Years ago, while writing a weekly historical column for local newspapers, I began to run across more and more stories about communities that no longer exist in these Boston Mountains of the Ozarks. I had this idea for a book because the stories and the people were so intriguing. The way settlers lived when they first emigrated into these rugged Ozarks was a real eye opener for me, though I was born here.
I began to keep notes but as time passed discovered that no publisher was interested. At least that was the case then. Networking at conferences told me one thing. The subject matter was too regional. Still, every chance I got I pitched the book. Then this year at Women Writing the West Conference, the editor and publisher of Old American Publishing showed an interest. It didn't hurt that my previous book was a finalist in the WILLA awards either. He seemed only mildly interested, so as we packed up to come home, I didn't figure I'd hear from him. I sent him the materials he requested and went on about this business of writing.
A week later his acquisitions editor emailed me saying that he was really interested in offering me a contract for the book. After we exchanged ideas on promotion, that's exactly what I received. A contract.
So now, all those stories I've saved have found a home at last. The book is going well. Will have to update some of the stories, travel around rechecking the communities to verify if buildings are still standing or not and the routes to get there.
But this just proves that you shouldn't ever give up when you're sure of your project. Somewhere, sometime, if you network long enough, someone will want to publish your baby.
So now my book, which has no set title yet, will see the light of day after all,
That wandering along the back roads and trails of the Ozarks will have paid off once again.