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Friday, March 14, 2014

The Blog Post We All Dream of Writing

I have written this post in my head a million times. I can't describe to you how excited I am to finally actually post it today. Okay. So before you all die of impatience, the GREAT news.

Covenant has accepted my LDS Romantic Comedy novel, THE GAME PLAN, for publication!!!!!

And now the backstory.

THE GAME PLAN's story began quite a few years ago. I was watching an interview with BYU basketball star Jimmer Fredette and they interviewed his girlfriend. I wondered, how does a girl end up dating a guy like that and how does he know it's for real and she's not just a fan.

And since I'm a writer, that was the birth of a story. I started working on it, changing the star basketball player into a star football player because I just adore football. And the girl took shape before my eyes, someone who absolutely knew football and used it against the object of her affection. And then fell for him.

I had a baby in there somewhere, so writing went kind of slow at times, but I did finally finish. My husband kept asking why I was writing something new--totally new! I'd never written straight-up romance before--when I was still querying for my superhero novel. I didn't know. It just felt really right.

In January or February of 2013, I signed up to go to the LDStorymakers conference. I knew I wanted to pitch it there, and at this point THE GAME PLAN had only been read by two readers and my fabulous CP Kaylee hadn't even seen it yet. So I got my rear in gear and got to work editing. By the time I went to the conference in May, it wasn't totally done. The conference is a whole other post (that I think I've totally written...) but right off at the boot camp I got AMAZING advice from Becca Wilhite and my co-boot campers on my MS.

I was supposed to pitch just to Lisa Mangum at Deseret Book/Shadow Mountain, but when some extra sessions came up with Covenant, I begged to get in. After making sure everyone had a chance, Melanie Jacobson got me a pitch session with Kathy Gordon. It was fate, guys. I pitched her my book and she was excited about it. That in and of itself made going worth it, to have someone in the book biz be excited about my project. My friends and I shared a lot of excitement when I got out of that pitch session.

But once back home it was back to work. I'd learned a lot of things at the conference and also decided to change the tense on the book. Eeek. Over the next couple months I worked harder than I ever have on a book. I analyzed every scene with a mid-view approach I learned in Annette Lyon's master class on self-editing. (So awesome, really.) Then finally, on July 24th (I remember because Sarah Eden pointed out to me that since that's kind of a holiday in Utah, I probably wouldn't need to worry about hearing back that day...) I submitted. And then I sat back to wait. I'd discussed Krista Jensen's story of submitting to Covenant with her a lot. I knew it would take some time, so I got busy doing other things. I wrote two more novels. (Dang, didn't catch Krista! But in all fairness, she had 9 months, I only had 7.5.) I revised and overhauled another YA novel. I did some mom things. I moved to Alaska.

In January I emailed just to check up on things. It had been over six months. I got a very nice email from a submissions editor that said some nice, positive things about my book and she said she hoped it would be about another month and they'd let me know. Cue more waiting.

This morning, I got up just like normal, oddly enough, not thinking about getting any special emails today. My mind was mostly on a lunch I was having with my friends and the fact that we still don't have a signed contract on the house we're buying even though it's been well over a month since we accepted their counter-offer. Also, that is another blog post. I did my mom thing, getting my kids all ready for school and stuff, and then grabbed my phone on the way out the door to drop them off. When I picked it up, I saw a notification for an email from Covenant.

I gasped. My heart started pounding and my hands shook. This was probably the email. Maybe you remember this morning about how terrified I was to open it. I texted my husband and my mom, hoping someone would give me the strength to open that email. Finally, about thirty minutes later, after dropping the kids off at school, I sat down at my computer and opened my email. It was kind of anti-climatic. I saw the "Congratulations" snippet before I opened it. I only read two lines before I ran around the room screaming with joy.

I'm so excited, guys. SO EXCITED. Covenant has been my dream publisher and they said yes to me! I feel like I get to join a really fun club with some other really fun people that I know and admire and who write great stuff. I feel like I'm not quite sure how this can be real, that I can actually join in. But let's just say...

THIS IS GOING TO BE SO AWESOME. In the words of my brother, D.J. (who consequently, kind of deserves a co-author credit on this book...), "Zigga zigga woot shiminy yowza yowza moooooolalalalalala yayayayayayayayayay."* Yep. That's how I feel.

*Yes, D.J., I had to do a teeny bit of editing to that text.


  1. I'm so happy for you! I want to know the pub date as soon as you have it!

  2. Congrats lady! I can't wait to read it, and you totally deserve it! You are like super mom!

  3. SO STOKED!! I read a small snip of this WAAAAAY in the beginning. HUGE congrats!

  4. Woohoo! So excited for you! You deserve it.

  5. Just wanted to say, CONGRATS! I've read a couple of your books and have been meaning to read the rest. I hope it goes really well and I'm looking forward to seeing the finished copy of The Game Plan! You are with an amazing group of authors over at Covenant! :D

    Tressa @ Tressa's Wishful Endings

  6. I remember very well the feeling I got when I opening my first acceptance email from Covenant. Welcome to our lovely family of authors, and congrats!

  7. Congratulations! That is wonderful!

  8. Awesome! Can't wait to read your book.

  9. Replies
    1. PS - Your story sounds awesome :)

  10. Way to go, Ranee!!! I'm so happy for you. When is it scheduled to come out?


About Me!

I've been writing since I was old enough to grasp a crayon--my grandma even has an early copy of a "book" I made her. I have a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming and will (hopefully) soon be starting a graduate program in English. When I'm not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in the living room or losing miserably to my boys at Uno, I'm ... well, writing or editing, of course! I'm married to my best friend, and we have three rambunctious but simply amazing little boys.


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