Monday, August 2, 2010

Guest Writer: Genevieve Graham-Sawchyn of Writing Wildly! writes about her book deal

 Genevieve Graham-Sawchyn is a Canadian writer I met on the HarperCollins website Personable, talented, and dynamic, I found her recent blog post inspiring, and she has kindly allow me to reprint it here. And now she had a two-book deal with Berkley Publishers, a division of Penguin Books.

Worth the Wait

I read a neat blog article somewhere today about ... waiting.

It talked about how a writer spends their days ... waiting. They wait for inspiration, they wait for responses from agencies and publishers, they wait for feedback ... from anyone.

All painfully true.

But it's not just writers. It's people in general. We wait for the bus. We wait for the paycheque (or should), then wait in line to spend it. We wait for the kids to finish swimming lessons. Wait wait wait. Glancing at my watch or calendar, tapping my toes, hurrying so I can wait some more.

But waiting, and thinking about waiting is a waste of time. You can't control time. But ... you can take control of your time.

I figure waiting happens when you let it happen. Over the past year I started taking my writing more seriously. And I decided that waiting wasn't going to happen anymore. Or, if I did have to wait, at least I'd do my best to forget about that 'wasted' time. I filled those hours/days/months with improving my craft. I sliced and diced and polished that poor manuscript until it was shiny and new ... to the point where when I click on some sections, I actually don't remember having written them.

Then I sent it out again. I didn't wait for responses, though. They were usually negative, and usually depressing. So many people moan on and on about how it's impossible to get an agent or publisher. And I was tempted to join in the lament. But what's the point of doing that? I knew the book was ready. If an agent thought so too, then great. If not, well, I'd done my best. I wasn't going to wait around, moping. I started writing a new book and got entirely swallowed up by it. I started editing for people, which also helped my own writing. Every moment I could have spent waiting, worrying and moaning was instead spent ... doing.

One day, a miracle happened. An agent actually called, wanting to represent me. We worked together and did more scrubbing and polishing, then he took it out to some editors. I could have waited and worried. But I didn't. Sure, it was in my mind all the time (and I mean all the time), but what was the point in fussing? Instead I wrote, I edited, I filled my time.

And it happened. The first desk on which “Under The Same Sky” landed was that of an Executive Editor of Berkley Publishing in NY, a division of Penguin Books. And she loved it. She wanted it immediately. There were negotiations back and forth, and I admit I did buzz around my phone and email an awful lot over those couple of weeks. But I also wrote, edited, and filled my time.

And when that moment came – that moment when I received the call saying I was now a Berkley author – I realized it was a moment for which I had waited my entire life. And I hadn't even known I'd been waiting for it.

Who ever would have thought I'd be a published author? Not me. I toyed with it in my mind, dreamed impossible dreams. Wouldn't that be fun? Imagine if my book were actually considered good enough for that. How did those authors ever get onto those shelves?

Now, guess what? We all have to wait. “Under The Same Sky” will be out in bookstores between Jan-April 2012, and six months later it will be joined by its companion novel, “Sound Of The Heart”.

And ... now I have to admit something. I can't wait!

Under the Same Sky novel excerpt from

Copyright 2010 by Thomas L. Kepler, all rights reserved."Worth the Wait" published with permission of the author.


  1. This I really liked, and I'm not saying that to be nice. I can really relate to the way you have described waiting: I have been waiting since 1985, on and off... off and on. Waiting now until before Christmas 2010, when According to Luke will be released by BeWrite Books.

  2. "They also serve who only stand and wait."

  3. Great article. It is so tempting, after waiting for so long, to throw in the towel and say, "It will never happen." But, as Genevieve says, you get to work at other things, time passes, things happen and after all it is worth the wait. Waiting should never be static, and crying over spilled milk - in this case wasted hours of waiting and doing nothing - is counterproductive. Tom, thank you for sharing this article.