Sunday, April 24, 2016

Journey to Publication of a Prolific Inspirational Series

I’ve had the privilege of getting to know Gay N. Lewis through our shared publisher. She is a talented writer who has created a series of inspirational and humorous stories about the exploits of a dyslexic angel, Sarah. Today, Gay has stopped by my blog to share her story of how she came to Prism Book Group, which launched the Sarah series. So, I’ll turn it over to Gay.

How I came to Prism Book Group, Gay N. Lewis
My journey to Prism Book Group was a God directed route.  I’m a member of Romance Writers of America and while scanning their magazine one day, I ran across an ad from Inspired Romance Novels.  Unfamiliar with the name but liking the ad, I checked their website. This publisher sounded like a perfect fit for me.
At the time, I was writing a fantasy about a rookie angel and her first trip to Earth. Her assignment was to help a certain bachelor find a mate by Valentine’s Day. This little spirit was making one blunder after another. She was a major goof up. Would this story fit the publisher’s submission requirements?
Deciding to check it out, I spent all of maybe five minutes on an email—it contained four sentences. Authors in my various professional groups give lectures on writing the perfect query letter, synopsis, and first chapter—items usually required by an agent or publisher.  These queries often receive no answer for six months—or longer. My short email didn’t fit the usual format an author sends to a publisher.
Imagine my surprise when Joan Alley, the editor-in-chief replied immediately. Her personable, warm and friendly response was remarkable, and she requested a full manuscript upon completion.
My reaction? “Wow! Here’s a publisher who is committed to service and cares about writers.”
After emailing the finished the manuscript, I told my husband a response would probably come in six weeks or so, and we left for a mini-vacation. This work break gave me the perfect time to languidly read a new novel. Just before setting the book aside to take a nap, I decided to check email from my iPhone.
Three days had gone by since I’d sent my manuscript, so no reply was expected. A moment of apprehension went through me when I saw a response from the publisher. Acceptance or rejection? Nothing to do but open the email and find out.
If my husband could have seen my face, he’d have glimpsed my huge smile and moist eyes. Trying to keep a level of decorum, and a quiver from my voice, I turned to him and said, “I sent that manuscript three days ago, and a contract just now came. I’ve sold my new book! 
This guy I married is a calm achiever—low on the emotional totem pole—always taking care of business. But after my announcement, I detected excitement in his voice when he said, “Congratulations.”
I wished I could tell my brother—still do.  He recently went to heaven and would have loved hearing the news—he’d always been such an encourager. But he knows.
I quickly emailed family and friends with the update. My professional experience includes many articles for churches—and several video presentations sold in the retail market, but this was my first venture into fiction. I was thrilled with the emails that came back, but it seems no one was surprised that my novel was accepted for publication—no one that is, except me.
Joan Alley has broadened the company since I first read that ad—it’s now more inclusive with three distinct lines. The Inspired line is inspirational Christian romance. Diamond is sweet romance, and Illuminate is inspirational fiction—heartwarming stories that may or may not include a love story. These extended lines required a name change. Prism Book Group is a better fit.
In past times, I’ve spent months—even years—trying to unbolt doors that God didn’t want me to open. The door at Prism Book Group unlocked quickly—an indication that I am where He wants me. 
Working with the publisher, authors, and editors at Prism Book Group is a positive experience. We are a group of people who take the Lord seriously and we treat each other with respect.

Sarah: A Mission of Lovewas the first book, and as of now, ten Sarah books bear my name, as well as another book in Women’s Fiction. Little Sarah will have many adventures—and heaps of bloopers as she plays matchmaker to unsuspecting humans.
Gay’s newest novel, Sarah and a Date for Mackenzie was published by Prism Book Group’s Inspired Line, is about a klutzy, bumbling angel who befriends a shy student at a high school. Mackenzie is beautiful, needs a date for prom, and Sarah helps her find one. Mackenzie’s mother teaches English at the same school, and Sarah decides the widowed mom also needs a romantic interest.
Lewis’ title character, Sarah, is dyslexic, can’t read maps, and is often lost. She bumbles her way around the huge high school with hilarious results. She assumes human disguises to achieve her goals but resorts to supernatural means to save Mackenzie from the school bully.
Lewis sat in on the prom committee meetings at a local high school and listened to plans for the 2015 prom. Several students advised her on “promposals.” She says, “The students have creative ways to ask for dates these days. They sent me pictures and told me stories, and many of their ideas made their way into my book. I’m grateful Katy, Texas has a superb group of young people, and they were gracious to me.”
Sarah and a Date for Mackenzie is available in eBook online through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and all fine book stores. A sequel is planned. When published, both books will be available in print.

Merciful heavens! Getting acquainted with adult teachers in a high school is one challenge, but hang with the kids too? Sarah, heaven’s little love angel—known for bungles, has dealt with children and enjoyed them, but teenagers? My stars! They are a different ballgame. She doesn’t understand their jargon, clothes or hairdos. And mood swings? Forget it. She knew nothing about them—nada —zippo. She’d seen and heard them from above—even wondered at times why they existed on the same planet as adults. They were unique and interesting, but to mingle with them? Not a chance would she choose to do so—well, not until her latest assignment. Why would the Superiors send a bumbling angel like her to help a shy teenager find a date for a high school prom? Poopty doopty! A nightmare is about to happen.


  1. The journey sounds familiar. Countless hours spent searching for the right publisher. Sad to think of all the wonderful novels that get rejected because of the lack of fame.Thank God for Joan. Good luck with your latest release.

    1. This is so true, Terri! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I'm so glad you and Prism found each other!