Gina Welborn and I met a couple years ago when I wrote an e-mail to the American Christian Fiction Writers loop asking if there were any writers in my geographic area. A friend of a friend put me in touch with her friend, and voila! a friendship was born. We started meeting for coffee/tea on a weekly basis. She was in the middle of several book contracts, so I helped her hash out some plot details.
One day she forwarded an e-mail to me. It was from Barbour Publishing looking for novella submissions for their Twelve Brides of Christmas Collection.
(Note: this series is being published digitally, one per week, in the twelve weeks
leading up to Christmas. I believe the plan is to put all the novellas together
in a collection to be published as a book next year.)
When Gina and I met later that week, she said, "You need to submit a proposal for this collection." I hemmed, hawed, and generally made excuses, but she leaned forward, stuck her finger under my nose, and repeated, "You need to submit."
So I did. It was rejected.
However, it was the nicest rejection e-mail you'll ever see. The editor told me my story wasn't chosen, but she had another idea and she would get back to me in a couple weeks. I was pretty sure she was just being nice, but both Gina and Kim (who have worked with this editor before) said the editor wouldn't have said she had another idea if she honestly didn't have another idea.
Two weeks later, I got another e-mail from the editor at Barbour asking me to tweak my proposal for their Homestead Brides Collection and resubmit it.
So I did. Three weeks later it was accepted.
There is a saying in writer circles that, in order to get published, you need to have an agent; but in order to get an agent, you need to get published. I always wondered how someone broke out of that vicious circle. Well, you make friends with a writer who believes in you enough to force you to submit your writing, and then you get lucky enough to be chosen.
Though, as you all well know, luck is just hard work meeting the right opportunity at a specific point in time.
Kim supplied the"hard work" part of the equation with her ongoing critiques and encouragement to keep writing; Gina supplied the "right opportunity" part by pushing me to submit. Together, they are the reason why I'm beginning this writing journey. And now, when you read the dedication, you'll know why it says:
To Kim and Gina (they know why)
Until next time,