Thursday, March 1, 2012

From File Drawer to Book Store—My Writing Journey Continues

So, how did my first book go from a file drawer to a bookstore?

In earlier blogposts I share how God called me to write Cleanse My Heart: Bathtime Meditations for Moms. Rejected by four publishers, I placed that manuscript back into my file drawer. Content that I had obeyed God, I laid it to rest. But, God is in the resurrection business and He had other plans.

My friend Kelly Molinet visited one day. Kelly and I cried, prayed, and shared life together when her son, Liam, was born with Cystic Fibrosis. I wrote this dear victorious mother's story in Cleanse My Heart.

"Would you like to read what I wrote about Liam?" I asked her. She did. She liked it. A published author herself, she asked, "Why haven't you sent this to my publisher?"

So, I did. I sent Cleanse My Heart to Green Key Books. Within a few months, a contract arrived in my mailbox.

When a contract is signed, the author gives the publisher rights to your words. Which means, they can do with them whatever they please. Cleanse My Heart could have become a comic book.

Green Key didn't give me a comic book, but a beautiful hard cover gift book. Other authors tell me a first-time unknown author would never get a hard-cover book. That never happens. Well, with God all things are possible. And God was in this book from its conception.

But wait! What happened to Cleanse My Heart? The publisher also has the right to rename your book. Green Key renamed mine Sink or Swim (S.O.S.): Bathtime Reflections for Drained Moms. I'm glad they asked my opinion and that I stated, "I think Sink or Swim sounds too severe. Can we change it?" Pete and Krissi Castor at Green Key Books were willing, but wanted to keep the S.O.S.

I put my thinking cap and prayer hat on and within seconds, God whispered, Splashes of Serenity. I've been splashes of serenity ever since. I love it. A breath of fresh air! A ray of sunshine! A splash of serenity!

What joy to have my first reflection be "No Room in the Tub for Me!" A story written in my bathtub the night before my baby left for college. How appropriate for this drained mom.

Within months Splashes of Serenity (S.O.S.): Bathtime Reflections for Drained Moms  sold thousands and a second printing was ordered. It is now in a third printing. Mothers around the world have been blessed and encouraged by this book. If you'd like an autographed copy, you can order it at my bookstore (see tab above) or contact me at

So, what did you learn from this post?

Well, that God's plan for your book won't be thwarted even when you put it where no man can find it.

A publisher can make a comic book from your words if he wants to, but a publisher desires to give you the best-selling product they can afford.

A publisher has the final say on the title, but most publishers will listen to your heart and consider your thoughts.

One day your wildest dreams could come true and people will line up at your Barnes & Noble book signing. Who knew? Not me. Only God had this plan. My job was to obey. I'm so glad I did.

Hoping this was a splash of serenity and an encouragement to you,



  1. Love the post Elaine. So proud that you followed your heart and continued to search for a publisher. Drained Mom's was a wonderful book !!! I am still dreaming that someday a publisher will pick up my other book and people can line up at Barnes & Noble to see me. Never give up because it all comes when the world is ready for you.

  2. Elaine,

    Thank you for sharing some of the behind the scenes for the publishing process. I'm so excited to hear it is going to a 3rd printing. Both of your S.O.S. books touch the heart and soul of the women who read them. And I'm sure there husbands who have been blessed when they snuck a read when their wives weren't home. :)

    I'm glad you opened the drawer to share with a friend. God continues to bring a smile to my face through the ways He works in our lives.

    Lisa :)


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