Friday, March 30, 2012

My Journey to Publication by Roseanna M. White

One of the things I love about Fortifying Fridays here on Seriously Write is that we provide opportunities for authors to share their personal journeys to publication. It’s inspiring and encouraging to learn that we not only have similar experiences along the way, but that each path is still different. God has a unique plan for all of us. Today, author Roseanna M. White shares her journey. Enjoy! ~ Dawn

My Journey to Publication
by Roseanna M. White

It was a Tuesday morning. My kids had spent the night with my mother-in-law the night before, and she’d just dropped them off so I could take them to Story Time at the library. I had the bag of books ready to take back, so grabbed it and my purse and rushed the kids out to the car, got them buckled in. At which point I realized I’d forgotten my car keys—so I rushed back to the door. Which my husband had locked behind us, and I’d just left my house keys in the car. Argh! A second dash up and back—though of course, hubby heard me and now had the door unlocked. He started to open it for me, then turned to the ringing phone.

I stepped inside just as he said, “It’s your agent.”

My agent? My pulse, already raised from those dashes up and down the driveway, jerked up a couple more notches. I took the phone, answered. And heard, “Are you sitting down?”

“I am now,” I said, sinking onto the step-stool in front of the sink.

“Well, it’s finally happened! Summerside has bought Annapolis.”

I think my response was something along the lines of “Glory hallelujah!” But I can’t be sure, I was in such shock, LOL. I listened in a daze as she went through the contract points with me, half my mind worrying about the fact that the kids were still in the car, parked in the garage. Hubby soon took care of that worry and pulled the car around for me, but let me just tell you—the giddiness to follow made it mighty hard to sit still during Story Time. ;-)

See, it had been a lot of long, hard years leading up to that phone call. I finished my first novel at 13, my second at 16, two at 18, and 8 in the four years of college. I’d attended conferences, I’d honed my craft. I formed a critique group, I’d even helped my husband launch a publishing company. But I’d begun to think that God’s will for me must not be a big publisher. Begun to think that He must want me devoting all my time and attention to WhiteFire Publishing.

And after years of fighting Him on that, I had finally said, “Okay, God. If that’s what You want, okay. Help me flourish here.”

Then that morning in March, I saw where the Lord had been leading me all along. After a rejection from Summerside on a contemporary idea, He’d opened the door for a historical, which was where my passion truly lies. And in the year since then, He’s also followed up another rejected-contemporary that Harvest House was considering with a three-book historical deal that will begin next January.

When I look back on this long journey, I sometimes can’t believe that it’s been 15 years since I first typed “then end” in a book, sent out my first queries. Only five since I got really serious about it and began going to conferences and investing in my would-be career, but still. That’s a lot of years of work, a lot of exploring my voice, my preferences, my niche. A lot of years of wondering, “How long, Lord? How long?”

But oh, how blessed I am to sit here now and see that this, now is what He planned for me all along. Now I get to help my husband’s dream-company grow. I get to write for two other wonderful houses too. I’ve signed with a fabulous agent and am building the career I’ve prayed for, for so very long. And I thank Him for all those rejections. Because they led me straight to the place He wanted me, and where I’ve always yearned to be.

Roseanna M. White grew up in the mountains of West Virginia, the beauty of which inspired her to begin writing as soon as she learned to pair subjects with verbs. She spent her middle and high school days penning novels in class, and her love of books took her to a school renowned for them. After graduating from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, she and her husband moved back to the Maryland side of the same mountains they equate with home.

Roseanna is the author of two biblical novels, A Stray Drop of Blood and Jewel of Persia, both from WhiteFire Publishing (, Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland from Summerside Press, and the upcoming Culper Ring Series from Harvest House beginning in January 2013.

She is the senior reviewer at the Christian Review of Books, which she and her husband founded, the senior editor at WhiteFire Publishing, and a member of ACFW, Christian Authors Network, HisWriters, and Colonial American Christian Writers.

To learn more about Roseanna, please visit


  1. Thanks so much for having me on the blog, ladies!

  2. I love hearing these stories! So encouraging!

    1. So glad it's encouraging to you, Susie!

  3. Great to have you here, Roseanna! Thanks for sharing your inspiring story. :D

  4. Yes, thank you for the encouragement, the inspiration and the reminder that God is in control -- even of our writing journey. ;)

    1. Indeed He is, though it often takes our eyes a looooong while to see it! =)

  5. Awesome testimony, Roseanna. Thanks for sharing your journey. Congrats!

    1. Thanks, Dora! Definitely exciting times, after years of hoping. =)

  6. Our pleasure to have you here, Roseanna!


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