Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Soft Place to Fall

I came to the blog this morning with humor on my mind. I was just going to write about things that inspire my funny. But for some reason, my mind went in another direction.

I do love me some Avalon Books.

As a writer, I started out as a screenwriter, but soon was led to seek a place in the inspirational publishing market. Not an easy journey! Along the way, I discovered this really soft place to fall called Avalon. Sweet romance was a perfect outlet for someone like me. I worked with Erin Cartwright (now Niumata) who, at the time, was Avalon’s senior fiction editor. Erin took the time to work with me on my craft, guide me through what worked and what didn’t, taking the time to explain why and why not.

For anyone reading this who is NOT a writer, let me be sure and point out that most editors DO NOT DO THIS. It’s not their job to mentor you or to push you along. But for whatever reason, Erin did that for me. And I’m a better, stronger writer now because of her influence.

I’ve finally landed in my niche within the inspirational market, after so many years of trying. With Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas, I was able to “find my funny” and apply it alongside my faith and my love for a happy ending. The reviews were wonderful, and the sales have been pretty great, too … And as I’ve dug deeper into the inspirational market, editors and readers and other authors along the way have consistently told me that comedy is where I belong. Not that I hadn’t heard that before. Erin was the one to say it first.

It’s an exciting time for me now as a writer. I have 2 more Summerside Press books coming out by the end of this year (Love Finds You in Holiday, Florida, and a devotional I co-authored called Be Still … and Let Your Nail Polish Dry). In 2010, there will be two titles (including The Big 5-OH! ) for Abingdon Press, and one more Love Finds You title for Summerside. All of them comedies, and all of them glinting now and then with the lingering fingerprints of a senior fiction editor who once took the time to dust me off, set me straight and send me on my way.

My days as a writer and fan of Avalon Books are not over. But beginnings are a beautiful thing, aren’t they? I hope anyone reading this, writer or not, will take stock of your beginnings, and really chew on those nutritious lessons learned. I’m a true believer in taking the praise AS WELL AS the rejections as a sort of roadmap for where you’re headed. The journey is so much more pleasant when it’s traveled in great company. With Erin, and with a fantastic family of Avalon authors, I started this journey in great company indeed!


Debby Mayne said...

I enjoyed reading about your journey, Sandie! It's amazing how many different paths lead to the same destination.

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Sandie,

Nice sweet post. So glad to see you are doing so well.

*waves* to all my beloved Avalon Authors.

Sierra Donovan said...

Sandie, congratulations on the new books! I hadn't spotted your first "Love Finds You" book -- I'll be sure to track it down. Meantime, it's always nice to see you here in Avalon-land!

Kathye Quick said...

Hi Sandie - I, too, love writing for Avalon. The support is incredibale as is the love from fellow authors.

Someday, maybe after I retire from my day job, I'll venture out into the other world of publishing, but not right now. Chlesea and I are a prefect fit right now. I love it here

Carol Hutchens said...

Great post, Sandie. Enjoyed your style. Congratulations on your news.

Roni Denholtz said...

Nice to "see" you here, Sandie! I too love Avalon Books--they're well-written and enjoyable!

Angela Breidenbach said...

It's interesting that you started as a screen writer. That's the next area I'd like to explore :-) I plan to take that track at the ACFW conference this fall.