Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Seekerville Welcomes Senior Acquisitions Editor for Abingdon Press Fiction, Ramona Richards

Good morning, Seekers!

Grab a cuppa and pull up a chair. This time of year, I prefer chai latte (emphasis on the latte), Harney & Sons’ holiday tea, or a yummy thick hot chocolate by a toasty fire. Years ago, a French teacher introduced me to le pain au chocolat for breakfast – Lord have mercy, starting the day with chocolate. Here’s a huge plate of them, so help yourself!

OK, if you’re comfy and cozy, let’s chat a bit about what I do for a living. I’m living my dream, folks! As Senior Acquisitions Editor for Abingdon Press Fiction, I get to work with some of the most fabulous writers in the business. And I’m always looking for more. After all, instead of curling up by this fire with a book, I do it with a manuscript.

So what do I look for in a manuscript?

…..wait for it….

A unique voice.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Every editor says that. And defining an author’s voice is almost impossible. But this is how I translate that single phrase:

• A character-driven, engaging book, written with an understanding of genre and an excellent execution of the genre readers’ expectations
• A Christian worldview which guides and directs the main characters
• The exceptional ability to construct sentences, paragraphs, and scenes that engage the reader and move both plot and character development forward in a style distinctive to that author

That last one is where the true “voice” lies. For instance, Robert Crais and James Lee Burke are excellent writers with legions of fans, yet their primary characters (RC’s Elvis Cole and Burke’s Dave Robicheaux) are distinctly developed and thorough products of their locations. Mr. Crais’ voice is clean and fast-paced, with lots of white space and clipped dialog, and a non-stop plot, very reflective of the Southern California setting. Mr. Burke’s voice is mellow and meandering, with long, descriptive passages, thoughtful dialogue, and introspective musings…much like a jon boat drifting through a Louisiana swamp.

And you would never mistake one for the other.

So I’m really looking for that writer who grabs my attention on page one and never lets go—and whom I would never mistake for Robert Crais, Karen Kingsbury, or Kathleen Morgan.

So don’t write like them. Write like you.

What? Oh…you want more specifics? OK, let me refill the tea cup and grab another pastry.

Specifically, Abingdon is in search of (why does that make me feel like it’s a speed-dating ad?...):

Historical romance. Emphasis on the romance. Good ole frolicking (in a Christian way, mind you) he said, she said romance. Set in the American West (ca. 1870) or the Scottish Highlands. Early frontier or western expansion tales (ca 1820-1850). WWII.

Contemporary romance. Both light and serious. Please make sure that the conflict that keeps them apart is a distinct and seemingly insurmountable one. If a ten-minute chat would clear the air, that ain’t a conflict. Major overdone theme: commitment phobes dealing with past broken relationships. If I think, even once, “Honey, just get over it,” that’s not a good sign.

And, with both of these, please remember that a “romance” is 50 percent her/50 percent him. Anything less shifts it to another category.

Romantic suspense. Please note that this refers to a story that’s 50/50 romance and suspense. Preferably, the hero and heroine solve the mystery together.

High-tension suspense. I’d prefer character driven (see above) to plot-driven, but the plot has to drive the suspense and keep it moving.

Speculative, especially steampunk. Yes, seriously. And if you don’t know what it is or you don’t have a craving to write it, then please don’t. It’ll show. One exception to the speculative submissions: No “end times” books.

Women’s fiction. We’re doing fewer of these, so it’ll need to be a strong, character-driven tale of one woman’s journey. While I’m open to “healing” stories, I’m most interested in a woman who’s struggling to overcome a major obstacle in her current life, whether it’s a challenge to her faith or a life-changing event. If you’re character spends a lot of time wandering about in her past, I’m probably not going to be interested.

And…this will come as a surprise to some folks….

Young adult. I’m hoping to launch our young adult line with TWO books in Fall 2013. But they have to be strong and…um…unique. Speculative welcome here, too.

Normally, we only accept agented material. But…for readers of this blog, I’ll be open to queries until December 5th. Mention you saw this blog. Queries only—three paragraphs max and no attachments. Send them to rrichards@abingdonpress.com.

That’s the specifics for now.

Some of you may have heard that we’re launching a new series, the Quilts of Love. This is true. The first book comes out next fall. However, I’m not taking submissions for it right now. When it succeeds, then I’ll be looking for more.

So…grab another pastry and munch down!

Ramona Richards is the Senior Acquisitions Editor—Fiction for Abingdon Press. She is an award-winning writer, editor, and speaker with more than 30 years experience. Before joining Abingdon Press, Ramona worked on staff with Thomas Nelson, Rutledge Hill Press, and Ideals. Over the course of her career in Christian publishing, she’s edited more than 350 publications, and worked with authors such as John Maxwell, John Eldredge, Charles Stanley, Chris Seay, Eva Marie Everson, Denise Hunter, and Melody Carlson.

The author of 8 books and a frequent contributor to devotional collections, Ramona has also written sales training videos, feature film scripts, gift books, Bible studies, biographies, cookbooks, and magazine articles. An avid live music fan, Ramona loves Nashville, which she’s called home since she was ten.


Not only is Ramona our wonderful guest, but she is a wonderful guest bearing wonderful gifts.
She's brought five Abingdon Press books for giveaways.
Winners will be announced in the Weekend Edition.

Giveaway Books:

Sherry Kyle, Delivered with Love
Richard Mabry, Code Blue
Vannetta Chapman, A Simple Amish Christmas
Vanessa Miller, Long Time Coming


  1. Don't you love a guest who brings gifts AND food?

    Welcome to Seekerville, Ramona!

    We are delighted to have you here.

    And what an opportunity you've presented!! Thank you.

  2. Ramona, thanks for your words of wisdom--especially in finding a unique voice. We authors hear it time and again, and it's great to hear what that really means to you. I can't wait to see what Abingdon has coming out in the next couple years. :)

  3. Gifts and food? You're the greatest, Ramona!

    And yes, you do have the dream job. What can be better than reading for a living?

    Oh, of course - writing!

    Thank you for clearly spelling out what you look for in a new writer. The voice has to be the hardest thing to pin down - after all, a writer can learn technical things, but to put yourself into the writing in your own, unique way is a jump into the deep end.

    It's something I'm working on.

    Thank you for the wonderful opportunity you're offering, too! I know you'll get a huge response from the Seekerville readers.

    I'll be back for a nice cup of tea in the morning.

  4. How wonderful to have you, Ramona! And what a wonderful offer!!! Thank you!

    I love your description of voice! It's so elusive and can be so hard to know when you've found yours!

    I'm out of yummy pastries to add to the breakfast bar, but I've got a big batch of cookies to munch on later. And since they're virtual ones, there's no calories, fat [or gluten for those of you who need GF], but are still insanely yummy. I'll stick some soda in a cooler for the later crowd. Right now, I'm drinking Caffeine Free Pepsi. It is late and I gotta get up in the morning...

    I have all of the books offered, either as free downloads on Kindle at one point or another or in hard copy [Dr. Mabry's]. I've read his other ones and loved them but haven't read the 4 listed here yet. Though... hard copies would make great Christmas presents /bites nails/. Nah. Let someone else have them :).

    Off to reach my goal for today's NaNo then polish that query letter!!

    On behalf of all of the prepubbeds out here, thanks!!

  5. Lots of great information here, Ramona. Thank you! As an aspiring writer, I ate up everything you said!

    What an opportunity you have offered us Seeker fans. Thank you!! Darn the luck that my WIP is still a month from being finished!

  6. Howdy, Ramona! So good to have you here.

    I've got the usual coffee bar set up. It'll be ready bright and early.

    Thank you for the opportunity you've extended to us. Now to work up the courage to query.


  7. What a great post, Ramona. You not only told us what voice is. You showed us by using your own great voice in the post. Way cool!

    I'm looking forward to the Quilts of Love series. Several of my writer friends are creating the stories for it, and I know they're gonna be good.

  8. Hi Ramoma!

    Thank you for your insight, and opportunity! I will be sending my query letter. Blessings! :-)

  9. Wheeeeeeee!!!!!

    I love Abingdon Press and I'm SO querying. :)

    When I lived in France during my high school years, I ate croissants au chocolat for breakfast. I got home and realized, 'Waitaminute! Plain croissants?? What are these people thinking?' My children love it when I split a croissant, put in some chocolate chips, and zap it in the microwave for 15 seconds. MMMM!

  10. I'm sharing some of my favorite dessert to go with the tea by the fire, chocolate decadence. ;)

    It's a lot of fun to be part of the Quilts of Love series. I'm at the halfway point of the April 2013 release and have a contemporary romantic comedy and a historical romance to submit for these opportunities.

    Thank you, Ramona, for letting us know your new needs.

    Fun to be cyber munching with you,
    Angie Breidenbach

  11. This post is just full of info. I love how plainly you spell it out for us, Ramona. Alas, I am no where near ready to query anything.

    But I'm in for all the books.
    andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

  12. I'm all for gifts and food! And the opportunity to send a query!!

    It really helps to read how different editors define voice.

    Thank you for a great post.


  13. Hello Ramona,

    You are generous with your information. You have a wonderful job!

    Please enter me in the giveaways & thank you.


  14. Thanks for the goodies this morning, Ramona, especially the chocolate. Nothing goes down better than chocolate regardless of the time of day. I'll take a chai latte to sip while I re-read your info here. You've given me lots to think about.

  15. wow...what a great selection of books...thanks for the chance to read them :)

    another great posting, thanks for sharing, ramona

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  16. Tina has been hinting big time and I can see why. Would you let us know next week how many queries you receive? I know it's none of my beeswax but -- come on I can't be the only one!

    Thank you Ramona! I'm looking forward to the Quilts series and more good stuff from Abington. I love the variety. And I just (finally) read The Pastor's Wife and loved it.

  17. Oh, Ramona, good morning and welcome to Seekerville!

    You brought chocolate.

    And opportunity...

    And prizes.

    I love you.

  18. Wow! What an awesome, informative post, Ramona! One quick question - does the query submission opportunity only apply to completed manuscripts?

  19. Yum! Chocolate in the morning is SO up my alley! Thanks for the details on what Abingdon is looking for. So cool that you're looking into Steampunk!!

  20. Ramona, what word length are you looking for in contemporary and historical romance?

    And we've got a slew of YA authors that play here. I'm double-dog excited that you're looking to launch a YA line... The more great YA stuff that's out there, the more young people read, and I love fostering a great imagination. Teen readers become adult readers and that rocks for every author here.

    I'm a big fan of great YA offerings. What length are you looking for there, please and thank you...

    And I think I might have taken more than my share of the painful chocolate and it really wasn't painful at all...

    You might need to re-stock. I'm just sayin'.

    And the chai is lovely, btw. ;)

  21. Thank you so much for posting and for your wonderful advice. I'm working on my writer's voice right now. I find the more varied I am with the authors I read, the easier it is to find my own voice.

    You have presented a not-to-be-passed-up opportunity. Thank you so much for inviting us to submit to you!

  22. Ramona, you're tempting me with the chocolate and the rare opportunity to query a major publisher directly...tempting me to stay home from my full-time job and work on that query! I'll go, of course, but thanks so much for your well-earned words of wisdom. I've read a lot of Abingdon Press fiction in the last year, and think my writing style (and unique voice) might be a good fit. Just so happens my WIP is a stand alone, contemporary romance, and I've had a ball with it. Blessings and thanks again for the opportunity!

  23. Chocolate, gifts, and the opportunity to query...Oh my!

    Thanks so much, Ramona, for the great information and opportunities.


  24. Good morning, Ramona. Oh my, the le pain au chocolat sounds heavenly! Very decedant. I'm all in.

    (hmmm, I took German and all I took away from that was saurkraut and bratwurst!)

    Thank you for reviewing the opportunities available at Abingdon Press. And thanks for the definitions for each category. The more information the better when we're trying to put our best foot forward.

    I love seeing opportunities for YA fiction. I love judging YA ms in contests. Talk about unique plots and voices. Just love'em.

    Hmm, grabbing another cup of chai then off to shower for day job.

    Thanks for the great info, Ramona!
    And the chocolate!
    And the prizes.

  25. Welcome to Seekerville Ramona,

    I'm a big fan of Abingdon books. Thanks for taking your valuable time to visit with us. It is always a blessing to get to know the key figures in our publishing business.

    And talk about voice--yours comes across with flying colors. It made me feel like I was sitting right next to you chatting over that tea. Great writing. smile

    Thanks for your generous offer also.

    Have fun today. Our friends of Seekerville are a real kick.

  26. Ramona, welcome!! I'm so glad to see you today. This was a fantastic post. I love how you describe voice!

    Thanks for all the Abingdon info and for what you're looking for. I know our readers appreciate the opportunity to query!!

  27. I love the insight of this post! As aspiring authors here at Seekerville, we look for that inside information. Ha!

    I could query, would love to, but I only have a partial manuscript, so I'm guessing that's nada?

    Thanks again! I will check back later to see what other delightful beverages are brewing.



  28. Hi Ramona,
    I appreciate chocolate for breakfast, in any form! Sometimes, my breakfast is nutella with a little glass of milk. Yum!

    I also appreciate you sharing what Abingdon is looking for in Fiction. Thank you for this opportunity to query you as well.

    When we query you should we title it Seekerville Blog Query? Or, just title it Query and mention Seekerville in the body of the email?


  29. Okay, Ramona - you are AWESOME :) THANK YOU for all the gifts AND advice! Open to queries?? WWOOOWW.

    And I'd LOVE to win any of those books (Besides Vanetta's, as I already have it).

  30. Ramona, thank you for sharing your insight with us. What a wonderful opportunity for those of us that don't have an agent.

    You really do have a dream job!

  31. Ahh Ramona, it is so nice to meet ya and to hear of your dream job, it sounds so interesting and as a reader I am glad to hear you are looking for more historical romances. This is the type book I love to read. The hot chocolate is so good this morning and that lemon pastry I scarfed down was soooo good. thanks for sharing today- would love to be in your drawing.
    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

  32. Painful chocolate, Ruthy?


    Christy!! Nutella is the breakfast of champions. And I am sure Ramona will agree. If one cannot get to Paris, or cannot cook/bake, well Nutella is the drug of choice.

  33. Hi Romana!

    I just finished reading Before the Scarlet Dawn and it was great! I will definitely query, thank you!!

  34. Ramona, Thank you so much for the insight and the opportunity. There are oodles of talented authors in the Seekerville fan club!

    And, yes, definitely report back all the wonderful success stories :)

  35. Tina and Christy, my kids love Nutella! They eat it on toast for breakfast and on a sandwich for lunch and dinner.

    Not all in one day, of course. :)

  36. Helen, I really need that coffee today! Headache!!

    I haven't been posting lately - been busy. We were hit with an E F2 tornado on Nov 16th. Still cleaning up. Haven't started repairs on house yet. Husband's truck was totaled and just got him another one yesterday. God was watching over us - and we are blessed.

  37. Thanks for the great info, the chocolate and the pastries. Yum!!

    Angie B, you've got a Quilts of Love story coming out in 2013? Congrats girl! I probably knew this but my mind is a seive sometimes!

  38. Ramona, your post offered so much wonderful information. I loved how you defined "voice." It's also good to know how Abingdon defines the different genres. Which leads me to a question. I'm trying to figure out where my story fits. It's about a married couple whose marriage is redeemed and their love renewed. There are two major POV's (wife and husband) and one minor POV. Some have told me it's a married romance. Is there such a thing? Just wondering.

    I sooo enjoyed "meeting" you here today!


    That's wonderful. Cannot wait to red them.

    Abingdon does a terrific job with covers as well. If you click on any of those book links below you can see some great trailers as well.

  40. Patsy, still praying for you from up here in Upstate New York, honey!

    And for those of you who haven't finished the book as yet...

    Be aware:

    Future opportunities will await you in Seekerville....

    And NO AMOUNT OF CHOCOLATE will get names or dates out of me...



    Finish the book. Okay????


    Remember when EVERYONE ELSE LAYS LOW IN DECEMBER, you can be making up lost ground by gettin' 'er done!

    Go, Villagers! Go!!!! (My cheerleading roots are showing...)

  41. Wow, Patsy. Where are you located?

    Holler if you need anything. I can send chocolate, white, milk or dark.

  42. AAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    This is slightly off topic but....
    The Merchant's Daughter
    I've got this one book to finish writing (I'm almost done, I promise!
    Then it's MELANIE TIME!!!
    We will now return you to our regularly scheduled blog topic!!!

  43. Ramona, I love this post. It sounds like Abingdon is really doing fun stuff.

    So, would you be interested in a tidy stack of contemporary romantic suspense written under a pseudonym?

    Cuz I've got that.

  44. I was JUST listening to Ramona last night on the ACFW recording about what Abingdon is looking for and she gave a GREAT talk. Encouraging and enlightening. I love to listen to those talks, especially since I'm not quering/pitching yet. ;-)

  45. Welcome Ramona. Thanks for sharing the great information about Abingdon Press.

    Jodie Wolfe

  46. Hi Ramona,

    I'm excited about all the new things happening at Abingdon! Your post is full of good news for authors who may want to submit queries.

    Glad to be apart of the the new Quilts of Love series. Psst...I just finished my first draft!

  47. It was nice to meet you at OCW this summer. Thanks for the opportunities you give writers.

  48. Good morning Ramona & Seekers!

    Thank You - Thank You for this wonderful opportunity! Thank you Tina for arranging it.

    Voice is a tricky thing. I just write how I write and I think my voice comes through. Interesting though since I've been working on my first historical romance (instead of contemporary) and I'll have to see if my voice changed at all! Maybe my critique partners can tell me!

    Ok now to stretch the limits - are we limited to one query per person, or can we query whichever books we have done?

    Thanks so much again! Now that NaNo is pretty much done (I made 66,000 words yesterday!) I can polish up my query letter.

    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

  49. What a great opportunity:) Thanks for being here Ramona and for your words of wisdom.

    lornafaith at gmail dot com

  50. Romona,
    Do you ever take previously self-published works? I am a writer of speculative Christian fiction [Fantasy & Sci-Fi] who would love to have my work go "Mainstream"!

    Robert Dennis Wilson

  51. Well I can't take credit. Debby Giusti and I laid a trail of le panne au chocolate from Ramona's office to Seekerville.

    Well worth our investment, eh? That eh was for you, Susan.

  52. Good morning Ramona, bearing chocolate, latte AND GIFTS! NOt to mention an offer to review queries - Wawzah!

    Thanks for being in Seekerville today.

    I write middle grade, so... alas... probably not for you... But May does have a fabulous voice, albeit a bit furry. BOL! (That's barking out loud!)

    may at maythek9spy dot com

  53. Chocolate in the morning. Given that I sometimes have a morning mocha, having chocolate in a different format seems a natural extension.

    It is great seeing you in Seekeville and it was wonderful meeting you back in March at CCWW in Anderson, SC. Congratulations on your new line.

    My question is this. How does a publishing house decide to pursue a new genre. You mentioned looking for Steampunked and YA line. How did Abingdon reach the decision that this was an area the Company wanted to pursue?

    Also, I'm definitely in for the books. wmussell(at)hotmail(dot)com

  54. What a great opportunity for us YA authors to get an "in"! Ramona you're a doll for doing this. Of course I'm sending! Did you hear that Mary? I'll be sending my query in. Thanks, Ramona and Seekerville. You guys rock!

  55. Ramona! I'm so glad you're here today! I just finished Jennifer Hudson Taylor's Highland Sanctuary and it was amazing! Love her work!

    I'm totally interested in querying Abingdon and I really appreciate the offer. I will definitely take advantage of this offer! Thank you!

  56. /Off topic alert/

    I got to read Melanie's book before MARY CONNEALY????

    I think I just scored a win :)

    And my review and interview with Melanie will be on my blog tomorrow -

    Be there, or be square!

    (or whatever they said in 14th century England...)

  57. Ramona, you said, "And, with both of these, please remember that a “romance” is 50 percent her/50 percent him. Anything less shifts it to another category."

    What do you mean by this? Are you talking about the quantity of POV?

    If it is mostly from the heroine's POV, does that change it to women's fiction or something else even though it is definitely romance?

  58. PS - Please include me in the give-aways! :D

  59. Oh, I love this post! Thanks so much for sharing, Ramona. I appreciate the warm drinks and the chocolate pastries, but you didn't have to bribe me to submit a query to you! I have wanted to submit to Abingdon for nearly two years now, ever since I read Christa Allan's WALKING ON BROKEN GLASS. But without an agent, I didn't think I could! thanks for the generous offer!


  60. My hero and herione don't frolick and the ms isn't finished so I won't query. But thank you for the opportunity and a look at Abingdon.

    I've only been reading inspirational for the last year or so and would love to win of your books.

    I'll take Ruthy's advice and finish my ms.

    Love chocolate in the mornings.

  61. Mary -

    That was so me yesterday!!!!! Just ask Mel. We did lots of jumping up and down yesterday.

    And only some of it was in my minivan with my 4yo and 10yo looking at me like I was crazy.


  62. WOW, what a post!! DOUBLE WOW ... what an opportunity!!!

    Thank you SO much, Ramona, not only for your incredible post today, but for offering such a rare opportunity to some lucky writers AND great books for our readers! You are THE BEST!!

    I have always been intrigued by Abingdon and, of course, I've LOVED the books I've read with the Abingdon imprint, so I pray abundant blessings on you and your wonderful press throughout the holiday season and beyond


  63. Okay Mary Lou/Lynn, your profile says Mary Lou but your sig says Lynn.

    Stand up and identify yourself lol.

    or yourselves.

  64. I am a huge Judy Christy and Joyce Magnin and Myra Johnson fan.

    Looking forward to trying some new titles and authors!!!

  65. Ramona, thank you for such an insightful and informative post. And for the opportunity to query! Don't be surprised if your e-mail is flooded from friends of Seekerville! (And Mary Connealy, too!)

    With the second draft underway of my YA manuscript, I am grateful for this chance to perhaps show it to the world. I am interested to hear the answers to a few of the questions asked by other Seekers.

    Have a wonderful day!


    P.S. Susan, CONGRATS on the 66,000 NaNo count! Wow!

  66. Thanks for your wise advice, Ramona. James Lee Burke?? My favorite Louisiana author! Have read all of his Robicheaux series. Too bad you don't accept Middle Grade books. My hero travels the same roads and bayous as Dave, only she's ten. LOL.

  67. Great job Ramona! And stay away from all those sugar pastries!

  68. Jan, I believe that, after my gloating post, it will be wrong of me to respond negatively to YOUR gloating post.

    So I am controlling myself.

    This once!!!!!!!

  69. My favorite time line is the late 1800's. Love the history of the wild west! Thank you so much for sharing what you look for in a book. It does help, as I begin to write, on what direction I need to go in. I am definitely looking forward to the young adult line that you would like to do. As a mother, I am all the time looking for good quality written books! Would love to be entered to win a book. Especially the Amish one! That book will be added to my wish list! jumpforjoy@gmail.com

  70. Oh, My WORD! Go to one little eye appointment, and Seekerville gets REALLY busy. :)

    Y'all are awesome, and I love the chance to visit here. I follow the blog and really appreciate the work that goes into it and the advice offered up.

    Now...um, questions. I'm going to answer the ones I remember after reading all the comments, then will scan for what I missed after lunch.

    1) Previously self-published works? Yes, depending on the sales and distribution. Make sure that info is in the query.

    2) How do we decide to open another category? Market response. When the buyers keep asking our sales reps, "Do you have any ....?" we know the trends are shifting.

    3) 50-him/50-her. A good romance engages the reader in both sides of the story. Both POVs and both hearts. In my experience (key phrase there), if it's primarily the heroine's POV, then it's HER story, not THEIR story. Thus, the book starts shifting to women's fiction with romantic elements. There are exceptions to every rule, but they're rare.

    4) So far I've received 7 queries. :)

    More later, I have to go to a meeting!

  71. Ramona, thanks for visiting Seekerville with us. I appreciate your words about an author's voice and the opportunity you've given us for sending in a query. Please put my name in the hat for one of the books you so graciously offer.

  72. Fabulously written Ramona! Very enjoyable to read! Thanks for all the ins and out! I will need to read it again because I got swept up :)

    Good luck to everyone who submits! Seekerville, you've done it again!

    Eva Maria Hamilton at gmail dot com

  73. YAY, it's Ramona!!!
    Another Tennessean ;-)

    I just had a chance to sit down at my computer here at work and send a big 'hi'.

    You guys are publishing an Alley CAt - Krista Phillips, and we are CELEBRATING big time over at the aLLEY!!!

  74. Welcome to Seekerville, Romana.

    And how utterly awesome that you are allowing us this opportunity to submit.

    What an early Christmas gift.

    Thank you.

  75. That last anonymous was me by the way... Tina Pinson. In case anyone was curious.

    my name got lost in translation somewhere.

    I did have one question though. I have a women's fiction with a male lead.

    Would that be of interest to your house.

  76. Welcome to Seekerville, Ramona!
    Chocolate bread is as delightful as it sounds! Thanks for sharing.

    We're thrilled you will accept unagented submissions from our readers until December 5! What an opportunity! Bless you.

    The Abington books look fabulous!


  77. Okay- scarfed down my sandwich, now I'm ready for chocolate ;-)

    I love that Abingdon has such a wide variety of interests. Suits me JUST fine ;-)

    I also like how you talked about voice and location being linked. Oh cool! Does that mean I can write with a southern drawl? Long run on sentences? ;-)

  78. I'm excited about what Abingdon is putting out. There are some great authors writing for them. Thanks, Ramona, for letting us know what you are looking for.

  79. HAHAHA, Mary! I laughed all the way through that post.
    And we ordered Melanie's books for my DD 11 for Christmas. *shhh* It's really because I wanted my own copies, but what better way to get presents you like than to give them to your family??
    Oh, I never thought to ask about YA word count. And I must be one of the seven that stayed up LATE to work on my query! It was quiet and I was SO excited!

  80. I really appreciate your encouragement and solid specifics--seriously looking forward to querying you for a hist.-romance submission soon. Thanks so much.

  81. What an unusual opportunity! Thank you Ramona for offering this to unpublished, agent-less, aspiring authors.

    I, too, am a fan of Harney & Sons teas. They were a favorite gift item in my tea room.

    Oh that elusive "voice"....great advice on establishing our own "sound."

  82. Hi, again! A few more comments...

    1) Does it have to be finished? No...and yes. You can query based on an unfinished manuscript, but if I ask for a complete proposal, the manuscript will need to be complete before you send the proposal.

    2) Word count - needs to be 85,000-90,000 for most genres. YA can be shorter, in the 50-60,000 range. We are not publishing shorter novels for adults at this time, with the exception of the quilt series.

    3) Marriage being healed...these don't really do well for us, so I'm not really interested in them at this time, UNLESS there's a serious twist. See Christina Berry's The Familiar Stranger for an example of what I mean with "a serious twist."

    4) @Tina P. A women's fiction book with a male lead? You did make me pause - my first thought is that this is like entering a dog in a cat herding contest. Since the definition of a women's fiction is that it's "a woman's story about how she...," I'm not sure how it would fit the category or why you would want it to. But I'm willing to take a look just because you aroused my curiosity.

    6) @Pepper. Yes...to a point. Remember that there's a fine line between "voice" and "tripping the reader." If your voice is confusion and your syntax makes no sense to the average reader...there's still work to do. The BEST way to convey an accent is not with dialect-oriented spellings. It's with syntax and word choice. And, yes, I WILL reject any manuscript that uses "sez" instead of "says." "Jeet?" may be funny when Jeff Foxworthy tells us it's redneck for "Did you eat?" Not so much in the written word.

  83. Ramona,

    So wonderful having you join us today. Thanks for the breakfast goodies and the great info about Abingdon. I zeroed in on the romantic suspense and high-tension suspense. Both favorites of mine.

    Also exciting to hear about your interest in YA!

    Thanks for accepting unagented Seekerville submissions until DEC 5th. Such a lovely pre-Christmas gift for all the Villagers! No wonder we love you so much. Of course, we would love you even if you didn't come bearing gifts!

    Looking forward to reading more of Abingdon's wonderful lineup!

    Enjoy the season!

  84. OK...I'm in a hurry (another meeting coming up...). I really can count (usually), and know the difference between "confusion" and "confusing." THIS is why everyone needs a good proofreader!

  85. Wow.....How refreshing to see an Editor who values Romantic based fiction......I write crime fiction....but the key to story lines are the romantic aspects to my characters....What I call:
    "Love...Knee~deep in Murder"
    I work real hard to maintain characters that are not only righteous with the law...but right with God! Faith based characters whos jobs put them in a world filled with dangerous and evil filled people.
    New to your amazing blog...
    Dan Cavanagh

  86. Hi, Ramona! What a delight to have you visit with us in Seekerville today! I had so wanted to at least say hi to you at ACFW, but WOW, that place was crowded!!!

    Um, steampunk. No clue. Which means I will not be writing it. ;>D

    Thanks so much for your kind offer to accept queries from Seekerville visitors! I hope you get lots of good ones!

  87. Thank you again for the wonderful info!

    So if we were to query an unfinished project and you asked for a proposal, what kind of time line would you prefer? Within 2-3 months? In six months? Up to a year?

    I have a completed one I'm going to be sending but hadn't considered ones of the ones in various stages of doneness.

    Do you prefer stand alones or ones that could be turned into a series of related/connected books? Particularly in contemporary romance.

  88. Great post, Ramona! I loved meeting you at OCW and thoroughly enjoyed your pitching workshop. That was one of the most helpful sessions I've attended at a writers conference. It sounds like Abingdon is doing some great things. I also have to say that I loved Sherry Kyle's Delivered With Love. I also drool over the VW on the cover. It's a good thing my kindle doesn't have a color screen or I might just damage it that way. :)

  89. Myra,

    steampunk is like wild wild west, or like the new Sherlock homes, West meets Tech so to speak. The tech comes from steam though so it can be manufactured in that time.

    I have a touch of it in a couple of books.

    But having said that... I hear they are tweeking the Steampunk genre. to Western Steampunk, European Steampunk, YA Steampunk etc...

    Or so I've heard. hope that helps clarify some though.

    Cause it's now clear as mud to me.


    Tina Pinson

  90. I can't believe that I wrote the word "love" three times in that last comment. Oh, well. I guess that's why I'm writing romance. I'm off to nab one of those pastries. I love those, too. Lol!

  91. Thanks, Ramona
    Good to know. I think I stick with regional word choices and 'familiar' slang like 'ain't'. :-)

    I get to have all my fun with crazy words and sounds in my day job ;-)

    If an author wants to write for Abingdon in the CR category (light) which Abingdon author would you recommend she read?

  92. Thanks for the explanation, Tina P. I thought it was something like that.

    I didn't care much for the big-screen Sherlock Holmes movie, but I LOVED the one that was on Masterpiece within the last year or two!

  93. Great post, I love having a cup of tea with friends. Pastries are even better. Thank you for a chance for a gift. Books make such wonderful gifts.

    Glenda Parker

  94. I am so loving that SEVEN Seekervillians have sent in their queries already!!!

    Rock and roll.

  95. So the true universal answer to can you submit a partial is actually a question.


  96. So who's on the fence about sending Ramona a query? Do you need us to give you a push, a hug or chocolate?

  97. Good job corraling Ramona, Seekers.

    Ramona, you packed in some mighty fine grub in those saddlebags. Both the thinking and the eating kind. :D

    Glad to read you're taking queries on historical romance. Yeehaw!

    I have one that fits your criteria for time period and location however... can the hero and heroine be apart for a few chapters?

    Your post mentions American West specifically, but would you be open to a Mountie story set in the Canadian West during the same time period?

    Speaking of lattes, I tried my first one last week at a writing group get-together at Le Macaroon in Regina. A Rum & Butter Latte. Like sitting by an open fire. Mmmmmmm.

    Anita Mae.

  98. Ramona, I'd love it if you (or anyone here) could tell me whether my WIP would be classified as romantic suspense as opposed to contemporary romance. My hero and heroine work together to solve a mystery; there is no literal "bad guy," only a figurative one. Otherwise, it's 50/50 in H/H POV with lots of romantic moments and humor (per my two published books which I call contemporary romantic adventures - my own term, but it works). Thanks, and I'd sincerely appreciate any input. Blessings.

  99. Oh Tina,
    Ramona has FOUR of mine! ;-)
    No shove required.

  100. I'm not on the fence, Tina, but I'll take both the hug and the chocolate.


    Guess I was just thinking about my current NaNo [now sitting at almost 47K :)]. We all know I can wrack up big word counts but what I don't always mention here is that I also have to do a lot of editing afterwards.

    So rough draft in 2-3 weeks? Sure. But I do a couple major* rounds of edits at this point in my 'career' too. For me, six months would be definitely doable, but say end of February? Rough draft could be way done but final/polishing edits might be tough - especially as this one has changed cities 3xs which means even more editing necessary to make sure it's right.

    But if I don't get another 3200 by tomorrow night I'll cry so I should probably get back to it :D.

    [*One NaNo novel finished at about 53K. It went to 83K in edits - but I was a TOTAL newbie at that point and didn't know it was SUPPOSED to be 80-90K for a lot of houses.]

  101. Hey no one told me holding out would possibly earn me some chocolate!

  102. Tina,

    Glad I checked back, eh? That's cute. Apparently, I say that a lot without even realizing it.

    Someone at the ACFW conference said "You're from Canada, aren't you?"
    I smiled and said "Yes, how did you know?" She said, "You just said, eh!"



  103. Wow, what a goldmine of a post. Thank you, Ramona!

    By the way, I gave my sister Code Blue as an early Christmas present, and she finished reading it in four hours flat. You all are producing some great fiction. Keep up the great work! :)

  104. Oh my stars, what fun! What a great group of knowns and unknowns gathering in the streets of Laredo...

    Er...um.... Seekerville!

    Tina P, isn't that what Nicholas Sparks does? He writes WF with romantic threads from male POV most often...

    At least that's how I see his work. But I'm more interested in the chocolate chip cookies I brought TO SHARE...

    Ramona, I love the diversification Abingdon enjoys and they've survived this jump into fiction with gusto. Many others bowed out after seeing it wasn't all that easy to create tried and true fiction lines.

    Kudos to the whole staff there, and do you have opinions about why you've been able to succeed?

    Besides great editing, of course!

  105. Wow, thanks for the interesting and informative guest post! I'm impressed that Abingdon is interested in Steampunk. I'm not overly familiar with it and don't write it, but I like that Abingdon is open to something new and fresh. A great way to appeal to a wider variety of readers. And what a great opportunity with the open queries. Thanks!

  106. It's so wonderful to know what they are looking for! Great post :)

  107. Ramona, thanks for answering about the 50 him/50 her.

    Here's my dilemma.

    If my book falls into the women's fiction category, but 23% of my followers are male, would that discourage my male readers? From the publisher's POV, what would you do in a case like that?

    My books are heavy on the heroine - probably 70%/30%. My writing style is that of a suspense writer. I do have some suspenseful things happening (some is action oriented, but much is emotion oriented), and there's definitely romance. I don't think I could write a story without a heavy dose of romance. At least half of the story conflict is internal heroine conflict.

    I have yet to find a beta reader - male or female, who hasn't enjoyed my Finding Beth story and are looking forward to reading Tiffany's story.

    My tag line is "Life-Changing Romance," but as I learn more about genre and sub-genre, I'm wondering if that's the right fit.

    What do you think?

  108. Tina:

    I've worked on a query, but I'm not sure it's ready yet.

    How about a push???


  109. Oh fiddle faddle, I knew I should've completed that manuscript. Ramona, I like the way you write. Your pointers are are very helpful.

  110. OK, I know I'll never answer all the questions. So if I don't answer yours here, feel free to email me.

    OK...time frame. If I ask for a proposal (based on a query), that's good forever (or as long as I'm at Abingdon). Just send it when it's ready.

    If I ask for a full from a proposal...same thing. I don't put a potential project from a new author on my timeline until I have the whole thing in hand. If it takes you a year to finish, that's fine. Just remind me that we corresponded before, and I'll look it up.

  111. Ruthy,

    I couldn't agree more. I thought of Nicholas Sparks myself.

    I sent in the query, along with three others.

    We'll see how it goes.

    Tina Pinson

  112. One thing about genre (and I mentioned this to Tina in an email). Remember that a category/genre label describes the BOOK, not the audience. Mr. Sparks is technically mainstream fiction, which he writes to a formula. So the term "women's fiction" describe the type of book, not who's going to read it.

    If you have a large male audience, that's awesome, not prohibitive.

    Remember, too, that categories are just clues. They tell the bookstore clerk where to put it, Amazon how to tag it, and readers a little about what's inside. Anything that's not a "category" winds up tossed into "mainstream."

    Which may or may not be a good thing. It gives the writer more freedom, but building a fanbase can be more difficult.

    As an editor who just went through her sales report, I can assure you I won't be as interested in mainstream works. I may acquire two a year. Our top sellers remain Amish, western romance, and non-romantic suspense.

  113. Light contemporary romance. From Abingdon, I'd suggest Sandie Bricker's ALWAYS THE BAKER series, Debby Mayne's SWEET BAKLAVA, and Gail Sattler's THE NARROW PATH. We haven't done as much light CR as we have other genres.

  114. Linnette, your description leaves me a little confused, BUT it sounds almost as if you're describing one of Margaret Maron's mysteries. Have you read her?

  115. I'm up to 23 queries from Seekers! Y'all rock!

  116. Ramona, romance rocks. I think that's what those sales figures say, and simpler... gentler... more family-oriented...

    I love small town romance. It strikes home with so many. And that increases potential customer base.

    And I like chocolate so coupling talk of chocolate and romances works on multiple levels.

    And those of you who are Gibbs-smacking yourselves for not finishing the book, I love what Ramona just told you... To query... Then finish the proposal... Then finish the book...

    Whatever the time length.

    This... my friends... might be THE BEST NEWS YOU'VE HAD THIS YEAR!!!

    Jump in. The water's fine!

  117. Oooh! I love those word counts! It's so hard to write tight and switching from 90K to try my hand at 60K for was HARD. Of course, it all has to be 'tight' but when you're getting to 50K and you still have lots of pivotal scenes you want to include, it stinks. :(

  118. YAY Ramona,
    I've been reading Sandie's stuff and even used her book Always a Baker as a comparable title in my proposal to you. WOOHOOO!!!

    I'm off the check out Debbie Mayne's books next. She was a fabulous encourager at ACFW! LOVED meeting her!

  119. I do enjoy reading these posts as it let readers like me know what goes into books becoming books. I would love to win Vannetta Chapman, A Simple Amish Christmas,
    I have read a couple of the others.

  120. Ramona,

    Would you please discuss the "worldview" concept Abingdon adheres to? Does there need to be a spiritual thread which is central to the story or can the characters be Church-goers and the story has not bad language, sex, etc.?

    What is the difference between suspense and high-tension suspense? Any room in there for a first-person amateur sleuth?

    Also, are you saying none of your lines are category?


    I'd love to win books.

    cathy underscore shouse at yahoo dot com

  121. Ramona, thanks for all your information. I am an aspiring writer with some published articles and poetry but have been working on a novel. It is sitting at about 4,000 words right now. It is contemporary. It is about a death of a husband and how the wife must go on through many struggles. Now, raising 2 boy's on her own and one is autistic...

    I will stop there and would like to hear your response on if there would be an interest for something like this and if so would putting a query in at this time with only 4000 words so far be okay?

    Thank You and Many Blessings,


  122. Ramona, you're way too cool.

    Thanks for query submission updates and permission to query w/out the ms being complete.

    Christmas has come early on Seekerville.

  123. Gee, have you already sent me a query on that book? If not, I may have bad news...

    Folks, don't be surprised if you get a note from an editor saying they've published a book too similar to yours. I'm sometimes amazed how often I receive pitches from multiple authors that sound as if they're writing the same book.

  124. I gotta go with Connie - you're way cool, Ramona!

    Thank you again!

    /puts Ramona on her list of people who get cookies next year/

    Got 990 words at school [between/after classes] and still hoping to hit my 50K tonight... banishing the kids to the basement for a bit should help with that :D. [It sounds worse than it is... 2 of them live down there... ;)]

    And then off to write query letters!

  125. Hi Ramona! Thanks for the great information about voice and Abingdon Press.

    Normally, I'm put off by more than 100 comments and at most, might do a quick skim. But today, I decided to actually read the comments. What a blessing to discover you're open to queries on unfinished manuscripts. I'm 3/4 done, but I'm writing from a completed synopsis so I know where my story is going (for the most part). A chance to query directly? Not going to miss this one.

  126. Cool! Submit a query to Abingdon...? I am so in.

    As for the chocolate, the people in the ICU waiting room think I’ve had enough. I’ll take any of the books up for grabs. I’m running low on reading material.

  127. Twenty-seven queries sent in already? Awesome!

    Ramona, you mentioned Amish fiction in one of your comments, but not in your original post - does that mean you have enough and aren't looking for more right now?

    I'm bringing some Snickerdoodles to add to the cookie buffet.

    And, umm, Carol, saying that two of your kids live in the basement doesn't make it sound better...

  128. Cathy - Abingdon worldview. This one is both easy...and not.

    We are distinctly Christian, and the books need to be written from that point of view, with characters who reflect it. We don't require all characters to be Christian, but at least one of the MCs need to have faith, be struggling with it, or in the process of discovering it.

    But we don't necessarily "play it safe" with what we publish. We find Christians to be a loveable, flawed lot who go through a great deal of challenges in life and faith, and we're not always nice or kind or...devout...about it.

    Great stories can mean torturing your MCs to the point of breaking.

    Taboos? A few of the obvious. No onstage sex, no sex between unmarried main characters (even if they're redeemed later). No foul language (challenge yourself on this one). Magical realism is OK; paranormal and spiritual warfare is off limits. No angels, demons, or vampires. No endtime novels, although I'm open to post-apocalyptic (in the nuclear warfare sense) science fiction (along the lines of Alas, Babylon, not Left Behind).

    We have published books in the past in which the faith element is light...this is not our typical book and I won't be publishing these in the future. We are a non-profit press, so we MUST have Christian content.


    That is just awesome!!!

    No risk, no reward. No guts, no glory.



    You can't sell what's not out there.

    Apparently Pepper gets that math.

    FOUR, PEPS?? Way to go.

  131. OK, folks, I'm going through the queries. Some GREAT stuff here. Now, if you'll indulge me, here's a mini-lecture. I'm getting some queries that pitch the premise but not the story. I need to know the STORY. As in...what happens in your book.

    I'm not picking on any one author; I've received a bunch of these, so I thought I'd say something.

    Here's the mini-lecture, which is a handout I give in some of my conference sessions on editing genre-based novels.

    Perfect the CCR Beginning: Start the book in the MIDDLE of a Conversation, Conflict/confrontation, or Revelation.

    Lose the backstory and introspection. Keep the STORY moving and insert backstory with an eyedropper, not a front-end loader. Reveal character in actions and dialog. Avoid reflection if possible.

    As you tackle an overview of the plot and character arcs, ask yourself these questions – and be able to explain them to an editor.

    1. Who is the protagonist (the hero or heroine) who moves through the story (carrying the reader along)? Does the book start with the protagonist?
    2. What is the protagonist’s overarching goal? (In other words, what is he or she struggling to achieve?)
    3. What’s at stake? (What happens if the protagonist doesn’t succeed?)
    4. Who (or what?) is the antagonist who opposes the protagonist (e.g. make him/her struggle to reach his/her goal)?
    5. What drives the protagonist to struggle against the antagonist? (Why can’t s/he forget the whole thing and go home?)
    6. How well do the Christian elements blend into the story and reflect a world view as opposed to a “preachy” message?

    Know your competition and how your book is distinctive. Are there ways to amplify that distinction?

    Keep the story MOVING. Each conversation, each scene needs to advance to plot in some way.

  132. SORRY, RAMONA. No, I haven't read Margaret Maron.

    Maybe I'm over-analyzing it. Here are my elevator pitches. Maybe that will help:

    Series Title:
    Flying with Broken Wings

    "Finding Beth" (complete)
    A run-away-bride-to-be... A southern boy-next-door... A possessive fiance` determined to make her his - one way or another... A seemingly silent God seeking her whole heart...

    "Love Beyond the Fray" (wip)
    A woman recovering from a lifetime of abuse... A friend dealing with his own heartache... A wealthy man promising security... A God who demands she give him all...

    Just reading these, what genre would you put them in?

  133. It's so nice to see Ramona here today! Great interview and I loved hearing her take on what makes a unique voice. One great editor!

  134. LOL Jan! It's a very nice, finished, walkout basement complete with running water, cable television and game systems. They'll be fine ;).

    And I loved Sandie Bricker's Always the Baker!!!! My sister bought the next one and it's on my list!

    I want to say I have Sweet Baklava on the Kindle but I'm not sure...

  135. Hi, Linnette. That's not enough info for me to hazard a guess. Why don't you email with more details?

  136. See why we Abingdon authors appreciate our editor and the whole Abingdon team? Thanks for the wealth of information you've shared here today. And thanks for sharing it so warmly and clearly. You're a gem. Steampunk coming right up. :)

  137. Hi, folks. I'm getting some email bounces. I plan to answer ALL queries no later than next Wednesday. If you don't hear from me by then, email me again with an alternative address.

  138. OUCH! Tina, I'm still reeling. But I picked myself up off the floor and pushed Send.

    Now I second guess myself. Did I do enough of the things Ramona listed? Did I tweak it enough? Does it say too much? Does it say enough? Etc.

    Now I need a COKE!!!!!

  139. Ramona,

    No I haven't...This is based on a true story (mine) that I have turned into a Christian fiction. I guess I could turn it into a western, as he use to wear cowboy boots. Strange that so many have the same story. If so...much heartbreak for the wife, as I for one do know. Guess not this time around for me...Bummer.

  140. Dear Ramona,
    Thank you for the opportunity to query.

    It really helps to have a clear idea of what types of manuscripts you're considering. And your description of voice is terrific. Off to find mine.


  141. Gee, send it anyway. The books could be quite different, even if the premises are similar.

  142. OK, gang. Our count is up to 55 queries. I've answered a bunch, but it's 6:30 and I MUST go home. I have papers to grade for a class I teach on Thursdays. See y'all tomorrow!

  143. I was feeling sorry for myself for missing all the fun here with Ramona today, but there's a definite advantage to coming home late.

    I get to miss all the angst over sending or not (and Tina pushing me off the fence - OUCH!) because Ramona has answered all the questions I would have worried over.

    Ramona, thank you SO much for taking the time to spend the day with us. In one day you've proven how very valuable a great editor is. I feel like I learned so much by reading your responses.

    Mary Curry

  144. Ohhh, since breakfast was so long ago, I forgot - I ADORE chocolate croissants. There are two French bakeries near me who make them so amazingly well that it feels sinful not to eat them.

  145. Well this has been quite a day!
    Thank you Seekers and Ramona for this great opportunity.

    oh- and I've been thinking chocolate all day.

  146. It's nice to discover somebody else who likes chocolate for breakfast.
    This was a great post. Thanks so much for sharing!
    I also appreciate the great opportunities you've offered us!
    Thanks again!
    Jackie Layton

  147. Ramona,
    147 comments and counting, you are one popular lady! Thanks for the interesting and informative post.

  148. Hi Ramona. Thank you for the info on Abingdon Press. I don't believe you mentioned anything about medical suspense. I absolutely loved all of Dr. Richard Mabry's books. Will Abingdon Press be doing any more Medical Suspense?

    I would love to be entered to win any of the books offered today except Code Blue (I already have it and LOVED it!). Thank you for your generosity.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  149. Whoa, I'm so late to the party!

    Ramona, thanks for the great post and opportunity!

    Good luck to every one who has queried.

  150. Dear Ramona,
    Thanks to you.... I have been thinking coco based all day. I almost want to sub my Query in chocolate. Not only would it be rich,fulfilling andhard to put down... but tasty too...LOL

  151. Interesting post, Ramona. I am very anxious to read Code Blue...thanks for the chance!

  152. Such a great day in Seekerville!!!

    Thanks, Ramona!

  153. So nice to see you here, Ramona. I've enjoyed the interview and appreciate your answers to questions asked. Good to know what you're seeking in a submission. Thanks for the generous offer to look at query letters from us. I've read several Abingdon authors. Especially enjoyed Cynthia Ruchti's They Almost Always Come Home. Please enter me in the drawing for any of the books listed.

  154. Good night, Ramona. Thanks again for your insights.

    What a special day and opportunity in Seekerville. It's so much fun here.


  155. Sharing this with all my writer friends.

  156. The east coast is drinking their bedtime tea and getting ready for bed..while the rest of the country is working hard on queries.

    Thank you, Ramona for a delightful day!!!

  157. Ramona, you were amazing today! Thanks for answering so many questions. And for your mini-lecture! Very helpful.

  158. Thanks for the cyber chocolate, the best kind - no calories.

    A wonderful post to read thank you.


  159. Ramona, Good to learn more about you and see what you're interested in acquiring as Abingdon moves forward. Congratulations on the way a fledgling Christian fiction line continues to become a significant player.
    And thanks, Seekerville-ites, for bringing us this interview.

  160. Good grief, 162 comments before mine??? LOL Sounds like the story of my life. Loved the post, Ramona, but I missed out on the pastries. ;)

  161. It don't get much better than chocolate for breakfast.

    And YAY for YA!!!!! Uber exciting to hear that Abingdon Press is actively seeking in this dynamic genre. Booyah.

    Thanks for another helpful post, Seeker peeps.

  162. I just saw this on Ramona's Facebook page and came right over. I am running late! Chocolate for breakfast - who can beat that? I keep chocolate chips on the counter to sprinkle on the waffles! Thanks so much for sharing, Ramona, and I so enjoyed meeting you at the ACFW conference. All the Abingdon authors in our colonial group love you as an editor! I am going to copy your query advise right now into a little file. Thanks so much for sharing!

  163. Oh, Mary, thank you. You are so funny! LOL! Love ya, girl.

  164. Ramona, thanks so much for this rare opportunity. As you can see, we're all pretty pumped!

    I'm getting a couple different queries ready. For the first one, I was all set to give it a go, but then I noticed your comment that said no sex between unmarried partners even if they later get redeemed. Is this a non-negotiable? lol The consequences of a one-night stand are pivotal to my plot. So would this be a time-waster to pitch?

    Thanks so much. I especially enjoyed the chocolate crumbs left over from yesterday. ;)

  165. Thanks for a wonderful post! I am a freelance editor and I think these kinds of posts are very interesting. I would love to win one of the books listed! Thanks for the chance, and thanks for sharing what you do and what you look for.
    tscmshupe [at] pemtel [dot] net

  166. Oh, Tina ... a push, a hug AND chocolate, please!

  167. Carol Garvin, lol. I'm with you, usually I NEED all three.

  168. What a fabulous opportunity. Thanks Ramona and Seekerville for caring about the like of us 'unpubs'. I love the way you describe voice Ramona. That is a hard one to understand for me. Sometimes, I can pick it out from some authors, but not all. I struggle to put my finger on my own as well.

  169. I also like guests who bring gifts and food! It shows that they have great manners - sadly lacking in today's society! A real plus at Christmastime! Great post today! Welcome to Seekerville, Ramona!

    I'm also in for all books!

  170. I guess I really needed all three, Tina. I finally made the move and e-mailed Ramona but not until moments after midnight Sunday night, and obviously had waited too long as the message bounced back to me as "blocked". ::sigh:: Why do I do these things to myself???

  171. Anyone out there still waiting to hear from Ramona? Last day! I will not be anxious...I will not be anxious...oh, drat. :)

  172. K, I'm still waiting to hear back, too.

    Carol, I was able to get my second one in and I received an "out of the office" message. I didn't receive that with my first one so I tried to resend it just in case and same thing, no message. So, I'm not even sure if she received the first one.

    Praying for everyone who sent queries in!

  173. Ramona contacted us that she was under the weather and to be patient, she'll get to it, but it won't be as soon as she'd hoped.

  174. Thank you for the update Mary! I hope she feels better soon. So many people getting sick! It's that time of year...

  175. I have not heard back from Ramona either but she was out of office on Thursday. So no panic yet!

  176. Any word on when to expect to hear back? I know Ramona was ill, but now that it's the 16th I can't help wondering if my email was received.

  177. I've already resent my query with a different email address, before I read that she was out of the office, and I haven't heard anything. You're not the only one, Michelle. :)

  178. Yes, I have been concerned as well. I know holiday's are busy times so I go with it. I am just wondering if she is still getting email that is bouncing?