Have you ever seen something with your own eyes and still couldn’t believe it? That’s the way I feel when I look at this book cover and see my name down there at the bottom. I'm beyond thrilled to be included in this collection with eight fantastic ladies whose writing I love.
Since I'm bursting to tell you, here’s a little about my novella:
Collection: Of Rags and Riches Romance Collection: Nine Stories of Poverty and Opulence During the Gilded Age
Title: For Richer or Poorer
Setting: Newark, New Jersey, 1885
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
Release Date: July 2017
In order to bring her starving family to New Jersey, Polish immigrant Marcella Lipski must marry wealth, so she takes Americanization lessons from the poor-but-mysterious cart driver teaching her English--and loses her heart in the process.
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
I’m awestruck, y’all. When I see this lovely cover put together by Barbour Publishing’s fabulous marketing team, I blink and stare and whisper, “God, did you really do this for me?”
Oh, yes He did.
And here’s how it came about…
Last year, in September, I attended the American Christian Fiction Writers conference for the first time. Nervous as a country mouse can be in an international airport hotel in Dallas, TX, I sat at a small table across from an empty chair and awaited the editor who I had signed up to meet so I could tell her about my novel. Was I crazy? What kind of imposter did I think I was, a nobody in such a big place, dreaming I could talk to an editor at my dream publishing house? As if I was a real writer or something.
I waited. And waited. And my editor didn’t arrive due to a small miscommunication in the scheduling department. Another lovely author, Gabrielle Meyer, whom I had met a day or two before while stalking my favorite authors in the hotel hallways, sat a couple tables away from me, waiting for her own editor to arrive. Thankfully, Gabrielle took pity on me, probably because I looked ready to crawl under the table. We talked about the stories we were hoping to publish, and all the while I was slightly distracted, trying to figure out how to get my hair to curl like hers. (You have great hair, Gabe, lol!)
Fast forward a month to when my family and I vacationed for a week on a beautiful wooded mountain top in Virginia with the leaves in full color. I had just met a lady whose parents were immigrants from Poland and had a story idea percolating in my brain while my Dad spent the week reading my latest full length historical manuscript.
I drove to the top of the mountain to check my email, hoping to hear back from one of the agents I had submitted to after the writing conference. Whaddya know, but Gabrielle had emailed me asking if I wanted to throw in an idea for her new novella collection proposal. I hadn’t checked my email in a week, and the deadline to submit an idea was a week away! Five days and nights of brainstorming, writing, editing, proofreading, and precious little sleep later, I sent off my idea to Gabrielle with a sigh and a prayer.
After we signed the contracts (in July of this year), it hit me that the Lord had done some pretty sweet things with this collection. Not only will I become published before I turn 30 (my original goal was 18, but the He knew I wasn’t ready), debuting in a collection with eight other authors will help some of my marketing anxieties, and I’m publishing with some of my writer heroes like Erica Vetsch, who is extremely awesome by the way, and if you haven’t read any of her stories you should stop everything and pick up one of her books--after you say hey in the comments here. :D Erica's a three-time finalist for the 2016 Carol Awards and won overall in the novella category with her story A Bride for Bear. Another writer-hero in the collection is Kathleen Y’Barbo, whose stories I have loved since I was a young teen, AND whose novella I was reading when I decided to try writing my first chapter book and titled it after a phrase in one of her stories. I could go on about the rest of these ladies, some of whom have befriended me on various writerly sites online, and others whom I met last month at the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference. It's a small world when you have a big God.
I'm mindful that innumerable prayers—mine, yours, and others’—have gone into this writing journey, and I am immensely grateful, moved at the support of so many kindred hearts. I’m blessed to see how God has used this adventure to bring us together and look forward to sharing the cover of lots more books with you! For His glory!
I'm very late announcing this, because the winners should now have their books already, but the winner of a paperback copy of A Heart Most Certain is Amanda T. The winner of the Barbour romance collection e-book is Halita Wilson. Congrats winners!