Beryl Singleton Bissell


From the author

Five months after publication

September 23, 2006

If I thought my job was over when I finished the last edit on the manuscript of the Scent of God, I was mistaken. My work as an author had just begun. What has surprised me is how much I've enjoyed this part of the process: the publicity effort.

As a first time author, I was nervous about going on a "publication tour." Five months after publication I've come to the conclusion that I enjoy this part of the process almost as much as I love to write. All of it. The radio interviews (as long as they were in-studio; waiting for phone-interviews continues to elicit what I think of as my rapid-radio-heartbeat-syndrome. I relish speaking before groups and doing in-store readings. And most of all, I've delighted in reading and responding to your letters. Thank you.

There is a saying that "you cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore." So often we humans are risk-adverse: we'd rather play it safe, stay with what we know rather than launch out into the unknown as an explorer.

Writers are sometimes guilty of this fear. Telling the story can be traumatic even though ultimately healing. Sending the story into the world is like letting go of a beloved child -- you don't want that child to get hurt, to fail, to grow discouraged. And should that story be lucky enough to find a wonderful agent and publisher, there are still more risks to weather: the bad review, the unfriendly crowd, the nasty letter, the poorly attended event. Even the best well-known authors have endured such apparent set-backs.

Ultimately, such happenings strengthen us. It becomes easier to face those worst case scenarios. The willingness to "lose sight of the shore" will keep us from lugging a heart full of regrets through life. Instead it will give us a rudder and sail.

Peace and blessing to each of you.

My Work

The collision of human love and faith
An impetuous move to Lake Superior transforms a life
While writing The Scent of God
"Seven Years in Hell"

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