Want to know what I learned last week?
I learned that even when you feel most mighty important because you’ve just learned your book has been picked up for publication and you are excited beyond words and everything, everywhere seems utterly and completely wonderful… You still have to clean your house. I mean really. Could my children not stop dirtying clothes long enough for me to really celebrate?
Alas, life must go on. But before it does, let’s talk a little. So many of you asked for details, and so I shall give you a few. (But only a few, cause really I don’t know all that many as of yet.)
Lets back up a bit, shall we? The first word hit the first page of the first draft in January of 2009. For the next seven months I wrote and edited and revised and cried and rehashed plot lines over and over. (My sister, Emily was amazing for this. She listened to me yammer on and on about made up people day after day. In fact, one of the biggest sources of conflict of the entire story was her idea.) And then it was finished.
Because the book is LDS Fiction, the publishing process is a little different than if you want to publish something in the national market. LDS Fiction is a niche market – a popular one and a successful one, but a niche, nonetheless. Within the LDS Publishing world, instead of querying literary agents who represent you to big publishing houses, you, the author, may appeal to publishing companies directly. And so I did.
And then, I set myself to waiting. I tried to stay busy. I had a baby. I took a poetry class. I blogged. I wrangled five children. But always, in the back of my mind, was the waiting. And then, on a normal Monday, while walking from my closet where I’d just hung up one of Josh’s shirts, to the kitchen where I intended to sweep the floor, I stopped to check my email. And there it was… a message from my new editor saying they had picked me.
And then I whooped and hollered and did a little dance. The kids quickly joined me and were happy to whoop and holler too. Then Josh came home, and guess what? I think he whooped and hollered the loudest of all.
After the whooping and hollering was done, I spent the week filling out forms and questionnaires about cover design and marketing strategy and acknowledgements and all sorts of things that made me feel like an official author. And then I went and had my amazing friend Destinee of Destinee Blau Photography take my picture forty five times so I could send in an “official author photo” which also did much to make me feel official. Then I spent entirely too much time looking at pictures of myself wondering about wonky earrings and windblown hair and that one tooth that just won’t… … …and then I slapped myself silly and decided that Destinee couldn’t take a bad picture if she had to and I best just pick one and be done with it already because there are more important things in this world than O-fficial author photos.
My job now? Preliminary revisions – changes and improvements that I need to make before my editor can get started on really telling me what it is I need to change and improve. I am so very excited to get started. A little terrified, a little intimidated, but a lot excited.
What else can I tell you? The publisher is Covenant Communications, the tentative release date is still far, far away (think 2013), and the title is yet to be determined. How’s that for concrete information? How about this… it’s a story about faith and forgiveness and family history and a girl who really wants to get the guy. That’s all I’m gonna say though. Cause, you know, I want you to buy the book and all. In twelve years. When it’s finally released. (Not complaining here. Really, really, really NOT complaining. Promise… I’m happy, grateful, and doing much whooping and hollering.)
And now I realize that this post is holy long. But let’s talk about one more thing. What if you are my friend and you are not Mormon and you want to read my book. Will you like it? I hope you will. There are definitely elements of the story that are unique to the Mormon faith, but there’s a lot of other stuff going on too. It isn’t a preachy story, and I promise missionaries won’t come to your house if you buy a copy on Amazon. So yes, please. Spend the next two years preparing yourself for a walk on the wild side and then read a Mormon book! It’s what friends do, yes?