Life as a Famous Writer…

…is a subject I don’t know much about. I shoot myself in the foot (one problem) like yesterday learning I’d responded to an agent’s request to read fifty pages of the latest book of the Schneebelungelied by spelling the name of the agent wrong. She declined. Of course, I blamed myself, but the fact is, she might not have noticed AND she might have read those fifty pages and thought, “No way can I sell this.”

But she let me know, and that’s amazing in these days.

So, discouraged, I took Bear for a long and redemptive walk, came home and looked at the list of agents I compiled a couple of months ago while I was waiting for my editor to finish with the manuscript. Then I thought, “Masthof Books.” This is an outfit in Pennsylvania that specializes in history and fiction about Mennonites and Amish. I’ve had some good research sources from them over the years. They are probably the ONLY people in the US whose clientele EXPECTS to read Swiss history. They sold The Brothers Path through their catalog and website, and they publish books. I queried them last night.

I don’t think I did anything wrong.


I started formatting a manuscript to self-publish. It is fun to design a book. I don’t have any photo editing software, so designing a cover is all very basic for me (but that’s good). I thought of getting a couple of good-looking young people as models, but who? I have a young female friend who’d be perfect, but I don’t know any young men who’d fit the bill and then there are costumes and stuff. And they’d have to kiss, and they’d have to act like they’re pissed off at each other, and they’d have to get married. Three photos. How would I pay for that?

Stop laughing.


The Price cover real.001

And so here I am — a completely formatted book, uploaded with a great cover. I’ve ordered a proof copy and in the meantime if Masthof Books wants it, I’ll definitely talk to them, otherwise, I know they’ll stock 10 copies of The Price if I publish it myself.

I wanted so much to have it finished last Christmas. I imagined it as a gift for my 94 year old Aunt Dickie, but I struggled with the manuscript, I was in a lot of pain, and then she died just before Thanksgiving. The book became my mission as I rebuilt my body from years of arthritis and then surgery. Finally, I love it, I’m proud of it, and however it comes out, it will be dedicated to my Aunt Dickie who asked me, in her last letter, to continue writing the story of her mother’s family.

P.S. The little white pitcher is a character in the book! 🙂

13 thoughts on “Life as a Famous Writer…

  1. Best of luck with your novel…the design looks very appealing! 🙂 And we all have moments of embarrassment now and then.

    I hope I’m not presumptive, but I have included you to add a bit to an on-going tale, which will not be published, but which might provide a little distraction. Doesn’t have to be a long piece or it can if you’d like. Here’s the original:

    and here’s mine (I was the last contributor and tagged you)

    Thanks! 🙂

  2. I think your cover is beautiful, your post is wonderful, and I’m sure your Aunt Dickie is smiling down on you. Also, I love that you are writing about your ancestors. Writing about mine was what originally drove me to start a blog. I wish you all the best on your new book, Martha!

  3. “I don’t care what you say about me as long as you spell my name correctly.”

    Ascribed to a lot of people but probably either PT Barnum, Mark Twain, or a Tammany Hall honcho known as Big Tim.

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