Writers talk a lot about all the different stars and planets that have to align to get a book published: the right project—well written–to the right agent and the right publisher at the right time—all wrapped up in God’s perfect timeline. All those things are absolutely true.
But there is one more element that is equally important, sometimes the one ingredient that can make all the difference: the right editor. I am blessed to have one of those.
Back in 2004, I thought my time as a writer had finally “arrived.” I’d written lots of articles, accumulated an impressive stack of rejection letters, and had finally sold both a non-fiction parenting book and Angel Falls, a novel. We were in the midst of final edits when things went awry.
The publisher changed their editorial direction and requested significant changes to Angel Falls. So Ramona Richards–the company’s freelance editor I’d been working with–and I went to work. When the publisher asked for still more changes, we made more. Finally, I realized if I kept going, I’d have to rip the heart and soul out of the story. It wouldn’t be the same story at all. I talked it over with Ramona and my agent and with a heavy heart, I said no. The deal was nixed.
To say I was discouraged would be like calling a hurricane a drizzle. I cried. Couldn’t write. I finally realized I had to get out of my house before I lost what little was left of my mind. I became a boat captain-and love it! I’ve found I need that balance between outside around people and inside my writing cave to keep me happy and creative.
Since I’m a writer at heart, the stories eventually pulled me back. I wrote Trapped and sold it to a small press. But Angel Falls was still the book of my heart.
Several years ago, I heard that Ramona had taken a job with Abingdon Press. I figured it was a long shot that she’d remember Angel Falls—do you KNOW how many stories an editor reads every year? But I mailed it to her anyway.
Ramona hadn’t forgotten. One day she emailed me to see if Angel Falls was still available. That SAME day, the manuscript arrived on her desk. Talk about God’s timing!
Another 1 ½ years went by as she championed the story with Abingdon. Then came the email that began, “I know you thought this day would never come…” Fast forward another year, and Angel Falls is now available! I couldn’t be more grateful or excited.
My best advice? Go to conferences. Get to know the editors. That way, when your right project meets up with the right editor and God’s perfect timing, you’ll be ready.
Thank you, God. And thanks, Ramona, from the bottom of my heart.
And thank you, Connie, for sharing this amazing story about the journey of Angel Falls. I’m so excited for you, and this is a great story of perseverance for writers who wonder if “the call” will ever come. Find the editor/agent who loves your book and they will champion it for you.
Thanks being with us today, Connie!
Readers, Connie Mann loves stories of suspense, adventure and second chances. She offers encouragement to busy women on her blog: www.BusyWomenBigDreams.com and is an active member of Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers. She’s also a USCG-licensed boat captain, so when she’s not writing, she’s usually on Central Florida’s waterways with local school children or her fabulous family. Please visit her online at: www.conniemann.com. And don’t forget to check out her new book Angel Falls at:
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