Take delight in the Lord,
and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4 (NIV)
A few weeks back, Myra posted a blog, “That is SO Five Years Ago!” Something in her post really resonated with me. “I was at the end of my writing rope and ready to give up hope of ever becoming a published novelist.”
Amen, Sister. I am so with you there. *wipe tears from my eyes*
I was still reeling from the fact that God hadn’t opened the doors for me to attend ACFW. I mean, I was more ready now than I had ever been. Two complete manuscripts, desire, passion, determination, that sixth sense that said I had to go to Texas to sell a book. I had it all, well, except confidence and the finances.
That’s okay though, at least it was on Monday, Wednesday and Friday when I trusted God’s timing. The rest of the days, not so much. God and I had many a conversation as to whether or not I was bipolar or having a mid-life crisis. But in the quiet of the night, while I counted sheep and said my night time prayers, He’d say, “Trust me.”
I finally hitched up my big girl panties and trudged back into the murky waters of limbo. I had no idea where to go or what to do. After a few more tears and a bit of foot stomping, and some great advice from one of the most awesomest people I’ve ever come across, but only because she owns a Harley ;), I decided to take a break from the historicals and give Love Inspired Suspense’s Fast Track a go.
During this time I took in everything Seekerville had to offer with all the excellent blog posted to the site. Light bulbs flashed left and right. Applying what I learned, I worked hard on a first suspense chapter, and then sent it to my critique group. The response was more than I could have hoped for. Most said it was my best work yet. I felt like a writer again.
It’s all good, yeah?
Yep! NaNoWriMo was a few days away. This pantser had a complete story plotted and was ready to go.
Hold up. Remember last October during Seekerville’s birthday party when they held a pitch contest? Well I had received a partial request from Emily Rodmell. A year ago this week I sent off that partial and then waited.
By the time June came around I thought for sure the mailman had tossed my manuscript to the dogs. After asking around, it was suggested I contact Emily. So I did. Turns out she’d sent me a request for a full back in February. Nothing like technical difficulties with your email provider. Or was it a God thing? If I’d have received that email when I should have I probably would have had a nervous breakdown. There were too many things happening in my personal life to deal with the excitement of a full request.
Anyway, I took the next month, made the requested changes and sent it back to her. Then forgot all about it, because you know, nobody was buying biblical romance. Okay, well maybe I didn’t forget about it, but I didn’t have high hopes, because, yeah, nobody was buying biblical romance.
Well, I ended up in Texas. You see my sister-in-law was graduating nursing and my dear mother-in-law wanted to be there, so I escorted her. After several hours of flights and layovers I was sitting on the floor of my sister-in-law’s living room thinking about how awesome it was that she was fulfilling her dream, and if I’m to be honest, I was a little sad about how mine had yet to be. No sooner had the thought tripped through my brain I opened my email. And there it was at 10:13 p.m., an email that could only be one of two things, a rejection or an offer.
Everything after that, I’m sure was a bit comical. Just ask my mother-in-law, Tina and Ruthy. I mean, how does one react? How is one supposed to react?
I called Emily the next day with pen and paper in hand. All I remember saying is okay, multiple times. Even when she asked if it all sounded good to me. Okay. So she wants to buy my story.
No, wait, she bought my story, right?
I sent a text out to my peeps. I sold!
I received phone calls and texts. My friends jumped up and down, they squealed, they cried. I was in a state of shock. Seriously, what happened? Was this real? I got an email from Twitter, good ‘ol social media, telling me Emily Rodmell was following me. Me! So, I hopped on over there and what did I see? A tweet about how she bought a new author for LIH a manuscript set in Biblical times. Hey, that’s me.
You better believe I saved that baby in a screen shot. *g*
Hubs called me, “Well, you just had to go to Texas and sell a book, didn’t you?” Yep, I knew it too. But it still hadn’t completely sunk in. I was getting sick and all I wanted to do was go home and sleep in my own bed and let hubs take care of me. It wasn’t until we were on the plane in Houston that it began to click. You see this lady sat next to me and struck up a conversation. She asked what I did and I gave her the typical answer, “I’m a stay at home mom.” My mother-in-law, God bless her, nudged me and said, “go on.”
“Oh, and I just sold a book.”
I smiled, leaned my head back against my seat and thought about my dedication page. My first sale story wouldn’t have happened without the support and encouragement of my family and friends. It wouldn’t have happened without my friends I met through Avon Fanlit when I first began writing seriously in 2006. It wouldn’t have happened without my critique group. And it wouldn’t have happened without the Seekerville community. Viable, encouraging communities like Seekerville are important to writers at all stages in their career. But the most important factor in my first sale is God and trusting His timing.
To writers, what would your dedication page look like? Readers, what’s the most memorable dedication page you’ve read?
Oh, and how about y’all join the fun. I need to come up with a few different titles to give to my editor. (Oh, did I just say that? My editor!) After reading the following blurb, give me your best shot. My top five favorite entries will be put into a drawing for a homemade, by me or my daughter, knitted scarf. You can see them here http://christinarich.wordpress.com/knitted-scarves/
When a temple guard, posing as a bond-servant, falls in love with his master’s daughter he must choose between his duty to his king and his one chance at love for eternity.
Set in the heart of Judah several hundred years before the birth of Christ, Yours for Eternity introduces the reader to a society of warrior priests vowed to protect the line of King David.
With no brothers to carry out her father’s legacy, Sh’mira, the maimed daughter of a prosperous farmer, must marry a man willing to leave his home. However, the only one who does not scorn her disfigurement is Ariel, her father’s bondservant.
In exchange for his freedom, Ariel’s master offers him Sh’mira as a bride and the rights of a firstborn son, but the former Commander of the Temple Guard cannot accept the honor. He’s bound by a vow to protect Judah’s future king from the child’s murderous grandmother, but when the queen’s guard attacks the tiny village he’s been hiding in he finds he cannot leave her.
Will they hold on to their faith while they fight to restore Judah’s rightful king to the throne? Will the two admit their love and bind their hearts for eternity or go their separate ways?
Bio: A mother of four, Christina spends her time teaching her youngest daughter and writing when she isn’t helping her husband with their upholstery business.
She loves researching history and her ancestry, loves Israel, loves to fish, read, and of course, write.
She’s a member of ACFW, RWA, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers and Hearts through History. She resides in Northeast Kansas with her family.
You can find more about Christina’s writing journey at http://christinarich.wordpress.com/