Six years, friends! SIX YEARS. That’s how long this particular book baby has taken from the first draft to publication—or conception to birth if you will. Much like the arrival of a baby, it’s all celebrations and congratulations today—the murky, everlasting gestation period has almost faded from memory. But before I forget the writerly morning sickness completely, allow me to encourage your heart and inspire your dreams as I share the story of how The Glass Bottom Boat was finally launched…
“Writing a novel is like heading out over the open sea in a small boat. It helps if you have a plan and a course laid out.” John Gardner
The Glass Bottom Boat book was indeed a small boat in a vast open sea. We bobbed along comfortably in fair weather, an encouraging swell now and then, followed by a severe storm. Let me give you the brief version of the literary nautical chart:
- 2013: I wrote the first draft of the story for a Harlequin Love Inspired pitch—sent in half the story, they liked it and asked me to finish it and send it in. They rejected it.
- 2014: I revised, submitted, and received rejections—multiple times.
- 2015: I pitched it at a conference in Seattle and landed a literary agent—that process took almost a year… signed April 2016
- April 2016—Feb 2018: I left it in the hands of my agent, who submitted it to a plethora of publishers. It was rejected. Multiple times.
- Feb 2018: I was “released” from my agent. My manuscript and I were very sad.
- Feb2018: 2 weeks later, I pitched it on Twitter at #Faithpitch and several agents and editors were interested. The following month I signed a 3-book contract with Anaiah Press!
- March 12, 2019: The Glass Bottom Boat was finally published. Hallelujah. Amen.
Was this the literary nautical chart I would have chosen for The Glass Bottom Boat? Umm, no. But that’s where faith comes in, isn’t it? In any given life circumstance, when we don’t understand God’s timing and we dislike the pain and hurt along the way, we have to rely on the fact that God is faithful. Always.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and it shows me the many lessons I have learned whilst traveling on this particular boat. I’ve learned patience (still working on that one…), trust, perseverance, many writing and editing skills, and I’ve met some fantastic individuals along the way. I’ve grown in my novel writing and in the handling of rejection. I’ve mastered the art of perpetually moving forward with the next right thing.
You may or may not be a writer. But I’ll hazard a guess that you have something simmering on the back-burner of your imagination, creative fingers, or whip-smart mind. I wonder what is preventing you from setting sail and launching right into it. Or at least dipping your toes into the waters. Here are some tried-and-trusted suggestions for you:
- Tell someone. Share your dream/ goal/ ambition/ idea. It will make it so much more of a reality and will keep you accountable.
- Allocate time. Fiddle with your schedule to fit in blocks during your week. Even if it’s 15 minutes per day to start planning/ writing/ drawing/ whatever it is.
- Find your people. Like-minded, those a little ahead of you, a tribe who will understand your frustrations and accomplishments. For my writing, I have a local group I meet with face-to-face and an online group of hope*writers who have taught me so much about all things writing. Being a lone ranger is hard. And absolutely no fun.
- Be teachable. Every rejection I receive, I think of as a learning opportunity—how can I improve my craft, be gracious, get back up on that horse, select another place to submit. When I stop being teachable, I’m hanging up my pen.
- Keep moving forward. Needless to say, the past six years I have not been twiddling my thumbs and pining for The Glass Bottom Boat to make a splash. There have been other books, articles, and projects I have immersed myself in, always moving toward the next one. I like to call it “sanity”.
- Pray like the dickens. As Christians, we have this beautiful line of communication with our Heavenly Father—who knows all and sees all. He cares about our hearts’ desires and offers peace and guidance and joy for the journey. Let’s take Him up on it!
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.” Psalm 24:1-2
Sometimes it helps when I remember how tiny I am and how big God is. That He created the open sea, and my little “boat” is in the very best hands no matter how much it gets tossed around in the waves. He is sovereign. He sees the biggest picture. He is faithful.
And so I am utterly ecstatic to have this book available for the whole wide world to read. Most writers will tell you that it is indeed a long and winding road to publication, one less traveled and not for the faint of heart. But when you have a message to share—be it fact or fiction—you simply can’t keep it to yourself.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Maya Angelou
And if you want to see the result of my six years hard labor, The Glass Bottom Boat—my Christian romantic suspense novel, is available NOW! It’s on Amazon as an ebook, and next week the paperback will be there, too. You can check out the book trailer, back page blurb, links, and all the things HERE!
P.S. Love reading? Need inspiration? I have my 20 Fiction Favorites listed with reviews for you right HERE!
Linking up with some fabulous encouragers! Check them out:
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