We may have experienced God providing opportunities in our writing lives that have confirmed we’re on the right path. Still, when success isn't happening as fast or the way we'd like, we might get discouraged. Author Keisha Bass reminds us today that it’s all in God’s timing. ~ Dawn
In God’s Timing ... My Journey to Publication
by Keisha Bass
Fifteen years. Several rejection letters. And one, “not yet.”
My answer to the above—keep learning, keep writing, and never give up on that dream.
After falling in love with writing short stories in college, I began working on a full women’s fiction manuscript. However, I wasn’t saved at the time and chased drugs while chasing a career as a full-time author. After about two years, I completed my first manuscript and sent the first four chapters to a well-known literary agent in New York. He soon asked for more, so I dropped the rest of the book in the mail to him.
Once he reached “The End,” he called to discuss his distaste for the rest of the manuscript. He explained the first four chapters were well-written and captivating, but the rest of the manuscript needed a lot of work and he declined representation. My spirit fell, but I knew exactly the issue. The first part of my book was written with a sober mind. I finished the rest of the manuscript under the influence of drugs. Had things happened for me at that time in my life, I know I wouldn’t have been able to handle it. And God knew too.
A few years later, by the grace of God, I got saved and clean. I re-wrote the manuscript with a Christian theme, and also completed a memoir about overcoming drug addiction while teaching in the public school system. After hundreds of drafts of query letters and mailing off my proposal to different editors and agents, nothing became of it. But I didn’t fret or worry because I knew God placed the dream in my heart for a reason and He would deliver on His promise. He would work everything out for my good (Romans 8:28).
I continued to work at my craft, joining critique groups and attending conferences and seminars. I needed to do my part so God could do His. One night in my critique group, a fellow writer told me about this fiction conference where I could pitch my work. Nervously excited about the opportunity, I attended the Faith and Fiction retreat in Dallas in 2012 that following weekend.
My five minute pitch to a table of seven editors and agents went smoothly as I felt the Holy Spirit with me and speaking for me. An editor from Urban Christian Books left with my first four chapters. She contacted me a few months later requesting the entire manuscript. And about six months after that, she offered me a two-book contract.
This time around the entire manuscript was written not only with a sober mind, but the mind of Christ. He had to prepare my mind and my heart for the call He placed on my life. He orchestrated every detail from the critique group conversation to the pitch meeting to the contract. Perfect steps in His perfect timing. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Author Keisha Bass shares God’s timing in her journey to publication. Click to tweet.
One answer to rejection letters - keep learning, keep writing, and never give up on that dream. Click to tweet.
If you’re size six, you dance. If you’re Ava Alexander, you watch the purses while your girlfriends dance. Each man that passes her by takes a little of her self-esteem. After escaping a mentally abusive relationship, she promises God she will wait on Him to bring her the right man. And she means it—Until Ishmael. When her best friend’s fiancé throws a few compliments her way, she travels down the path of betrayal. Ava’s choice strains her friendship and sends her into a depression.
Ava receives spiritual guidance from Dr. Glory Moses. Through God’s Word, there is a glimpse of hope for a restored friendship, and a newfound love for the woman she is. In addition, a man she meets at the counseling center offers her a glimpse of what could be if she lines up with God’s will for her life. Will Ava be able to overcome her insecurities and step into the life God plans for her, or will she continue to self-destruct?
Permanent Resident at the Purse Table is Keisha Bass’ first novel. Keisha has published non-fiction articles in magazines and online, and her article, “Heart Problems”, was published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: A Book of Miracles. Keisha is the Vice President of the DFW Ready Writers, a local chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers, and a member of North Texas Christian Writers. She grew up in Houston, Texas, but now resides in Arlington, Texas where she teaches middle school physical education and coaches girls’ sports.
To learn more and connect with Keisha, please visit:
http://www.thepursetable.com/ (book website)www.facebook.com/KeishaBassAuthor