Get in your time machine! We’re going back to my first appearance in the comments of Seekerville:
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Boy oh boy....I'm a newbie here, and I'm wondering just what I've stumbled upon!
...but, you know, NCIS and Clint and chocolate, all in one place in one morning? I think I found my new favorite hang out!
If I promise to share my hot chocolate (no marshmallows - we don't want to dilute the pleasure), may I leave a comment?
Thanks so much, Ruthie, for sharing your contest journey! My big writing goal this winter is to enter at least one contest, and your post was an inspiration. I've had my pride knocked in a few times, so I think I can get over poor scoring - but I really want the critiques! So on with the entries!
Jan, YES!!! So nice to see you/meet you and chocolate is a bribe right along with cowboys, writing tips, great stories and WONDERFUL if somewhat bossy buds. and contests brought the Seekers together and WE HAVEN'T KILLED ANYONE YET.
But leave the tiaras alone, dear. :)
And good luck on those entries. Gotta get it out there, take a hit now and again.
A little ouch. Like a needle stick to prevent GRAVE ILLNESS.
That was my first Seekerville visit. I was such a newbie! But I was thrilled that Ruthy welcomed me to the island so graciously. And the welcome spread quickly among the Seekers – all fifteen of them made me feel part of the community! Before long I was reading their books, cheering for new contracts, sitting teary-eyed with joy as we celebrated Pam Hillman’s first contract on May 23, 2011….
All fifteen Seekers were now off the island, and the place was left to the Seeker-villagers.
How many remember cleaning out those huts after the Seekers left? You’d think they couldn’t wait to leave, the way they just threw stuff in their luggage and jumped on the ferry! I think I even found a piece of chocolate in Audra’s hut – can you imagine?
But the Seekers didn’t leave us behind. They started a regular ferry service between the island and Seekerville on the mainland, and they show up regularly when one of us has a first sale party.
And there have been a lot of those parties. More and more of the villagers are publishing their debut novels, or their second or third books. We’re landing contracts, agents, placing in and winning contests, attending conferences…and who do we have to thank? The Seekers. Those gracious ladies who had the vision of reaching out to help struggling authors – just like they were at one time – and offering help, advice and encouragement. Where would we be without them?
Enough of the speeches, this is a party! My assignment was to share the things I’ve learned since leaving Unpubbed Island, so here goes.
1) Keep celebrating.
Getting a book contract is just as exciting as it sounds – and your first one only comes once. It should be a big deal! Go out to celebrate with the people closest to you! Hug your children! Buy your dog a new chewie! Enjoy the experience!
But don’t stop there – celebrate every milestone. Every contest win, every contract, every positive review deserves at least a minute for you to sit back and praise God for what He’s done and is doing with your writing.
2) Keep working.
One thing you hope for is that once people read your precious debut novel, they will want to read more from you. That means you need to reach back into your files (or into your head) and pull out that next story. Keep writing. Every day.
3) Keep reaching toward that next goal.
No one – I mean no one – is an expert writer with their first novel. Keep learning, working on your craft, developing your voice. Work toward excellence, and never be content to rest along the trail.
4) Keep in touch with your readers.
No matter who they are or what kind of a review they’ve written, they are your readers. Treat them graciously. Make friends with them through social media. Accept their praise humbly, and thank them for reading your book.
I am taking my own advice – I’m keeping calm and carrying on! I just sent my third story to my agent, and I now have a second contract with Love Inspired…and…(drumroll)…
I’d like to announce that we now have a release date for my second book: August, 2014!
The working title is “Her Redeeming Grace,” and it is the winner of the 2013 TARA contest, inspirational category.
When Ruth Mummert accepted the job as housekeeper for a widower and his daughter in faraway LaGrange County, Indiana to avoid the constant reminder of her intended’s faithlessness and her best friend’s betrayal, she’s looking forward to a useful life of service. But her new employer is nothing like the fatherly man she had envisioned.
Levi Zook, desperate to keep his brood of motherless children from being farmed out to relatives, is ready to welcome a middle aged spinster into his home to help with the housekeeping. But the woman who steps off the train is not what he was expecting.
When she realizes he never told her she’d be caring for ten children, will this beautiful young woman leave on the next train?
If you read my first book, “The Prodigal Son Returns,” you’ll recognize the hero – yes, it’s the same Levi Zook that Ellie was determined not to marry.
And the heroine in this story? Why, Ruthy, of course!
And we have a prize for chocolate lovers – one commenter will receive a French Coffee Press and a bag of ground cocoa beans as described over at the Yankee-Belle Café last month.
Plus a copy of my debut novel, The Prodigal Son Returns.
Plus a copy of my debut novel, The Prodigal Son Returns.
Let us know in your comment if you want to be included in the drawing or not! Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.
Jan Drexler grew up surrounded by books and storytellers. With Pastors and Teachers populating both sides of her extended family, we aren't surprised that she wanted to be a first-class storyteller herself.
Born and raised in Michigan, Jan is the descendant of Amish, Mennonite and Brethren immigrants who settled in Berks, Somerset and Lancaster Counties in Pennsylvania in the mid-1700's. The descendants of these immigrants pioneered in Maryland, Ohio, and finally Elkhart and LaGrange Counties in Northern Indiana in the 1850's.
During the years when Jan was raising and homeschooling their children, she and her husband moved nine times in thirty years, finally landing in South Dakota where they enjoy incredibly Michigan-like weather. A northerner is always a northerner!
The ideas for Jan's books come from the stories told by her parents and grandparents, seasoned with a lot of research and imagination.
Fun blog: yankeebellecafe.blogspot.com
Facebook: Jan Drexler (author)