In her little bit of spare time, she enjoys gardening, reading, and going on fun dates with her husband, Dave. They recently celebrated their twenty second wedding anniversary. They live with their four children in Danville, California.
A: My book had a very humble beginning. I began by writing notes on hundreds of 3 x 5 index cards. My opportunities to write were pretty few and far between with a newborn baby plus three other young children at home. Whenever I had a free moment, I jotted down practical tips, fun activities, and helpful advice… anything I thought would be helpful for a new mom to know. I spent another year (usually between midnight and 2 a.m.) pulling it all together into book form to be able to give as a baby gift to friends to help them through that exciting, yet often overwhelming, first year of their baby’s life. I never dreamed it would become a published book read by mothers around the world!
Q: So, how did it go from being a gift meant for friends to being published?
A: As I gave it to friends, over and over I heard, “This is really good, you should consider getting it published.” It seemed like a pretty unrealistic goal, yet my desire has always been to help and encourage other moms in what I think is the most important job and ministry we will ever have – motherhood. I thought perhaps this could be a way to minister to more moms than I ever could one-on-one.
As I researched how to get a book published, over and over I read that publishers rarely take first time authors or unsolicited manuscripts. The odds didn’t look good, yet I still moved forward and prepared a query letter and book proposal. I set them aside thinking I would pursue getting my book published when my kids were a little older and I had more time. But God had something else in mind.
My husband was on a business trip and struck up a conversation with the man sitting next to him. They had much in common and conversed back and forth during the flight. As they approached the end of the flight, the man mentioned he was the founder and president of Harvest House Publishers! My husband told him about my manuscript. Amazingly, Mr. Hawkins said they might be interested in it. As they said goodbye, he said, “I don’t think it was chance that we sat together. Look at my ticket. I travel with a Senior Citizen pass, yet when I went to the ticket counter, they gave me a first class seat assignment.” My husband never flies first class, but happened to use his one first class upgrade on that flight. Neither was in the seat they originally purchased!
I sent off my manuscript and book proposal thinking Mr. Hawkins was probably just being polite in offering to look at it. Yet, six months later I received a call from the acquisition editor at Harvest House saying they were interested in publishing my book!