Currently Browsing: Authors in the News

Terita St. Julian, Author of “Training Your Children to Remain in the Vine”

My Story

My name is Terita St. Julian.  My husband and I are blessed to be the parents of two loving children.  They have learned to serve the Lord at early stages of their lives.  I am also the author of a book called Training Your Children to Remain in the Vine which is based on John 15:5 [Jesus states] ‘I am the vine; you are the branches.  If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.’  Training Your Children to Remain in the Vine is about raising godly children and is expected to be released in 2017.  Throughout the process of writing my book, I definitely felt unqualified, but the Holy Spirit taught me how to let Him lead my life and parent according to His will.  I make many mistakes, but I am learning Holy Spirit’s desire to intercede, which now provides a lot of peace for me.  Since God sees all, knows all and has all power, I can rest in His direction.

The Day I Met Walt

My 6-year-old daughter, Aleesa St. Julian, is the author of The Day I Met Walt.  When she first mentioned that she wanted to write a book, I thought that she definitely could when she became an adult.  However, God was already demonstrating Himself to her in mighty ways; so, I should have known that He wasn’t about to wait.  We began to journal many of her extraordinary life experiences.  By the time she was 4, she had already been reading for 3 years.  It felt like God spoke to my heart, “She was made to delight people in the Lord.”  I didn’t know what that meant, but I was soon about to find out.  She was persistent about starting her book, and God even led our nephew to send her a kit to get her started.  I later began to see that God was behind the inner workings of her decision.  A year later, God led us to WestBow Press, and we were blessed to have two books published for the price of one!

The true story, The Day I Met Walt, is about a time when Aleesa at the age of 4 accidentally tore tassels off my pillow but denied it.  She wanted to make sure the book used the word “accidentally”.  But, I’m still debating that one.  (Don’t tell her I said that.)  Anyway…Her dad punished her by taking away ALL of her stuffies, which was devastating to our little Aleesa.  Thankfully, she had already learned through life experiences that she needed to ask JESUS for forgiveness and seek Him for guidance.  After she found herself in that “mess” as she stated – She called on JESUS!  The next day, she began her first outreach ministry with the Huntsville Dream Center.  She was still sad from the previous day but chose to serve anyway.  While being a blessing to others, God sent her a new friend and remarkably demonstrated to her that she was forgiven.  You see, this new friend blessed her by singing her favorite song “Amazing Grace “and gave her what her heart was desiring most at the time…a STUFFY!  God is a multi-tasker because her new friend, Mr. Walt, also had a troubled heart.  The book, The Day I Met Walt, tells how God blessed him that day too!

The Day I Met Walt will remind people how much God loves us all.  If He cares about what some may consider the smallest most insignificant things in life, don’t you believe that He cares for your big problems as well?  Never underestimate His love for you and build bridges of hope for others, even while you may be waiting for your prayers to be answered.  We hope you purchase and enjoy reading The Day I Met Walt!  Be blessed!

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation and length. 


The Day I Met Walt by Aleesa St. Julian

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is about Aleesa St. Julian’s book, “The Day I Met Walt.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get your freeWestBow Press publishing guide today!

Hello, I’m the mother of Aleesa St. Julian.  The six-year-old author of “The Day I Met Walt.”  I was writing a book called, “Training Your Children to Remain in the Vine”, which is based on verse John 16:5 [Jesus states] ‘I am the vine; you are the branches.  If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.’  As you likely noticed, the book is about raising godly children.  While I began working on my book, my daughter, who was four at the time, decided that she wanted to write a book.  I told her that she could definitely write a book someday…thinking when she became an adult.  However, God blessed her with an ability to read by the time she was one.  So along with my help, she began to write her true story about a day that God demonstrated His love and forgiveness to her.  As she worked on her story, she also drew her own pictures on paper.  The images were scanned with the computer and before we knew it, her simple but heartfelt book was ready for publishing.  Before mine, I may add…

All I could do was laugh and watch God fulfill His plans for her through this book.  I remembered speaking with a representative at WestBow Press, named Eric Schroeder, when I was previously checking on pricing for my book’s publication.  He was very knowledgeable and took the time to answer all my questions; so, I called him back to inquire about my daughter’s book.  It just so happened that WestBow Press was offering discounted services that month; so, I was able to get two books published for the price of one.  Though my book wasn’t complete, I decided to prepay for the services.

I have learned a great deal through the publishing process of my daughter’s book which should make the process of publishing mine even easier.  The team at WestBow Press has been professional and organized.  God has opened doors like you wouldn’t believe for my daughter.  Less than a month after releasing The Day I Met Walt, my daughter received two television interviews and has another TV station requesting an interview with her soon.  I truly believe in prayer and allowing God to order our steps.  One of the interviews came about because I saw a lady standing alone in the heat one day.  It felt as though God was leading me to approach her.  I thought maybe she didn’t know Jesus but needed to know Him.  It turned out that she knew Jesus, but she also knew a very persuasive executive at a local television channel!  She gave me his cell phone number, and God continued to work it all out from there.  We don’t know what all God has in store for these books, but we just want to serve Him along this journey as we have fun through the process.  Thank you WestBow Press, and may God continue to bless all of you!

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation and length. 


William D. Moak on Writing Don’t Eat the Cat Food!

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of William D. Moak; author of  “Don’t Eat the Cat Food.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

Hemingway once said of the writing craft, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” To those who don’t – or think they can’t – write, putting a sentence together is as torturous as solving complex fractions is to me.

Through my years as a journalist, PR rep, columnist and (now) book author, I constantly run across people who say things like, “How do you do it? How do you take an idea that’s in your head and get it across in writing so other people can understand it?” I always confess that I truly don’t know the answer to that. I know that I have had a lot of training in the mechanics of writing, but I believe God did give me a gift. It took a tenth-grade English teacher to bring it out. She challenged me to start taking my writing more seriously, and I credit her (among many others) with keeping the pressure on me to get better. But it’s clear that Hemingway was right: good writing comes from deep within the soul, and some of the best come out of pain.

When I first started writing my WestBow-produced book Don’t Eat the Cat Food!, I was in a lot of pain. What had been a very promising career had just taken a disastrous turn, and I was trying to figure out how my wife, sons and I were going to survive financially. I had always known (by faith and by experience) that God is real – He provides and can be trusted. But my faith had never been so tested as it was then.  Ironically, it was the days I was now spending at home, with just my little dog Flip for the company, in which my spiritual candle began to grow brighter.

MoakCoverIn my tearful prayers, I begged him to make it all go away; sometimes, I could almost see him doing a facepalm as I finally began to understand some of what he had been trying to teach me all along: I had been settling for mediocrity in my Christian life, contrary to what God has promised me. In some ways, it’s like a tiger settling for cat food, when what he really needs is meat.

A lot of thoughts jostled for attention in my ADHD brain, so I sat down at my computer one day and started typing. First, there was an essay, as I tried to collect my jumbled thoughts. As the essays piled up, an idea began to take shape in my head: “What if God is trying to get me to tell people not some ‘woe-is-me’ story, but to help them to understand how God’s economy differs from man’s?”

Then one day, I woke up and told my wife, “I have started writing a book.” Looking at me with a sideways glance, she said, calmly, “I thought you might be. Tell me about it.”

So we talked. She told me that she had been praying that God would use our situation to help others understand God better. He had been answering her prayers – and mine – in a way that was totally unexpected and new.

As the book began to take shape, I sought out a publisher. I was referred to WestBow by a representative at another label after they made a decision to stop accepting new submissions. My first contact was a guy named Jon Lineback. Jon wasn’t at all what I had expected; a pastor himself, he asked me a lot of questions – not all of them had easy answers – to help sharpen my vision of what I wanted from this book. A lot of other great WestBow folks have helped me make the book better, and help me understand the complex world of self-publishing.

When the package containing my published hardcover arrived, I opened it hesitantly. Would I be disappointed? If I opened it, would errors jump out at me? Were all of the endless rewrites, constant proofreading, and decisions worth it? Would people care? Would anybody buy a copy? Did I do this as God wanted me to?

Today, it has been three months since I opened that box. I can say without hesitation that it was all worth it. Dozens of people have told me that they have been challenged to rethink God in their own lives, and have decided they are no longer going to settle for eating the “cat food” of mediocrity because they understand that God wants their lives to count, for them to know him better, and to experience the joy found when we draw closer to God. For a writer who’s been trying to get across that very message, there is no greater joy.

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by submitting their blog on the Blog Guidelines Page. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length.


Kim Chesney Negri: “Mission Accomplished”

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Kim Chesney Negri; author of  “Remember What I Told You.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today! 

Many mornings, after praying with my husband and youngest son as they headed out the door, my thoughts would often turn to my older children.  Their colleges were only about an hour away, but to my “mother’s heart” that seemed far.  Often, after praying for them and their day, I would text a scripture that I hoped would bring encouragement.  When they face conflict, feel overwhelmed or have major decisions to make, WILL they think to pray first or search scripture for guidance?  I knew my prayers would be a covering, but it was now time for them to establish themselves.

I hadn’t always made the best decisions during my own college years and wanted to spare them the heart ache.  Yes, lessons learned the hard way usually stick, I simply wanted them to experience the fullness of life that Jesus died for them to enjoy.Negri mug

Through the years, I had often started to journal.  However, the busyness of motherhood usually distracted me.  Now, I started to record situations our family had placed in God’s hands along with the ways He had answered and met our needs.  Did my children REALLY know I was praying behind the scenes and quoting scriptures over the circumstances?  This journal, I intended, would serve as a “legacy” of our family’s faith.

As I wrote, a statistic came to mind from my years as a youth leader:  After graduation, the majority of children who have been raised in church cease their attendance and association with God.  When I thought about the despair in today’s headlines (drug abuse, financial fluctuation, terrorism), I wanted to help our next generation rely on God’s GOOD news.  How many high school graduates have NEVER even attended church or read the Bible?

My motivation intensified.  My “audience” expanded.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).

My college major was English with a writing option.  However, discouragement with classes and desire to have a “real job” lead me to quit before I earned my degree.  Years later, I met my husband while leading a youth group.  After we married and had our first child, I was blessed to fulfill the one desire of my heart, to be a wife and a mother.

Negri coverWhat began as a concern for my children expanded to culminate life experiences and complete a personal desire from my own youth.  Since my devotional has been published, many people have asked me, “Did you ever think you’d write a book?”  Yes, I thought about it.  But, NO, I never really thought it would become reality.

The “bigger picture” unfolded as I journaled.  Though interrupted many times before, I picked up where I left off.  As I wrote, I believe God reminded me of past situations.  Likewise, after I said, “OK, God, I’m going to DO this”, He brought to mind additional scriptures which prompted me to add another section to my book.

When people tell me that my book is inspirational and that they see it as a quick reference of God’s Word for circumstances they face, I think “Mission Accomplished”.

What mission have you yet to fulfill?  Often, the hardest part is simply to start!  You may not have the full picture, it will develop as you write and pray.  Put your thoughts on paper.  Re-read them.  Pray over them.  God will guide you and perfect the good work He has begun in you.

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation and length.

 

 

 


John A. Mapp Jr.: “Fulfillment of a Thirty Year Dream”

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press  publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of John A. Mapp Jr.; author of “Decoding Bible Messages”  To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

Thirty years ago, when I was a young adult, the Christian faith of my childhood was in crisis.  Providentially, I stumbled upon an old book, published around 1900, about the types and shadows of Christ in the Old Testament.  I had never been taught about that subject before, and was absolutely astonished.  My faith was greatly strengthened as a result.
Mapp Cover
I felt called to write a fresh, contemporary presentation of this neglected material, so I researched further, and started writing.  I wanted to present the subject in a way that practically anyone could understand.  I persevered, even though I didn’t know how, or even if, the manuscript would ever be published.

After finally finishing the first draft, I married and started a family.  I had to lay the manuscript aside due to the pressures of career and family, but I occasionally returned to it as a resource for teaching classes and Bible studies.  When I finally retired in early 2015, the dream was still alive.  I updated the work with some additional information I had collected over the years, and started searching for a publisher.

John shares his love of reading with his grandson.

John shares his love of reading with his grandson.

Providentially (again), the publishing landscape had changed radically over the preceding thirty years, with self-publishing now a viable and respectable option.  After I researched the alternatives, I chose WestBow Press.

WestBow’s wide selection of packages enabled me to select one that harmonized with my budget and objectives.  There was still work to be done, but WestBow provided a robust, structured template, changing the publication process from a conundrum into a methodical step-by-step operation.  WestBow often exceeded my expectations.

For example, I submitted a cover idea consisting of a hidden cross nested among four Old Testament images.  The WestBow cover design team took that idea and absolutely knocked it out of the park!  I was delighted with the result.

The book was published in September 2015, fulfilling a thirty year dream.  When I shared the culmination of my publishing journey with my family and friends, I was very heartened and encouraged to see them take a genuine interest in the book.  It was a great feeling.  My most basic goal of leaving a legacy for family and friends had been met.

Then began the daunting task of promoting my book to the general public.  There are many books out there, with new ones being added all the time, so book sales are not automatic,  especially for new authors.

Fortunately, WestBow offers a good selection of marketing services to lend a hand.  Since I had used WestBow’s professional editing service, I knew I had a good book; it was just a matter of promoting it effectively.  After discussions with a WestBow marketing consultant, I put together a combination of WestBow-sponsored marketing services and some initiatives of my own, including the use of social media, blogging, book reviews, and giving away some free copies.  Speaking engagements will likely follow.  I believe I am off to a good start.

The planting is complete, the watering is underway, and I am trusting God to provide the increase.

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page, by tweeting us @WestBowPress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com.  We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space. 


Dr. Candice Smithyman: Transition from Crossbooks to WestBow

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press  publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Dr. Candice Smithyman; co-author of “Soul Transformation: Your Personal Journey.”  To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today! 

I had published books before with other companies, but the ease of publication with WestBow was beyond what I had imagined.  My second book was published by Crossbooks, a division of Lifeway. They did a great job in helping me with the process of publishing and this was a welcome change from my first published book with another publisher.

Dr. Smithyman stands near the WestBow Press signing table at Women of Faith Orlando.

Dr. Smithyman stands near the WestBow Press signing table at Women of Faith Orlando.

When Crossbooks informed me that they were going out of business and that I could transfer my files to Westbow Press for publishing, needless to say, I was a bit discouraged. I had been with Crossbooks for only a year and I had paid a considerable amount for my publishing package.

I had thought my relationship with them would be longterm and I would see the fruit of my labor with this company. My concern was mostly around the fact that I had worked so hard with Crossbooks and I had put a lot of time and resources into producing this book and now the relationship had ended. No matter what had happened, I knew my book had to continue, so I accepted the offer to go to WestBow Press.

The transition was very quick and without any hassles. It was a great experience and the transition team that worked with me were efficient and truly concerned about me and the new release of my book. It was very easy to transfer the files and sign off. In the same week I was transferring files, I got a call from a marketing representative from WestBow asking me if I wanted to participate in a book signing for the Women of Faith Conference in Orlando. I was so excited and yet my
book was not totally complete yet, I still had a few more documents to sign.SOulSmithyman

The marketing team and others at WestBow quickly pushed through my documents and I was able to attend the event. It was an amazing opportunity to give my book to 60 ladies who waited in line to have a signed copy. I had never experienced anything like this before and I was astounded at the experience. All the while I had been at Crossbooks I had never had an opportunity of this sort, and to think that was happening when my book was not even completely finished yet. It was amazing to see how they worked so hard to facilitate my book so that I could attend the event on time.

Dr. Smithyman before her book signing at Women of Faith Orlando.

Dr. Smithyman before her book signing at Women of Faith Orlando.

I cannot say enough good things about my transition from Crossbooks to WestBow, and the ease of the book publishing process, along with the joy of speaking and praying with the marketing team members about the opportunities for my book. If you are considering publishing with WestBow, I highly encourage you to do so. They really care about their authors and go the extra mile with them to make the experience the best they can. I look forward to more amazing marketing events in the future and the publication of more books as God allows me to do so.

Dr. Candice Smithyman, author of Soul Transformation: Your Personal Journey, 6 week bible study.
Websites: www.dreammentors.org www.freedomdestiny.org
Facebook page: Drs. Adam and Candice Smithyman
Twitter: @candicesmithy
Email: candice@cs-ministries.org

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page, by tweeting us @WestBowPress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com.  We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.


Jean Lee: “Living the Legacy”

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Jean Lee; author of  “Living the Legacy.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today! 

Several decades ago a melody hit the top ten music charts entitled, “Love is a Many Splendored Thing”. As the title implies, the tune is a love song; and describes the intimate emotion of love experienced by people. The composer of the love song’s lyrics wrote “love is nature’s way of giving the reason to be living”. The fanciful lyrics convey the idea that the reason for living is love.

Living the legacy cover

And so it is— for the splendor of God’s love is His reason for imparting life, and in His wisdom God sent Jesus to be born on Earth.

The birth of Jesus was my catalyst for writing; for it was Christmas, 2013, when the stories began to flood my thoughts. Being brand new to Facebook, I noticed everyone was posting well wishes to celebrate Christ’s birth. I thought it rude if I avoided following suit, so a true short story appeared on the pages of my IPad.

The first was a simple greeting and a story about our family’s Christmas tree. An annual affair, the Jean Lee Xmas Treefresh tree is decorated by our six grandchildren. Our get-together typically begins with the aroma of lasagna permeating the house, the sounds of joyful Christmas carols playing, the laughter of our grandchildren exclaiming with delight as a favorite ornament is discovered, and boxes of decorations littering the room. Granddaddy (my husband, Irad) completes the evening with the time honored privilege of placing our very old and tattered angel atop the tree.

With a snapshot of Irad on the step-stool reaching up to place the angel in the treetop and a story about  our angel and the angels at Jesus’ birth, my Facebook greeting was complete.

Another story soon followed, as the Lord flooded my mind with remembrances past. The Facebook postings of true life stories continued. Friends began to encourage me to publish soon after the first post.

JeanLeeStarHumbled by their comments, I could not conceive of the idea of writing a book. The Heavenly Father thought differently. A dear friend private messaged me in December, 2014 and pointed me in the direction of self-publishing.

My initial inquiry into self-publishing was with a secular company. The Heavenly Father hit the brakes; and I placed the book idea “on the back burner”! Late one night in January, 2015, while surfing the net, I espied a Christian oriented publishing company called Westbow Press. My interest was piqued by the knowledge that Westbow was a division of Thomas Nelson/Zondervan Christian Publishers.

I completed their online inquiry form, and pressed the send button. No online reply from Westbow came through to me; but rather a personal phone call from Lamont Fells of Westbow Press. Ignoring Lamont’s voice mail, I asked the Father if He had inspired the call. To be certain Lamont’s call was “of the Lord”, I decided, like Gideon in the Bible, to lay out my fleece to ascertain if Lamont would call again. His second call came a few days later. This time I received the call and — “Living the Legacy” was “born”!

My hope for each reader is that they hear the message of Jesus Christ, grow in faith, and find God’s splendor in the land of the living because “Splendor and majesty are before Him, Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary (Psalm 96:6 NASB)”.

-WBP-

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page, by tweeting us @WestBowPress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com.  We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.


Annie Clark: Young Author Offers Encouragement for Overcoming Obstacles

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of an exceptional young lady named Annie Clark, who recently released “Write/Right Where I Am.”
To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today! 

AnnieTrophyGoogle Annie Clark’s name and you will find that she is published author, a pianist, a basketball player and the recipient of national awards for her exquisite penmanship. Now consider that Annie’s accomplished all of this by the age of 11; and that she was born without hands and her story becomes truly exceptional.

Annie was adopted by Tom and Mary Ellen Clark of McKeesport, Pennsylvania when she was just 2 ½ years old; one of seven Chinese children – all with disabilities or special needs – the couple has brought into their home.

The exceptional story about the Clarks, whom their pediatrician refers to as “the nicest family on the planet,” was well known in the Pittsburgh area. After seven-year old Annie won the first of her national penmanship awards, media across the country including Good Morning America, People Magazine and The Glenn Beck Show took notice of this inspiring young lady. Her “I can do it,” attitude is the focus of her debut book released through WestBow earlier this spring.

Annie at a recent book signing.

Annie at a recent book signing.planet,” was well known around the Pittsburgh area. After seven-year old Annie won the first of her national penmanship awards, media across the country including Good Morning America, People Magazine and The Glenn Beck Show took notice of this inspiring young lady. Her “I can do it,” attitude is the focus of her debut book released through WestBow earlier this spring.

Quoting Annie: I wrote Write/Right Where I Am because I felt inspired to. I wanted to 

tell people to persevere. It is very hard to keep persevering! Especially when you are frustrated! This book is about my experience and how I persevered through some challenges that I wanted to share with you. It took me two years to finish my book.  My first two book signings were great because I got to meet new people and talk to my friends that went to my book signing. Also I loved the book signings because I had fun!

Annie’s book, Write/Right Where I Am is available in paperback and e-book formats through the WestBow Press bookstore, Amazon and other major online book retailers. To learn more, visit Annie’s website www.writewhereiam.com.

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page, by tweeting us @WestBowPress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com.  We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation; as well as for space. 


Katherine Whitehead: The Shining Dream

From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Katherine Whitehead, author of “The Mysterious Growing Gum.” To start your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Pres publishing guide today. 

Dreams don’t have to fade like sunsets. Sometimes they refuse to set.

Gum CoverMy dream to publish a book shone for 36 years. I started to write when my children were toddlers. Authors used typewriters then, not computers. The carbon paper was horrid. Everyday I wrote in a small notebook that fit in my purse. I recorded our daily lives and told about my faith. While I waited for my children in doctors’ and dentists’ offices I also wrote children’s stories. When my daughter and son were in grade school I wrote the first draft of my mid-grades book, “The Mysterious Growing Gum.” My dream was shining and I kept my faith in God, no matter what happening to us.

My hyperactive son was the inspiration for this story. He made a horrible mess from kitchen ingredients. It delighted him! I was not happy. In “The Mysterious Growing Gum,” James who is ten, makes a mix of spices, cooking liquids and hand lotion. He spills some on his gum and the gum starts to grow and GROW.

The gum totally disrupts his family. His 15-year old sister, Ann, and their dog save James from real danger. He is distressed because he doesn’t know what he did to make gum grow.
He feels responsible for creating such a problem and devises a messy way to eliminate the gum.
Writing this story was real joy for me. I wanted to write something children would have fun reading. The sun was still shining and I had faith and hope.

A career teaching music to elementary public school children was the next writing time thief. My love of music dimmed the writing sun. The job was too demanding to write. Finally retirement! Writing again made the sun shine brighter and the book was revised and finished. My husband cheered me all along the way and was a great help. But after 36 years I didn’t know what to do with the book!

I researched publishers and found Westbow Press. I liked their religious emphasis and they were well established, helpful, professional and they cared about doing a job well. They call me often and help and encourage me. The sun still shines and I’ m glad I never gave up my dream.

My profits will go to the charity, Save the Children. Many children have no dreams except to wish for food, water, and shelter. I hope to help and make their dreams grow brighter.

This is the first verse of a hymn written by Bradford Torry in 1875. It’s still true and one of my
favorites. It helped me hold on to my dream and keep my faith shining.

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WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page, by tweeting us @WestBowPress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com.  We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.


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