This past year has been quite an adventure. Highs, lows, big time awards (Genesis win at ACFW), and a lot of health issues in our family during the intervening days.
But the 30th of December, the next-to-last-day of the year, will be one I remember a very long time.
Yup. Assault on Saint Agnes is scheduled to be published this spring – projected release date is 18 April.
It’s been a long, difficult, road to this date. Every writer out there knows the effort it takes to turn out a decent book. It wasn’t done alone.
My wife, Kip, has listened to me babble, rant, read out loud, and generally drive her nuts for years with my writing. She edited the first couple drafts for me as well. Without her, and her tolerance of my quirks, this never would have happened.
Tony Horvath, Athanatos Publishing Group, and his crew – including Deb and Dylan Thompson, were integral in shaping this novel, and it is with great pleasure that I announce that they will be publishing this award-winning book this coming spring. I could not have found a better publishing home if I tried for five more years.
Kip and I drove to the offices in Greenwood, WI, today to sign the contracts. I will also be doing the audio book once the final revisions to the text are in place. We have a cover, a plan, and a prayer. It is a great joy in my heart tonight, as well as a tired set of eyes from driving back in the snow.
Since I mentioned her, Stormy needs an update: She now willingly snuggles with me, asking for pets, kisses, and a spot on the bed on occasion. This is a very different dog than the one who came from rescue three years ago. Like the picture frame says, “Who rescued who?”
The best part of the day had nothing to do with writing. It was a letter from one of my Santa visits. I will not name any names, for privacy reasons, but it was one of those letters that leaves Santa in tears.
You see, the little girl whom I first visited last year was alive by virtue of a miracle. I visited because another Santa couldn’t do it and his wife knew I lived nearby. I squeezed it into my schedule and made it work – and it has blessed me for the past 370 days.
I am sometimes let into the presence of God, and miracles, by virtue of where I choose to go. I’m not going to get all preachy on you. My friends and coworkers know that I’m a coarse, sometimes horrendously so, sailor in manner and language. Preaching doesn’t work. But the truth does, and here it is:
Follow your heart and listen to God. It isn’t all about money or fame. The best moments in life are the result of the ten minutes you spend praying with a child in need, holding Grampa’s hand while he cries for his favorite grandson, or just smiling and handing out gifts to a little girl who has defied all the medical odds. Two years in a row.
Sometimes you even get egg rolls. Most of all, God gives you some peace and joy in your heart.
Here’s to God: Thank you for this past year. I’m trying to do it right, and ask you help me to hit the mark in 2016 just a little bit better. Well, a whole lot. But I’m thankful for any guidance you provide.
Be safe out there this weekend. I’ll be back next week. Me, the guy with a publishing contract.
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