A little over a year ago, I received “the phone call” from my agent, Rachelle Gardner at WordServe Literary, that Zondervan had made an offer on Seasons of the Tallgrass, a contemporary romance series set in the Flint Hills of Kansas—a place I dearly love. My dream had arrived, my prayers had been answered. But it didn't happen overnight, and now a year later, I'm still amazed at how God answers prayer.
I began writing my first novel in high school, but it wasn’t until 2002 that I became serious about my writing, inspired that God had given me a gift and that I needed to use it or have it taken away. So, I jumped in with both feet. I became a member of two writing groups (one of them ACFW), joined a critique group, attended writer’s conferences and read whatever I could on the craft in books, magazines and the internet.
By the summer of 2005, I’d filed a good share of rejection letters in my desk drawer and although my writing had garnered some attention in a few contests, a publishing contract remained ever elusive.
That September, I received a scholarship to attend the Nashville ACFW Conference where I piqued the interest of an agent who took me on as a client. However, after a year of unsuccessfully shopping my series to publishers, she let me go, which was a real heart-breaker. My hopes sank, and I felt I'd been put back at the starting line.
I asked myself: What was I doing wrong? Why had God given me these stories and this hope if He didn't want it to happen? What lesson was I to learn, or what had I missed? God tells us that His grace is sufficient for us, for His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Believe me, I felt weak and insignificant, but that was a time of growing for me. I took comfort in the Psalms, reading the verses day and night. I knew that God had not abandoned me, but I had to learn to trust completely in Him, putting my life and my writing in his hands.
As mere humans, we don’t always see the big picture—and God does have a sense of humor. Just when I had accepted the fact that I might never be published and was indeed learning to “love and appreciate” writing again (something I had almost forgotten), I received interest from another agent. I signed with Rachelle Gardner in February 2008, and we had a contract with Zondervan a few months after that.
What did I learn? That God is in control, that His timing is perfect—and that I needed to be still and know that HE is God. Now my book has released and I am seeing the fruits of my laborious journey--a dream come true!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Deborah Vogts and her husband have three daughters and make their home in Southeast Kansas. In writing the Seasons of the Tallgrass series, Deborah hopes to share her passion for one of the last tallgrass prairie regions in the world, showing that God’s great beauty rests on the prairie and in the hearts of those who live there. Snow Melts in Spring released from Zondervan in June 2009, and is available online and in bookstores near you.
ABOUT THE BOOK - Snow Melts in Spring
When an aged horse is severely injured on a gravel road in the Flint Hills of Kansas, country veterinarian Mattie Evans accepts the challenge to save him. But she finds herself in the middle of a longstanding feud between the horse’s owner, pro quarterback Gil McCray, and his ailing father—who is also her dear friend.
As the snow melts in spring, Gil’s return to his estranged father’s ranch brings a chance for new beginnings and reconciliation, but when he falls in love with Mattie, he must face the truths that haunt him or run from his past. Meanwhile, Mattie encourages Gil to return permanently to Kansas rather than retire in California. Their love collides when Mattie’s sister arrives on Gil’s doorstep, causing Gil to come to terms with the jealous acts leading up to his brother’s death and seek forgiveness from those he loves most. Can he accept God’s forgiveness, and will that be enough to make him stop running from his memories of home? In turn, if Mattie forgives, she’ll be forced to choose between the man of her dreams and the land she dearly loves
WIN THE BOOK
If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of Snow Melts in Spring, just leave a reply to this blog. (PLEASE NOTE: This time around it's USA residents only. Thanks.) I’ll pick a winner at random on July 13th. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Good luck!