Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Love Inspired Historical

Yesterday I knew exactly what I wanted to post.  It was upbeat, happy, all about writing cowboys.

Last night, I thought about it again, but my mind had a hard time wrapping around the topic.

See, sometimes you go skipping along life and suddenly the bricks on the sidewalk move.  You stumble and stop.  It's a time when you consider staying where you are, hopping over the missing bricks to the more secure area, or you fall to you knees and start dragging the bricks back and fixing the sidewalk.

Fall to your knees....  Dearest Father, we come to you today

Yesterday was my first day home.  See, I'm a teacher (by day) and school finished last Friday and this week is my free week.  My 12 year old is still in school; my husband is at work; I'm home alone.

Moms understand the magic of alone.

I promptly set up my computer on the kitchen table, fought off the cat (pet me), fought off the dog (play with me) and delved into writing.

Then, an email come from Harlequin.  My beloved publisher.

It wasn't good news.  See, under the Harlequin Love Inspired umbrella, there are three inspirational lines.  The first is contemporary, the second is suspense, and the last is historical.

Harlequin has decided to step away from publishing historical.  It's a business decision.  One that probably has editors, agents, and most certainly authors falling to their knees. Dearest Father, help us to accept change, move forward, pray for those involved.

Many authors are standing still.  It's time to consider options, think carefully.  Others are already gaging the distance from the brick they're standing on and figuring out not only how to jump but where is the best place to land.  Others are on their knees, dragging in the errant bricks.

All of those actions are the right choice.

Along with Harlequin Love Inspired, I've written for Barbour Heartsong, Kensington Precious Gems, Summerside...  Those bricks left the sidewalk, crumbled, faded to dust.  But, God gave me feet, and I know how to jump.  I don't always know how to land though.

Today, as I travel the sidewalk the sky is a little grayer, the trees drooping a bit, and there's a distant sound of wailing.  Among the Love Inspired sisterhood, we all know how to fall to our knees, put our hands together, and pray. We thank you Lord for the opportunities you've given us.  Amen.

Love Inspired Historical put out some awesome books, put together by prayerful pens, and edited by awesome editors.

Years ago, when I was trying to decide what and where to write, I found two books in my church library.  The librarian, who knew my dreams, gave them to me.  One was by Debbie Macomber; the other by our own Arlene James.

Maybe you remember the 80s.  Back then, there was a line by Silhouette called Inspirations.  It's gone, but many of the writers are not.  They're here.  Their pens are still flowing.  Their stories are being told.

As for me, I'll be watching and waiting for more books to read by my favorite authors.



38 comments:

Louise M. Gouge said...

Thank you for this inspiring post. Like you, I've been through shakeups before. The Lord always shows me the next step, although usually not right away. I'm going to wait and trust. Not to be too corny, but the sun will come out tomorrow. That's a promise. Hugs to all of my fellow LIH authors.

Margaret Daley said...

I was shocked yesterday about the news. Still am.

Lenora said...

Great post. This business is always full of surprises. It's challenging and fun and the best job even on the worst days. We are blessed with talented writers and I know all of those who are dealing with this will be okay. But it's hard to grasp.

The best thing we and our readers can do is to buy the books until they are not longer released. We need to honor these incredible authors!

Deb Kastner said...

It's not only how to jump, but where to land. I'm still trying to figure out how to recover from Gilead dropping off, so I greatly empathize with our beloved historical authors. Love all of you and are praying for you as you seek God's direction, will and timing.

Mary Alford said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes. I've been through closings through other publishers and it does bring you to your knees. But God always, always has a plan. Praying for each one of our wonderful Love Inspired Historical authors.

Pamela Tracy said...

Oh, Louise, now that song will be playing in my head and I can't remember where it's from, though I know I've sat in the theater and listened to it live.

I'm in Arizona and know all about the sun.

Pamela Tracy said...

Margaret,
Shock is the right word.

Pamela Tracy said...

Lenora,
All the stores I go to carry them. I've read gladiators and schoolteachers and more. The covers always made me pick up, the back covers and first line made me buy.

Pamela Tracy said...

Deb,
It was a year ago that I got an email that Rosebud press was closing and my book (coming out in a week!) one of the last two to be available.
I thought about your photo of signing the Gilead contract that you put on Facebook.

Pamela Tracy said...

Mary,
God does indeed plan.

Louise M. Gouge said...

Pamela, it's from the musical "Annie."

Leigh Riker said...

My thoughts are with all of those authors who will be affected by this sad news. I've been through several closings myself and it's no fun. But better days lie ahead. Don't give up!

BelleC said...



Pam, your words have touched my heart so deeply. I am shocked and saddened. My prayers are with all of the lovely LIH writers and the editors as well.

LeAnne Bristow said...

To say we are shocked is an understatement and even though I'm not directly effected by these changes (yet) my heart is still broken for all the authors who suddenly find themselves without homes. I know in the end, the Lord has a plan for all these fabulous authors, so in the meantime, I will continue to lift all of you up in my prayers and hope that you all find a new writing home soon.

Evelyn Hill said...

And we know that for those who love God, that is, for those who are called according to his purpose, all things are working together for good. Romans 8:28

This news came just after my first book, the very first one ever, just got posted up on Amazon for pre-order by LIH. My inner critic says that the two events are related and that it's All My Fault. I'm ignoring my inner critic :)

I don't feel that my time was wasted. I've learned a tremendous amount by this experience! I've just decided this is a sign that I'm supposed to be focusing my writing efforts in a different direction.

Maggie K Black said...

"See, sometimes you go skipping along life and suddenly the bricks on the sidewalk move. You stumble and stop. It's a time when you consider staying where you are, hopping over the missing bricks to the more secure area, or you fall to you knees and start dragging the bricks back and fixing the sidewalk..."
Thank you so much for this beautiful post! And for saying so eloquently the things I couldn't find words for. Love Inspired Historical books are really special and some of the authors that have written for them have taken such brave and beautiful risks in the stories they've told. You've inspired me.
My husband is a history teacher. He lives and breaths history. It's his passion. For the past nine years, he's spent every summer teaching summer school. It's been exhausting for him and hard on the family. So, we decided that this year, instead of teaching summer school, he would research and I would write a Love Inspired Historical together. Since then, we've taken a couple of little research trips and he's been compiling data. We plotted the story from beginning to end. It's been a secret project for months and something we were both very excited about tackling together. And now, it won't happen and I'm scratching my head and wondering what that leap of faith was about, if it wasn't about writing that book. I don't know if we'll try to find another publisher for it, or just let it be a wonderful idea we once had. Maybe God has another plan for what he's going to do with his summer if it's not researching for me! For me, it was a side project, and I know it.
My heart is breaking today for all those writers who've lost their path forward and their main source of publication.
I'll be praying for you and sending hugs. I hope you'll find a secure path soon. Keep writing brave and beautiful things!

Donna Gartshore said...

I was so sad and disappointed when I heard this news. As a reader, I'm a big LIH fan. But I have absolute trust that each and every author will find a place for their work. You are all talented writers and wonderful, faithful women.

Christine Johnson said...

Thank you for the beautiful post, Pamela, and for putting into words what those of us affected can't manage to say at the moment. This is my first experience with an imprint closing, yet I know deep down that the Lord has it all mapped out. Louise, like you, I will pray and wait to see what He unfolds before me. For now, my heart breaks not only for the writers and editors but for the ultimate loss of the books I have loved as a reader. For the next year, I will grow my TBR pile with LIHs and look forward to seeing my fellow authors in print elsewhere.

Liz Flaherty said...

I'm shocked, too, and so sorry it's happened. My thoughts and prayers are with all the writers affected, but like your other Harlequin sisters, I know none of you are going to disappear. The covers may change, but your words will be as inspired as they have always been.

Pamela Tracy said...

Evelyn, you made me want to go look at your pre-order. I'm going to do that.

Pamela Tracy said...

Leann, Leigh, and Liz, thanks for stopping by. Guys, the "L" ladies are all from the Heartwarming line. They're in shock over the change of events, too.

Pamela Tracy said...

Maggie,
You don't give up a dream because of someone else's decision. Do that research, write that book! By the time you're done, there might be a stronger sidewalk in front of you, and who knows where it leads.

Lisa Carter said...

I was so sorry to hear about LIH closing. I'm praying for new doors to open for each of these fabulous authors and the editors who find themselves out of a job.

Stephanie Sullivan said...

It broke my heart when I received the news yesterday. I have many friends who write for LIH, but I know without a doubt in my mind that you and all of them will carry on and find another home for your wonderful voices. I'm praying for every single one of you and the authors from the other lines affected by this decision. Hugs and much love!

Pamela Tracy said...

Stephanie,
Thanks so much for stopping by and especially for the prayers.

Katy Lee said...

So well said, Pamela. Exactly on how I've been feeling. It has brought me to my knees. I don't write for LIH, but I know this industry is always changing, and I want the Holy Spirit to be my Guide and Counselor in this business.

Katy

Angel Moore said...

Pamela, what a heartfelt post. It's touching to see how many lives of authors, editors, and readers these books have touched. Like you, I've been reading them for ages. I trust God will continue to make avenues for these lovely stories to be told. My prayers are with everyone who has been impacted by this event.

Cate Nolan said...

Thank you for posting this today, Pamela. Your eloquent remarks so beautifully capture the heartbreak. I've had this feeling of sadness all day. I will continue to pray for all the authors, editors, and readers affected by this decision.

Business hurts, doesn't it?

Terri Reed said...

Pam, what a beautiful post.
My heart is sad. My prayers go out to all the authors from LIH and the other lines that are closing.

Terri Reed said...

Oh, I forgot to say I didn't know about the Silhouette Inspirations. I wish I had back in the day.

barb phinney said...

I am still in shock, and last night at our small group, we discussed Trusting God when God's plans don't make sense. An appropriate topic. I am having trouble staying optimistic, (I know Harlequin won't ask ALL its authors to choose another line) and keep praying for those whose sole livelihood is writing for Harlequin. But in the midst, I can feel God saying, "Wait". So, I wait.

Patricia Davids said...

Like so many of you I was stunned by HQ announcement. I thought of all the great writers who were sitting in shocked silence as they read those words. My heart goes out to everyone affected. Tough times call for tough people and no one is stronger than God's people. Hugs to you all.

Arlene James said...

I am so humbled and blessed to see that book cover and know that those novels inspired you. Silhouette could never quite figure out who the audience was with those books. It broke my heart when they gave up on the line. It breaks my heart that LI Historicals is going away, too. But when God closes a door, it's because He's about to open another. I pray that each and every one of our excellent LIH authors finds the door God is waiting to open for her.

Dana R. Lynn said...

Thank you for this beautiful post. It literally brought tears to my eyes. My heart aches for those writers and editors now reeling from this change, and for the readers, too.

And yet, I know God has a plan. I also believe His plan is for the good of all involved. But it is so hard.

Hugs and prayers to all involved.

authorkathyeberly said...

I can reiterate what everyone else has. I've been reading Harlequin since I was in sixth grade and have written since at least that long. I'm thankful we can trust God for our future. I too am praying for all of our author colleagues going through this shocking turn of events. He will bring you through.

Jo Ann Brown said...

Pam, thank you for expressing what many of us are searching to find words for. It's never easy, no matter how many times the rug is pulled out from beneath us in this business. A few years ago, I sat around with some other long-time published writers and we counted up the different number of lines/publishing houses that have collapsed beneath us. It was an astounding number, but even more astounding was how none of us had ever considered quitting (seriously...I mean, I consider quitting every time I get stuck in the middle muddles of a ms ). As people of faith, we are so blessed to know that God has our backs and will see us through, and that delayed blessings are sometimes the sweetest ones...as I can attest to after the last two lines that disappeared while I was writing for them and new opportunities came my way.
And I can't wait to read all the wonderful books that the LIH authors are going to write for us in the years to come.

Beth Carpenter said...

Such a shock. I'm praying for all of you, that you'll find a new direction and continue using the gifts God gave you.

June said...

As a reader, this saddens my heart!!! I was there when the first books came out! And I'm still there today, reading amazing stories by amazing authors. Before these started, I wasn't a fan of Historical. Now I can't get enough! We have a great group of LIH authors and readers on Goodreads that get together every month for a Q&A on that months releases. There will be a lot of broken hearts over this news. God bless all the Love Inspired authors All three lines are a big part of my life!!!