Monday, April 24, 2006

The Never-Ending Saga Lives On

Happy Monday, BGs. (What happened to the weekend?)

Thanks for the comments and ideas for topics left on Friday's post. I'll be looking into those topics to see what I can come up with. Now, an update. The Scenes and Beans Gang (SBGs for short, naturally) is now complete. All ARCS of Violet Dawn are gone. Today I’ll post an update on the Scenes and Beans blog that says so, in order to stop the flow of e-mails from people wanting to audition. ARCS went out last week to most of the auditioners.

Sunday I received an e-mail from one gal who’d already received the ARC and read the whole book! Now that’s fast. Here’s what she had to say about the first chapter:

I once read a book by Mary Higgins Clark called Daddy’s Little Girl. One scene in that book was so honest-to-goodness scary it had my skin vibrating. I experienced that same sensation this afternoon while reading your hot tub scene. That is by far your most realistic and creepy EVER! Never again shall I set foot in a hot tub without checking it first!

Sorry, folks, if Violet Dawn takes your hot tub away from you. I mean, it's one thing to cast aspersions on spiders. But hot tubs? Maybe I should pull out the ol’ Jaws line: Just when you thought you could go back in the water . . . heh-heh

Over the weekend I received a letter from a new BG (stands for bloggee, or blog reader, for you newbies) that did my heart good. I am using it with the person’s permission, having taken out all pertinent names.
I just finished reading your NES. [Never-Ending Saga—the story, titled “How I Got Here,” of my journey to publication in fiction, found on this blog.] Your story has really ministered to me this week.

I've talked with you a couple of times at Mt. Hermon, this year included, and I enjoy your books. I've had a couple of "close encounters" with pub boards, the latest of which came this week. [Recently] I was thrilled to get an email from [an editor] saying my suspense novel would be taken to committee on Wednesday April 19. But I'd been disappointed before so I was trying not to get my hopes up.


Wednesday came and nearly went, and when I didn't get an email from [the editor] I had a feeling the news was not going to be happy. When instead I got an email from [my agent] with the word "drat" in the subject line—well that said it all. It seemed my story was too disturbing. [The editor] was disappointed, [my agent] was disappointed, I was certainly disappointed, but the answer was still no.

Having gone through this same type of thing two years before with a manuscript that [another editor] took to committee, and having seen my first contracted book go unpublished a year before that when the company filed bankruptcy, I was beginning to feel that maybe God hadn't called me to be a writer of Christian fiction even though it's been my passion for two decades. I was feeling pretty down when a good friend and fellow writer sent me a link to your blog, saying I should read your "How I got here" never-ending saga.

It was not an accident that she came across it, and not an accident that she sent it. And all I can say after reading it is, "Please God, please God, please God, NOT THAT!" Ha.

But I've been encouraged by your story. And the thing I came away with tonight is that I'm not going to buy into Satan's lies anymore. God has called me to write. I write for Him and the results are in His hands. So thank you for sharing.
I am so encouraged to received e-mails like this one. We serve an efficient God. He can use one person’s difficulties to reach many people. That's why we should tell others about our struggles whenever it's appropriate. Never know who may be helped along the way. Long live the NES!


relevantgirl said...

Great stuff, Brandilyn. I've sometimes lamented that my prose is too "out there," particularly the vulnerable stuff. But that's the stuff that touches people.

Keep up the honesty. It touches many.

Wayne Scott said...

To the anonymous new BG who was the recipient of the "Drat" letter: Thank you for allowing Brandilyn to share your letter with us.

I have yet to submit for publication, but I think my WIP has the potential to meet with the same resistance you're experiencing. An agent read half of the first page of my prologue and told me it was too disturbing for him to continue. Fortunately, the editors I've shown it to were more receptive. I think one editor hit the nail on the head when she exclaimed "Well, you're certainly not writing for the little old lady crowd, are you?" Nope. I'm writing for Him, and I hope to help get a small part of His message to the sort of people who wouldn't touch a little old lady book.

I'm pulling for you, Anonymous. Don't give up!

Sabrina L. Fox said...

Now see, I read WOL and got the heebie jeebies. (obviously I have no idea how to spell that) I wish I had more of that disturbing quality you guys seem to have. I'd love to have the ability to make my reader's skin crawl! LOL.

Anonymous, keep on trying...We'll be pulling for you. =)

shanna said...

Hey folks!

Just got a reply from Brandilyn about the ARCs for the blog audition. She apologized that the last ARC went out just before me and recommended that I try bumming (not her word :-) ) a copy off one of her gracious FAF folks.

Would anyone be game for this, after, of course, you've had a shot at your audition? I'd be happy to pay the postage, and you'd get your copy back.

You can reach me through my blog, or at

Good luck to the rest of you!

Shanna Philipson

D. Gudger said...

I know this relates to the post a few days back re: topics for the blog - I don't get to the computer as much w/ the baby in the house...

A few weeks ago I read a post on faith*in*fiction about how the CBA has created a "banned words list" it bans words like "drat, crap, darn", etc. I have not found any more info on said list. What do you know about it, and how do we as writers who want to be real deal with some really silly exclusions?

shanna said...

This was an April Fools joke of Jana Reiss's. Feel free to be as real as you wanna...

johnny dangerous said...

Hello, friends: I just got word that my short story, "Assisted Living," won First Prize in the Phidian Art Society of Illinois Literary Contest (a secular venue). What a hoot! The awards banquet is May 2. I've posted the story on my blog, It isn't a mystery, but it touches upon the "higher mysteries" that we are fond of :-)

Wayne Scott said...

Congrats, johnny. You must be thrilled! Enjoy your banquet.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Great post Brandilyn, and I've already been told that my WIP was too 'edgy' for womens' fiction, so I changed the genre :-)

BTW....buddaflymomo...most of those words are on Steeple Hill's list of unacceptable language for christian fiction.