Posts Tagged ‘Issym’

By far writing a book is easier than writing a business letter–that is why I am going to school for business instead of literature. A business letter is an art form. You must in (or under) a single page identify your project, the story behind it, the market for it, how the addressee can help and why they should. For example, it took a lot of hours and multiple sets of eyes for me to produce my first query letter–what an author sends to a publisher to introduce themselves and the book. It was a different style of writing, one that seemed difficult at first to read. I learned how to construct this letter by research on how to address the publishing company, what they are looking for and other basics. I spent time following the instructions on the publisher’s page to a T. (I had looked into what other books they had produced that were like mine.) The internet is a great resource for all of this research. I also recommend The Everything Get Published Book–one of my all-time favorite Christmas presents. Thanks Charlie and Shandy!). I gave the first paragraph of the letter to describing Issym. The next paragraph was about the need for clean, adventurous literature and who I was. The final paragraph was on why the book should be picked up this publisher and the specifics like page number and market. To describe a book, a person, a moral, market needs, specifics and to persuade a publisher in a single page was difficult. But it paid off with an excellent response from the only publisher I sent it to.

Today’s project was getting out a letter to a distributor. I am so glad that the writing of that falls on my sales manager and all I have to do is edit it. I am looking forward to learning how to do these things professionally. Even though I grew up working in a law firm, I have a lot to learn!

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Another Francesca Battistelli song, Its your life, almost perfectly depicts where my character, Seth, was at the beginning of Issym. Having grown up in a Christian family, gone to church all his life, even attended Christian school, Seth was pretty good at doing the right thing–and not always just because he had to. But he could only go so long before he finally had to make the decision to give himself 100% to God or 100% to himself. Decision time came on Issym.

Verse 1: “This is the moment; it’s on the line. Which way you gonna fall? In the middle between wrong and right, but you know after all: (Chorus) It’s your life. What you gonna do? The world is watching you. Every day the choices you make say what you are and who Your heart beats for. It’s an open door. It’s your life.”

The entire continent of Issym was waiting for Seth to make that choice, but it was not about fighting the dragon, it was the every day choices. Walking through the open door was his choice alone. But wait! Wasn’t he a sports star, the leader of a Christian band, serving at his church… What more did he have to decide on?

Seth had to ask himself the second verse, “Are you who you always said you would be? With a sinking feeling in your chest, always waiting for someone else to fix you. Tell me when did you forget: (Chorus).” Was he who he always said he would be? Was he just meeting expectations or was he truly living for God? And suddenly he realized he was not where he should have been.

“To live the way that you believe, this is your opportunity. To let your life be one that lights the way: (Chorus).” Seth choice to let his life light the way–to live for God (and in the process fight the dragon.) This songs calls us non-fictional characters to do the same.

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I was online today, celebrating my graduation from high school, when I discovered something that resonated through my soul. When I started looking into publishing Issym, I sent it to one publisher, AMG. A few weeks later I read the rejection letter that changed my life. In that coming week God used that letter to inspire me to start a publishing company.

The author of this rejection letter was Dan Penwell. “It’s my desire that you glean from this response the confidence worthy of your proposed manuscript,” he wrote. And I did. He encouraged me in so many ways through that one email. And without that email, I might never have become an author, publisher and speaker. I can already see the impact this ministry is having. And Mr. Penwell’s letter was what sparked this flame.

In April he died of cancer.

At www.amgpublishers.com I read that I was not the only one he inspired in his life. The article says, “It has been said countless times that no one ever wrote a friendlier and more encouraging rejection letter than Dan Penwell.” He touched thousands of writers lives that he never even published. God used this man in incredible ways. He used this man to turn my world upside-down! And I never even got the chance to tell him. But I will tell Mr. Penwell in Heaven.

Heartbroken, I started to write this blog. But as I look into Dan Penwell’s life, how can I not celebrate it? Who can write letters that should demolish people’s dreams and instead build them up? Who can use a simple job to change the world? Mr. Penwell did. We all can. God is ready to use us. Dan realized that and let Him and I was changed. Rebirth Publishing, Issym and my speaking come directly from one simple email. Thank You, God. Thank you, Dan. God bless your family and everyone you touched!

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This week I started the speaking that I will be doing in schools, youth groups and churches. On Tuesday I will teach a communications class. Today my sales team and I went to Calvary Chapel to give a short intro to my book, company and mission. It was a really awesome opportunity that led to some very important contacts. I also set up a time to go back and speak to the youth group as a whole. I am really excited to start speaking because I want to use my writing and company to affect the world of literature, yes, but also to inspire people (especially teenagers) to let God do great things through them. I am passionate about helping people understand that the impossible is not only possible, but supposed to be–and that it can be done through them!

I would be lying to say that I was not nervous about speaking (even for the short period of time). In fact, the reason I did not sleep last night was probably because of the adrenaline I had rushing through my system. I have frequently spoken in front of churches before, so why were the nerves racing through me? The idea that something gets easier over time is only slightly true, if at all. I may get better at writing, but it sure does not get easier! With every new approach I try to use there are failures and grand successes. Every time I get confident in one area, I try to grow in another or expect more of myself. So while I may get better at something, it certainly does not seem to get any easier! (Sports players or musicians you know this to be true. When you nail one shot or note you learn another.)

Writing Issym was hard, but I had no expectations for it. If it came out poorly I could chalk it up to inexperience. But when writing the sequel, Asandra, I expected so much more of myself. I believed I should be naturally better at it and also had higher expectations. This kept the writing process bunged up for way too long. I finally had to accept that it was okay to just write it and refine it later. Public speaking is much the same way. I love it like I love writing. I am just as nervous about them both (kind of funny that the two things that scare me to death are my chosen careers!). I used to speak poorly and hope to speak well. Now I speak well and hope to speak eloquently.

Everything of importance will cause you to be nervous, because you know just how important it is. So of course I am nervous about speaking and writing! I am so excited to inspire my fellow teens and the world to stand up in God. Because God wants to change the world; He has the power to; and He wants to use you, Reader.

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It occurred to me that some of you might not know a lot about my book so I’ve copied the back cover of Issym so you can find out more about it:

Smolden the dragon has been waiting for centuries to escape the captivity of Issym’s underbelly. His army of minatours, toads, humans and shape shifters are impatient for battle.

The key to the survival of the mystical continent of Issym lies hidden in the minds of teenagers Seth and Rachel; but will they be able to reconnect with each other and the things they once imagined before it’s too late? Issym’s unique creatures look to them for leadership, but Smolden the dragon has other plans for the teens.

Caught up in an adventure they could only have imagined, Seth and Rachel wish neither to fight nor help the dragon. Will their selfish desire to run home to earth keep them from saving Issym? Or will they die trying?

This fantasy book is geared for teens. Like I’ve mentioned before, the point of my writing and my publishing company (Rebirth Publishing) is to provide interesting, adventurous, clean reading, so Parents, be assured that this book is safe for your kids to read. You can find out more information at www.issym.com .

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