I was studying in the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop when an editor from Viking Press came to visit. We got to talking, and she took my novel Midheaven in manuscript back to New York with her.
Months passed. More months passed. I wrote her. I wrote her again. More months passed. I drove to New York from San Diego and went to her office. She was in a meeting. I returned the next day. She was in a meeting. I met with an editor at Knopf about another project, and had lunch with my agent (who had opted not to submit Midheaven to publishers) I returned once again. She was in a meeting. I drove back to San Diego.
I was working as a welfare eligibility worker when Maureen, a Viking editor, called. She told me the original editor had quit and gone to grow citrus in Florida and left a stack of manuscripts on her desk. Midheaven was one, and she wanted to buy it. But first, she needed to pitch it to a committee. She did. Viking offered to buy it, for a small advance. Then my agent (the same who had chosen not to submit) called and wanted in on the contract, for his 10%, though I hadn’t told him about the offer. Word gets around New York, I guess.
A couple months before the book came out, Maureen resigned from her job at Viking. Some years later, when I met her at a book signing in Berkeley, I learned that she quit because Viking had declined to put any effort whatsoever into publicizing two books she edited, one of them being Midheaven.
But when the book came out, I knew none of that. I was simply elated that I had a book, with my photo on the cover, and reviewers praised it, and none of them panned me for writing from a young woman’s point of view. And imagine my delight when Midnheaven was chosen as a finalist for an award for best American first fiction book of the year. Now, I thought, Viking would publicize.
They didn’t. And I moved on. And now, Midheaven is an ebook, and it’s free this week, through 6-20-14, at Story Cartel. You can’t beat that deal. Nor will you be disappointed. It’s a mighty fine story.
Here’s the jist of it.
In the early 1970′s, high school senior Jodi McGee turns from drugs and boys to Christ, but soon thereafter falls for her English teacher. As a result, tragedies test her will, her faith, and her sanity.
Some clips from reviews “… a pleasure to read.” “… gritty and honest.” “One of those rare gems of a novel that sneaks up on you and nestles in your soul.”
Remember to get your copy at www.storycartel.com/books/midheaven before the deal ends on Friday.