MY SCENIC ROUTE TO PUBLICATION
by Catherine Richmond
My publication journey involves an unexpected turn leading onto the scenic route. I was busy raising my family and working as an occupational therapist, when I heard a song about a mail order bride meeting her husband for the first time. Prairie grass waved dusty green in the wind. The hot sun released the smell of creosote from the railroad ties. A train whistle echoed in the distance. I knew these two people - where they’d come from, their hopes and dreams, and what happened next to them.
What I didn't know was how to write.
The newspaper said one of my neighbors had a novel out with Bantam Loveswept. So one afternoon, when everyone was out of the house, I called her. She recommended I join RWA. I took a non-credit class through the community college, then several on-line classes. I read the RWR and how-to books. I joined a Nebraska Novelists critique group. I wrote other stories. Rejection letters filled my mailbox. Contest judges slapped low scores on my entries.
I learned to revise. Again and again.
A year ago April, while vacationing in New York City, agent Sandra Bishop tracked me down. The manuscript had placed third in the Launching a Star contest, earning a read from a Thomas Nelson editor. Sandra said the publisher was interested if I could make a few changes. Being totally unprepared for this news, I did not have my laptop with me. So Sandra made the requested changes on her copy and sent the manuscript back. The next morning, I got The Call in Central Park, at John Lennon's memorial, a mosaic with the word "Imagine". Which shows God is able to do exceeding abundantly, above all we ask or think!
SPRING FOR SUSANNAH
by Catherine Richmond
Thomas Nelson, May 2011
With no prospects for marriage and her parents recently deceased, Susannah Freemont agrees to go west to the Dakota territory to marry her minister's homesteading brother, Jesse. But Susannah is painfully shy, doesn't see herself as worthy of love from either a husband or from God, and lives in constant fear that Jesse is going to ship her back to Detroit.
In spite of her petite size and the fact that Susannah doesn't look like she could survive on the prairie, Jesse quickly discovers that his new wife is a greater blessing than he even hoped for. The years she spent as her father's veterinary assistant allow her to save Jesse's ox and twin calves and to help neighboring farmers with their animals.
But Susannah's feelings of unworthiness are deeply rooted, and she can't believe that Jesse's praise-or the tenderness and love he shows-could possibly last. The thawing of her heart seems almost as distant as Spring in the midst of the winter blanketing the Dakota prairie.
Catherine Richmond was busy raising a family, working as an occupational therapist, and trying to remember where she hid the chocolate, when a song sparked a story within her. The journey to publication was long, but full of blessings. She couldn't have done it without the ACFW, RWA, and FHL (the inspirational chapter of RWA) and lots of chocolate!