In 2002, as my health was crumbling to the point that full-time teaching was no longer a possibility and I didn't know what I was going to do, my dad--feeling as though I needed a major lift--took it upon himself to make my publishing dream come true. He sent a story I'd written, titled A Seeking Heart, to Steve Laube, who owned a self-publishing company called American Christian Writers Press. And Steve agreed to print it.
Thus began a journey beyond the scope of my wildest imaginings.
You see, all of my growing-up years I had held tight to aspirations of being a writer someday. But a series of rejections from publishing companies in the early 1990s convinced me I had no future in writing, so I'd poured my heart into teaching. Loved it, too--felt secure and successful in the classroom. But God, the planter of dreams, had a different course for me. I truly believe He allowed my health to deteriorate so I would be forced to step out of my comfort zone and take a second look at writing. And He prompted Daddy to reactivate my long-held dream at the perfect time.
A Seeking Heart found an audience, and the feedback from readers gave me the courage to once again submit to traditional publishers. In January of 2005, one of my stories found its way to Bethany House, where Carol Johnson enjoyed it enough to ask Janette Oke to take a peek at it, leading to an endorsement from the "Queen of Christian Fiction" for my first traditionally published novel, Waiting for Summer's Return. (I still hyperventilate when I think about it!) I contracted with Bethany House in March of 2005 and have been celebrating a full-time writing ministry ever since.
But y'know what? God still had a few surprises up His sleeve. :o)
Between 2002 and 2005, I had arranged with a print-on-demand company to print two follow-up books to A Seeking Heart, creating a three-book series.
Between 2006 and 2010, my agent sent out queries to traditional publishers about the Mountain Lake Series, but none were interested. As much as I wanted these stories--these very special, first, straight-from-my-heart stories--to be given new life, it seemed as though it was a dream that would be forced to fizzle. Until now.
Recently two things happened: 1) My agent joined the Steve Laube Agency (the same Steve Laube who had a role in placing my very first book into the hands of readers); and 2) a company called Hendrickson purchased rights to reprint the three books in the Mountain Lake Series. My editor for the project is (are you ready for this?) Carol Johnson.
I realize there are some people who would call this coincidence. I don't. To me, it's a very clear picture that God is right in the center of my writing ministry. Which is, of course, where I want Him to be. He truly has brought me full circle, drawing me fully into His plans for my writing. Is there any better place to be than the center of God's will? I don't think so.
Years ago, I adopted the verse "Delight yourself in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart (Ps. 37:4, NKJV)." I wanted to delight myself so thoroughly in Him that seeking and following HIS will would become the deepest desire of my heart. Then, whatever He gave me would be exactly what I wanted. When I adopted that verse, I didn't know where He would take me, but now I can look back and see how my heart's desires have been met abundantly and exceedingly beyond my expectation.
The rewritten and updated Mountain Lake Trilogy will release in 2012--ten years after the release of my very first self-published novel. I intend to host a celebration of praise for all God has accomplished within that decade. He simply amazes me!
May God bless you muchly as you journey with Him! ~Kim