Funny how seemingly small things can make such a big difference in the end.
I had spent several years writing a novel and had contacted dozens upon dozens of agents regarding representation. To no avail. Rejection slips piled up in quantities sufficient to wallpaper our living room. I decided to shelve the manuscript and chalk it up to the fact that it just wasn’t meant to be.
Shortly after this decision, my wife and I visited our son and his family, who live in in Salt Lake City, Utah. He mentioned that he had recorded a Glen Beck interview with Richard Paul Evans. My son knew I had read all of Mr. Evans’s books and would be interested in the interview.
During the interview, I was impressed by Mr. Evans’s account of the adversities he had faced in his own life and how he was working through them. No one is free from challenges, he explained. As the interview continued, a determination came over me not to give up. Not to shelve the manuscript and chalk it up to a “learning experience.” I decided right then and there to rework the manuscript once more and try again.
When I returned to our home in Alberta, Canada, I did just that. I spent six months rewriting the manuscript and trying to instill in my characters the courage and determination that inspired me that day as I watched the interview.
After completing the manuscript, I sent out another batch of letters of inquiry to agents. Within two hours, an agent contacted me to say she loved the story and wanted to sign me to a contract.
After a journey of years, The Anniversary Waltz was finally published in May of 2012 and is receiving encouraging reviews. My second novel is scheduled to come out in the spring of 2013, and I am negotiating another two-novel contract at this time.
And to think it almost didn’t come about.
Thank you, Richard Paul Evans. If not for your interview, my manuscripts would be sitting on the shelf, collecting dust—a shelf labeled “What Might Have Been.”
People have asked me what inspires me to write. When I was a young boy it was the action world of heroes and villains. I based my childhood stories on comic book characters, and created settings in distant, exotic places. It was fun to put the characters in impossible situations and see them defy the odds and live to fight another day.
In time the adventure stories gave way to more realistic situations. I realized that it often takes more courage to face everyday life than to face the perils in make-believe worlds. I’ve discovered that the real inspiration for me is the theme of love. What a difference love can make in the world. In this age of growing despair and increasing calamities, I feel it’s important to have faith that love can overcome the obstacles we face. Or at least help us endure them. I believe in its redemptive power. And what a difference that has made in my writing.
The Anniversary Waltz comes out in May 2012. Check it out and see what you think.
I am a schoolteacher by profession and a writer at heart. I have always loved to write, be it stories, poems, songs, or novels.