September 10, 2014

One Big Question Answered

Since publishing God's Will back in May, I have been met with nothing but joy, love and support from friends, family, blogger friends, other "indie" authors and total strangers. As nerve-wracking as it is still for me to talk about my book without tripping over words for lack of confidence in said book, it's been really great and actually a lot of fun having put me the book out there in the great wide world.

A common FAQ about my book and writing endeavors has been this one:

When is the next book coming out? 

I gotta be honest here. I want to shrink back into my proverbial introverted shell when people ask me this. I laugh nervously and quickly quip that the book I'm currently working on needs finished first. This question SO often asked has had me pause and consider. Sometimes I worry about what other people--family, friends, other fabulous indie authors--may think. Other times I instantly inwardly spaz and freak out as to what on earth should I do with my next book?! And more recently, I'm taking deep breathes, letting them out, and re-surrendering my novel{s} into God's hands.

The beauty of writing--I'm trying to be better about claiming this title--of being an author is that I can do whatever the heck I want with my babies books. No longer are we in the dark ages of sending a manuscript ala Jo March to a publishing house only to have it come back rejected, unread. Certainly things have gotten much more complicated in the submission process since the 1800's, but we also have the new and up and coming world of indie authorship to break into and embrace. Social media is also a huge plus in not only marketing your work, but building a platform that an agent/publishing house can look at and take faith in the fact that you have a following and just may be a worthy investment.

I realize I should amend the first sentence in the paragraph above. The beauty of being an author whose work in progress heart is almost as messy as her current novel's first draft is that the Greatest Author leads me. He led me to query God's Will a year and a half ago, to no avail. This past winter He led me to self publish it. Not because I was giving up or feeling defeated that no agent wanted to represent me because of it...but because this novel of my heart is one that is just special. It's just different enough--if you judge it on word count alone--to not technically "fit" into what most agencies are looking for as far as manuscripts. In short--God's Will is the novel that taught me how to write, as I wrote on my "Author's Note" page. I almost wanted to tack onto that: Read with grace! My writing's come a long way since then, thank you Jesus.

My plan for the yet-not-quite-finished Civil War novel is this: once it is polished and edited to my satisfaction, I will write up query letters and have a proposal ready to send out to a myriad of agents. I try not to think I'm jinxing things, because God is all-knowing and sovereign, but I just have a feeling about this book and the six-book series it's a part of. I have a good feeling about it, and as much as The End is taunting me being so close, yet so far--I can't help but feel proud of the story the Lord put on my heart, even though it's still in it's very unpolished state.