On Fortifying Fridays, we provide opportunities for authors to share their personal journeys to publication. It’s inspiring and encouraging to learn that we not only have similar experiences along the way, but that each path is still different. God has a unique plan for all of us. Today, author Lynda Lee Schab shares her journey. Enjoy!
by Lynda Lee Schab
I don’t admit this to everyone, but I’m 43 years old. I will admit to just about anyone that I have always dreamed of being a published novelist. The thing I don’t like to admit is that it took about half of those 43 years for me to achieve that dream.
But, sometimes—no, most of the time—it’s not so much about achieving the dream as it is about getting there.
I submitted my first work for publication at age twenty. Despite a couple of people who discouraged me by telling me not to get my hopes up, I ended up with three greeting cards published. I went on to submit to magazines, and among the many rejections, somehow managed to get a few articles published, too. But my passion—my dream—was to write a novel.
Then kids happened. And my manuscript, along with my dream, got shelved for a few years while I took care of my family.
Then my kids grew up. At least, “up” enough to fend for themselves. I knew it was time to reach for my dream. But before I did, I needed to hone my skill. Yes, I had some raw talent, but that wouldn’t be enough. Since I’d never taken any writing classes, I needed to learn some writing “rules,” and connect with more seasoned writers I could glean from.
I joined writing sites. Entered contests. Started a blog where I featured other authors. Continued to freelance. And I started that book. Because the dream of becoming a published author was stronger than ever. Two years later, I typed The End.
In 2010, I signed with my agent, Terry Burns, of Hartline Literary Agency. “Finally!” I thought. “Now I’ll realize my dream of becoming a published novelist!”
But almost a year and a half went by with rejection after rejection from publishers. They liked my voice, and the story, but “lits” (my book is a “Mom lit” style) were not what they were looking for. I had many frustrated moments. Times when I expected an email from my agent telling me he’d exhausted all avenues and was dropping me as a client. Times when I asked God why He wasn’t making it happen for me.
And then, this past June, 2011, I got “the call” informing me that OakTara had offered me a contract. And I said, “Quick, send it to me before they change their mind!”
So here I am. My first novel, Mind over Madi, was released on November 15, 2011, a whole 23 years after submitting my first piece of writing. Looking back, I think—no, I know—I needed every minute of those 23 years to prepare me for this moment. I could spend my time wishing I’d had my first book published ten years ago, like some of the incredible young authors I know. That I was publishing my fifteenth novel instead of my first. But all that would do is fill me with disappointment and regret.
We all have our own dreams. And our own peppered paths to get there.
Today I am blessed to say I’ve finally achieved the dream God dropped in my heart all those years ago. But, even more, I am grateful for the doors He opened, the people I’ve met, and the things I’ve learned along the way.
LYNDA LEE SCHAB got her writing start in greeting cards (Blue Mountain Arts, Dayspring) and from there went on to write articles and short stories (Mature Living, Christian Home & School) and in many places online (including www.Examiner.com and www.wow-womenonwriting.com ), but her passion has always been fiction.
Mind Over Madi, her debut novel, is near and dear to her heart. Lynda admits she has a lot in common with the character of Madi. Not only are they both addicted to ice cream, chocolate, and computer games, they struggle with the same types of insecurities and continually require a hefty dose of God’s grace.
Lynda works behind the scenes at FaithWriters.com and is a member of ACFW. She is a regular book reviewer for FaithfulReader.com and is the Grand Rapids Christian Fiction Examiner and the National Writing Examiner for Examiner.com. Mind Over Madi received Runner-up in the 2007 FaithWriters Page Turner contest, was a finalist in the 2007 RWA Get your Stiletto in the Door contest, and won second place in the 2008 ACFW Genesis contest, Chick Lit category. Lynda lives with her husband, Rob, and two teenagers in Michigan.
To learn more about Lynda, please visit