releases May 1, 2017.
The cover will be revealed soon. When I can, I'll release it first in a sneak preview to my newsletter subscribers, and then later on social media.
If you'd like to subscribe to my newsletter and get news first, as well as be entered for special subscriber contests, click here.
I enjoyed writing this novella and am very excited it's part of this collection.
I've held off announcing my big news although you may have figured it out by the hints I've been dropping on social media...
I sold a novella to Barbour Publishing Inc.!
It's part of The American Heiress Brides Collection and will be released January 2017.
A couple weeks ago, I gave a sneak preview of the cover to my newsletter subscribers.
If you'd like to subscribe to my newsletter and hear my news first, as well as be entered for special subscriber contests, click here.
I am so excited to be a part of the Barbour Publishing family. Squeeeeeeeeeee...
Today I'm appearing on the Stitches Thru Time blog where I'm interviewed by fellow Canadian writer, Cherie Gagnon.
The questions are about my A Cup of Christmas Cheer story, Riding on a Christmas Wish, so if you're wondering about York, Ontario in 1911, head on over.
If you leave a comment on my Stitches Thru Time post, you'll be entered for a $10 Starbucks gift card - sorry, winners must be U.S. residents.
This spring on March 11, I was presented an opportunity to create a story for a new two-volume hardcover set containing 16 short stories to be published by Guideposts Books in time for this holiday season. The deadline for the submission of a synopsis was March 26 - a mere two weeks away.
The two books were to have different themes:
- family, faith, and friendship in one
- angels, miracles, and other wonders in the second
Since the initial email said we could contact the editor for a list of story suggestions, I emailed and asked for the list so I'd have an idea of what they were looking for.
In the days that followed, two stories came to mind - a contemporary story and a historical one, both fitting the faith, family, and friendship theme. I wrote and rewrote and after each synopsis was done to my satisfaction, I sent it out to my Inkwell Inspiration blog mates (Inkies) for critiquing.
On Mar 25, I emailed both synopses and a writing sample to the Guideposts editor. And then I tried to concentrate on my current writing project while I waited - not an easy thing to do.
On April 8th, I went into town for awhile and although I had my iPhone with me, I didn't have the volume turned up and didn't feel it vibrate. As soon as I returned home and entered the dining room though, I saw the light flashing on the Answering Machine. It was my agent, Mary Keeley, announcing that Guideposts wanted to buy my short story, Riding on a Christmas Wish.
Before I became too excited however, Mary advised that the Guideposts Books editor had some conditions before the contract would be offered. She gave me his number, and after a few hours when I'd settled down a bit, I made the call.
The editor said the main condition was that they wanted the story to be written in the father's point-of-view (POV) only. (He gave me the reason, but I won't say it here because that would ruin the story for you.) Would I be able to do that? I answered yes because several people had told me that I write guys well, and if that's what it took I was up for the challenge. The editor was also concerned that a big action scene would be lost because it was in the mother's POV, but I assured him that I could work around it and keep the action. (It gave me confidence that he liked the action scene.) With that verbal agreement, I got down to the business of writing. My new deadline to submit the complete 5,500-7,000 word short story (22-28 manuscript pages) was May 6.
And I did, again with help from my Inky blog mates. What would I do without them?
On May 10th, I received the Guideposts contract in the mail - all 3 copies. It was right there on paper that they wanted Riding on a Christmas Wish for A Cup of Christmas Cheer. Upon reading the contract, though, my joy was tempered by a sobering fact - that if the manuscript wasn't acceptable, the editor would ask for revisions once only. If the editor did not like my revisions, Guideposts would terminate the contract and I would receive a kill fee for my trouble versus the full payment. Gulp.
But it wasn't enough to stop the joy from bubbling up again. In order not to give away the contract details, I whitened out much of this xeroxed copy prior to taking this self-portrait. Yes, that means I aimed the camera at my chair and set the timer . . . ran to my chair . . . held up the contract . . . and smiled.
I shared the image on Facebook, etc, and got back to writing.
On May 31st I received my first ever revision letter. The Guideposts editor spared nothing in giving me his thoughts on my story and it looked bad at first, but it actually came down to one character problem and the tone of the story. The editor wanted the revised copy back by 9 am on June 10th, and after deep-thinking for a couple days, I started the revisions.
On June 9th, I sent in my revised copy, and then sat on tenterhooks while waiting to see if the editor liked it. Was it good enough? Had I understood his revision requests? Had I conveyed on paper the tone I knew he wanted? Would it be rejected because of something I could have easily changed? The doubts lingered...
Thankfully, he answered the next day - on June 10 - with a thank you note saying no further revisions were needed and the book would be out in October.
That was it. Or was it? Although I'd signed the contract, I didn't have the final version with the whole contingent of signatures.
You know, it's funny how your faith can flag when you allow doubt to set in. It's also the reason I didn't write this post sooner - the fear of rejection was very strong. It seemed better to wait and be sure my story had been accepted before making a big hoopla. So far, the only thing I had done was post the above photo on Facebook, and that was all I was going to do until I was very sure of publication. The thing is... the publishing world is changing so fast, an author can never be sure of publication until the book hits the stores.
On July 15 however, I received an email from the Books & Such head office that the Cup of Christmas Cheer contract had arrived and was attached. You can bet I ran that attachment off pretty quick. :)
And now I finally believe that I am going to be published - and soon too, because at this point, Oct is only 3 months away. Sure, things can happen between now and then, but faith in my writing ability has taken an upswing. I've been blessed beyond measure with this opportunity and so grateful to my agent, Mary, and my Guideposts editor, for giving me this chance.
October you say? Yikes, I have to start planning how I can help promote this project starting with the Genre Dinner at the upcoming ACFW conference.... but that's another post. :)
Woo hoo! Yippeee!! Yee haw!!!
Mary Keeley, Literary Agent
I've received the ultimate accolade from the publishing world to date, because I got the agent call from
Mary Keeley of Books & Such Literary Agency!
I'd like to thank Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent, for her blopost entitled, What to Ask an Agent. I've had that shortcut on my desktop since Rachelle posted the list back on Aug 9th, 2010 and I've seen that icon every time I started my laptop. No matter when I got the call, I was
going to be ready.
Mary's call came at the pre-arranged time of 2pm on Thurs, February 16th. That date was special to me already because it's my Finnish grandmother's birthday. She was never referred to as a writer, but before she went to heaven, she wrote her memoirs which I'm posting as a series on my Author Memories blog.
Between Mary's information and my questions from Rachelle's list, we managed to get a fair bit of business cleared. By the end of the phone call, Mary offered representation.
Rachelle's list encourages writers to wait a few days and think about it before giving their final decision. But, I'd begun praying - and my church had been praying - for discernment in making the right decision since I received the email that made the appointment. Unless I felt misgivings during our conversation, I was fairly sure I'd accept.
And I did. I couldn't not accept because Mary was what I'd been waiting for - an agent who was 'fired up' about my writing. What a blessing!
Mary said the paperwork is on the way. And while I'm very good at keeping secrets and was going to hold onto this news until I'd signed the actual papers, I've been welcomed to the agency by email and have received agency news and invites. It seems like it's a go. :)
I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
Psalm 40:1 NIV