For almost five years now, I've been living with a little secret: from August 2, 2007 until December 1, 2012, I was fulfilling a lifelong dream and working on a novel. I was not writing (and re--writing!) non-stop; I took plenty of breaks along the way--when I came to a part of the story that was particularly difficult to write, for instance; or when several of my sons were home from college for their summer breaks, and I couldn't really buckle down because I was so happy to have them home and wanted to spend time with them. But I finally finished my manuscript, which has a definite pro-Catholic (as well as pro-life, pro-chastity, and pro-family) slant to it, and I sent it to a traditional Catholic publishing house, from which I received my first rejection letter several months later.
I was not that surprised or upset by the rejection. I know how hard it is to get a book published. But instead of contacting other traditional publishers, I decided to go with a Catholic self-publishing company called Bezalel Books. Just as I was coming to the end of the writing process, I found an article about this company on-line and was amazed to learn that Cheryl Dickow, Bezalel's founder and president, started her publishing business in 2007, the very year I began to write my book. Her whole reason for wanting to start her own publishing house stemmed from the fact that as a teacher at a Catholic middle school, she found that her students didn't have Catholic fiction to read. There was plenty of Christian literature, but not specifically Catholic literature. She felt strongly enough about the need to provide young readers with this specific entity that she quit her job and started her own business.
When I read what Cheryl Dickow's mission was, it sounded very much like mine. I wanted to write this book because I worry about the kind of literature that is being targeted at our young people, and I wanted to write a novel that would be different than the mainstream fare.
We are going through the editing process at the moment (finding nit-picky little inconsistencies in punctuation, capitalization, or what-have-you, in order to make sure that the manuscript is as perfect as it can possibly be). That should be finished soon, and the book is slated to come out in August or September.
I was so afraid to spill the beans about my project as I was working on it, worried that I would never finish and would be embarrassed I'd talked about it. Only my immediate family--my husband, sons, and daughter-in-law--have known about it for a long time. But now, the beans have been spilled for me: on the blog site for Bezalel Books, my soon-to-be-in-print novel is mentioned in a July 24 article called "Great New Titles." I have shared the link today in a separate post.