This past April at Mount Hermon, I hoped to hook an agent and possibly a publisher. Didn't happen. Still, I received an awesome comment from two astute agents, Steve Laube and Wendy Lawton, on aspects of the pre-conference submission of my novel. A huge plus.
While there, I also learned from Ramona Richards with Abingdon Press that the Christian Book Sellers Association (CBA), won't accept some of the content in my story unless I modify two specific parts. There's more I didn't have time to go into with her they'd surely frown upon.
"So, that means I have to change it?" I asked, sitting at a table outside the lounge with her.
"No. You could go secular. Let me know what you decide," she said, which I count as another plus. The problem with her suggestions to modify my story? Both are the main reasons I wrote Kellen's Hope. You see my dilemma.
As I walked away, chin down, two lovely ladies from Oregon asked how our meeting went. I scrunched my nose, told them what happened, and about the needed changes in my story. "Keep it," both said. "Your story needs to be read."
I turned and faced one of my friend's who'd sat next to us, also part of the Inspire Christian Writers Group I'm a member of, and told her what happened. She said, "Keep it. That happened to me." She told me her personal story and that she's writing about it as a fictional account.
Right after that, and I mean right after, a gal that was in Brandilyn Collins' mentoring class with me asked the same question. "How'd it go?" After giving her the details, she said, "That happened to me." Are you kidding? After sharing her story, she said, "Don't change it. It needs to be read."
Wow, talk about confirmation!
My friend Laura later said in response to Ramona's suggestion, "And that's bad why?"
"The CBA won't publish it as is."
She asked the same question again followed by another. "Why did you write it?"
"To help those in similar situations and to make Christ known."
"And who needs to hear that?—"
"The lost." The Lord practically shouted confirmation to keep what I'd written.
I've made minor changes based on great critiques in Brandilyn's class, but overall, the main story line remains the same.
After the Lord redirected my path to publication, I took James Scott Bell's class on self publication, based on his book SELF-PUBLISHING ATTACK! Never before had the prospect of publishing an e-book excited me, as did his class on Scrivener, which I downloaded for forty bucks as soon as I got home. By the way, James book on self-publication is awesome. His is the first book I've read through in a day. I'm putting his teaching into practice and it's helping me achieve my writing goals.
I can't wait to start sharing bits of Kellen's Hope with you, friends. With that in mind. I'm considering starting a blog just for my novels. And if you think the title of my novel's too blasé, it could change. Let me know what you think. Like Dumbo, I'm all ears!
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths," Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV).
Lord, thank you for directing our paths and for making yourself known to us. I praise you for your mighty acts of kindness. In Jesus name, amen.
Love & Blessings ~ Danie
I'm doing the happy dance!