Lucie Ulrich: Path to Publication

I’m excited to announce that Lucie Ulrich, fellow Clean Reads author, has agreed to host my blog with a Path to Publication post. Without further ado, here’s Lucie…

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Lucie

Unlike so many aspiring authors who knew from a young age they wanted to write, my bug didn’t bite until I was in my mid-forties. Having no college degree, and never having taken a creative writing class—or any sort of writing class, I ventured out on my own.

I worked as a drama director, at my (then) church, and eventually took on the position of performing arts director at a small private school. I wrote skits and plays with ease—whether serious or comedic. Novels, on the other hand, were a different animal.

Since I dealt with kids, I assumed I’d write for young adults. I was wrong. As time passed, I realized that romance with plenty of family drama better suited me best, and once I got going, I was hard to stop. I wrote so much, in fact, one of my first attempts ran nearly 150,000 words. Needless to say, I had a lot to learn.

My training began with a small online critique group which included a published author, an editor, and two college professors. To say I was intimidated would be a gross understatement. Though I got some great feedback, I needed more, and after a year or so, our little group moved to a much larger critiquing site.

Learning the ins and outs of POV, active vs passive voice, info dump, punctuation (though I still struggle there), and so much more took years, but what an education it was.

When I felt I was ready to submit a manuscript, I learned, by way of a few rejections, that most major publishing houses wouldn’t accept unsolicited manuscripts, and I was in no position to search out an agent. The author from my first critique group told me about a site for inspirational authors to submit a general query that would be made available to a plethora of publishers. There was a fee involved, but I felt it was worth it. My second attempt resulted in a contract with an up-and-coming imprint looking for fresh voices in Christian fiction. “Broken Vessels” came to life. Though I only published the one book with them, it was all I needed to keep going.

A Facebook pitch party brought me to my second, and current publisher, Clean Reads. “Finding Hope” is my most recent release, but I just signed my fifth contract in four years, and I hope for many more.

FindingHope_1850

Nearly sixteen years after relinquishing the rights to his unborn child, Noah Cooper is stunned to discover his daughter, Hope, wants to meet him. With the love and support of his family, Noah sets off from Elk Flats, Montana to Albany, New York, having no idea what changes are in store for him.

Cancer survivor and widow, Beth Peterson, is more than a little nervous to meet her daughter’s birth father. Their initial meeting goes well, but things decline in a hurry when Noah invites Hope to spend time at the ranch without speaking to Beth about it first.

Determined to meet her new family, a battle of wills ensues between Hope and her mother. While Hope longs for a connection, Beth fears losing her daughter to virtual strangers—strangers who live two thousand miles away.

Struggles and misunderstandings abound between Noah and Beth, despite their growing attraction for one another. Noah is ready to commit, while Beth can’t let go of the memory of her husband and the imperfections cancer has forced her to live with.
Will hope, patience, and prayer be enough to pull this family together?

Buy links:

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iBooks

About the author: Lucie Ulrich is an award-winning author of inspirational fiction. Her books are filled with stories of faith, family and forgiveness. She was honored to receive a RONE Award for her second novel, “The Rose Ring.”
A former performing arts director, Lucie now enjoys going on photo shoots with her husband, and taking long (or short) road trips. She continues to find inspiration as she and her husband explore the four corners of the United States.

 

Social Media:

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Lucie Ulrich’s Path to Publication Story

Today’s Path to Publication story is by fellow Astraea Press author, Lucie Ulrich…

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383617_2482960047113_1406066125_n (1)I was born to write, but didn’t realize it until I hit my mid-forties.

My jobs took me from airline agent, to stay-at-home mom, to home school mom, to substitute teacher, to performing arts director at a private Christian school. Somewhere in there, I joined my church’s drama team. I always loved drama, and performed in several middle school plays, but when I reached high school, my fears and insecurities took over, and I never tried out for a single production in four years.

Fast forward roughly 21 years after graduation, and I’d written my first skit for church. It wasn’t great, but it was rewarding. A few years later I headed the team, and wrote everything we performed. During those years, I felt the nudge to attempt a novel. My first thought was YA, seeing as I worked with a lot of youth on the drama team, and was, by then, subbing elementary to high school students. After several attempts, I realized YA wasn’t for me.

When my daughter asked me to accompany her to Holland, where she was participating in a dance/worship week, I brought along a half dozen large yellow legal pads. While my daughter danced, I wrote the beginnings of my first romance novel while sitting under a tree, listening to a small stream close by. I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful setting.

I based my first novel in my hometown, and it ran a whopping 150k words—way too long for a romance novel. Not having any formal writing training, I ran it by some friends who thought it was the best book ever. Needless to say, they knew less about writing than I did. Lol! Not long after that, I read M.K. Malone’s debut novel, Divided Loyalties. I loved it and emailed the author to tell him so. I soon learned he was a she, and we got to chatting via email. I asked to join her online critiquing group, which was very much out of character for me, and she agreed. Learning from her was amazing and much appreciated. We moved on to a much larger group, but I’m still friends with three of the main participants in the original group.

The people at The Critique Circle not only broadened my education, but helped me develop thick skin. My first book, Broken Vessels, was run through the site twice before I felt it was ready for publication. It didn’t take long to realize large publishing houses don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts—especially from first time authors, so I submitted my work on ECPA, a Christian publishing site that (for a reasonable fee) allows authors to post a query with sample chapters, which is then made available to a host of publishers for 6 months. It took two go-rounds, but my book was picked up, and soon released as an ebook.

Two years later, my second book was released by Astraea Press. I had all the information needed per their submission guidelines, when I was lucky enough to come across their FB pitch party, which made things really easy for me. When the party was over, I was asked for a full manuscript.  My first, and hopefully not last, AP book The Rose Ring, was published in July.

TheRoseRing-LucieUlrichWith a will that reads like a piece of fiction, the return of his long-lost brother, and the possibility of losing the family ranch, Micah Cooper calls on high school friend, Sky Baxter, to bail him out of a bad situation.

Though her brain tells her no, Sky’s heart says yes. She accepts Micah’s in-name-only proposal, knowing it’s unlikely anything permanent will come of it. She’s been in love with him since the ninth grade, and if he hasn’t figured it out by now, there’s little chance he ever will.

When an unexpected kiss ignites a spark, giving Micah hope for a possible future with Sky, a tragic accident threatens to take it all away. Torn between following his heart, doing the right thing, and forgiving the past, Micah is lost in a whirlwind of pain and emotions. Will he make it through the next two years, or will a long-kept family secret be the undoing of them all?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lucie Ulrich took her time becoming a writer. Not much of a reader as a child, writing was of no interest to her–until she joined a church drama team. The desire to write a skit, and not simply act out someone else’s was so strong, that once she started, she couldn’t seem to stop. That first skit led to her becoming the drama team director, then eventually, the performing arts director at a small Christian school.

Lucie’s first novel was penned under a tree in a field in Holland. Though her first, second, and third attempts never saw the light of day, parts of each of them became the foundation for “Broken Vessels,” her first published work.

No longer involved with the performing arts, Lucie enjoys going on photo shoots with her husband, and taking long (or short) road trips. She hopes to find inspiration as she and her husband explore the four corners of the United States.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Website: http://www.lucieulrich.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/inspywriter?ref_type=bookmark

Twitter: @LucieUlrich

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5823505.Lucie_Ulrich

Buy links

Amazon           B& N            iBooks 1       Smashwords       Kobo