The release date of my mid-grade novel, Whispers from Forbidden Earth, is fast approaching. WOOT! The journey has been VERY long and now that the culmination is approaching, how do I feel? Ecstatic? Nervous?
As a professing Christian, I look at many aspects of life through the lens of my faith, a lens that is a bit foggy at times. Here’s what I mean. First, I believe everyone is born with talents and gifts to use in life. Clear-cut. Second, I believe God guides our steps. That’s where the fog roles in.
I am thankful to the folks at Helping Hands Press for seeing the potential in my story and agreeing to work with me. But, this is not the way I envisioned it. I’m sure most first-time authors dream of landing an agent and signing a six-figure contract with a major imprint for the next blockbuster novel. I did.
Facing the daunting, mind-numbing, maddening subjective world of publishing, and after receiving 14 “Dear author, sorry your work doesn’t meet our needs. Best of luck.” rejection letters from agents, I decided to submit to HHP after the success of others in my critique group. I know 14 rejections barely scratch the surface. But, with agents rejecting 99.5% of everything they see, and hearing stories of first-time authors being rejected 30, 50, 100 times, I wasn’t willing to spend a year or so playing the game. A part of me feels at peace going with a small press, but another part wonders what could have been. I made the decision, though. For better or for worse, I made the decision, and I have to trust the path before me is the correct one.
A year ago this week, I embarked on a vacation of a lifetime. I, along with two close friends, participated in a seven-day rafting trip through the Grand Canyon with Western River Expeditions. OK, what does this have to do with writing? Be patient. :-) It was the most unbelievable experience. For seven days, I witnessed the power of the Colorado River. I saw a glorious ecosystem unimaginable from the small glimpses most visitors get from the South or North Rim.
Now to tie the threads together. Rafting the Grand Canyon was my decision. People have died rafting there. Many people. One young woman drowned just a couple of weeks after my trip. The risks never entered my mind. This was a trip I’d wanted to take for so long, nothing would stop me. Right before we shoved off on the river, our head guide gave one final warning to the sixteen guests on the raft: If anyone has second thoughts about the trip, get off NOW. Once we start, there’s no way out or back for seven days.
I faced the unknown on that trip and had a blast doing it. I trusted our guides. I trusted their skill and experience. I trusted them with my life. I was nearly tossed from the raft on Lava Falls rapid, but man, what a ride. Enjoy the pics!