Bits and pieces (left some out so this post wouldn’t run on for ages) of my e-mail convos with Sunny in the next few weeks/months: (sorry about the wacko formatting)
January 26, 2005
Hello, friend Sunny! Wow. Thank you so much for your kind words about my book. You can’t imagine how thrilled I was when I got your e-mail. Wow. I will definitely get you the rest of the manuscript ASAP…
I would like a few days to tweak some chapters and to make sure it’s the best it can be. Would that be okay? My grandpa died on Monday night, and we are currently in the middle of viewing and funeral arrangements, so I wouldn’t be able to get started on it until Monday. Could you give me a date that you would like everything sent to you by? Thank you so, so much. Again, wow.
Very, very warmly, Marla Taviano
January 26, 2005
Marla…. not the grandpa with the farm. I feel like I know your family a little bit now, after reading your wonderful stories about them. Please, take as much time as you need. As one writer to another, I completely understand about the need to tweak.
Take care, girl. You are appreciated!
January 26, 2005
Yes, the grandpa with the farm. When I read that first sentence in your e-mail, my heart stopped. “How does she know my grandpa?” I thought. And then I kept reading. And then I started bawling. That means so much that you feel like you know my family after reading that chapter. I was asked to speak at the funeral, and I prayed that God would show me what to say. I know now. I’m going to use the excerpt from my book about the Yoder Family Softball game and “tweak” it just a little to make Grandpa the star of the story.
February 16th is perfect. Thank you for the extra time. I’m really thankful for you, Sunny. Whatever happens with my book, God has already used you to encourage my heart.
Thank you. Marla
January 26, 2005 (Sunny shared a personal story with me–I’ve copied the ending here)
Then, just a couple of weeks later, she was gone. I couldn’t believe it. All I had left of her was a hand-made Christmas card, and four years of bitter-sweet memories. I haven’t written a word of my book since. Until now. You’ve inspired me. How can God use a terrible thing to touch people for the good if we won’t do our part to share those things with courage. It’s the true-life experiences that dig the deepest inside people to bring healing and hope.
I am still in shock over the fact that Harvest House publishers may want to publish my book. Your affirming comments are just beyond anything I could imagine… It doesn’t seem real. And I feel so humbled. Why would God give me this kind of talent? I don’t deserve it. Well, hello. Isn’t that the point of God being God and us being us? Undeserved riches.
I will pray for you as you work on your book. What an awesome opportunity–and responsibility–to share what God has brought you through. And you think I’m gutsy.
Gratefully and humbly His,
ANYWAY, so you’re sure it’s a good thing that he passed the book off? Did he look at it at all first or immediately know it wasn’t his area of expertise? Do you really think it has a chance? Oops, I wasn’t going to pester you! I need to just stop thinking about it. You said such wonderful things about it, but some days I just can’t believe that someone would want to publish it. Time to trust God’s will.
Thanks for being there for me in all this! I appreciate you writing today!
Waiting with a Smile,
Just so you know, It is very difficult to get a proposal/manuscript to PubCo–but yours is on its way. They meet tomorrow, then each member takes the material and reads it in the coming week. Then, the next time they meet they discuss it. You should be very proud that your book merits going to PubCo. Whether they decide it is a fit for Harvest House or not, you done good, girl! Now, bask in the glow and don’t email me for another two weeks. 🙂
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.