Friday, October 23, 2015

Becoming a Writer: Cover Reveal and New Book

Disclaimer:  For those of you who have followed and supported my writing for years, this may not seem like a momentous announcement. If it's anticlimactic for you, I apologize in advance. I admit this looks like the cover to my first book. It is very similar, but Ryan (my son) has modified it for Kindle. 
I was still working at IMA in Tupelo when it all began. I overheard two of the nurses talking about pottery class and I took a step closer to eavesdrop more effectively. 

"Pottery class? Did I hear you say you're taking a pottery class?"

"Yes," they said, beaming. "Titus Riley has decided to teach one more class and we signed up."

"I've always wanted to take a pottery class."

"You should sign up, Dr. Hollis. We can take the class together. It'll be fun!"

I was less adventurous back then. It seemed a shocking idea, but, for once, my desire would not be denied. I signed up. The first class was so deeply spiritual that I rehearsed it in my head all the way home from Peppertown. 

By the time I pulled into my driveway, the words were crystal clear in my head. By the time I reached my computer, the words would not be silenced. I wrote them and, in a bold stroke of daring, I emailed them to all 200 people on the roll of the internet prayer ministry I coordinated. 

Every week, I attended class, drove home with words bubbling over in my heart, and headed to the computer. Every week, I emailed the lessons I'd learned to my list of pray-ers.

Before long, people began to reply with comments that described me as a writer. Writer? I am a writer? I couldn't believe it. I thought of a writer as someone who smoked and drank whiskey in Paris cafes. (Yes. My imagination tends toward fanciful.) What did I know? Apparently, not much.

Several people suggested I publish the stories in a little book. A book? Me, write a book? Nothing seemed more unlikely, but the idea would not be squelched. It took me years, but I finally started a little publishing company and published the book. The book still sells in paperback today.

I love these stories. 

It's a tiny book. There's only eighteen stories, but they represent my birth as a writer. They are my favorite stories of all I've written because they are so fresh and pure. There's no "technique". I didn't know about technique back then. It's just pure Leanna, written straight from my heart. 

Those stories were used by God to change me, to force me out of my comfort zone and bring me to the place I am now. Writing full-time. They were the first daring step on this journey of words, and they changed my life.

Two years ago, I intended to convert the book to Kindle, but encountered a formatting problem and gave up. This week, I decided to give it a try again. I was stunned to find that I was one step from being ready to publish. Ryan helped me. He explained how to make the table of content hyperlinks. In under two minutes, the manuscript was done. 

A few minutes more and Ryan had reformatted my original cover for Kindle. We uploaded the files. The format is not as pristine as in the print book, but the stories are all there. It's online already and available for purchase in the Kindle store. (You don't need a Kindle device. You can download the Kindle app and read it on your smart phone or your computer.) Here's the link: The Clay Papers. (Be sure to leave a review.)

I'm selling it for 99 cents. I make 35 cents for every sale, and I have to pay taxes on that. Obviously, this is not about making a ton of money. It's about sharing stories I love. It's about pointing people to the Master Potter and helping them to take a step closer to becoming moldable in His loving hand.

I hope you'll read it. I hope you'll share the post with everyone you know. I hope my little book will sell and people will remember my name when my novels are finally ready. (Those will be for profit, I hope.) 

Most of all, I hope people will be drawn to Jesus because of the words I've written and that they, too, will allow Him to mold and change them into all He intended them to be. I hope The Clay Papers will be used by God to create a desire for discipleship in the hearts of readers. If that happens, I'll have achieved my goal in publishing this book. 

Enjoy, sweet readers. I'm sharing a piece of my heart.

You can read more of the story of how I became a writer in this blog post about Unexpected Blessings: Becoming a Writer.

My advent book is available on Amazon and is also 99 cents for the Kindle version. Here's the link: The Road to Bethlehem.

The most read post of the past week: Removing the Callus.

#coverreveal #Kindle #ClayPapers #becomingawriter #disciple