Life After The Call

I’m sharing from my heart today. If you came expecting to learn seven secrets to overnight success or three tips on preparing for publication, you won’t find them.

What you will find is a post from a newly-contracted author who’s just experienced one of the most amazing weeks of her life. It ranks up there with marrying Gwynly, getting my bachelor’s degree after eleven years of study, moving to Germany, and the birth of the Fashion Queen.

One of the best parts of the whole week was sharing my excitement with you, my awesome friends. I’ve been blown away by the deluge of congratulatory messages on my blog and Facebook and those received via tweets on Twitter, personal email, and even snail mail. I’m beyond grateful.

As amazing as the past seven days have been, I’ve begun my return flight from the outer reaches of the stratosphere. Not to worry. Mine isn’t an asteroid-heading-for-earth-ready-to-make-a-serious-dent-in-its-surface descent. Think instead of a feather floating to the ground with gentle twirls and swirls as it encounters updrafts en route to its destination.

A New Focus

I’ve done a great deal of thinking about the future in terms of my writing career and my blogging efforts, and I’ve made some decisions. One thing I know from interviewing over a hundred debut authors is that life changes after the first contact is signed. I’ve embarked on a new course of study as I learn the business side of the publishing world.

When I examined my blogging efforts to this point, I realized I’m all about the journey and doing whatever I can to help you on yours. When I thought about the type of posts I’m drawn to, I narrowed it down to two: posts on craft and posts on the writing life. I can teach craft and might have craft-related posts at times, but I consider posts on the writing life more suited to me and my style.

A New Plan

When I share the news of my contract with my non-writer friends, many of them were shocked to learn that it might be eighteen months before my book will be available. I gave them a condensed version of the process my book and I will go through before I hold it in my hands for the first time. I couldn’t give them more than that because, quite frankly, I don’t know everything that will take place.

Being a detailed person who has a love affair with lists, I feel a bit a loose ends right now. I wish I had a time line to follow with every step presented in sequence. While there are books and blogs about the basics, I have a desire to know the little stuff, too.

My plan is to share my writing journey with you so you can see the process as I go from contract to release date. At first I was hesitant to do so. After all, I’ve read many blog posts saying that talking about ourselves on our blogs can be boring. I’ve taken that into consideration, but I reminded myself that I couldn’t get enough of the posts that took me through a writer’s journey to publication. My thinking is that I’m not alone and that you might find it interesting to see the process from the eyes of someone going through it for the first time.

A Request

My plan at this point is to publish posts Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. If I find that schedule to be overly ambitious, considering the fact that I will have publishing deadlines and will also be posting on my other blog, Romance Writers on the Journey, twice a week, I might have to cut back to two days a week here.

I’d like to enlist your help as I embark on my plan. While I will be using my journey from contract to release as an example, I don’t want my posts to be all about me. I want them to be of help to you. And I most certainly want to make them fun to read.

So, I invite you to give me feedback. If I discuss an aspect of my process you’d like to hear more about, let me know. If you have questions, share them in a comment or shoot me an email. (My address is in the sidebar.) And if you find my posts to be as exciting as belly button lint, by all means tell me. I don’t want my blog to be known as a great place to visit if you’re suffering from insomnia.

* * *

What aspects of the publishing process are you most interested in?

Join me Wednesday when I share my book’s tentative title.


About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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19 Responses to Life After The Call

  1. Martina Bedregal Calderón says:

    Keli, no matter if it takes 12, 18 or even more months until your book is out on the market and in the shops, but the most important step is done now for you. I hope your heartbeat is back to normal (hehe) and your sleep as well! For surely there will be many more exciting weeks ahead. And surely there will be a list of people who look forward to buy and read your book (including me of course!).

    I would like to know how the advertising for your book will be done, by youself,your agent, your publisher. So please keep us updated how things go on.

    And I want to thank you. Your blog , your words and the comments and stories of other writers here have given me the courage to try to go public, too (ok, I wrote some songs for friends, but that is something else). I wrote a lot since more than 20 years but never went public. Now one of my novels is online and I will send it to new authors /writers competitions this year.

    Looking forward to read your book’s tentative title… and wishing you all the best!

  2. Terri Tffany says:

    I am happy this is the approach you’re going to take. I want to hear about the process and each step. A friend and I were walking one day and I mentioned how long the process is for a publication house to accept a book, she was shocked as she self-publishes. But I found when she pressed me for details, I couldn’t answer her, I don’t know exactly what goes on and so it would be great to read about it all. I know Jody has shared some too and I was glued to her posts.
    Knowledge is good!!

  3. Wendy says:

    It is came from you, I’d even want to read posts about belly button lint. 😉

    You are a beautiful soul and I find myself continually encouraged by you. Thanks for that. I won’t forget it!
    ~ Wendy

  4. Lori Benton says:

    I’d love to follow you through this journey, Keli. So many writers will benefit!

  5. I’m very curious about the process. My story (A SAVING TRANSFORMATION–they may even have changed the title) in THE DOG NEXT DOOR (release 6/1/2011) already for sale on Amazon was purchased two years ago. I’m sure anthologies are different, but it’s been a looooong wait.

  6. I’m excited about these new posts, Keli, and excited to hear all about your journey from here to publication. I’m also curious, are you working on a new story now?

  7. Susan Mason says:

    I think this is a great idea, Keli! The publication process is a mystery to most of us, so any tips we can get along the way will be wonderful!

    Love your honest, down-to-earth way of telling us things, too. (belly button lint -ha ha)

    Looking forward to your posts,


  8. candidkerry says:

    Hi Keli,

    Congratulations! How exciting to sign your name on THE line, knowing all your hard work, prayers, and editing has paid off. Prayers for a smooth (and quick!) transition into the published world! I can’t wait to read your book.

    I’m finishing up my own book and seeking publication very soon, so I would LOVE to hear about the entire process and learn how it comes together for a new author. That would be a huge blessing for me and others, I’m sure. (After all, sometimes finding belly button lint is a good thing because it reminds us of something we just wore!;)

    Congratulations again!

    God Bless,

  9. I am very happy for you, Keli. I look forward to your upcoming posts about the time after contract. I’ve heard bits and pieces about this part of the writing career, and to be frank, it’s made me apprehensive. If anyone can handle it and find joy in it, you can. Blessings to you, Keli…

  10. mel says:

    Congratulations Keli,

    I keep reading your encouraging comments on other blogs and I just wanted to stop by and say I’m blessed by your words.

    I look forward to reading more of your thoughts here.


  11. Erin says:

    Oooh… I can’t WAIT to hear the title! And I’m proud of you on your new venture to blog M/W/F. It’s hard… especially with publishing deadlines…but you can DO IT!

  12. Preslaysa says:

    Hey Keli-

    I’m looking forward to following your writing journey on this blog. It’s an excellent idea. One thing I’d like to to know is how you juggle edits on your currently contracted book with planning/writing a new story. (I’m a list person too so I’d like to see the details of your process 😉

    Thanks for generously sharing your knowledge with the writing community.



  13. Mary says:

    Hi Keli,
    I’m so happy to hear you’re still floating gently in the ether.

    Your plan for your posts sounds inspired and I know you’ll make them valuable. I have so many people I talk to on a daily basis about my teaching life, but my writing life thrives from these online friendships and I cherish them.

  14. Jennie Allen says:

    Very Exciting! Congratulations- look forward to following!

  15. I was waiting to comment. This post touched me so. I love the plan! Plus with your heart, we’re going to get so much information and it will really be from the source! YAY!

    Thanks, Keli! I appreciate all you do!

  16. I like your plan and will be following your posts as closely as I did Jody’s. Hearing about the publication process first hand is like being handed a road map. I know my journey won’t take exactly the same route, but knowing how you got there will help me head in the right direction. From following you on the RWOTJ blog I know what a wonderful guide and encourager you are!

    Again, congratulations, and may you be blessed all through your new adventure.

  17. Tamika Eason says:

    Seven is a special number! Thank you Keli for taking us behind the curtain of publishing- tear that veil girl! I can’t wait to learn more:)

  18. pepperbasham says:

    Hi Keli,
    Still dancing for you in Tennesse – though my legs are starting to get a little tired 🙂 The smile’s intact, though.

    I recently had to step back from my blog to 3 days a week, and I don’t even have the excuse of your wonderful news. But there are only so many hours in the day, right? And all of us want you to work on those lovely stories of yours 🙂

    I love learning about the writing craft – the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s also a delight to learn it through the ‘eyes’ of a newly published person, kind of the process.


  19. I’m a couple days behind on this, Keli, but just wanted to say I’m also excited about following your exciting journey! I always enjoy reading about writers getting “the call” and then what happens next *smile*… thank you for sharing!
    Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo 🙂

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