Cara here. I’m thrilled to welcome Rose McCauley to Seekerville! She’s a debut author writing for Barbour. Her first novella, Christmas Belles of Georgia, has recently been released. Rose will be giving away a copy of her new book! Please include your email address when you leave a comment.
My Long, Winding, Waiting Road to Publication by Rose Allen McCauley
My first books were so long ago they were handwritten and stitched together by my mother on her treadle sewing machine! Although I never gave up my love of reading, my path to writing for publication became overgrown with school work and extra-curricular activities, jobs, marriage, helping my husband on our farm, children and teaching for over 25 years. I know many wonderful women who do all that and still find time to write, but it was not for me, although I have written daily in a prayer journal for many years. I need time and solitude to think and write, and those things were in very short supply for the past forty years!
About fifteen years ago, with our oldest child married, our middle child in college and our youngest very independent, I finally had time to daydream some ideas for stories that had been rambling in my head for years. I even jotted down some lists of characters and a paragraph or two, but never finished anything until I retired from teaching a few years later. That was the year our oldest announced our first grandchild was on the way, and I volunteered to watch her 2 days a week. I also subbed a lot on the days I wasn’t babysitting, so my writing got put on the back burner again. When our daughter had our second granddaughter a couple years later, I cut back to only watching the girls one day a week and finally started and finished my first story. I did read two writing books, and thought I knew what writing in one POV meant until I went to my first ACFW conference in 2002.
At the first conference, one of our activities was to write down how we felt about being there. I wrote I felt like a fish out of water. Then in class I found out that was an over-used cliché, which told me how much I still had to learn! An agent had taken my finished manuscript at the beginning of the conference, and I had to hunt her down and request it back before I left! She did become my agent later on, though!
One of the best things that happened at that first conference was the encouragement I received from Lynn Coleman who gently told me I need to ditch my first three chapters and start with something exciting! And I met and prayed with Jim Peterson who also introduced me and Jennifer Johnson who is still my ACFW crit partner after 9 years!
Then began the hard work of reading/studying more writing books, taking online classes from ACFW and others, and sitting down and writing, writing, writing! From 2002-2009 I completed and submitted 3 novels and also sent off 7 novella proposals to Barbour, with most of the novellas 1/3-1/2 finished. And wrote some more while waiting. Then in 2009 I sent off a proposal with three other authors for Christmas Belles of Georgia and waited some more.
Then at last year’s September, 2010 ACFW conference, after a devotion and worship including the song “I am Waiting” I received my first contract from Barbour for the Christmas Belles story. I wrote the rest of my novella in November (in spite of recovering from a serious car accident), sent it off to my crit partners in Dec. and made changes in Jan. to meet the February, 2011 deadline.
This past year I have written a synopsis and submitted 4 more anthology proposals to try to help other unpubbed authors get their start like so many Barbour authors have done for me over the years. And we are still waiting to hear from them. And most of my time this summer/fall has been spent marketing Christmas Belles of Georgia by setting up booksignings, doing blog interviews, and now radio and internet interviews.
I did host a couple brainstorm retreats at my home this summer, and have an idea we brainstormed that my crit partners think is my most compelling one yet. So, after I finish all my blog and signing tours this fall, I will go back to major writing. And waiting!
Christmas Belles of Georgia
Surprised by Life—and Love—at Christmas
Four letters are mailed from Monticello, a small antebellum town in Georgia. Sisters once, now heirs to a historic plantation, each young woman must come to terms with the circumstances of her birth. . . .
When she learns in a letter she’s adopted, Holly feels betrayed by her parents—and she books a flight out of Missouri immediately. Will she ever be able to love again?
Raised in a wealthy, loveless home, Carol rushes to Monticello from college in Atlanta when she receives her letter. She’s searching for family, but finds instead a boy she once mistreated. Will he remember her? . . .forgive her?
In one year, Starr has lost her parents, boyfriend, and job, so she’s sure her letter is more bad news. When the attorney flies to California to offer proof, Starr takes a second look—at the message and the man.
Noelle always knew she was adopted—and she’s always loved the foreman on her father’s Texas ranch too. But he’s so distant. . .perhaps a trip to Georgia is the break in life she needs.
Will the sisters receive a traditional Christmas gift. . .of love?
Bio: Bio: Rose Allen McCauley is happy to live in the beautiful bluegrass region of Kentucky on a farm surrounded by God’s creation. She has been writing for over ten years and has been published in several non-fiction anthologies and devotionals. She is thrilled for this to be her first published fiction because Christmas books are her favorites. She has a growing collection of Christmas books, and this one will takes its rightful place among them.
A retired schoolteacher who has been happily married to her college sweetheart for over 43 years, she is also mother to three grown children and their spouses and Mimi to three lovely, lively grandkids! You can reach her through her website www.rosemccauley.com or blogsite at www.rosemccauley.blogspot.com