Happy Monday morning. Again, thanks to those of you who posted comments/questions. Some are giving me ideas for future topics. These are good. Remind me when this current topic is over, okay? So very many things to talk about. While I’m telling this story, meanwhile things are happening currently that I’m not covering either. Such as—Friday one of my characters e-mailed me. Always quite disconcerting when this happens. I’ve had it happen three times, once even from beyond the grave. I’ll tell y’all about it sometime.
One question I must clear up first. At this point in my journey, I was not targeting the Christian market. I was dealing only with agents in the general market, trying to sell to general publishers. I was a Christian, but my books were not. Eyes of Elisha at that time was about a psychic. Color the Sidewalk for Me had sex scenes in it. And my writing was still all about me, no prayer involved. I had a great deal to learn. God was just waiting to teach me. And when He did, and I would look back on the years of my journey, suddenly everything that had happened, even all the closed doors and heartache, would fall into place as a part of His plan. The tapestry would turn from its ugly, bulging underside to the intricate beauty of its woven pattern.
But I am again pushing ahead of my tale.
So back to story. Which seems to be going on forever. Sheesh, avoid authors who talk too much about themselves.
I was shaking in a chair, phone pressed to my ear, praying that I’d hear good words from Big New York Agent. By this time it was spring of 1997. I was in my seventh year of writing fiction.
“I loved your book!” she told me. “Absolutely loved it.”
Oh, man. I was not sitting in this chair; I’d died and gone to heaven.
“I actually bawled at the end. Don’t know if it was just hormones or what . . .”
No, not hormones, the book, the book.
She was interested in representing me. Could we talk about? Oh, yeah, we could talk, all right. Maybe I could even come see her first. We’d work it out.
In quick succession I heard from a second agent, this one in Chicago. She, too, had read the entire manuscript and was interesting in representing me. Oh, wow! I was like that dog on those old commercials, the one who’d eat a biscuit, then float in the air. Life was good, life was sweet. I was getting somewhere.
My wonderful husband helped me work things out for a quick trip to New York. And I do mean quick. It wasn’t easy for me to leave the home and our two kids, since Mark had to travel so much in his work. So I booked a red eye. I’d travel all night, arrive in New York about 6:30 a.m. My meeting at the agent’s Madison Avenue office was at 9:00. After that it was back to the airport for a flight to Chicago. There I’d crash in a hotel, get up early the next morning, meet with agent #2, and fly home. Sheesh.
So off I went. Full of hope and heart soaring. Have to say it sank somewhat on the plane. I don’t sleep on those things, so the night was awful. I arrived in New York feeling like a truck had run over my chest. Adrenaline, hope, terror, and lack of sleep do not a good combination make.
I ate some breakfast, tried to fix my sagging face in an airport bathroom. Hailed a cab for Madison Avenue. Walked into that nicely appointed office with heart pulsing in my throat, trying to appear poised. And my head! Man, that office was loud. Cars honked constantly outside. New York drivers. How did this woman work in such racket?
We sat down for our talk. No big thing—only the discussion that could finally start my career. Everything was going to be rosy.
And then she opened her mouth.
Read Part 9