Janet here. I feel I've known Mindy forever and love seeing that fabulous smile of hers at conferences. I was thrilled when she got THE CALL and promptly asked her to share the experience in Seekerville. The Doctor's Family Reunion releases now and is on my TBR pile, along with books from Ruthy and Glynna. Without furhter ado, here's Mindy.
Well, a big Texas howdy to everyone out there in Seekerville. This is such a great blog. These ladies share so much with so many. They’re encouraging, informative, and every last one of them is downright beautiful. Thank you, ladies. I’m honored to be here today. And thank you, Janet, for inviting me.
I brought some chips and salsa (not too hot), along with some of the most amazing chocolate sheet cake you’ve ever tasted, so help yourself. There’s plenty to go around.
I started writing in June of 2004, joined my first writer’s group in May 2005, and attended my first writer’s conference in July 2006 (where I got to meet famous people like Missy Tippens and Lindi Peterson :)). On January 11, 2013, I was blessed to receive the most amazing phone call from Melissa Endlich at Love Inspired Books. Yes, THE call.
Yet, for all the conferences, workshops, and classes I’d attended over the years, I was not prepared for what I’d learn after the call.
1) I work better under deadline – Melissa said my book would release in September. That meant a very quick turnaround on revisions. Four weeks, to be exact. With a deadline looming, not to mention some major changes, this often less-than-disciplined author kidnapped her writing partner for one extensive brainstorming session, filled the freezer with frozen pizzas so my men wouldn’t starve, then put my butt in the chair and wrote my little heart out. I had a plan and I stuck to it.
2) I can make changes I said I never would – Have you ever had someone suggest you change something in a story and thought, “That would never work” or “I could never do that because…?” But when an editor asks, or simply points to something at the end of chapter two and says, “I sure would like to see this in chapter one,” by golly, you suddenly find a way to make it happen.
3) Don’t panic over copy edits – I almost had a heart attack when I saw, Blakely Daniels’s world had turned upside down. Daniels’s? Not only did it not look right, it didn’t sound right. I don’t care what the Chicago Manual of Style says. (Really I do, just not in this instance)
After a hasty email informing my editor that I REALLY needed to talk, I learned that copy edits are for the betterment of the book. However, their edits are not cast in stone. Do I need to pay attention to them? Yes. Can I elect to disagree on occasion and insist something stay the way I wrote it? Yes.
4) All those changes make a better book – When I received my final round of revisions, I sat down and read this story I’d read a hundred times before as a book on my Kindle. And you know what? I really enjoyed it. I didn’t even remember some of the changes I’d made, yet everything had come together to create a much stronger story. One I hope readers will enjoy as much as I did.
5) Self-promotion is not for the faint of heart – Writing a book is hard work, but self-promotion (I know, we’re promoting our books, not ourselves) can be a challenge. Especially if you’re like me and have stayed focused on your craft and not paid much attention to tribes, social networking, and book launch ideas.
You need to have a plan and put yourself out there. My husband is a salesman by trade, so it doesn’t bother him to tell anyone and everyone that his wife has a book out. We had business cards printed with the book cover on one side and ordering info on the other side, and he passes them out to everyone he comes in contact with. And I do mean everyone. If you’re like me and not comfortable telling strangers about your book, find someone who is and let them shout it from the rooftops.
For an unpublished writer, getting the call seems like the culmination of everything you’ve been working toward. But it’s really just the beginning of another journey. Like I said, we never stop learning.
Mindy Obenhaus always dreamed of being a wife and mother. Yet as her youngest of five children started kindergarten, a new dream emerged—to write stories of true love that would glorify God.
Mindy grew up in Michigan, but got to Texas just as fast as she could. Nowadays, she finds herself trapped in the city, longing for ranch life or the mountains. When she’s not penning her latest romance, she likes cooking, reading, traveling, and spending time with her grandkids. Learn more about her at www.mindyobenhaus.com, www.facebook.com/authormindyobenhaus, or https://twitter.com/MindyObenhaus.