Q: Tell us the story of how you landed an agent, and how long it took to receive a book contract.
It all started at the Florida Christian Writers Conference in March 2006, when I took a proposal for critique. An editor from Focus on the Family loved it and gave me some great ideas, but told me they don't look at anything that doesn't come through an agent...so I knew I had to go that route.
I submitted it to one agent a couple of months after the conference and he turned it down a few months later. After the conference in 2007, I contacted Les Stobbe about my proposal. He read it and liked it! I signed with him and he sent it out in April or May 2007. By December, Kregel expressed initial interest, but the holidays, etc. ensued and I got the contract right before the conference again in 2008. I signed it, finished the book, and went through a year of edits, placement and titling questionnaires, etc. When I returned to the conference in March 2009, my part was pretty much done except for a few final reads. (So, from first proposal to contract was about a year and eight months.)
I usually say, "It's the book of my heart." It's what I have lived (and loved) for SO many years. I know how it can feel to be the only woman in the house and like many moms, I know how it feels to be overwhelmed. If there's any way my experience can help other moms, I want to do all I can to do that. There were boy moms who encouraged me along the way, and I wanted to be that to other moms.
Q: Any advice for the writers reading this blog post who have dreams of writing and publishing a book?
Just like Winston Churchill said, "Never, never, never (and a few more nevers) give up." God gave you that talent and desire for a reason, so just be faithful and use it. Don't place limitations on Him and tell Him what you want Him to do with your talent...just use it and let Him use you how He sees fit. You're not a failure if you never get a book published. You're a failure if you don't use the talents and abilities God gives you, no matter how many people read your work. He may be using those talents to stretch and speak to you, not some other audience. Let God be God in your writing.
Laura Lee Groves has raised four boys -- and lived to tell! In fact, she LOVES to tell the stories of a house full of redheaded boys.
When she's not teaching high school English and drama, Laura writes to bring encouragement and inspiration to moms. Laura has written for Moody Magazine, Focus on the Family’s Focus on Your Child, Coral Ridge Ministries and has penned and directed several madrigal dinner plays. She’s a contributor to Book Lover’s Devotional, available in early 2011, and www.KindredHeartWriters.com . She loves to inspire moms by sharing on her blog, www.OutnumberedMom.com , and through her weekly newsletter.