At the end of the day, Thanksgiving 2015, we left the family gathering—my husband, my daughter, my son-in-law, and my twenty-month-old grandson—and headed for the hospital. What a better way to celebrate the holiday than to give thanks for a new life brought into the world.
No—not my daughter this time! Ana’s friend had become a new mother, and our close friends had become first-time grandparents that morning. We called ahead, not wanting to intrude on anyone needing rest, but were told they wanted us there.
As the new parents expressed concerns about their roles and being bombarded with advice from well-meaning friends and family members, Ana and Shawn looked at them and offered these wise words. “Do what feels right for you and your baby.”
As months passed, I heard several times how much those simple words still meant to the new parents. By accepting the freedom to make their own choices—instead of trying to follow a variety of opinions on how to raise their child—they were saved from going crazy.
What has this to do with writing?
It’s important—valuable—to glean what we can from those who have more experience. We can learn from their mistakes and gain helpful knowledge. But, at the end of the day, we still need to do what feels right for us.
There was a time when I thought I would never self-publish. You know the saying. Never say never. So, here I am, going down the indie path with a debut novel. Sarah’s Smile, the first book in The Daughters of Riverton series, is being released on October 14.
How did I get here?
I sought traditional publishing for years, and some publishers and agents seemed interested. Requests for manuscripts were made, but rejections followed.
A respected agent lost my manuscript and asked me to send it again—twice—over the course of a year. Then she dropped communication. I felt so discouraged. I’m a “doer,” and I’m also kind of a control freak, so the thought of leaving my publication hopes in the hands of other people felt unsettling. At the same time, indie publishing was becoming a reputable avenue.
Then two years ago, my husband and I started talking about self-publishing. What would that look like? What would it take to become an indie author? I was already freelance editing, so I had experience in running a small business. But to pay people to edit, proofread, and design covers? Spend money with no guarantee that we’d break even?
I knew without a doubt it was the path I was to take after my husband and I prayed about the decision and he felt complete peace about moving forward. At first I was shocked. He’s always so careful about budgets and making sure money is well-spent. But his confidence gave me what I needed to jump in. We agreed we had to view indie-publishing as something more than possible income—we had to embrace it as a ministry—a calling.
Some may choose traditional publishing. Some may choose indie-publishing. Others may want to live in both worlds as a hybrid. Regardless, there are decisions to make in terms of platform, marketing, website formats, blogs, social media, etc. etc. etc.
So, whatever you choose . . . do what feels right for you.
In 1902, Sarah McCall is waiting to leave for the mission field when the man she once loved steps back into her life. Abandoned as a child by her mother and gambler father, she strives to overcome a tarnished history she didn’t create and a heartbreak she can’t forget.
Peter Caswell returns to his Wisconsin hometown a pastor, dedicated to his four-year-old daughter and new congregation. But no matter how hard he tries to move on with his life, he can’t forgive himself for his wife’s death.
When Sarah learns that Peter is returning to Riverton, the letter giving her departure date for Africa can’t come soon enough for her. They were best friends—she loved him and supported his dreams—but he married another and broke her heart. Although ten years have passed since he left Riverton, Peter hopes Sarah still cares enough to give him a second chance. But a charming newcomer pursues her affections—and Sarah’s childhood nemesis manipulates her way into Peter’s life. Will Sarah and Peter find their way to forgiveness and each other, or will past mistakes make a life together impossible?
BOOK CLUB MEMBERS: You’ll find 20+ questions included for discussion and reflection.
Releases October 14 on Amazon in paperback and e-book. E-book available for pre-order now.
Dawn Kinzer has been published in the Christian Fiction Online Magazine, the Backyard Friends magazine, The One Year Life Verse Devotional, and A Joyful Heart: Experiencing the Light of His Love, and featured on the radio ministry, The Heartbeat of the Home. Sarah’s Smile is the first book in her Daughters of Riverton series.
A mom and grandmother, she lives with her husband in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Favorite things include dark chocolate, cinnamon, popcorn, strong coffee, good wine, the mountains, family time, and Masterpiece Theatre.
Find out more about Dawn and her books by visiting: