From the time I was a little girl I wanted to write for kids. I was sure the stories ahead for me were the fun and sparkly kind. I’d studied the craft, read books on writing for children, went to conferences, and was sure it was time.
Then, while cleaning house, a story line came to mind and tugged at my heart. It felt like a good idea, but I was certain it wasn’t for me to write. I tried to scrub, vacuum, and polish the idea away. Instead with every moment, it grew into something bigger. I could see the characters and heard their distinct voices.
I rebelled in part because the story involved my story. Who wanted to read about infertility and a pro-lifer who loved post-abortive women? We’ve all been told to write what we know as well as no author intrusion. I wasn’t sure how to balance this advice so I clung to the latter. I simply could not write this novel – it was too close to home.
Ideas can be stubborn. I thought it might be cathartic to jot down the ideas to rid myself of them. This purging became a chapter and then two. As I quit resisting and released the words onto the page, a novel was born.
After the writing, re-writing, and editing, I considered putting it in a file cabinet and getting on with the real writing – kid’s books. Instead, I started the process of submitting it and receiving numerous rejections although many of them came with positive personal notes from the editors. Now I had editors, agents, established authors, and my husband encouraging me to self-publish. I hesitated to take the publishing road less travelled. I knew it was the harder path and I knew next to nothing about marketing. I was about to put the manuscript in a file cabinet in our basement when my husband brought me a check. He explained he believed the story had to be shared. His belief sparked a flame of hope in my heart.
It wasn’t until I followed the advice of the wise, the children’s books came together and I found an amazing illustrator.
After some time on the market, I approached an online writer’s group I belong to and asked them to read and review Rain Dance. It never occurred to me the woman who had started her own publishing house would be interested, however, she was.
Sheaf House Publishers released Rain Dance on August 3, 2009.
Louisa Mae Alcott once said, “Housecleaning ain’t no joke.” She wasn’t kidding. My second novel idea came while I was doing the dishes. I have no idea where this one will take me, but I’m done resisting.
Joy DeKok and her husband, Jon, live in Minnesota on thirty-five acres of woods and fields. Joy has been writing most of her life and as a popular speaker shares her heart and passion for God with women. In addition to writing novels, she has also published a devotional and several children’s books.