Depressed and uncertain about my writing, I happened upon a blog of a fairly new writer who had her first book out in the CBA and was up for the Christy award. On her blog, she mentioned her editor’s blog. So I checked it out. He talked about how the CBA was beginning to reach out to the unchurched to the secular markets. My heart began pounding. I cannot explain it more than that. It was a very powerful visceral experience. I wondered if God was now pulling me in the direction of the CBA. I didn’t jump aboard at that moment because of a feeling but I began praying about it.
I contacted the writer, Deeanne Gist, whom I didn’t even know. She was going to the RWA conference in Atlanta. So was I. Hoping to learn more about the CBA market, I asked if she would mind meeting with me for a cup of coffee. It was truly answered prayer that she responded with a “yes!” We ended up having a two hour lunch where she really encouraged me to attend the ACFW conference in Dallas (my hometown) that coming September.
I can’t explain the fears I felt going to that conference. For some reason, I thought God had brought me through all of this and was just going to tell me at ACFW to quit writing. Well, those fears were ungrounded. In fact, I’m sure they were the Evil One’s attempt to distract, discourage and keep me away. I just prayed for some kind of sign that God wanted me to continue in the direction I was going. The first night of the conference, I was driving home late at night and talking to my husband on my cell phone. He said, “You had a message on the answering machine. Some agent really liked Elvis Takes a Back Seat.”
Agents don’t call unless they’re interested. Seriously. I sent her the full manuscript and it wasn’t long after that when I signed with her. It took a few more months but God really opened the doors! Which is kind of funny because ‘Open Doors’ was the original title of Elvis Takes a Back Seat. And he continues to open doors. I couldn’t have imagined the wonderful support I’d receive from a publishing house. B&H Publishing has been fabulous! My editor, David Webb, has been great. My agent, Natasha Kern, has been a godsend. And it’s all God’s doing!