Friday, November 26, 2010

My Journey to Publication by Mae Nunn

This holiday weekend, we focus on our many blessings and give thanks. We’re filled with gratitude because we believe in a God who knows what is best for us not only as spouses, parents, children, friends, and employees—but also as writers. Today, author Mae Nunn shares how He led her in her own journey to publication. Welcome, Mae!

My Journey to Publication

About a dozen years ago I finished a wonderful book with a deceptively simple concept and thought to myself, I can do that. In fact, I knew of a guy with a pretty incredible survival story and thought he'd make a unique hero. So, I signed up for a continuing education class on writing romance novels. Two years down the road I'd written a couple hundred pages of back story and had no idea how to move to the next level. That's when I heard about Romance Writers of America. Through RWA I found Georgia Romance Writers where I met coaches for my craft and sisters to encourage me. It was at a GRW meeting that I pitched to a Harlequin editor who asked to see a few chapters of my book.

It took six months but the editor eventually asked for my full manuscript. I got it in the mail right away and resumed my wait. Six more months passed and in order to get a fifteen minute appointment with that same editor I traveled two thousand miles to attend a the RWA national conference in Denver. Alas, my manuscript hadn't yet made it to the top of her slush pile. She asked me to check back with her in three months. Three months came and went. I inquired politely (Polite protocol is a must!) and she apologized for the delay and asked for another thirty days to read my submission.

By this time it was the fall of 2002. One night in my church community group meeting we talked about areas in our lives where we were holding out on God. That night I confessed to my friends that I knew God had a plan for my writing, but I wanted to go in a different direction first and that if it didn't work out I'd try it His way. (Feel free to laugh out loud at me here.) One of the women in my group looked at me like I'd just sprouted a horn in the middle of my forehead. "You have a word directly from God on your writing and you're ignoring it?" And at that moment I saw the absurdity of my approach to getting published.

The next day I called the editor and asked her to return my manuscript and allow me to rewrite it as an inspirational romance. I also boldly asked her to give my submission priority once I returned it. She not only agreed to my request she actually encouraged me toward the Love Inspired line because it was expanding. I spent three months rewriting a book that I'd already worked on for four years! But I eventually resubmitted and settled in to wait. Good to her word, the editor called me a month later and said she loved the story! But… there's always a “but” isn't there? But the New York editorial staff had just been reorganized and she was no longer able to buy for Love Inspired. Before I could work up a good scream, she hurried on to thank me for being so patient with her and for working so hard on the rewrite, and she offered to submit it directly to the Executive Editor of Steeple Hill along with a letter of introduction.

Picture me sitting at my desk on 3/13/03 at 3:00 when THE CALL came. It was Joan Marlow Golan on the line. For Joan that phone call was all in a day's work. For me it was a life-changing experience. Nothing much can ever compare to the sheer elation of hearing that my first book was SOLD! Talk about being rewarded for accepting and following the call on my writing! Since that fateful day in March of 2003 I’ve written seven more books for Steeple Hill and the editor who originally asked me to submit my manuscript is now my editor as well as the Senior Editor of Love Inspired! The take-aways of my story; OBEY THE HOLY SPIRIT, work hard at your craft, be patient, be flexible and be thankful! Until we meet again, let your light shine!

Mae Nunn grew up in Houston and graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in Communications. When she fell for a transplanted Englishman living in Atlanta she moved to Georgia and made an effort to behave like a Southern Belle. But when she found that her husband was quite agreeable to life as a Born Again Texan, Mae happily returned to her cowgirl roots and cowboy boots! In 2008 Mae retired from 30 years of corporate life to focus on her career as a Christian author. When asked how she felt about writing full time for Steeple Hill, Mae summed her response up with one word, “Yeeeeeha!” Visit Mae at

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