My Bumpy Road to Publication Part II

Besides mysteries, I also wrote Christian horror. The first one was really actually the first in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series though at the time I had no idea I would be writing a series. The title was The Choice. When I sent it out to mainstream publishers I got rejections that essential said the writing was great but the subject too Christian for their readers. Then I sent it out to Christian publishers, again the writing was great but the story far too scary for their readers.

I finally found a small press who also loved the story but wanted me to make it camera ready. Remember this was a long while ago. Yes, there were computers, but I only had Word Star and it needed to be in a more modern word processing program like Word Perfect. My friend who sold me my computer and had a computer store, let me come down to the store and work on his computer from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. when he came in to open the store. Of course he gave me lots of help along the way. When each page looked like it should for a book, I emailed the publisher. I received a phone call from his wife. He'd passed away and she had no plans to continue with his business.

Wow! I decided to publish the book myself and found a print-on-demand company to do it. In the meantime I'd realized that I could write more books with Tempe as a character so I changed all the names.

While all that was happening, I'd written another Tempe mystery called Guilt by Association. This time I realized that Tempe had become a completely different person, so once again I made name and location changes.

I found an e-publisher who published it as an e-book. That company was soon taken over by another publisher, Treble Heart Books, and was made into a trade paperbook. It won "Publishers Best Mystery" that year and is still available as a print and e-book.

I wrote five more books in the Tempe series without finding a publisher. However, I did have an agent for part of this time. For four years she was supposedly sending my books out--when I finally asked her to see my rejections she reluctantly gave me three.

When I met a wonderful woman who had a small press, Golden Eagle Press, that mostly published illustrated coffee table books about flying, I approached her about publishing my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series. She agreed but wanted to begin with Deadly Omen, the second in the series. She went on to publish the next three.

In the meantime, I met Mary Wolf, publisher at Hard Shell Word Factory and told her about the first book in the series, Deadly Trail. She published it as an e-book and trade paperback, then published the other four as e-books since I'd kept my e-rights.

Something ghastly happened. The publisher of Golden Eagle Press had a stroke and died. This was devastation. She was much younger than I was, vibrant, and it certainly wasn't expected. After the funeral, her husband loaded all the books up in his truck and brought them to my house. I'm now the only one who has three of four of the books, Deadly Omen, Intervention and Wingbeat.

This meant I had to go through the whole looking for a publisher bit again.

In the meantime, I'd written another book, this time a psychological horror, called Wishing Makes It So, about a very bad little girl and the devastation she brings to her foster family. Hard Shell Word Factory published it and it won four literary prizes.

Next installment tomorrow on my bumpy road--and yes, there are more bumps.



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