Saying Good-Bye

         We all have those years we want to put behind us, and this year is one of those for me.

It began with a series of deaths starting with my sister-in-law; my husband’s brother (who was married to the sister-in-law mentioned above); to the death of a colleague reporter I worked with years ago and ended with the cancer death of a woman who did a lot for Special Olympics.

She left behind a husband and two adult daughters – one has Down Syndrome. I remember this mother opening up her home to serve supper for the special education students before they went to the high school prom. My youngest autistic son so enjoyed this. I recall that night and Andrew’s excitement, exclaiming how beautiful the girls looked in their Cinderella gowns.

However, the good-byes do not end there. Another shoe dropped. My writing partner and wonderful and dear friend is moving far away. We have done so much together, not only writing but also other things together. I will miss her so much, such as going to Spaghetti Works and her ordering peppers and mushrooms to add to her spaghetti sauce.

Life brings changes and writing does the same, such as learning how to write a fiction novel by attending a writers critique group. I also learned a lot from writing conferences, editing and promotional techniques as well as what a writer’s life really involves.

After attending my first conference, I was shocked to find out when an author receives an “advance” from a publishing house if that book does not sell out that “advanced” money, the author must return the sum for those not sold. Is that not sad?

I thought once your book was out there you were on easy street. You are not. In my mind, I pictured authors sitting at their desks typing out their stories and sipping their cups of coffees. I also never thought they had to promote their own work. I believed someone else did that and in some cases that still can happen. However, in today’s world, most authors can say bye, bye to that one.

Several years ago my first book, Seasons of the Soul, was released. I had a book signing at the local library. I envisioned lines around the library waiting for them to buy my book. I had a good book signing, but it sure did not measure up to what I had predicted.

I also had several book signings at Barnes and Noble, and the customer service representative was anxious to have me return time after time. She let me stay as long as I wanted. However, those days are gone because when my historical romance, Lockets and Lanterns, was released in 2010 she actually asked me to leave after a few hours. Why the difference? The e-book revolution took its toll on Barnes and Noble’s profits. Thus again, life serves up a lot of good-byes.

I will miss my dear friend. She, though, needs to go where God leads her family, and we still will converse by phone, e-mail, write anthologies together and attend conferences. However, it will never be the same. So enjoy your time with others for nothing lasts forever and let go and let God do the rest. He will sustain you (if you believe in Him) through these good-byes.

Remember I may say good-bye to this post, but another, God willing, will appear next month. And, as always, I will end with a God bless.

13 Comments

  1. Great column! Very insightful. I enjoyed reading this blog entry. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks. I am glad you enjoyed it. God bless.

  2. I think there are lessons here every author can take with them. Thanks for sharing Janet.

    1. You are welcome Rami Ungar.

  3. A lot of burdens to bear, Janet.

    1. Yes, it has been one of those years. Besides the above, my husband had surgery last week and is recuperating from that. However, we all have these times in our lives. God bless.

  4. rejburke2015 says:

    Your post touched me. We will continue these partings until we reassemble in God’s presence. May God bless you and comfort you.

    1. I appreciate that, Diane. Thank you. God bless.

  5. Life can take such hard turns! The trick is to take one day at a time. Blessing to you for peace in the midst of this storm!

    1. You are so right, Sue. God bless.

  6. I have never heard of a writer having to return her/his advance if the book didn’t sell out — only if the author didn’t fulfill the terms of the contract. Would you provide more info on this? Has it become general practice? Does it depend on the author’s contract?

  7. This is general practice with many traditional publishers. An author receives an advance on what the publishing house believes sales will be. If that does not materialize, the author will need to return the advance or part of that advance. I personally know one person who no longer writes under a certain classification for that traditional publisher since she did not earn out her advance. No one wants to give back what they thought they had. God bless.

  8. Janet, my heart goes out to you. I wish you happy trails with God’s abundant blessings and comfort. Diane

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