Ten years ago, in the summer of 2004, something big happened that changed the course of my life career-wise. My first novel, Why the Sky is Blue, was released by Harvest House Publishers. Up to that point I’d been a newspaper editor, even though I was in my forties and had dreamed of writing a novel since high school.
The euphoria of those early days of my life as a novelist (finally!) are still fresh on my mind a decade later. I remember getting the email from an editorial assistant at Harvest House that one of the fiction editors had seen my proposal and wanted to see the full manuscript. I remember Nick Harrison emailing me around Labor Day of 2003, introducing himself to me and telling me he was going to be reading the manuscript for Why the Sky is Blue that weekend. I remember the day he told me he was taking the book to the publishing committee and the day he told me that pubco said yes, and that I would be offered a two-book contract. I remember the heady moment when I did an Amazon search and found my name listed as an author before the book ever came out. And I remember this moment pictured above, when the street copies arrived on my doorstep and I opened the boxes and held the book in my hands for the first time.
I had never taken a writing class beyond high school, I hadn’t majored in writing in college, and I didn’t have an agent. Not then anyway. So much has changed since that day ten years ago. I do have an agent now, and I’ve not only taken some writing workshops, I have taught many. I’ve 16 books to my name and can’t see stopping. It’s been a wonderful, scary, thrilling, frustrating, humbling, affirming career-change. There’s nothing else I’d rather do with my work-day.
Why the Sky is Blue was printed before the advent of ebooks and sadly went out of print before the advent of ebooks. There are a few print copies floating around but the book by and large is out of circulation and has been for quite awhile. I am happy to say that I’ve had the rights reverted to me and I am in the process of shaping up the very old Word doc that is this book and preparing it for a re-release later this year. A beautiful new e “cover” has been designed for it and I’m going through the sentences line by line, tightening up the prose here and there to make it the best I can without messing with the integrity of the original paragraphs. I will keep you informed of the progress and I hope to announce a soon-to-be-released date for the electronic version of Why the Sky is Blue very soon. In the meantime, raise a glass, grab some cake or a cookie or a carrot stick, and let’s toast to the ten-year-anniversary of a little novel that started something big.
And thanks for being alongside me on this journey. I wouldn’t have wanted to travel it without you…