SIGNS OF PROGRESS
Wow! What a whirlwind of craziness. So crazy that I forgot to update this little journal.
In September my book baby, Her Shining Eyes, was born! The official publication date is Sept. 3, but there were some technical issues that required resolution before I was comfortable with having a book launch. But that finally happened on October 23. My launch team did a great job getting the word out on social media. And it was exciting to see the ranking climb into the top 30 in its category. Not bad for a debut novel!
The response to the story has been beyond my expectations. To date I have over 40 5-star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Several others have contacted me privately on on Facebook to congratulate me on the book and share how it touched their heart. This means so much.
I received my first royalty check in early January, and that was an exciting moment. To see some financial return on the investment of time and energy and expense made me smile.
Now the focus is on marketing and promo. Not my forte, but I’m learning. If you have read Her Shining Eyes, it would be a gigantic help if you would post a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and Barnes and Noble. This is how potential readers find me! And another fun thing is hearing from readers around the world–like Canada, Mexico, China, Brazil, South Africa, and Cambodia. I wonder where it will travel next?
I’m also excited about all the writer blog invitations I have received. Thanks and kudos to Paula Marie’s Fiction Full of Faith and her Coffee Chat ; Liz Tolsma, (the story behind the story; Linda Rondeau on her Fiction Friday feature; Jenny Blake with International Christian Fiction Writers, and several others that I will add when the posts go live later this year. Some of these include giveaway contests–so be sure to check them out!
Today I am squealing with delight as I reveal my cover! Her Shining Eyes is only weeks away from release. Just a few small details to finish up–and then this HUGE goal will be realized. I’m so excited – and nervous – and soooo ready to get this labor of love into your hands. Be watching for Her Shining Eyes to appear on Amazon — and in the meantime, look for updates on Facebook and Twitter. In the meantime, you might want to check out my Pinterest site where there are tons of photos of Samara (the setting of my novel), Russian recipes, and other fun stuff.
I’m not sure who first quipped, “Good things come to those who wait,” but I can attest that this proverb is a valid one. Note the huge gap between this post and the previous. Part of that is due to my, well, laziness, but there really is some new book news. Good news.
Last fall I signed a publishing contract for HER SHINING EYES with Bold Vision Publishers. (Whoop whoop, hip hip hurrah!) The terms said it would be 18 months or so until the book would release. So I kept this news under wraps. And I waited.
Much to my delight–my publisher recently advised that the release date would be July 2019–not 2020. That means…this summer.
WOW! So yeah, it’s happening, friends. I hope to have a cover reveal in the next month or so. And then — pre-orders will be available — and gosh, a book signing party could be in my future.
Worth the wait?
Still waiting for that ever illusive book contract. One big publisher still holding on to the manuscript–a couple others gave it a pass (not unexpected). And several others have yet to respond. It’s a test of my patience and faith. In the meantime…another book idea is brewing inside my heart. I’ve started the research and will see where it takes me.
Continuing interest in Her Shining Eyes. One of the top five Christian publishing houses making inquiries. Whoo hoot!
The new year is definitely starting out well (except for nearly three weeks of a bugger of a virus–pun intended). My personal update is that a fourth publisher has shown interest in my novel–but is wondering if readers will be drawn to a story that takes place in another culture and doesn’t feature Americans. WHAT SAY YOU, MY DEAR BLOG READERS? All opinions appreciated and needed, even if you agree with him.
On another note … I want to send kudos out to some of my colleagues who are rocking it right now. The first is my pastor, Tom Gaddis, who has a completed manuscript out for consideration in the world of Christian non-fiction. It was a blast to edit this for him, and I’m sure it’s going places!
Also making a huge splash in the YA Sci-Fi/Dystopian market is Norma Hinkens who just released the first book of her second series, Girl of Fire, which she happened to dedicate to yours truly as her “Editing Queen, Mentor, and Friend,” and that is a super big honor. Girl of Fire is already an Amazon best seller! Whoo hoot! Norma has won some very nice awards for her books and is up for another one right now. GOOD LUCK, NORMA!
AAAAND, I got the super-lucky LAST LOOK at Mary Weber‘s upcoming YA fantasy The Evaporation of Sofi Snow, due out in June and sure to explode the market just like her award-winning Storm Siren series did.
On top of all this, I was invited to review four new releases and participate in two blog tours. Good thing I love to read. 🙂
So, it’s been a busy month and I’m looking forward to seeing what February brings.
November 29, 2016
And … yet another publisher has asked for the full manuscript of Her Shining Eyes. I think my odds are improving. Expecting something to pop in 2017.
October 18, 2016
So far two publishers have shown interest in my novel manuscript. That’s about all I can share right now. Would love to give you all the details, but that would be a bit premature at this point. In the meantime, I have catalogued this sign of progress as “affirming and encouraging.”
GREAT NEWS FROM MY AGENT!
August 9, 2016
I heard from my agent, Steve Hutson, today that my manuscript passed muster with flying colors. In other words, NO EDITS NEEDED. Wow, does that happen very often? I’m going to assume it doesn’t.
Next step is sending queries to publishing house editors. I admit, a few butterflies are hatching in my stomach and starting to flutter in there. That’s why I’m grateful for the encouraging comments coming from the readers of the sneak peek chapter. Comments like these:
Your prose is poetic, lovely to read. It brings to my mind the work of Clarice Lispector, the great Brazilian writer born in Ukraine. I look forward to having the published work in my hands. This passage is absolutely stunning: “The familiars notes felt like family, replacing the brother or sister she never had. Replacing Papa. And now Mama, too.”
–Dr. Glauner da Silva Pereira, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I read the excerpt from your book & loved it! I can’t wait to read the whole thing! Hoping I call pull out the family connections & have my copy signed
–Katie J., Long Beach CA
My sisters and I totally enjoyed reading the free chapter. It definitely caught our attention and was truly pleasant to read the descriptions of the weather and places … seemed very familiar. Looking forward to reading the whole book!
–-Anne, Natasha, and Kate, Samara, Russia (the setting of my novel)
I can’t wait to read this story. I LOVE all the interesting cultural details, so I’m hooked. So proud of you! I will blast my email subscribers once you launch.
—Norma Hinkens, award-winning author of The Undergrounders Series
Enjoyed the chapter Great writing!
Sue B. –Sparks, Nevada
I HAVE AN AGENT!
July 2, 2016
So pleased to announce that I’ve signed a representation agreement with literary agent Steven Hutson of Word Wise Media Services. I met Steve at Mount Hermon several years ago, before he was an agent. Since then, I’ve noticed his enthusiasm for all things bookish. And, the success he has achieved in obtaining publishing contracts for his agency’s clients. Steve has a strong work ethic, a good, honest way with people, and a wry sense of humor. I need all of these attributes as I tip-toe into the murky waters of publication. His nearly instantaneous positive response to my query and manuscript for “Her Shining Eyes” made it clear that I had heard that “still small voice” correctly.
I’m looking forward to this journey with Word Wise Media!
I keep getting asked about the status of my novel. Well, my agent Steve Hutson’s wife, Ruth, is a wonderful editor (yes, I got 2 for the price of 1). She is going over the manuscript right now, and I expect to get it back from her soon. Once the changes are made, we’ll be preparing a submission packet for publishers. EXCITING, RIGHT?
In the meantime, a sneak peek of one of the chapters of “Her Shining Eyes” is available to you! All you have to do is subscribe to my blog/newsletter, and you will have it. This chapter is not the first chapter of the book, but it is the first one I wrote–the chapter that inspired the story. And I’d love to have your feedback–even add it to the beta reader comments you can see HERE.
The subscription process is super easy. Look to the upper right of this post, and you will see where and how to do it! I promise I won’t be bombarding you with emails. Once a week AT THE MOST.