Now that my rough draft of Beautiful Snare was complete, I had another great challenge. Who would I recruit to be a reader of the story? Who would believe that I had not created the characters or the plot, but rather I had hesitantly agreed to listen to the tale being told to me by Bekah and Ywain? In the end I asked the man who is now my husband, W.C. Jameson, to read the manuscript. Without flinching or holding back, he returned the pages and told me he loved it. Then I approached my mother. Moms are always good initial readers because their response is usually affirmative and encouraging. My mother did flinch a bit at the harshness of parts of the story but she loved Bekah and wanted me to write a sequel. One of my friends who had helped me with the healing process agreed to read the story. She had some hesitation about putting such a violent tale out into the world, but she was glad that the writing had been, at the last, beneficial for all concerned. When I found out that my agent, Elizabeth Trupin-Pulli, loved Bekah’s story as much as I did, I was elated. The fact that we could not find a publisher for many years did not deter her enthusiasm, so we pressed on. I asked my fellow writer friend, Paulette Jiles, whose first novel Enemy Women made the NY Times bestseller list, if she would read the story and let me know if it was missing something crucial that was preventing it from finding the right publishing home. Paulette, an observant and honest critic, suggested some minor changes, but she too loved Bekah and the story set in Celtic Britain. She also urged me to keep on searching for the right publisher. Years ticked by. I waited, remaining hopeful, but I did not stay idle. I wrote three more novels: Breaking the Last Commandment, Helping Hands, and Casita de Luz. A few years before I had tackled Bekah’s story I had written another odd tale titled Woman in White. Then in the summer of 2010 Bekah came back into my mind and introduced me to another woman from her time, Belle Fontaine, and thus another novel was born, appropriately titled Belle Fontaine, which became the sequel to Beautiful Snare. Yet, still, no publisher could be found. What was I supposed to do with all these stories?
(If you would like to comment on this post or if you have questions, please email me directly through the contact page on this site. Thank you, Laurie)