I understand now, more than ever, why they say publishing a book is like having a baby. I have two human children and am about to become a “book mom” to my second published book. The book, incidentally, that I describe below on the cover reveal day of my first published work, The Truth About Elves.
Just like Elves, In the Heart of the Linden Wood is a piece of my heart. Reviews are starting to come in, and I’m so encouraged and happy with the positive ones. There are other people who, like me, would love to stroll through the Linden Wood and maybe stop to talk to the Keeper for a little while.
I’ve already thought about what I want to write next. Actually, to be perfectly frank, I’m waffling between two ideas. While I’m leaning toward one, I wonder why the other one won’t quite let me go just yet. Maybe I’ll work on both at the same time…? I’ve never done that before, but, then, I’ve never been in this place before, where I can call myself a published author.
It’s a dream come true, to be able to say those words. Next month will be 30 years since I first voiced my wish into the air. Next month is when it comes true a second time.
I can’t wait to see what comes next.
September 14, 2021
In March 2020, I took a deep breath and started querying my first serious novel.
(I say “serious” because in college I wrote a novel that is my drawer manuscript — that is, it’ll always stay there. It taught me a lot about writing and how to stick with a long body of work. It’s not likely something that will ever be published in a mass capacity, however.)
The logline of the book is as follows (a logline is a brief summary that drives straight to the heart of the conflict and often introduces the main characters):
King Christopher of Linden must save the magic trees of his kingdom or lose everything. His quest takes him to a wishing well that makes wishes, not grants them; a house of orphans; and a room of magic paintings. By saving the trees, he just might save himself.
I love this book. It means so much to me, and I still hope it’ll get picked up one day. However, in the process of querying more than 60 agents, I only got one full manuscript request that ultimately turned into a pass. Several agents wrote back notes of encouragement praising my writing. Ultimately they all said the same thing: the book just wasn’t for them.
One of the unique things about writing and anything artistic, though, is that you get to pursue dreams in parallel. If one writing dream doesn’t work out, but if you’re serious about your craft, the chances are high that you’re also pursuing other writing dreams. They may not be of the same magnitude or, dare I say, caliber as the main dream. But they count, nonetheless.
On January 1, 2021, I decided to be an active character in my own writing journey, my own story. I submitted my novella The Truth About Elves to Atmosphere Press. I wrote the first draft of this novella in 2016, and despite moving on to other projects it stayed with me. Curtis, my main character, just refused to be ignored.
In early March 2021 — almost exactly a year after I started querying Linden — Nick Courtright, the head of the company, contacted me to say, yes, they had accepted my book for publication.
Today is the cover reveal of that book.
I am a believer. A dreamer. An author. I still have many stories and dreams to share with you all, but today my dreams have reached a new level.
I’ve achieved some success with short stories and nonfiction pieces. I’ve shared dozens of works in the pursuit of getting better at the craft so I could share my dreams with story lovers everywhere. Today, however, marks something special. And I’m thrilled to share it with you, to remind you, writers, that, yes, dreams do come true. Just keep believing in them and keep working toward them.