Today’s guest host is fellow Astraea Press author, Ashley Stambaugh. She’s sharing her path to publication story today, and it’s a great one!
Without further ado, here’s Ashley…
First things first, I’d like to give a big thank you to Christi for having me here today! I’m thrilled that she’s allowed me to share the details about my first novel, and how it finally came to be an actual book and not just a manuscript saved on my computer.
My journey to publication wasn’t an extremely long one, but it wasn’t a short one either. It started back in the summer of 2009. I had finally finished my first book, which had taken me over a year to write, and I was ready to start querying. Or so I thought.
After months and months of receiving nothing but rejections, I had to admit to myself that I needed to rewrite my manuscript. By then, it was the spring of 2010. I had just had my first son, and I was working a full-time job, so I had to squeeze in writing whenever I could find the time. A little over a year later, I was done with the rewrite and for sure that I had it right this time. In the summer of 2011, I started my second round of querying. And again, I received the same results.
Rejection e-mails were the norm in my inbox, and after a few months, I had finally had enough. I couldn’t take the sting of rejection anymore, and the thought of just giving up for good even crossed my mind. But then, in the spring of 2012, something happened that renewed my passion. I actually received some feedback on my manuscript from an agent. What she said to me was a rude awakening, but it was also helpful and honest. So I rewrote my manuscript again, and I guess the third time really is a charm. In the fall of 2013, a little over four years from when I sent out my first query letter, I finally received an offer of publication from Astraea Press. And as the saying goes, the rest is history!
Rejection can hurt tremendously, especially when it’s given to something you’ve worked so hard on. Trust me, I know. But thick skin, perseverance, and not being afraid to rework your manuscript will ultimately lead to success!
I’m so excited that I’m finally able to share my first book with the world, and I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Ashley Stambaugh grew up in a small town in Illinois where she and her two siblings created some of the best memories playing on their family’s farm. She stayed in the southern region of the state to attend college where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and also met her husband.
Now, she and her husband live in central Illinois and spend their time creating new memories with their two rambunctious boys and their comical black Pug. She also enjoys reading, taking long walks, and finding great bargains. When her sons are a little bit older, she has a great desire to travel with her family. Oh, and she also has a slight obsession with chocolate.
When she’s not busy chasing after her two young children or losing herself in a good book, you can find her curled up on her couch with her laptop, writing.
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Melina Rowe never thought her quiet, simple life could change to one full of fear and confusion just by accidentally bumping into someone. But after she collides with an elderly man named Walter, she starts to hear people’s thoughts and have unsettling visions.
Walter reveals himself as a guiding angel and explains to Melina that she’s a rare type of human who can absorb angel powers. But her special ability is more of a problem for her than a gift.
The powers are too strong for humans and will eventually kill Melina unless she can successfully use them to help a select individual who’s in need of guidance. Her chances are slim, though, seeing that the handful of other humans this has happened to before didn’t survive.
Scared for her life, Melina desperately tries to help a young man named Lee, but his continual resistance and her struggle with the powers make it almost impossible. Her situation only grows worse when a trio of soul-snatching demons is sent by an unknown entity to take her soul and kill her.
As a determined Walter sets out to discover who sent the demons and why, Melina must defend herself from their relentless attacks all while trying to use powers she doesn’t fully understand to help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. If she can’t figure out how to break through to Lee, the powers will ultimately destroy her. But if the powers don’t kill her first, the demons will.
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