Chances are, we have all wondered if our writing is good enough. We’ve questioned our story lines, berated ourselves for forgetting our plot after three days away from the computer, or read someone else’s book while comparing it to our own in a less-than-healthy way. What if we listened to our doubts and fears? What if we never opened ourselves up to the world through a publisher? Would we know that there is an audience for us—that we are capable of transporting other humans to interesting places through our story-telling? Chances are we might never recognize our own talent if we didn’t have the courage to try. So I thank God for our ability, and pat us all on the back for actually doing it.
Our own badassery aside, I guess you can say that this blog post is an ode to Tule. It’s a gratitude post for Jane, and for the team who polishes our work and launches it into the book-osphere. I worked on this debut novel for fifteen years. I queried agents, paid for writer’s conferences, and received rejection after rejection after rejection. I was disillusioned and beginning to think that the hobby I loved so much was a massive waste of time.
Then, I went to a Christmas party that changed my life.
While wearing festive jammies and sipping on a glass of wine, I met a woman named Susie. She is a cancer-survivor, an empathetic listener, and the most gracious kind of human. When she discovered that my hobby was writing books, she asked to read one. I emailed her The Firefly Jar. Less than a week later, she called me, raving about it. “Do I have your permission to send it to my friend in the publishing industry?” she asked.
We all know what my answer was.
Enter Jane Porter. It took one person in a position of power to believe in my work, one person to change my perception of myself, my talent, and my contribution to the world. Now the Crickley Creek series exists and is about to be launched into the world. As a newly-minted author, I am fulfilled in more ways than I can identify. It’s a dream come true to live the old cliché about not working a day in your life if you’re doing something you love. We are a fortunate group, here at Tule. Life is just a little better for us.
And so, as my debut novel moves from being alone in my imagination into the expansive anything-can-happen world of humankind, I pray it makes a difference—even if it is just to entertain. I’m wearing a silly grin these days because I’m in awe of my life. Look what Tule authors have accomplished! Is it possible that life gets better than this? Can we write more books? Will they be even better than the ones that came before? Well, past experience has taught me that chances are, our chances are awfully good.
About the Author
Laurie Beach is a former news reporter, advertising producer, and political press secretary who, after raising four children, is parlaying her love of reading and writing into a career as an author. She is a sucker for elderly people, grumpy animals, and happy endings. Having grown up in Alabama, she loves novels set in the South. Laurie now lives in California with her husband and their spoiled old dog.