Musings Welcomes Fay Lam!

Please welcome Fay Lam to Musings! I’m thrilled to turn my blog over to her and listen to her story. Her journey to publication. Take it away Fay!

Writing has always been my stress release. I started this form of therapy as a child, and it wasn’t until my early twenties that I began to realize that God had given me a gift, and that the gifts He provides are not to be squandered on self. They are meant to be given to Him and to others. That’s when I seriously began to ponder what I could do with this gift.

Fast forward some multitude of years,. I traversed various hills and valleys learning the writing craft, studying punctuation and grammar, soaking up wisdom from those who write the books I love to read, and attempting to write the books I want others to love to read. Through those years, I’d written quite a few novels.

In the midst of my several books comes a character named Michael Hayes. He was weary, worried, and worn out. He tells me that he knows a little boy named Cole Putnam. He’s his fiancèe’s seven-year-old boy. Time has separated him from the woman he loves, and Cole isn’t his child. However, Cole is definitely on this earth because of the mistakes Michael made, the danger he allowed to overtake both he and Issie.

That story captivated my attention and became Because of Me. The story was so clearly embedded in my mind that I wrote it fairly quickly then sent it through several rounds of critique.

When I thought it was ready, I entered it in the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Contest, and I reached the finals that year. At the ACFW National Conference I brought everything with me that I needed to pitch to an agent and editor. I sat confidently across the table from an editor in a well-known publishing house who took a look at my one-sheet and told me that my work was too complex for Christian fiction.

First of all, it was a one-sheet. There’s not a lot of room for complex on a one-sheet. Secondly, I wasn’t going to argue. I smiled and listened to the suggestions, and decided that I had been handed a challenge. My next appointment was with an agent who promptly went about telling me how to rewrite the story for a serial romance publisher.

No offense to serial romance publishers, because I write those types of stories, too, but the editor and agent I had the appointments with missed the point, or I wasn’t driving my point home loud and clear. Because of Me wasn’t written as a serial romance for a reason. There are issues, deep issues meant to get both Christians and non-Christians to think about the fact that God is in the details of our lives. This story could not be written within the confines of a serial, formulaic romantic suspense.

I do want to clearly say that this wasn’t the editor or agent’s problem. I just hadn’t found the right outlet for my story. I came home, and I set Because of Me on the shelf while working on some formulaic contemporary romances, hoping that my complex stories would sell once I’d proven myself with less issue-driven fiction.

But apparently the Lord had other plans.

Not long after the conference, my friend and critique partner, Kathryn Bain, invited me to lunch with Treble Heart Books editor-in-chief, Lee Emory. Lee sat with us for three hours explaining her idea of Christian publishing.

Not to sound a little too formulaic romance, but my heart beat rapidly, my breath caught, and I nearly swooned. Okay, I wasn’t that bad, but I was excited. Lee seemed to like my pitch as well. She told me exactly how to format the story and asked me to send it to her.

You’d think that was the end of my journey, but there were a few catch-your-breath moments. The first response I received from Lee was the best rejection letter anyone will ever find. Her reviewer said things like, “I couldn’t put down the story. Well edited.” But the reviewer had trouble with Christ-like forgiveness and, well, the violence.

The rejection letter didn’t end there, though. Lee asked me my opinion on the review.

So, you can imagine my response.

My reply netted me another review. This one was returned with similar comments: “I couldn’t put down the story. Well edited.” The only difference? This reviewer added, “Write the contract.”

And that’s how Because of Me and this author found a publisher that trusted its reader to get the complexities of the story and the message that God is always working in our lives.

Because of Me by Fay Lam

Not your typical Christian fiction.

Michael’s fiancée, Issie Putnam, was brutally attacked and Michael was imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. Now he’s home to set things right.

Two people stand in his way: Issie’s son, Cole, and a madman.

Can Michael learn to love the child Issie holds so close to her heart and protect him from the man who took everything from Michael so long ago?

Available through all fine book retailers, Amazon.com, and Mountainview Publishing, a division of Treble Heart Books.

Purchase the book at Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Because-of-Me-ebook/dp/B00722KIME/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327670357&sr=8-1

Or at Treble Heart Books at: www.trebleheartbooks.com/MVLamb.html

Purchase the book at: http://www.amazon.com/Because-of-Me-ebook/dp/B00722KIME/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327670357&sr=8-1

About Fay :

Fay Lamb works as an acquisition/copyeditor for Pelican Book Group (White Rose Publishing and Harbourlight Books), offers her services as a freelance editor, and is an author of Christian romance and romantic suspense. Her emotionally charged stories remind the reader that God is always in the details. Because of Me, her debut romantic suspense novel is soon to be released by Treble Heart Books/Mountainview Publishing.

Fay has a passion for working with and encouraging fellow writers. As a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), she co-moderates the large Scribes’ Critique Group and manages the smaller Scribes’ critique groups. For her efforts, she was the recipient of the ACFW Members Service Award in 2010.

In 2012, Fay was also elected to serve as secretary on ACFW’s Operating Board.

Fay and her husband, Marc, reside in Titusville, Florida, where multi-generations of their families have lived. The legacy continues with their two married sons and five grandchildren.

Leave a comment for Fay! She’ll be keeping an eye here today. Or tell us about your journey to publication :)

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