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Debbie Kaufman: Birth of a Book

Marriage Is Not Her Mission

Escaping a society wedding, Annabelle Baldwin followed her heart to Liberia to pursue her calling as a missionary. But when an attempted kidnapping lands her under the protection of Stewart Hastings, Anna’s journey takes a new turn. The wounded war veteran needs a guide through the jungle. It’s a job the underfunded missionary can’t refuse, despite the feelings Stewart stirs in her guarded heart.

Stewart knows he won’t succeed without Anna’s expertise. And when danger puts her life at risk, he realizes he cannot live without Anna by his side. But what will it take for a man who has lost his faith to capture the heart of a woman who lives for hers?

 

THE BIRTH OF A BOOK By Debbie Kaufman

I know why they compare a book release with a birth.  The idea for the book is often the result of a spontaneous inspiration, something that seems like a glorious idea at the moment.  Kinda like that passionate moment that you may or may not have thought completely through.  Then there are those early, glorious days when you’re trying it all out, playing with it in your mind, and not sure which way you’re going with the whole project.  Remind you of those moments, if you’ve ever been pregnant, when you are still not sure if conception has happened and you’re agonizing over which is the most accurate test to buy or if the negative result on that stick is from testing too early?

Next, there is commitment.  For better or worse, you commit words to the page, pantsing your way along or pulling out your plotting outline (or note cards, story boards, etc.) and making changes as you go.  That glorious beginning, right before morning sickness…er…the first plot problem hits.  That’s when you realize that this thing isn’t as easy as it seems.  For me, the first three chapters are closely akin to the first trimester, when that queasy, sick feeling hits, your not sure you’re going to survive the story’s creation, and wonder why you ever thought this was a good idea to begin with.

But somehow you make it through and start cruising to the middle of the project.  You begin to think positive thoughts and have those “I can do this moments.”  But there’s a funny thing about middle times.  They sag, they frustrate and sometimes, even if you know how things end, you think you’ll never get there.  Just like all those times the need to pee interrupts a decent night’s sleep, you move from that “glow” to that, “I look like an elephant moment” and suddenly you again can’t remember why this was ever a good idea.

Eventually, you hit the end, but not before you begin to believe that the day when the pregnancy…uh…book…will ever come to an end.  That you will be the first woman/author eternally pregnant, will always be as big as a house (uh, how do I ever cut 5000 words from this manuscript), and the baby will never come (eternally unpublished or still a one-book wonder).

Eventually the day comes that you head for delivery, with a publishing contract in hand.  And after all the excitement and buildup, you get to go through labor.  That would be the labor that no one really ever accurately describes.  Discomfort?  Really.  There’s a reason that women often say things like “you’ll never touch me again” during some of the most intense phases of labor.  Reminds me of those moments when you realize the book is launching and you have no real plan and don’t know how you’ll ever manage to be a good mother/author.

And then it happens, the book is born, reviews pour in (or trickle), a reader sends you an email that makes you feel it was all worthwhile and you forget all the pain it took to get to this point.  And the next thing you know you’re on to the next project, enjoying that wonderful thrill of the new idea, convinced you’ll write the most amazing story, completely forgetting all that has gone before.  Yep, that’s how I got all those kids, and how I happened to be writing book three while yesterday Journey of Hope, the second book in my Liberia missionary series released.

Birthing books is never easy, but I am proud to show you my new little bundle of what I hope will be your joy!

 

Here’s a peek past the swaddling clothes:

JOURNEY OF HOPE

CHAPTER ONE

Monrovia, Liberia
September, 1920

When the annals of desperation were written, Stewart Hastings figured his name would have its own chapter. What was it going to take to acquire a competent guide into the Liberian jungle? Clearly his visit to this harborside tavern was another complete waste of time.

Six days to interview a promising list of a dozen names, and yet not a willing guide among them. The wages Stewart had offered the previous candidates should have been enough, but the joke was on him. Apparently he was the only man foolish enough to take big money for an expedition into cannibal territory.

He put his sterling on the wooden bar for the meal he’d just eaten, stepped outside and headed off to meet the final name on his list of potential guides. From his understanding of the street layout, his destination wasn’t far from the boarding house where he had rented a room.

The cool ocean breeze off the promontory invigorated him, providing a momentary relief from the overheated barroom whose smells of whiskey, palm oil and humanity had left him with a throb behind his right temple. The relief quickly faded as he walked the moonlit, turf-covered streets. Whoever said tropical countries didn’t get cold had never been to Monrovia on a September night. After the daily rains let up, the temperature drop had him jamming his hands in his pockets and hunching his shoulders against the chill.

He couldn’t have come all the way to Africa only to lose his best hope of securing his and his ailing mother’s future. With little more than a day before his ship departed, the outlook was bleak. Exploring for mineable geological deposits in a little-mapped jungle area was difficult enough, but add in cannibals and subtract a guide and the task became downright impossible.

His dead father’s drunken rants echoed in his memory. Maybe the son of a dock worker would never be more than a scholarship boy trying to shake off the stench of the slums. With no family name to propel him to success, failure was always a strong possibility.  This time it wasn’t an option he could allow.

To read more: http://www.debbiekaufman.com/journey-of-hope-excerpt/

Buy Journey of Hope HERE

Kaufman headshot compressed 36 kbDebbie Kaufman writes inspirational historical romance for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Historical line. The fact that some of her books contain cannibals should be understood as an element of adventurous romance stories and should never misconstrued as a sign of a warped mind. Debbie insists she is as normal as everyone else.  To decide for yourself, connect with her at www.debbiekaufman.com , LIKE her on Facebook, or go follow her on Twitter. –

 

 

Carol Burnside - January 8, 2014 - 2:59 am

Excellent post, Debbie. Congrats on birthing another baby. May you have many more!

Marilyn Baron - January 8, 2014 - 6:21 am

Debbie,
Great post. Birthing a book is definitely akin to giving birth. And writing a series is probably like having triplets. And the sagging middle is very apt in that comparison. I’m in a similar situation now, book one out, book two about to be released and writing book three. But, on the other hand, it’s exciting. Best of luck to you. I enjoyed your first chapter.

Pam Asberry - January 8, 2014 - 8:08 am

I am about halfway through your book, Deb, and I am LOVING it! Congrats on its publication and continued success!

Debbie Kaufman - January 8, 2014 - 8:46 am

Thanks Carol. Must write faster if I want more!

Debbie Kaufman - January 8, 2014 - 8:50 am

Marilyn, omgoodness! I never thought about the series comparison. Multiple births. Kind of like those twins that were born-One in 2013 and the other in 2014! But triplets, I congratulate and commiserate.

Maxine - January 8, 2014 - 10:12 am

Debbie, Excellent comparison. Enjoyed the excerpt and will certainly buy it. I told about your book on my FB page. Good luck, and many more.

Debbie Kaufman - January 8, 2014 - 12:26 pm

LOL, Pam, well that’s what happens when you go off on vacation with a hot guy! Your reading falls behind. Choices, Pam, it’s all about choices! LOLOLOL!

Seriously, I’m so glad you are loving it. That means a lot since I know that inspy isn’t really your usual choice!

Debbie Kaufman - January 8, 2014 - 12:27 pm

Maxine, thank you for sharing it! You’re such a darling. I appreciate you, girl.

Connie Gillam - January 8, 2014 - 4:30 pm

Sounds like a great book, Debbie.

And yes, I agree. Starting and finishing a book is like giving birth.

Debbie Kaufman - January 8, 2014 - 7:01 pm

Thanks, Connie!

Sia Huff - January 9, 2014 - 8:28 am

Congratulation, Debbie. The birth metaphor is so true. Wishing you many sales and many more book babies!

Sandra Elzie - January 9, 2014 - 10:42 am

Day late, but I enjoyed the post and the book. Your “peek” is a nice hint at this well-written book. Congrats & many more.

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