Launch Day Gratitude

By Carol / March 21, 2018 /

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My new novel, Simple Truth, launches today, and gratitude tops the list of emotions I’m feeling as I celebrate bringing my third book to readers. A writer doesn’t travel the often rocky road to publication without the help of a great many people. So, I take this post to say thanks.

I’m grateful for:

Getting the story on track. Kelly Dwyer offered constructive feedback and encouragement in her Plotting the Novel workshop at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. I’m also grateful for the other students in the workshop who were the earliest beta readers of my story.

Encouragement in the face of adversity. I’d hoped Lake Union Publishing would pick up this novel and they didn’t. Nonetheless, my Lake Union editor Jodi Warshaw directed me to a number of agents she thought might be a good fit for this story. It was a compliment that she’d open her rolodex on my behalf.

Good editors worth their weight in gold. When I made the decision to indie publish, I sought out talented editors Amara Holstein at Girl Friday Productions and Kirsten Colton at The Friendly Red Pen to help me make sure the story was as tight, the characters as real, and the reader appeal as great as it could be. Becky Gjendem provided the final proofreading eyes.

Writing partners in the trenches. Mary Gottschalk – My writing partner of many years read every rough draft and every re-write as many times as it took, offering insight and honest feedback.

Willing experts. This novel took me into new territory, delving deep into immigration law and requiring fluency in Spanish. Lawyers Lori Chesser, Ann Naffier, and April Palma graciously shared their expertise, answering my countless questions. My sister-in-law Francisca Bodensteiner and Dinora Amaya reviewed and offered suggestions on the Spanish. Beta readers Diane Glass and Denise Essman shared public relations, professional, and personal feedback.

An eye-catching cover designer. Readers do judge a book by the cover, so I returned to Jenny Quinlan at Historical Editorial. Jenny designed the original cover for Go Away Home and she delivered a spot-on design for Simple Truth. The multi-talented Jenny also provided initial story development help.

All who offer encouragement and support. A multitude of others helped me along the way. At the risk of getting pulled off the Oscar stage by music or cane crook, here are even more: Sheryl DeMouth, Clay Showalter, Shirley Showalter, my book clubs, and my son and husband for talking me through my mercurial writing emotions. And finally . . .

Readers who make writing worthwhile. Readers who tell me what they think via emails and phone calls. Readers who show up at book talks and signings. Readers who tell their friends about a good story they read. Readers who post reviews. As I stand here on launch day, I know it’s all in reader hands now.

You all have my undying gratitude. Thank you.


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  1. Linda Hoye on March 21, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    Huge congratulations, Carol!

    • Carol on March 23, 2018 at 8:13 am

      Thanks, Linda.

  2. Merril Smith on March 22, 2018 at 6:58 am

    Congratulations and best wishes, Carol!

    • Carol on March 23, 2018 at 8:12 am

      Thanks, Merril. Now it’s out of my hands with readers. I’m eager to hear what they think.

  3. Elfrieda Neufeld Schroeder on March 22, 2018 at 11:00 am

    And congratulate yourself, Carol, for hanging in there and seeing this thing through. You are gifting us with your insights, experience and word crafting. Way to go!

    • Carol on March 23, 2018 at 8:11 am

      I do feel good about ‘birthing this baby,’ Elfrieda. But just like a child, a book takes a village. I’m fortunate to belong to such a supportive community.

  4. Billie Wade on March 22, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    Carol, I’m so excited for you that I have tingles. I can feel the gratitude welling from deep within you. And, yes, I hope you feel gratitude for your willingness to tackle a tough subject and to see the project through to its conclusion. May you reap the rewards of a job well done. Congratulations!

    • Carol on March 23, 2018 at 8:09 am

      Thanks, Billie. I’ve enjoyed talking writing with you and look forward to seeing your progress through the story calling to you.

  5. MARGARUITE Turner on March 22, 2018 at 3:47 pm


    Looking forward to this new Book! Loved all your Books!
    My Book Club looks forward to this new read!

    Berea First Baptis Church Greenville,SC

    • Carol on March 23, 2018 at 8:15 am

      Thanks to you and your book club, Margaruite

  6. Carol Ervin on March 23, 2018 at 4:32 am

    Congratulations Carol – it’s on my TBR list.

    • Carol on March 23, 2018 at 8:08 am

      Thanks, Carol. When it reaches the top of the stack, I hope you’ll let me know what you think of the story.

  7. Missy Smith on March 23, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    Carol, what a wonderful, wonderful story! I finished it today, and the longer I read the more I was dreading getting to the end of the book. I loved Angela! What a wonderful, gentle, compassionate, and courageous person. I am very proud of her, and you! Thank you!!

    • Carol on March 23, 2018 at 1:46 pm

      Thanks for reading, Missy, and for taking time to tell me. I’m so glad you enjoyed the story.

  8. Nikki on November 10, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    Congratulations !👏👏

    • Carol on February 23, 2022 at 10:42 am

      Thanks, Nikki. It feels good.

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