Oh my! A long time. I spent about twenty years pursuing novel writing seriously (and experiencing some ups but mostly downs) before my book proposal for Fatal Illusions caught the eye of a literary agent. I completed five unpublished novels, mostly for youth, before I began Fatal Illusions, which I was calling Now You See Him, in the spring of 2002 in conjunction with a Writer’s Digest correspondence course on novel writing. I finished the first draft in the fall of 2005 and began contacting literary agents.
In January of 2006, literary agent Steve Laube, a well-known and respected voice in Christian fiction, responded enthusiastically to my book proposal and asked to see the entire manuscript. Of course, I was on cloud nine; the hard work and sacrifice were finally paying off. Though he ultimately declined to represent me, he didn’t merely send me a form letter so typical in the publishing industry. He sent me a two-page letter, pointing out how few manuscripts reach the stage that mine did, and gave me eight pointers on how to make the novel publishable.
Energized, I followed his advice and got to work, but I still couldn’t find an agent or publisher. A year later, I contacted Kregel Publications, not about my novel but about opportunities to edit books from home. The managing editor noticed on my resume that I had written several unpublished novels and asked to see my latest project. In short, Kregel liked what they saw in Fatal Illusions and accepted it for publication in August 2007. God opened a door I never could have opened for myself.
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