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.”
I held my first official book signing on Saturday, June 23, at Chapters in Lethbridge, Alberta. I was naturally a little nervous about it, but once things got going, it was a lot of fun. We had put an article in the local newspaper in advance, and quite a few friends and acquaintances came out specifically to see me. The sales went better than the store manager expected, which was encouraging. He invited me back to hold as many book signings as I want. I'll definitely do it again.
I had a banner printed and then wrapped it around a frame to simulate the novel. I'm going to put it on a float for our community parade in July and hold a book signing afterward.
What a thrill it was for me to see this picture of my youngest grandson, Chase, sitting in Barnes & Noble in Denver, looking at a copy of my novel, The Anniversary Waltz. I live in Alberta, Canada, 1500 km away, and yet the two of us were linked together in a special way the moment he touched the novel. He is only two years old and doesn’t completely understand the significance of the moment, but the sight of him holding my novel is a picture I will treasure in my heart.
I am a schoolteacher by profession and a writer at heart. I have always loved to write, be it stories, poems, songs, or novels.