Tuesday, May 23, 2017

From Blurb to Book to Besties


Hi, it’s Donna Gartshore here with Laurel Blount. We’re a couple of Love Inspired Newbies and thrilled to be here!  Today we’re going to talk a bit about our experiences with getting contracts and forming a lasting friendship through the From Blurb to Book Pitch.

I remember that after we had both made it to round three and had submitted our full manuscripts, we started chatting on Facebook, along with other contest participants, as a way to deal with the nerves of waiting to hear from the editors. In fact, I was online with Laurel the day she got THE CALL! Now, here’s an inside scoop – she hung up on her sister to take that call! But I’ll let Laurel chime in here and tell her side of the story …

Hi! Laurel here, and listen, ya’ll. When you’re in the final round of a writing contest for Love Inspired, and a New York editor’s number shows up on your caller I.D., your sister just has to understand! Seriously, all my family members were thrilled for me, which made my special moment even more special.

But you know who really understood the scope of what had happened? The online writing buddies I’d met during the contest—like Donna! When I typed in my news with shaking fingers, Donna instantly began celebrating with me. I think I heard her squealing all the way from Canada! Her congratulations were even more meaningful because she really “got it.” I’m delighted to say that I was celebrating her book sale to Love Inspired shortly afterwards. We discovered that selling our books wasn’t the “happily ever after” ending but instead was the start of a new, exciting…and bewildering…chapter—one we’re thankful to travel together!

Oh, there goes Laurel with the `y’alls’, but what can you expect from a good Southern girl? I’ll just have to toss out a few Canadian `ehs’ to even things out!

 Laurel said she celebrated my sale with me a short time after. But my journey had an extra step.  I didn’t get a contract right away but instead received an opportunity to revise and resubmit. While I was relieved that it wasn’t a rejection, I felt overwhelmed by the requested changes and worried I wouldn’t pull it off. I was so grateful to have writing friends who encouraged me, and pushed me, and believed that I could do it even when I wasn’t sure myself. The day I got THE CALL, I told my daughter first, and Laurel second.

As Laurel says, we’ve discovered that this is only the beginning of the journey. We are so glad to have each other to talk to – not just about writing, but about our college-aged daughters and work challenges too. It’s great to have LI friends that share our love of writing and our love of God. I can’t wait to make friends in person at the RWA Conference in July. Which reminds me, Laurel, tell them who’s going to be your roommate, eh?! (couldn’t resist!)

 I’m so excited! I finally get to meet Donna in real life! I’m amazed at how close we’ve become via a computer connection, especially given how different we are. We don’t share a country, a climate, or even a writing style—Donna is primarily a pantser, while I am a plotter! Donna started out writing short stories, which might explain why she perpetually worries about meeting her word count, while I’m usually cutting words!

However, Donna and I are here to tell you that crossing the gaps of geography and personal styles has been well worth it! Writing can feel so competitive that sometimes it’s hard to truly connect with other authors, to make yourself transparent and vulnerable. But when you make those connections, you tap into wonderful resources that will help you weather both the successes of this journey (like being a finalist in the HOLT and the New England Reader’s Choice awards, yay!) and its challenges (like the dreaded sophomore slump…when IS that next book coming out? Boo!).

I couldn’t agree with Laurel more. We want to encourage anyone who has a dream to write for Love Inspired to learn from all the tips available and not give up. Speaking of stories – Don’t miss Laurel’s debut book A Family for the Farmer, a wonderful story full of heart, humour and hope.


And definitely watch for Donna’s fabulous, heart-catching romance Instant Family, which will be released December 2017. It’s available for pre-order on Amazon now! 

20 comments:

  1. Congratulations to both of you. My closest friends are people I met through my writing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What an exciting experience. So happy for both of you. The bonds you make in writing are always strong ones.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great post, ladies. What a special way to form a friendship that will last forever. God knew you two would find each other. We are so glad to you here. Young blood keeps an oldie like me on my toes and y'all just make me smile. Eh???

    ReplyDelete
  4. Congratulations to both of you! I love Call stories, and a double portion is extra special. You are so right that writing friends are essential to the journey. When I got The Call, I called my writing friends before I told anyone else, even my husband. Thankfully, he understood. I loved reading about your supportive friendship. Have a wonderful time at RWA!

    ReplyDelete
  5. You ladies are the best! So blessed to be part of the Love Inspired family

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a great story! My husband and children often don't understand how I've developed such deep friendships with people I've never met in person. But like Laurel said, they get you. They understand your struggles and trials because they have the same ones. I don't know what I would do without some of the friendships I've gained online. The critique partners I met through Seekerville have become dear friends, prayer warriors and my biggest cheerleaders.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was fun getting to know you too LeAnne and so happy for your Heartwarming success

      Delete
  7. Fun!!! Call stories are so great to hear. And finding friends through writing is the best. In fact some of my longest lasting and deepest friendships are with my writing buddies. Even when they live long distances away. Of course I have my friends close by that aren't writers who celebrate with me each book. It's good to have a balance of people in our lives. I can't wait to meet you both this summer in Orlando.

    ReplyDelete


  8. Congratulations Donna and Laurel. What a fun post. You are both blessed. I love how your friendship formed. Writing can be such a solitary experience, so it's nice to have good author friends. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Congratulations Donna and Laurel. What a neat story. There is nothing like THE CALL.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Nothing like that first sale, and nothing like the second, third, fourth...it never gets old. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks to all! Like Laurel says, other authors really get it!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Congrats Donna and Laura on your book sales! I'm looking forward to meeting you at the RWA. The biggest blessing of becoming a Love Inspired author is the support and encouragement we get from other writers. It's really something special to have someone else in your corner who 'gets it'.

    ReplyDelete
  13. For a writer, nothing beats the support and friendship of other writers. Congratulations--not only on your sales but on realizing how important you are to each other and those you've yet to meet.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Nothing beats the LI writer community for encouragement and support. I've learned so much from these ladies. I won't be at RWA this year, but I hope to see as many of you as possible at ACFW in September.

    Congrats to Laurel and Donna.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi, everybody! (Look, Donna--I said EVERYBODY, not ya'll! :)) Just popped in--or splashed in--rainy day in Georgia-- and it's so exciting to see so many friends here! Just like Lisa said, the LI community--writers and readers alike--is the absolute best! Arlene is right---I'm treasuring the connections I've made and looking forward to the ones yet to come!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Laurel and Donna, thanks for sharing your delightful "journey to publication" stories! Looking forward to seeing both of you at RWA!

    I treasure the friendship and support of all the Love Inspired authors! We are a family...a sisterhood!

    Aren't we blessed! :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. We are blessed indeed! Laurel, I am proud of you!! :-)

    ReplyDelete