Thursday, November 23, 2017

My First Sale

Hello everyone, Patricia Davids here. 

Today I get to share one of my favorite stories. My first sale. The date was June 14, 2004. But we need to go back a few years to when I decided I was going to write a book. I told my husband and he said he thought I would be good at that. He believed in me. I researched how to write a book, joined a local romance writers chapter and set about writing a sexy contemporary romance. When I finish the manuscript, I let my mother read it.
Her comment was, “This is a good story, but I could never let your father read it.” I said, “After five kids, I’m pretty sure there’s nothing in there that Dad doesn’t already know.” My mother said, “Write something I can show my friends.”

I finished three contemporary romances and started collecting rejection letters. One of the reasons an editor gave for turning down my story was that the hero was just too nice a guy. I like nice guys. I wasn’t familiar with inspirational romances until Deborah Raney spoke at my writers group. It was a true lightbulb over the head moment for me. I revised my third completed manuscript and my agent sent it out. And I began collecting rejection letters again. A lot of them said I needed to study the inspirational market, but one letter came back from Joan Marlow Golan at Steeple Hill books that wasn’t a rejection. 

It was one paragraph about my strong writing and my unique voice and three pages of revision requests for the manuscript. She wanted it cut from ninety thousand words to seventy-five thousand words and a whole lot of other changes. It’d taken me over a year to write the book and now someone wanted me to chop twenty thousand words out of it. I was flabbergasted. It was my story. I was in an NICU nurse and the story was about a woman who had a premature baby. I wondered as I read the letter again if I should maintain my artistic integrity or if I should change the story and maybe get paid. On one hand, artistic integrity. On the other hand, money. It didn’t take me long to decide. I revised the story following her suggestions and six weeks later my agent called the tell me I had made a sale.

I squealed in delight and told my husband, “They bought my book.” He was watching Stargate SG1 and said, “That’s nice.” I needed something more than nice. I was so excited, I could have had champagne in my veins.

I called my mother. She wasn’t home. I left a message. I called my critique partner. She wasn’t home. I called another critique partner, she didn't answer. I called a third critique partner and she wasn’t home. I was ready to burst with happiness and nobody was answering the phone. Then my phone rang. I snatched it up. It was Rhonda Nolan, a nurse in my NICU unit wanting to know if I could work extra. I told her I just sold a book and she screamed with delight. I screamed, too. It was exactly the reaction I needed.


His Bundle of Love was released in January 2006 and I have been writing for Love Inspired ever since. Thanks to my husband who believed in me, my mother who encouraged me to write stories she could share with their friends, inspirational author Deborah Raney who showed me there was a market for my work and a special thanks to Joan Marlow Golan who gave a budding writer a chance to shine. 


Thanks, too, to my friend Rhonda who knew exactly how I felt making that first sale.

8 comments:

  1. Patricia, I loved hearing your "call" story. I know that feeling about wanting to share the excitement.

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  2. I'm glad your husband encouraged you to write! I have one of those gems of a man, as well.

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    1. We have to treasure men like that. My husband is gone but my grandson sure takes after him.

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  3. There is nothing like that first sale. And, you just keep getting better, Pat.

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  4. Great story! So glad Joan Marlow Golan recognized your gift for writing. She gave Krista Stroever the go ahead to buy my debut. A lovely lady.

    I remember your cover, Patricia. Bet I still have your book!☺

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  5. Love the story, Pat! I love hearing about writer's first sale.

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