What To Do When Dreams Come True
We all have dreams. Recently, I wrote to you in this newsletter about chasing your dreams. (See below.) I had a dream come true last week. I signed a contract from a literary agent who wanted to represent me, my recent novel, The Desert Between Us, and future books.
After I signed the agent contract, I immediately signed a contract to publish the novel with a traditional publisher. It usually doesn’t happen this way. The timing was incredible. Landing an agent AND a book publisher on the same day is every author’s dream.
Now, what do you do when your dream comes true? Laugh? Cry? Dance? Phone everyone you know? Celebrate? All the above—simultaneously?
For me, I PAUSED. I walked outside and reflected on the two years it took to write this “love after loss” story—and the fifteen years the idea was parked in my heart. Later, I went for a drive, bought a cup of coffee, pulled under a shade tree, and thought about my parents who inspired the novel. Would they be proud? What would they think?
My unassuming parents had an enviable marriage that was oh-so-short before my father lost her to cancer. Under this shade tree, I recalled his insurmountable challenge to raise six young children alone. And, I thought about the forty-three years this strong man lived without her, yet his common refrain rang in my ears: “Not a day goes by that I don’t think about your mother.” Could he ever give himself "permission" to love again? (Thus, this is the premise of the novel.)
As I sipped my coffee, I let it sink in that this novel—this story of victoriously navigating the fog of grief to find victory—will now be published and provide help and hope for readers in similar circumstances.
Most of all, I sat quietly and gave thanks. Thanks for the people who made it possible. My wife, Karen, who filled me with ideas to fuel the fire, my sons and their wives who helped shape and proofread early drafts, siblings who support all my work, my friend, Dave, who would never let me succumb to writer’s block and pushed me forward, bestselling author Richard Paul Evans, and bestselling author of children's books, Michelle Medlock Adams, who connected me with industry professionals simply because she believes in me—and my work. https://michellemedlockadams.com/
As the coffee warmed me, and the reality of the situation settled in, I experienced tears of joy. Joy for God’s goodness and the “potential” of a novel that was written to speak to the hearts of those who are—or have—grieved.
Number one bestselling author Richard Paul Evans, author of The Christmas Box and forty-three consecutive bestsellers, has endorsed my novel, and once said:
“For every now and then, we find that one book that reaches us deep inside and introduces us to ourselves. And, in someone else’s story, we come to understand our own.”
This is my goal for The Desert Between Us.
In the meantime, now that I have PAUSED and reflected on signing contracts with an agent and a traditional publisher, it’s time to be thankful—and celebrate.
SOMETHING TO CHEW ON: What goal have you recently achieved—or will achieve? How will you react? Amid your reaction, pause and be thankful. Then celebrate. Celebrate even the small victories. (I still celebrate small writing victories with a Snickers bar.)
SOMETHING ELSE YOU MIGHT ENJOY
Here is the newsletter I referred to in the opening paragraph above. https://jamescmagruder.com/news/living-sidelines-dream
For more information on Richard Paul Evans, click here: https://www.richardpaulevans.com/
For more information on children's books by bestselling author Michelle Medlock Adams click here: https://michellemedlockadams.com/
PHOTO ABOVE: At the contract signing with literary agent Andy Clapp on my left and Cyle Young (standing), owner of the C.Y.L.E. literary agency.
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