I signed a book contract.
Back in September last year, I got the news that my manuscript was approved by Discovery House.
Just after noon on an otherwise ordinary Tuesday, I read the e-mail from my phone while holding a paint roller in my other hand. I was decked out in my grubby paint clothes, having just finished rolling a coat of white paint onto the ceiling where the drywall had to be repaired after the bathtub leaked.
My eyes caught the words “Congratulations! Your book was approved!” just before they caught my son “wiping spilled water off the counter” with his Matchbox car. I looked at our disheveled reality and breathed out a laugh of disbelief and gratitude and terror.
It’s a memoir, you see. And while I thank God for this incredible opportunity, deep down I have mixed feelings. A blend of bitter and sweet flow within, because much of my story was motivated by my mom’s death.
After reading the acceptance e-mail, a swirl of emotions coursed through me — shock at the fact that they actually accepted my work, heaviness as the weight of responsibility descended, giddyness that it was really going to happen, sadness over not being able to share the news with my mom.
To be honest, I’d much rather have my mom than a book with my name on it. Any day.
But she’s gone, and there’s no going back, and so the chance to bring part of her story back to life feels a little like redemption. Like one way that God might bring beauty out of the ashes.
I’ve been wanting to tell you for a while, but it never quite felt like the right time.
But now I’m neck deep in revisions and edits, and oh my goodness, I just had to spill the beans. Mostly, because I’m desperate for prayer.
I have the most amazing editorial team. God gave me just the right publisher to fit my personality and this project. My editors have poured so much time and energy into this project already, and I can’t thank them enough. But the truth is, even with their help and expertise, writing is hard work. Writing memoir is particularly draining. It saps and empties. But oh, how it fills.
I’ve been stretched and pressed and turned inside out in the writing, but I know it’s all for my good — and for your good, too, I hope.
This books is more than just my story — it’s the story of everyone who has felt the tension of living in two worlds. Maybe that looks like growing up in a divorced home. Maybe it looks like being an expat or a third-culture kid. Maybe it looks like living as a Christian in a dark place, longing for heaven.
I pray that this book will challenge each reader to look beyond the shadow of this life to the home that awaits all who put their faith in Jesus Christ.
It’s been a long journey in trust already, and still a lengthy road ahead — but all happens in God’s time and for His glory. I’m resting in that truth, and thanking Him for the opportunity to use the gifts He’s given for His sake.
I covet your prayers as I write and re-write and add and delete. That God would give me the words He wants published, and that He would fetch glory for Himself in the process.
For those who want a glimpse into the waiting game and how the process unfolded:
March 16, 2015: E-mailed an inquiry to Discovery House
March 17, 2015: Acquisitions Editor asked for two sample chapters
April 16, 2015: Editorial team gave the Acquisitions Editor the green light to advocate for my book at the next Publication Board meeting; asked for platform stats, whether I had any more chapters to share, and whether we could meet in person
April 16, 2015: I sent a 29,000 word first draft to the Acquisitions Editor and made arrangements to meet the following Tuesday
April 21, 2015: Had a lovely, encouraging meeting with the Acquisitions Editor and Senior Editor at Panera; left feeling very positive and affirmed in my purpose
April 22, 2015: Received a five-page revision memo from the two editors I met; both had read the 29,000 words I sent and offered helpful feedback; part of the revision request included asking me to add at least 20,000 more words to the manuscript; Learned that the Publication Board would meet to discuss my book on April 28
April 28, 2015: Discovery House Publication Board met at 4pm to discuss the possibility of publishing my memoir. I spent the day asking for the Lord’s will to be done. Whether they said yes or no, I wanted to trust that their decision was God’s decision.
April 29, 2015: Looked at my watch and checked e-mail approximately every twenty minutes, anticipating an answer. By 3pm, I still had no response and assumed that no news was bad news. At 3:40pm, I received an e-mail from the Senior Editor. The publishing committee had expressed interest, but wanted to see four revised chapters before making a final decision. I was more surprised than discouraged, as I was expecting a straight “yes” or “no.” I took the fact that it wasn’t a rejection as a positive sign, and promised to work on revising four chapters for their consideration.
May 2015: Worked like crazy to bring my manuscript up to 49,000 words and make the changes requested in the revision memo
June 12, 2015: Submitted a revised draft of 49,000 words to Discovery House
September 8, 2015: Sent an inquiry to literary agency Credo Communications
September 9, 2015: Received response from agent at Credo
September 15, 2015: Publication Board met to discuss my book for the second time. At 12:19pm, I received an e-mail that read, “Congratulations! Your book was approved!”
October 9, 2015: Met with agent from Credo at writers’ conference
October 12, 2015: Received the first draft of the contract from Discovery House
November 2, 2015: Met with Credo agent to discuss DH contract
November 10, 2015: Signed for representation with a literary agent at Credo Communications
November 18, 2015: Received, signed, and sent the final draft of the contract from Discovery House
February 2, 2016: Received thorough, detailed comments on my revised draft
2017: Publication, Lord willing!
To celebrate, I’m offering my 24-page e-book, Letters to Grief, for FREE from Monday, February 29th through Friday, March 4th.
Thank you in advance for your prayers and support! I truly appreciate each and every one of you, and can’t wait to share in this journey with you.
If you haven’t already, go ahead and subscribe to this blog to be sure you’re the first to get more news!
FREE E-BOOK: ME TOO
Subscribe to receive the latest posts in your inbox, plus receive a free copy of the e-book, "Me Too," which includes a chapter written by Kate Motaung.