But there is something to seeing your own words in print on paper.
It’s kinda old fashioned in this high tech world, I know, but I am forty now.
I am pleased to announce . . . drum roll . . . my first BOOK! “Heaven Help Us,” is now available for pre-order HERE!
After a decade of writing, reading, attending workshops, submitting, getting rejected, writing, getting rejected, writing, being encouraged, being rejected, getting down, giving up, and bouncing back, one day out of the blue I got an amazing email:
From: Covenant Publications
Subject: Manuscript submission
Date: July 8, 2011 10:48:26 AM MDT
To: Kari Rich
Congratulations! We have officially accepted your manuscript for publication! We would like to have it in the bookstores in March 2012 as a part of our Mother’s Day line.
We love this book. What funny stories! We’re convinced the book will be an incredible addition to the market.
Again, congratulations, and welcome to the Covenant family!
With warm regards,
Managing Editor – Covenant Publications
At first, I thought it was spam.
I thought for sure some master internet con man named Babala Waseem had hacked into my email and been stalking my hopes and dreams. As soon as I excitedly responded to the email I would be sucked into buying stock in a belly dancer co-op.
Eventually I was able to be convinced it was not a scam, or a computer virus, or a gambling ring and I let myself accept the fact that dreams really can come true.
Someone who didn’t love me or even know me really liked my words – well, most of them.
Having a manuscript accepted is just the beginning of the publishing process. I began working with an editor to tweak and clean up my writing.
This is hard work, especially because I have an aversion to any kind of cleaning.
Any suggestions my editor had for grammar, spelling, punctuation and formatting I completely trusted. The hard part was accepting the changes and rearranges in content and meaning. It’s difficult to have a stranger alter your unique creative expressions.
It’s like a doctor saying, “We’re going to go in and cut out your liver and put it where your heart used to be.”
And you say, “Where did my heart go?”
And the doctor says, “What does that matter to you?”
The truth is, the occupational hazard of blogging is that it can skew your perspective. Blogging can make you think every thought, word, and expression you have is a golden nugget worthy of display. Anyone can blog, so anyone does. There’s no editor going over personal blog entries before you put it out there for the world to read. My husband thinks this is a great tragedy, especially in my case.
But, after poking enough holes in my inflated ego through the editing process, I humbly (mostly) conceded on most changes. I figured it was probably best not to buck too much right out of the chute.
Editors are smart people and they know their audience and market. The end product was good.
Just when I thought I would get to say, “Fire up the presses!” I was thrown another creative curve ball.
I was informed the official “Title Committee” had come up with a title for my book.
My book already had a title. It’s the words on the front page of my manuscript – known as the “Title Page” – in big bold capital letters above my name. I thought long and hard and squeezed every last creative juice in my cranium to come up with just the right combination of words to cleverly represent the genius in the pages that followed. Am I not entitled to choose the few and precious words that represent my creative soul?
It’s like a doctor saying, “You’ve given birth to a beautiful baby boy!”
And you say, “Awesome! I’m going to name him Scott.”
And the doctor says, “No. I’ve decided to name him Babala Waseem.”
Title Committee members are smart people and they know their audience and market. I humbly (mostly) compromised and we came up with a title that worked for everyone in the delivery room.
Next came the cover art.
I had to put my complete trust in them for this part.
Very difficult for me. I am not naturally a very trusting person because I know what I do when I think no one is watching.
The cover is the first thing people see. It’s the bling that sells the babbling. It’s the first impression. The first date.
What if a reader comes to pick me up and when I smile there’s a big green goober in my teeth?
I didn’t want a big-green-goober-in-my-teeth cover.
I wanted the supermodel smile cover.
I got the supermodel smile cover.
Without even knowing it, my brilliant creative publishing team chose one of my all-time favorite pieces of art for the cover: James Christensen’s “The Responsible Woman.”
Several years ago Jason gave me a limited edition signed canvas print of that very painting for my birthday. It’s one of my favorite possessions. It hangs in my office and I look at it every day as I work, and play, and juggle, and laugh, and cry, and write about trying to be a responsible woman.
The image perfectly encapsulates the creative soul of this book.
Thank you Covenant Publications for believing in me, for taking a chance on me, and for putting up with me through this process. I know it’s no small thing to be plucked out of the obscurity of the towering slush pile and be given the opportunity to see your dream become reality.
I am not entitled, I am honored.
So pick it up people! Read it! Give it as gifts! Share it with friends! Take it to book club! Use it as a coaster or to fix an uneven table leg! I don’t care, just buy it so the wonderful people at Covenant will know they did not suffer for nothing.