My novella sold! I can hardly believe I am blogging these words:
This is it in a nut-shell: "Working on the Underground Railroad fascinates an idealistic Quaker until she must help care for an injured slave hunter, a former Friend who tries her patience and challenges all her beliefs."
New Garden's Crossroad is one of four novellas in a collection to be published by Barbour in February of 2012. It's set in my home town, Fountain City, with several scenes at the Levi Coffin House.
My agent, Terry Burns, suggested that two of us who had written on Quaker themes work with two other clients to put four stories together for a series of four-in-one books for Barbour. The other ladies are Jennifer Hudson Taylor, Claire Sanders, and Susette Williams. The stories follow a Quaker family from 1808 in North Carolina (Jennifer's) to Indiana in 1840 (my story) and the Civil War (Claire's) and then into the present (Susette's).
I like writing about the Friends because we all have to work out how to be in the world but not of it. They felt integrity, equality including plain speech and clothing, and non-violence all testified to their faith in Christ.
A year ago, however, I struggled through my first month at the factory where I still work. I was exhausted. It is hot, hectic, and loud. I told my husband it was like baling hay, all day, every day of the week. With that job and the kids getting busier all the time, I was tempted to set writing aside. But, the Lord had given some particular ideas to me. To be a good steward I had to try and develop them. The story set in Fountain City was only a paragraph of what-ifs until the idea of a novella came up, then it seemed to take off.
I'm so thankful that I met Terry at the ACFW conference in 2008, and for writing friends who encouraged me not to give up.
A whole new adventure begins. I am looking forward to the rest of the process. I wonder if our collection will sell well and if I will ever sell anything again. For right now I am still sort of pinching myself.
I'm not ready to quit my day job yet. My secular humanist boss and cynical group leader have cheered me on. My story is probably one that those tough guys would never read except for knowing the author. (They still might not read it!) I hope the book can go places I can't, and touch people I will never meet. What a privilege.