Friday, November 10, 2017

First Sale

Once upon a time there was an author - you could have called me unpublished or the politically correct term of the time prepublished.  Didn't matter.  I wanted to write, sell, and see my books on a store's shelf - even better know that some stranger in a distant land (like Florida) might actually be relaxing on a chair and reading my book.

I did everything wrong.  My first manuscript was hundreds of pages long, single spaced (I'm telling the truth) and I didn't plot at all - nada.

I realized that I knew nothing (think Schultz) so I joined a creative writing class at a nearby college where I had a topnotch teacher, found a critique group, and as a posse we all went to an RWA conference together.

I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote.
Submitted, submitted, submitted, submitted.
got rejections, rejections, rejections, rejections.

When I finished one book, I started another.

At church one day, someone said to me, "Hey, you're trying to be a writer, right?"


"Well, Darlene Mindrup sold a book."

Huh?  Darlene Mindrup?  I didn't know she was writing.  She hadn't attending any creative writing class I was a part of.  What?  There'd been no mention of a critique group or going to conferences.


I'd been following the plan.  You know what I'm talking about - do everything in order, check off boxes and all.

That's next Sunday I cornered Darlene.  "You sold a book?"

"Yes, to Barbour Publishing, a line called Heartsong."

"Never heard of them."

Darlene told me they were mail-ordered and then gave me a few.  I promptly sent them a book and heard nothing.

For a year.

Then, I went to my first RWA National Conference.  Back then, ACFW didn't exist so all the Christian publishers came to RWA.  I signed up for an appointment with Rebecca Germany, pitched my book, and she said, "Sounds good, send it."

I told her she already had it.  She suggested I send it again.  I did.

Two months later I headed to my apartment mailboxes.  It was early afternoon, probably 4:00.  Back then, I was an elementary school teacher and finished at 3:00.

I found an envelope from Barbour inside the mailbox.  I ripped it open and saw, "If you make these revisions, we'd like to publish your book."

Yup, I was standing alone in front of a row of mailboxes whooping and jumping around like a happy mad woman.

I made the changes - btw, the edits were done by sticky notes put on the pages that needed changing.  That was my first book It Only Takes a Spark.

Cool beans, eh?
My first book ever.
It came out in 1999.
It was my fifth completed manuscript.

My first book with Love Inspired Suspense (this is the Thorndake version)
It came out in 2007.
It was my eighth published manuscript.

My first book with Love Inspired

This is my sixth book with Harlequin Heartwarming
It came out this month!!!!!
Go ahead, read the blurb.
Did Tom Riley arrest the wrong woman? 

For six years, the Sarasota Falls police chief has been hunting the cunning beauty involved in his partner's death. Now here she is, back in his New Mexico town, her face a match to the one on the wanted posters. But the woman Tom Riley knows as Rachel Ramsey insists her name is Heather Graves. 

Is Heather really as innocent as she claims? And what is he supposed to do about their undeniable mutual attraction? As his search for answers uncovers secrets in Heather's past, Tom realizes that Heather is the woman he most wants…

Buy me


  1. Love it, Pamela. We all want to be able to check the boxes and have everything work out as we've planned. Then we realize that God has to open a door for us to get where we want to go. How faithful He is to do that for His children!

  2. Determination and a lot of work are keys to becoming an author. I love hearing about first sales.

    1. Back then I was always amazed by the number of authors who didn't submit

  3. Great story! Perseverance and trusting God's timing seem to be the key ingredients on the journey. Thanks for sharing.

    1. If I had trusted God I'd have been published sooner lol

  4. I still check boxes lol. Writing has been quite the journey

  5. Pam, what an inspiring first sale story.

  6. Will send the except to my kindle for a read, great story

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