Everybody needs a little good news. I’d love to tell you the pandemic is over or that our city is having a crime-free year or that cancer has been eradicated. Can’t say any of that and you wouldn’t believe me if I tried.
I do have a morsel of good news, though.
You may recall reading about my journey with a novel I titled Rose Among Thornes. In it, a young Japanese Canadian girl named Rose is relocated from her home in Vancouver to a Manitoba sugar beet farm during World War II. It’s also the story of Private Russell Thorne, a Canadian soldier who spends most of the war in a Japanese P.O.W. camp, wishing more than anything that he was still on his family’s sugar beet farm back in Manitoba.
In a blog post a year ago, I told about how I fought writing this book, believing it wasn’t my story to tell. How the idea wouldn’t let me go. How God showed me that it was mine to write, though it meant more research and study than I’d ever tackled. How I finally completed the 100,000-word manuscript, not knowing whether it would ever be picked up by a publisher.
Backtrack a bit further to spring of 2019. My agent encouraged me to participate in something called a Twitter Pitch. I hate Twitter. I can’t make sense of it and rarely use it. But I had three different stories to pitch, one of them Rose Among Thornes. I wrote four different pitches for each book (12 in all, each limited to 280 characters) and added appropriate hashtags. Then, as the rules allowed, I tweeted these pitches, scattering them throughout the twelve-hour window of opportunity. Here’s how it works: if any editors are interested in seeing more, they “like” your pitch, which is an invitation to send them more information about your book.
I didn’t get one “like.” Not one. I thought I must be messing up with the technology, but when I tweeted a question, one of the organizers confirmed I’d done it correctly. So much for Twitter pitches. I chalked it up to a dreadful waste of a day.
In reality, I guess it was a case of right place, wrong time.
When a whole year went by and my agent still hadn’t found a home for any of these novels, I initially ignored the Twitter pitch when it came around again this past June. Why waste my time? But for some reason, I changed my mind—with stipulations. I would pitch ONLY Rose Among Thornes, and I would use the exact pitches I’d used the previous year. I didn’t want to waste a minute reworking them, and I didn’t know how to improve them in any case.
I anticipated zero responses because, as we all know, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing in the same way and expecting different results.
I may need to redefine insanity.
By the end of the day, five editors had “liked” my rerun pitches.
By the next day, two had asked to see the full manuscript.
By the following week, I was offered a contract.
And so, my good news is, Rose Among Thornes is set to release from Iron Stream Media next summer. I’m more excited to see this book in readers’ hands than anything I’ve written.
The lesson here? God’s timing. There’s no earthly explanation for why my same old Twitter pitches should have generated interest in the midst of a pandemic when they had not done so in 2019, except for one truth. It’s wrapped up in Habakkuk 2:3. “But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!” (The Message)
I don’t know what you’re waiting for, but take heart. You can trust God’s timing. He’s never late. He knows best. He’s on your side.
Take it from my little bit of good news.