I was not raised a Christian so I had no idea who he was but I typed it up on an old typewriter and sent it off. He and his wife both read it and sent back a wonderful letter of encouragement. Marj said she started off reading to edit but then just got caught up in the story and read because she wanted to know what was going to happen. I was thrilled and decided to try and have it published. Fantasy was a hard sell back then, but I found an editor who was interested in publishing it. It came so close, but then the publishing house shifted focus and dropped their fantasy imprint. It was one of my first rejections and I was crushed. So I put the story away and didn’t touch it for some time.
But I kept being drawn back to it and sent it away again. Once again, it came close but was rejected. Then, a couple of years ago I heard that one of the top agents in the U.S. was going to be at Write!Canada and was willing to look at a few manuscripts. So I submitted the first 3,000 words and it was one of the few picked to be discussed by that agent. Turned out he loved it and wanted to see the whole manuscript. So I sent it off and waited. And waited. And waited. I emailed a few times but got no response so when his colleague was at that same conference the next year, when I pitched another story to her I told her about the fantasy that still had not been formally rejected. Soon after I had an email telling me, regretfully, they were not going to publish it. Again, the disappointment stung but this time I didn’t put it away I just kept working on it.
When Helping Hands Press invited me to be part of Kathy Macias’ 12 Days of Christmas series I was thrilled. It was a lot of fun working with a group of writers and the response to the stories was encouraging. My story, An Unexpected Glory, made it into the top reaches on Amazon. So I approached the publisher about doing this fantasy series. He responded right away and the process began. We hope to release the first book, which will come out as volumes of ebooks, in June. I am over the moon excited about seeing this one finally out there. :)
Now, to answer the questions Brenda has laid out for us –
Is it a new project or something you’ve been working on?I guess I’ve already answered that one. :)
How did you get the idea?The main character took shape as I was hiking in the mountains of the Yukon one summer. I started to imagine what it would be like to discover there were caves deep into the mountains, and it went from there.
What are you discovering as your writing is unfolding?
That sometimes I wish I was a plotter instead of a seat of the pants writer. In some ways it would be so much easier to know exactly where the story is going. But I just can’t seem to do it that way. The story has to unfold as I go. I’m discovering God has a lot to teach me as I write.
When do you plan to have this work finished?As mentioned, the first book will release sometime in June. The second book is finished in first draft so still needs editing. Only about 1/3 of Book Three is written. I’m hoping to have it completed by the end of the summer, Lord willing. The working title is The Ambassadors Trilogy – first book will be Journey to a Strong Tower.
Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada where she is a pastor's wife and mother of three adult daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone.
Her Christmas novella, An Unexpected Glory was just short listed in the short story category of The Word Awards, as is her devotional book, Spur of the Moment and two blog posts. Marcia's work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan.