Updated: Nov 25, 2020
Most of us writers don’t consider ourselves authors until we sell a piece of work, whether that be an article, a short story, or a novel. I was no different. in the beginning, I had a hard time taking myself seriously as a writer – and I certainly couldn’t call myself an author. When I began selling short stories to online magazines. I made a dollar here, two dollars and fifty cents there. When I graduated to ten dollars and then moved up to thirty-five and even fifty dollars at a time, I began to think I might have something good going. Yet, when people asked what I did for a living I never said, “I’m an author.” Because I wanted to be a novelist and that hadn’t happened yet.
Six years after I decided to pursue writing as a living, I saw a post about a book signing at the local Barnes and Noble that promised multiple children's authors and illustrators. “Huh,” I thought. “We don’t have multiple children's authors and illustrators in Central Oregon.” My curiosity was piqued. I did some stealthy research (just kidding, I Googled) and saw that one of the gals on the list lived in Redmond, Oregon (the next town north of me.) I reached out to her via email and offered my services to prep for the big event. She responded that she didn’t need any more assistance, but graciously invited me to the barbecue she and her husband were hosting for all of the authors, illustrators, and her publisher. I was ecstatic! Finally, I would get to rub elbows with people in my direct field of writing. How exciting. The event was months away, but I put it on my calendar.
And then the life of a writer on submission kicked in and punched me in the face a few too many times and I decided to quit writing. The highs and lows, the constant rejection, the lack of direct support when you live in a small town, it all became too much. I had four young children at home and I needed to be my best self for them. But I had committed to attending the barbecue and book signing, so when the time finally came around, I went. And it was so freeing. I had NO agenda because I had quit my writing gig, so I was attending as an avid reader. At the barbecue and soaked in the different journeys to publication of the authors and illustrators I met. I talked with the publisher for hours about the innovative things she was doing with her publishing house. The night was absolutely lovely. Then the next day, I towed my two youngest children and my husband to the book signing and we bought signed copies of books and visited. Even though I no longer hoped to gain from the experience, I was so happy to have fulfilled that commitment of attending because I had met some wonderful people.
About two months later, I experienced a dawning insight that tied me up in knots. I realized that my novel, The Weaver, would make a great fit for that publishing house. I don’t remember what triggered the thought, but do remember the sinking feeling in my gut. It was such a surety that The Weaver belonged at Guardian Angel Publishing that I knew immediately I was going to have to “get back into writing” again. I couldn’t NOT submit the manuscript I was that confident of the fit. So, I dusted off the Word document, spit on it, polished it, and sent it off. Lynda did reach out pretty quickly, but she didn’t say anything concrete about the manuscript. And then I didn’t hear anything from her for a while. Honestly, it might have been a normal amount of time, but it felt longer to me (it always does, doesn’t it?) And then I was signing a contract. Actually signing a contract for the publication of my first novel.
I’ve considered what it must be like to have the power to change lives like Lynda changed mine. I was a little slow on the uptake with the “write the next novel” thing, but eventually I changed my myopic view of being the author of The Weaver, to being a middle grade and young adult author. Almost two years later, the second book in my Weaver Tale series was published as well as another middle grade book through a different publisher. Then the next year brought the publication of my first young adult book (my most successful book to date, though I’m working on that) and the third book in The Weaver Tale series.
Since then I have self published, published books for adults, taught middle school students about writing and publishing, coordinated a collaborative short story blog, on and on. In just a few months, I will be publishing my 13th book. Lynda’s acceptance freed me to explore new possibilities.
That’s why it’s so sad that this dang pandemic forced her to close her publishing house. She published over 1000 books. Think of all the authors and illustrators she empowered with her acceptance of their work. Think of all the young minds we touched through our stories and our art. That the era of this wonderful publishing house is over, breaks my heart. I’m so thankful to those involved in the Guardian Angel Publishing journey and for breathing life into my Weaver Tale series.
The pandemic also messed me up a bit. I had planned on making 2020 the year of personal appearances. Since there were no book fairs or signings this year, I haven’t sold nearly enough signed copies of books. I would love to send out copies of my books and I would especially love to sell through the last copies of my Weaver Tales books. SO, I'M HAVING A SALE! I only have three one complete series sets each in hardcover and three sets in soft cover, and I have them priced at or below my cost with a small shipping rate for US addresses. I have plenty soft cover copies of The Lumpy Duckling (one of my personal favorites) that I’m letting go at a screaming deal in order to blow out my inventory. The rest of my print books are priced at 25% off, (global shipping rates applied at checkout.)
Sunday Morning Coffee - Live Book Sale 8:30 am Pacific
So, I’ll be going live on Sunday morning to talk more about The Weaver Tales as well as to share a little about my other books and to take orders. Pricing will be heavily discounted through Sunday. After that there will be a lighter discount for a few more days, for those who discover the book sale a little late. And it's only while supplies last. You can read about each book on my website, plus there is a separate store page where you can place your orders. If you want a personal message, drop me an email with your order number and tell me what to write inside each book.
I’m an author. Thanks to Lynda’s initial acceptance, I say it loud and proud now. And because of that, I can’t promise that the Sunday Morning Coffee - Live Book Sale will go smoothly (Facebook is known to be iffy), or that placing an order on my website will be glitch-free. Because none of that technology stuff is my expertise, but I can absolutely promise to do my best to get you what you want, if I have it. That said, you might want to take advantage of the discounts and grab the books while I still have them by placing your order now - just to be safe!
I’d appreciate if you could help me spread the word of my Sunday Morning Coffee - Live Book Sale which will happen on my Facebook page (be sure you've liked it!) by sharing this post and dropping in to say hi on Sunday, so I’m not talking to myself!
I’ll see you then! Or, rather, you’ll see me ;)