Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Exciting Announcement

Celebrate with us! This is my 100th post for Healthy and Hopeful. Photo cour-
tesy of Melinda Phillips at our Nantahala Stay-cation 2013. Food and wine by
David Haley. From this place, on this weekend, did this blog originate.
The sound machine stopped raining, and David's alarm went off. As I do every morning, I reached to the phone on my nightstand:


Before I reveal their contents, please allow me to explain the context in which I received them....

* * *

Thomas Nelson Publishers requested and published Barren among the Fruitful as part of the InScribed Collection. It was an exciting time that ultimately ended in my own and other authors' heartbreak.*

As David and I left Colorado in 2015, I was professionally rudderless and wounded. I found myself in a new place I knew could become my lifelong home, but where I could not envision my professional future. I prayed for direction and peace.

I carried with me from Denver one particular enduring friendship with Stephanie. We were coauthoring a manuscript based on her experiences as a news anchor with the aim of encouraging young women to find success and contentment not in worldly achievements but in their relationships with God. But our work had begun to feel like a pipe dream as I returned to my years of freelance proofing, editing, and ghostwriting. The only yes we'd had was from a vanity publisher who would print our book as long as we paid a ridiculous sum for him to do so. Stephanie had a publicist who was still shopping our book to traditional publishers, but I was just jaded enough to assume that would fizzle to nothing.

To pull myself out of the melancholy, I decided to abandon writing (unless I could help my friend), and I signed up for a class at the local college that would result in my contractor's license. David and I agreed--it was time to start a new chapter of our lives. I would take my love of and skills in restoration and become a residential contractor, if for no other reason than to work confidently on our own house.

* * *

Those 2 e-mails were a full stop to our new plans.

The first was a very polite rejection letter for our coauthored book. It was more than polite--it was helpful. The acquisitions editor who wrote it took the time to explain why our book wasn't a fit for their publisher, and she offered some suggestions. This is practically unheard of; writers are typically lucky to receive even a form letter of rejection.

The second email was from the same acquisitions editor, but sent only to me. She had "cyber stalked" me after receiving our book proposal based on my bio and curriculum vitae. She wondered what my plans were for a follow-up to Barren and asked to chat.

I was shocked. Thrilled. Nervous. This had all come about because of Stephanie's efforts to get our book published, but now I had a publisher coming directly to me. As soon as David got out the door to work, I called Stephanie. She answered the phone in her usual energetic way that makes even saying "hello" a challenge! She agreed with me that the rejection was so nice--even encouraging. But she went on to say, "The whole time I was reading about what they are looking for in their authors, I kept thinking, They just need to sign Amanda!"

"Well, Stephanie, as a matter of fact..." I told her about the other email. She was (and continues to be) over-the-moon thrilled for me.

So here is the exciting announcement: I have indeed signed with Harvest House Publishers for my next book. I will turn over my manuscript on June 30, 2018, and the book will be published Summer 2019. Its title is tentative, but its contents are not. I'll tell you all about it in my next post...

*Since I wrote that blog post, the InScribed Collection has been rebooted with new authors.

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