Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My First Fiction Sale!!!!!!!

Yep. You read that right. Wow! What a long journey it's been with all the interruptions and other directions the Lord has led me in—a journey of over 27 years. For you aspiring writers out there, don't let that discourage you! This is my journey, not yours. I know plenty of authors whose journeys to publication were much shorter. 

Anyway, I got the news Thursday, April 7. I was working (proofreading) when I noticed in my e-mail notification window that I had an e-mail from my agent. The subject line was: New Novella contract for Margie Vawter.

Needless to say I clicked over to my e-mail program right away, not really trusting that my eyes had read right. When I opened the e-mail, a contract was attached with the title of the collection, Sundays in Fredericksburg.

Then I started squealing, "Oh my word, oh my word," over and over again. Hubby, who is still unemployed, came running upstairs asking what was wrong. 

"Nothing's wrong! I just sold my first fiction book!" I could feel the grin stretching across my face. 

He looked a little unsure, but then said, "Oh, I thought it was a spider or something."


So began the phone calls and squealing with the other authors in the collection. E-mails were flying in and out of my Entourage. And almost two weeks later, I'm still riding high. The contract is signed, the cover art is already set in motion. 

And now I have to write a 20,000 word novella before March 1, 2012. The book will release in the fall of 2012. Publishing, even after a sale, is not a fast process. 

Our stories are set in Fredericksburg, Texas. The hill country. That area was settled by German immigrants looking for good farmland. They would come into town on Saturdays to get supplies, and since the distance was too far for them to return home and come back the next day for church, they built small one-room shelters with lofts to stay in overnight. Over the years these Sunday houses were used for various reasons, especially when transportation and other factors made their original purpose unnecessary.

The stories begin in the late 1800s and carry on through time to the present. My story is the second and is set right after World War 1.

Here's the blurb for A Shelter in the Storm:
Mildred Zimmermann, a nurse in World War I Europe, returns to Fredericksburg, Texas, which is dealing with an outbreak of Spanish influenza. Drawn into the hometown battle, Mildred opens her family’s Sunday house as an overflow to the small, overcrowded clinic. Death seems to plague those she loves, and she is determined not to allow herself to fall in love, afraid that man, too, would die. Nelson Winters, a newcomer to Fredericksburg and the protégé of the town’s doctor, succumbs to the flu, and he is placed in Mildred’s care. The war hero, rejected by his fiancée because he returned from the war crippled, both challenges and disturbs Mildred as she nurses him back to health. In order for them to have a future together, they must learn to accept their humanness and allow God to make them whole.

(My family will recognize the first names as those belonging to my paternal grandparents. But other than that, very little is based on their love story.)

I'm so grateful to Barbour Publishing and Becky Germany (our editor) for accepting these novellas. And of course all praise goes to the Lord who even made it possible! I truly was okay with never being published in fiction if that was His purpose for me. But He is so good to give His children the desires of their hearts. This is a childhood dream come true!


Michele Cushatt said...

So happy for you, Margie! How wonderful! Your determination has paid off. What an inspiration you are to so many. Congrats!

Christine said...

It couldn't happen to a hard-working and deserving writer. I am so happy for you. I supposed to spot for # 1 fan is already taken, but if not, I'm nudging into the spot. so happy for you, and I can't wait to read it.

Anonymous said...

Yep. Recognized those names right away. Can't wait to read it!

Jan Parrish said...

Wow! Awesome. I'm so excited for you. Talk about perseverance! You take the cake on that one. I sense an article, or perhaps a book, about that story!

Courtney Walsh said...

Yay!!!! What awesome news, Margie!!! :) Go out and celebrate!!!

Linda Vawter said...

Way to go, Margie! Cannot wait to read it.

Evangeline Denmark said...

I'm so excited to hear this! And what a fascinating story concept. I look forward to reading your book!

Debbie Maxwell Allen said...

Congratulations, Margie! So happy for you!


Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D. said...

Congratulations, Marjie!! So glad to hear that! Sounds like a great story, too.

Andi said...

Yay!!!!! I am so happy for you! As I come here looking for the reviews for CFBA I am encouraged by the verses and I know you write. I am so tickled that you have gotten published! I can't wait to read it!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!

Darlene Franklin said...

I am absolutely delighted for you, Margie, and I can't wait to read it (since Lone Star Trail and A Ranger's Trail are both about the same German immigration to the Texas hill country). :)

And lol, interested to someone whose journey to publication has been longer than mine (20 years to date for me) People who say "it took me 6 years to get published" don't have a CLUE . . . yeah to someone who persevered!

hisgracemyfaith said...

Congratulations! I am so excited for you. I love Fredericksburg. I think everyone does. Fabulous setting!


Sandi Rog said...

Margie, this is wonderful!!! I'm so happy for you! xxx

Vickie McDonough said...

I love Fredericksburg. My husband and I visited there when I was research my novella in Wild West Christmas. I'm so excited for you and know this will be the first of many. Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

The joy on your face was priceless. I am so happy for you. What you said about the extra special gift The Lord gives as He grants the desires of our hearts above and beyond what we have come to accept with joy is so true. You will be in my prayers throughout the year as you write and serve the Lord. Lorrie T.