Margaret Payton: A Story Writing Journey with Starts and Stops

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 Margaret Payton; author of “Searching Moments.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

I love stories! I like reading them, telling them and, more recently, writing them. For years I believe the Lord has given me illustrations to use when sharing my testimony, writing for the church newsletter, or giving a talk. It took some time for me to realize it is as though He speaks to me in parables. (Of course my favorite parables are those told by Jesus and recorded in the Bible.)

Margaret Payton

My book Searching Moments has the parable of The Lost Sheep as its background theme. In the book, the main character, Jacinda, travels to the Holy Land searching for her missing brother without realizing that God – in response to an intercessor’s prayer – is ‘searching’ for her. The background research journey was done before the idea for the story germinated. Several years ago, I went on a long-awaited trip to Jordan and Israel. A friend gave me a travel journal before I left which proved very useful.

The storywriting journey occurred in stops and starts over a period of time. I believe the Lord was guiding me through the process. Like a parable, Searching Moments has an engaging storyline – a discerning reader will also note some symbolism and deeper meaning in places. Prayer is an important facet of the plot.

The publishing journey has taken place in two stages. A family member suggested WestBow Press and the manuscript first came out as an e-book. This was a valuable learning curve that prepared me for later. Although I had some very positive feedback from readers, to be honest I found it difficult to market the book as an e-book.

Some months later, I revisited the manuscript and gave it a final polish. Through the generosity of another family member, I was in a position to self-publish the book in print format. I felt led to stay with WestBow Press even though I knew the current low exchange rate on the Australian dollar could be problematic.

The second stage of my publishing journey with WestBow Press has been a delight. The individuals assigned to me were an answer to prayer. ThePayton Cover publishing consultant was timely and helpful, (phone calls needed to take the time difference between Australia and the US into account). The check-in coordinator gave very wise advice concerning book size and number of pages. These matters helped keep the cost of the book down, and also made it a convenient size for postage. (An additional blessing, praise God.)

I had a picture in my mind’s eye for the front cover, and my publishing services associate, with patience and imagination, explained what was possible. I was very blessed by the cover designer (whose name I don’t know). He or she did an excellent job and I was delighted with the end product. Everyone who has seen the book has been impressed with the front cover. Thank you, WestBow team!

I have now embarked on the marketing part of the journey. The Lord told me to focus on ministering to the readers (although I do need sales!) I’m excited that two local bookshops have taken some books and my local library has a copy. It amazes me that, with the new print-on-demand technology, Searching Moments is available for purchase across the globe. I hope reading it entertains and blesses many.


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@ 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, punctuation and length.

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