Barbara Scott was the fiction acquisitions editor at Abingdon Press in 2008 and acquired my debut novel—They Almost Always Come Home, which was honored with several recognitions including RT Reviewers’ Choice Book of the Year nomination, Retailers’ Choice nomination, and a Carol Award finalist.
Soon after the release of They Almost Always Come Home in 2010, Barbara asked what other novels were percolating. I presented seven ideas to her—basically a one-sheet with a short blurb about each of the projects. She’s a uniquely perceptive person and waited, in essence, to be moved by one of the seven ideas and its storyline.
She pointed to When the Morning Glory Blooms and said, “This one. This is the one.”
I admit my reaction at the time was, “Really? That one? What about—?” But she was convinced When the Morning Glory Blooms was the one Abingdon should acquire next. And they did.
Even though I’d received some heartening encouragement about the story in its early stages, it wasn’t fully fleshed out when the novel was contracted. So when it came time to write the story, I still wondered, “Really? This one?”
It was during the writing process that I discovered what my editor at the time had known all along, conflict waiting to express itself, layers I didn’t see initially, impact I couldn’t have imagined…both in my own heart and for my readers. It morphed from the story of one woman’s life to the stories of three in three separate eras—no small feat! But what emerged from the seed of an idea became what I hope others will see as a lush garden of a reading experience with the fragrance of hope on every page.
Editor Ramona Richards “adopted” the project when Barbara Scott moved from Abingdon to other pursuits. Ramona and I raised this child, and with the help of freelance editor Jamie Chavez, we readied it for its introduction to the world.
I look at the completed project that is now getting into the hands of the readers for whom it was created and can’t help but be grateful for savvy and sensitive editors who point to an idea and say, “This is the one.”
Cynthia Ruchti is an author and speaker who tells stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through her novels, nonfiction, women’s events, and outlets related to the Heartbeat of the Home radio broadcast she wrote and produced for thirty-three years. She and her plot-tweaking husband live in the heart of Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five joy-giving grandchildren.
Her latest book is the Christian fiction, When the Morning Glory Blooms.
You can learn more about Cynthia and her writing and speaking at www.cynthiaruchti.com.