|Jeanette E. Levellie|
For several years, sweet, loyal readers of my newspaper column told me this. I usually answered, “No, I shouldn’t.” Then I’d say, “It takes a galaxy of work and time to write a book, and attempt to get it published.” They’d smile and nod. But I knew they didn’t understand.
Then my son joined the campaign. After reading a column I wrote about the culture shock of moving from L.A. to the Midwest, he said, “Have you ever considered creating a book from some of your best columns, Mom? People seem to like your stories.”
“No,” I nearly shouted, “it may take me ten years to find an agent and get my writing sparkly enough for a publisher to look at.”
He stayed calm. “Well, you’re going to be doing something for the next ten years anyway—you might as well take a stab at it. Then if you don’t find an agent or a publisher, you can self-publish. If you don’t try, you’ll never know what you can do.” I hated to admit it, but he had a point. What did I have to lose?
I began to consider it, even pray about it.
“But Lord,” I mused, “where do I start? I have no idea what to do, who to talk to.” No sooner had I thought that than a sweet lady who lived nearby came to mind. I knew Clella Camp had published a book of devotions a few years earlier. I gathered up my courage and called her.
“You have to go to a conference and meet people,” she said, “and learn to pitch your book idea.” She gave me the website address of a well-known publisher who helped newbies create proposals and pitches. I slaved from June to November, choosing which columns to put in my book, writing my proposal, and creating a one-sheet.
At my first conference, I met the director of a larger conference being held the following summer. I signed up to attend, and for weeks beforehand, I researched the editors and agents on the faculty, planning which ones I’d pitch my book idea to.
Several showed little or no interest, but one agent seeking new clients liked my ideas, and offered me a contract a couple months later.
That was three years, dozens of rejections from publishing houses, and three conferences ago. Last spring I finally published my book, Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top with a small publisher in North Carolina. Although the sales haven’t broken any records, they’ve done well, and I’m planning a second book.
Yes, it was as hard—no, it was harder—than I’d originally thought. But I must admit my son was right when he said, “If you don’t try, you’ll never know what you can do.”
|About the Author|
|Two Scoops of Grace |
by Jeanette Levellie
Two Scoops speaks to the average Christian woman or man needing reassurance of a God who is interested in their hectic, often-frustrating life. They need confidence in their value to God and His kingdom. They long to laugh more, at themselves and their crazy world. The humorous stories and caring suggestions in Two Scoops offer courage, hope and contentment.