Friday, April 5, 2013

My Journey to Publication by Julie Klassen

Julie Klassen
I became one of Julie Klassen’s many admirers after reading The Girl in the Gatehouse. I’m so happy she’s here today, sharing her personal journey to publication. Her story is another example of how God gives each of us our own path to follow.  
 ~ Dawn


My Journey to Publication

My road to publication was greatly impacted by the fact that I worked for Bethany House Publishers.

I began in their advertising department (that’s what my degree is in). But when I was expecting my second child, and contemplating staying home, Bethany House offered me a job in editorial (which I could do primarily from home). They had recognized my editorial “eye” because I had volunteered to do everything from reviewing manuscripts on my own time to abridging audio books. (If you’re ever asked to do something above and beyond your normal responsibilities, don’t say “that’s not my job.” You never know what doors it may open for you!”)

As an editor, I had the blessing and privilege of working with several talented authors over the years, like Michael Phillips, Deeanne Gist, Davis Bunn, Lisa Wingate, and Beverly Lewis. I loved getting to know the authors personally, and doing whatever I could to help them strengthen their manuscripts. Of course, the experience taught me a great deal about writing and crafting novels. (Though there is always more to learn.)

I had always wanted to be an author, but for most of the years I worked at Bethany House, I kept that dream a secret. I was a “closet writer.”

Over a year or two, in fits and starts, I wrote the majority of an historical novel, but didn’t quite finish it. Then, when my husband was laid off for nearly two years, I decided This just might be a good time to finally finish it!

I did, but then found myself in a bit of a quandary. Bethany House was my hoped-for publisher. But since I worked with the people who would be reviewing my novel, I wasn’t sure whether submitting it there would be a good idea. I confided privately to my boss who wisely advised me to submit it under a pseudonym so that if it was accepted, it would be done so objectively. And I was thinking, Yeah, and if they think it’s ridiculous, which they probably will, then I can still show my face at work the next day! Thankfully, they liked it and wanted to publish it (Lady of Milkweed Manor, Dec. 2007). After that, the cat was out of the bag and I’ve been edited just as much as I ever edited anyone else. It was an eye-opening experience to be on the receiving end of the red pen!

Becoming published was a lifelong dream come true. I continued to edit part-time for several years while writing a book a year.

As of June 2011, with several more novels published, I hung up my red pen to become a full-time writer. I am so thankful to be doing what I’ve always believed God wired me to do, and for His glory. But I will always be grateful for my years at Bethany House that paved the way.

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. ~ Ephesians 2:10




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JULIE KLASSEN love all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in Christian publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. Three of her books have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. She also won the Midwest Book Award for Genre Fiction and been a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards and ACFW’s Carol Awards. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in near St. Paul, Minnesota. 

For more information, visit www.julieklassen.com.



14 comments:

  1. Isn't it amazing how God uses painful circumstances to bring about changes in our lives? What if you'd not been obedient to His whisper to finish your book? Thank you for sharing your journey, Julie.

    What a lovely cover for The Tutor's Daughter!

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    1. I agree, Dora. I LOVE the cover for The Tudor's Daughter.

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    2. You're welcome, Dora. And glad to hear you like the cover. I think the designer does a great job.

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  2. I loved The Girl in the Gatehouse and The Apothecary's Daughter. The rest are on my wish list.

    It is amazing that we never know where God will lead us.

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    1. Thanks Sandra. Glad to hear you enjoyed two of my novels. (Gatehouse is one of my favorites as well.) Hope you enjoy the others when you have a chance.

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  3. What a great story, and I admire that you didn't use your connections to get "in the door," rather, relied on your talent! I have to get one of your books sometime, Julie--I've heard nothing but glowing reviews for them!

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    1. Thanks, Heather. Yes, looking back, I'm sure glad my boss advised me to go that route. Hope you'll read one of my books sometime. Let me know if you do!

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  4. Julie, I have read all your books and have no favorites because I loved all of them!! God bless you.

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    1. Thanks, Donna. And you were there when it all happened!

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  5. I can hardly wait to read this. So excited.

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  6. That's an awesome story. We never do know the doors God will open. And I love that you submitted under a pseudonym. What was your pseudonym? Or is Julie Klassen it? ;)

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    1. I remember I used the name Jane. I think it was Jane Kalen or something along those lines. Thanks for asking!

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  7. Thanks for sharing your story, Julie! I love how God opened those doors for you. And I've really enjoyed reading your books!

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