Hitting the Publication Trail
by Linda Yezak
My trail ride toward publication is a bit different from other authors. Mine is more of a “right place at the right time” tale.
The ride started out the same as everyone else’s. I made a list of agents I’d like to work with and publishing companies I was interested in, researched them like crazy, sent out my query letters, and waited. And waited. And waited.
As with many other writers, I received my share of rejections. Most of them were form letters primarily along the lines of “not what we’re looking for at the moment,” or “we’re not accepting new clients a present.” I got a rejection from White Rose Publishing that was my favorite–once I licked my wounds. The publisher wrote and let me know the weaknesses of my novel, pointing out various things to improve upon. The fact she’d read the entire submission was a terrific sign. As busy as agents/editors/publishers are, they don’t usually read past the first few pages. This one had read the entire first five chapters (the required submission for her company). Good sign.
I made repairs based on her suggestions, then hit the trail again. Amazingly, the rejection letters I received left me with the warm fuzzies. They liked the book, just couldn’t use it. For most companies, it was too short, measuring less than 60,000 words. For others, my novel didn’t follow the format they preferred. My mistake for not realizing there was a format! Oops!
So, just like everyone else, I submitted, waited, received rejection letters, submitted again. But after I received my last rejection letter, and while I was strolling the slippery slope of giving up, I got involved in an interesting venture. And that’s where my fork in the road to publication occurred.
A few years ago, a new writer joined ChristianWriters.com, a free community site for Christian authors of all kinds. This lady wrote poetry. As a rule, I’m not overly fond of contemporary poetry. I have one favorite, a gnarly Brit with a heart for Christ, and other than his, I don’t generally read poetry. But she wrote a poem in the old style, instead of today’s free verse, that caught my attention, and the content made me laugh out loud long enough and hard enough, my husband had to see what was up. This woman, Chila (Maggie) Woychik, later bought Port Yonder Press and has been wrangling it from its sea of red ink ever since.
Over time, I’d critiqued some of Chila’s work, and she critiqued some of mine. She was fond of my writing style and was very supportive of me. In March or so of 2010, I asked her if she could use some editing help at PYP. She did, and took me on immediately.
While I waited for my rejection letters, I worked for Chila as a consulting editor. So when that last rejection letter came in, and I was inches away from giving up, I asked Chila if she’d be interested in publishing Give the Lady a Ride. She said something akin to, “Are you kidding me? Of course, I’d like to publish it!” Talk about pulling me from the precipice! Her reaction truly was uplifting and encouraging.
After that, it was a wait to get my publication date. The novel was supposed to come out in October of 2011, but something happened and Chila wrote me in late January of this year. “Do you think your book is ready to go?”
“It’s been ready since 2009.” (What was I gonna say--no? It was so ready!)
After a quick review by her other consulting editors, she set me up with a March publication date, and well–as the dreaded cliche goes, the rest is history.
The Lord creates opportunities and nudges us into them. I believe this was one of his nudges!
by Linda Yezak
SkySail Books, March 2011
Patricia Talbert is a high-class social coordinator from New York.
Talon Carlson is a rugged bull rider from Texas.
He thinks she's too polished.
She thinks he's insane.
Opposites aren't quick to attract when the lady who enters the cowboy's world is on a mission to sell the ranch. But a box of letters changes her mission--letters of unshakable faith and a love deeper than anything she's ever experienced.
Soon she finds his integrity appealing. Her spunk draws him in. He has the faith she craves; she may be the love he longs for. But faith and love aren't achieved in a single weekend.
To buy time to explore the possibilities between them, she issues a challenge: "Teach me to ride bulls."
From here on, they're in for the ride of their lives.
Two-time ACFW Genesis finalist Linda Yezak resides in the state of Texas where tall tales abound and exaggeration is an art form. Aside from being a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), she also belongs to Women Writing the West (WWW) and The Christian PEN. She lives in the heart of a forest with her husband, three cats, four ducks, and a pond full of fish.
777 Peppermint Place