Bonne Anniversaire, Sainte-Therese! Today, January 2, is the birthday of Therese Martin. What a great day to have a birthday; a fresh, new year ahead of you.
There are so many things I am looking forward to accomplish and experience in this new year at Harvey House Publishing. Olivia's Gift will be in contention for several book awards, including the Benjamin Franklin Award from the the Independent Book Publishers Association, of which Harvey House Publishing is a proud new member. Also, the Catholic Press Association Book Awards are coming up this spring. Olivia and the Little Way won an award from the CPA in the category of best children's books in 2009.
Never underestimate what small publishers with big hearts and a love of God and our Church can do— indie Catholic publishers like Harvey House Publishing and Bezalel Books. It seems like God sends us new ideas all of the time: ideas for books, films, new, evolving apostolates.
We always shake our heads at the fast pace the Good Lord sends us these ideas, but as a friend likes to say, "Wherever the Lord leads!" In fact, in looking back at the incredible year that was 2010, I don't even know how we were able to fit all of the work in that we did, but God made it happen, in His own time.
It was a year of presentations to school children, conferences, radio, blog, and newspaper interviews, networking, breakfast and lunch meetings, trips, and book signings. All of this while being a wife and mom to two kids! Whew! How does God make it all happen? I sometimes wonder.
But He does.
I was delighted when, a year ago, I was asked to be a proofreader for the epic memoir One Man's Journey To Freedom: Escape From Behind The Iron Curtain by Gene X. Kortsha. As I held this man's heart-wrenching, true story in my hands, I remembered reading it for the very first time as I edited it. I was so honored to have been a part of this Pulitzer Prize-nominated story of a man's journey to live life as a free man, as God intends.
As I edited Gene's book, I had to take a little break from writing Olivia's Gift, the sequel to Olivia and the Little Way, so I could concentrate on the task before me and give it my all. Only when I finished editing did I feel free to continue writing my own book. I spent most of the summer writing my own book, and taking a brief break to attend the Catholic Writers Guild Writer's Conference near Philadelphia, where I was happy to attend writing seminars, meet authors, colleagues and friends with the Catholic Marketing Network at its trade show, and learn about honing my craft as a writer.
Fall came, and with it came more editing projects, including a special children's book entitled Our Treasure. The illustrations are beautiful, the message even more so. The Eucharist truly is our greatest Treasure. This is a book not to be missed, especially for those who are preparing to make their First Holy Communion.
Illustrator Sandra Casali LewAllen, graphic artist Roseann Nieman, editor Erin Sims Howarth, and I wrapped up design and finishing touches on Olivia's Gift, and it was released on November 5. I was thrilled to see the reader response to the new book, and smiled all day on Christmas Day, just thinking of my readers finding the books under their Christmas trees. I was so happy to hear from some of them that very day! Ignatius Press immediately picked up Olivia's Gift for distribution, and now it is placed in the Ignatius Press catalog alongside Olivia and the Little Way.
Just when I started telling everyone that I was done writing for a little while, God sent me another writing project, and before I knew it, I was writing my third book for Harvey House Publishing. I am hoping to have it released in the fall. Keep an eye on this blog for future updates!
How did it all happen in 2010? By the grace of God. How will it all happen in 2011? I will let the Good Lord figure all of that out. He does a pretty good job of it!
"Wherever the Lord leads!"