I have a long, painful, and winding odyssey to share with you. With a happy ending.
Thirty-eight years ago, I wrote a short story about a young woman who was leaving her husband. I felt I didn’t know the characters well enough, so I decided to explore their history. The main character’s name was Katie, and she seized my heart. By the time I was done exploring, I had a manuscript that was 1,187-pages long! (I was teaching myself how to write novels. It was a necessary phase.) I cut it to 750 pages. I cut it again.
Then I tried to get an agent. And pretty consistently, I heard that they liked the writing, liked the characters, didn’t think they could sell the story.
So after sixteen years (!) of living with Katie et al, I put the manuscript away and went on to write other things.
About three years ago, I felt renewed grief over this unrealized dream, so I took out the manuscript and revised it. I sent it to a round of beta readers. Then I revised it again.
On Saturday, September 5, 2020 it went to my publisher. I fully expected that it would take a least a month to hear anything. The answer came after six days. They loved it!
Now, nearly a year later, my novel Katie, Bar the Door is about to be published. It’s coming out on September 22, 2021.
From a childhood of parental loss, religious repression, and sexual shaming, Katie Thompson suffers deep wounds and persistent self-doubt. Her desire to find meaning through education and a career is threatened by those who push her to conform to a more traditional path. In her desperate search for love, Katie makes disastrous choices about men, leading her to the brink of self-destruction. Her journey through Katie, Bar the Door is the universal quest for healing and hope as she struggles to save herself and her dreams.
You can preorder the book here.