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.
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 fresh 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.
Humbled 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)”.
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.