Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Kentycky Writers Confernece



The Kentucky Christian Writers Conference is just two weeks away!

I love this conference. It is the first writers conference I ever attended and the one that gave me the tools to set out on my writing journey. At my first meeting, in June of 2009, I took a workshop on freelancing small pieces such as articles, devotions, short stories, etc. I came home inspired and hopeful with new information as to how to go about doing it. I sent my first submission in July of 2009, and received my first paying contract (for an article) in November of the same year.

I now have several hundred published short pieces and will be teaching the workshop on it this year! I would love to have you join me. You can get more information about it at this link: KCWC

Hope to see you there!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Looking Ahead


In my last post, I wrote about being disappointed. Well, that is part and parcel of the writing life. Every writer has to learn to put today's rejection behind them and turn their eyes on tomorrow and I am doing just that.

The manuscript that my husband and I co-wrote is now in the hands of another traditional publisher who is showing interest. Hopefully, it will not be as long a wait before we hear this time. They sound interested, but then again, so did the previous publisher, right up to the point where they declined it, lol!

Meanwhile, I have my hands full with other writing! In recent weeks, I have received and signed numerous contracts from magazines for articles or devotions. These include "Power for Living" who bought both an article and a devotional, "SEEK" who bought three articles, and "The Secret Place." I also just received a complimentary copy of "Clubhouse" magazine for an article they bought over a year ago but just now published it in the current issue.

I also am making headway on the books I need to write for my main publisher, Pix-N-Pens (a division of Write Integrity Press). Two books co-written by my friend Shirley Crowder and myself will be coming out this year--the 1st in our devotional series in late summer / early fall, and the 4th in our prayer series in late fall / early winter. I will give you those exact dates and show you those covers when we have them. I will be very involved in final edits for both of those this summer. The 2nd manuscript in that devotional series is due to our publisher in mid-August, and I am also hoping to start mapping out and beginning to write on the 3rd in the series which will be due to our publisher next winter sometime.

And added to that are my speaking engagements. I will be teaching on freelance writing in June at the KY Christian Writer's Conference and on missions at the Women's Advance Conference in July.

Whew! I hope to get some pool time in too! Happy summer all!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Dissapointed


Well, we finally heard from P&R (Presbyterian and Reformed) Publishing—the publishing company we have been waiting to hear from regarding the book co-written by my husband and me. They turned us down. We had high hopes we would be receiving a contract from them, but now we know that we will not.

Why were we so hopeful? The manuscript has been extremely well received by those who have read it and we have significant written endorsements from major denominational leaders for it already. It’s a powerful story that has been cited by one prominent denominational leader as the best history of Southern Seminary for that time period that he has ever read. But our hopes rose for more than just those reasons. One denominational leader, who will remain unnamed since he is a public figure and I do not have his permission to name him, actually had some insight into the publication committee’s thoughts on the book.  As recently as a month ago, this man felt certain P&R would be sending us a book contract.

So, what happened? Of course, there is no way of really knowing the answer to this but coincidently in recent weeks and months, since the time we first submitted our manuscript to them for consideration, some of the leaders of the conservative resurgence of the Southern Baptist Convention have made the news for unflattering reasons. Our book is about the conservative resurgence as it played out at Southern Seminary. I think it’s quite possible, if not likely that P&R suddenly felt they did not want to be publishing and promoting a book that pertains to this movement whose leaders are currently receiving negative press.

So that, as they say, is that. We move on and wait for other doors that God may open and other avenues to tell our story. I’ll keep you posted in the journey.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Still Waiting

Today is the middle of April and here in Louisville, it is snowing outside, again. Snow! Will spring ever get here? I saw a funny post from a friend saying that this year we are experiencing spring by faith, not by sight.

And so we wait ...

We wait, fully believing that warm weather will actually arrive at some point. Gardens will grow again, people will enjoy outside activities again, and we will feel sunshine spilling over our sun-screened shoulders again.

I am also still waiting on word about the book my husband and I wrote called "A Stand for Truth", from that publishing company that does not seem to be in any hurry to communicate with us as to the status of the manuscript they have been reviewing since last November. We have heard in a round about way that they are quite interested and likely to send the long-awaited contract. If and when they do, I will post it here in a very happy, very excited post. :)

In the meantime, I keep on writing. Currently, I had a devotion that appeared in The Secret Place last Saturday, articles in SEEK in Feb, March, and again in June, a "Truth Pursuer" article in the current issue of Clubhouse Magazine, a couple of pieces in "War Cry" sometime this spring, and just received contracts from Purpose Magazine, SEEK, and Power for Living for articles that will appear in the fall and winter.

I juggle that freelancing with time spent working on the devotional books I'm co-writing with my friend. These will be released over the next couple of years.

This fall, PNP will re-release "Glimpses of the Savior" a holiday devotional, and release "Prayer Warrior Confessions" an anthology. Cover reveals for those will be coming sometime in the summer and fall. Next year they will release two of the Glimpses of God devotionals and the final two will come in 2020. These four will each have 50 devotions and will be for one of the four seasons, winter, spring, summer, and fall. So, I have plenty to keep me busy even without all that will need to be done if/ when we finally get a contract on "A Stand for Truth."

But I sure would love to hear from the publishing company. I can just picture it, I'm sitting outside in the warm sunshine checking my phone when that news comes in.

I like dreaming.






Thursday, March 15, 2018

Learning Patience

George Orwell is quoted as saying, “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”

This quote has always made me laugh because it strikes a chord with me. As an author / freelance writer I can relate to feeling driven to write. I laugh at myself because I find I am always giving myself a writing assignment just like a teacher would require of a student. Some of these assignments are short and I can complete them quickly and reap the satisfaction of seeing them published in some form but others take much longer. 

Prayer: It's Not About You took four years to write and about another five to get published, though some of my books have taken less time to write. But one that I co-wrote with my husband, tentatively named, "A Stand for Truth", about his time as a trustee at Southern Seminary, wins the award for taking the longest! 

It took us at least seven years to write and we have yet to secure a publisher, though we are close. We submitted it to a traditional, well respected, Christian publisher, in November who seemed eager to take a look at it. But we have yet to hear anything final from them, though a few days ago, a fascinating chance encounter revealed new information that gives us reason to be very optimistic that we should hear sooner rather than later. I will certainly keep everyone posted as soon as I know anything for sure. In the meantime, I am learning yet another lesson in patience as I wake up every morning thinking, "Maybe today we will get that book contract."

...something I have done nearly every day since the first of the year. :) 

                                                

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Change and Uncertainty

Today Billy Graham passed away. I can just hear the Lord telling him, "Well done, my good and faithful servant!"



In the early 60's, he visited the mission in Nigeria where I lived. I have a few pictures from that time, though I was just a preschooler. He visited the town of Ogbomoso where my parents were stationed and, according to a story I heard from Mom, he saved my sister from being disciplined by her. My sister, Alisa, only about a four or five year old, saw the table full of goodies that had been prepared for Billy Graham's reception and nudged her way closer to it. Once there, she sneakily ran her fingers around the base of a cake, getting the sweet cream icing on her little hands which she lifted to her mouth and licked. She thought no one had seen her but two people had--my mother and Billy Graham.


Mom made her way toward Alisa but Dr.Graham stepped between them. He smiled at my Mom, and said. "Don't scold her. She's just a child." He surely came between myriad others and judgement too as he preached around the world telling people how they could be forgiven of their sins because of Jesus' death and resurrection.

(Billy Graham is the tall man walking in front, my dad, Dr. Keith Edwards, is the man almost adjacent to him just behind the woman. These are some of the missionary doctors at the hospital in Ogbomoso showing Dr. Graham around the hospital.) 

Today, the world lost a great man. I am immediately reminded of Isaiah 6:1, “In the year of King Uzziah’s death, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple.”
A king's death was always a time of uncertainty for the people. But in this shaky, uncertain time, what did the prophet see? He saw God still on His throne, high and lifted up. Today as we face the loss of this godly man, we can know that still too, God is on his throne. He still reigns. His plans for Dr. Graham's life are complete but He has other plans for other people still here on earth.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Publishing Process


Last week I was snowed in as jaw-droppingly low temps, snow, and ice gripped much of the nation. This week is much better and I'm loving it. Having spent my first decade in Africa, I'm still not used to cold weather, though I do think it's beautiful. The picture is of my back yard, early in the morning as the sun came up over the snow.

In my writing world, though, things are heating up. I've had developments on two different fronts and it makes for the perfect time to share a little about the process involved in book publishing.

There are actually different ways to get a book published. An author can self-publish, also known as independent publishing, or she can be published through a traditional publisher, either via small press or larger press. If traditionally published, the author does not pay anything involved in the publishing of her books and splits the royalties with the publisher. (If indie published, they absorb all costs but do not split commissions.) If traditionally published, usually small press books do not end up on shelves in book stores while larger press books do. Both can be ordered online.

I am contracted with a small press, PixNPens, a company based in Texas. PNP is the nonfiction arm of Write Integrity Press. They have published two of my books, Prayer: It's Not About You and Glimpses of Prayer and they have plans to publish more. Several of these books are and will be co-written by my childhood friend, Shirley Crowder. In that part of my writing world, things are going well and we just sent our latest manuscript to them. They will put it on their publishing schedule, will edit it, format it, and eventually publish it sometime next fall.

I also have a manuscript I co-wrote with my husband that is currently being considered by a larger traditional company. It's hard to get in the door of larger publishing companies. Usually it takes an agent. In our case, a friend connected us with a man who had been an agent but is no longer one. Nonetheless, after reading the manuscript, he agreed to help us and made the contact with the company that is currently considering it. That company, who will remain unnamed at this point, has had our manuscript since Nov. 1. We heard from them yesterday saying they are still considering it and are currently doing some market research. They also said asked if we would willing to reduce its length if their publication committee gives a favorable response. Of course, we said yes! At this point we're still in a waiting game on that manuscript.

So, there's a snapshot of some of the many things that go into getting a book published. It involves so much--getting a contract from the traditional publishing company, whether large or small press, writing and turning in the completed manuscript, then months of work on the part of the publisher before the book is finally released and ready for sale.