Sunday, March 2, 2014

#PitchMAS Success Story #9: Linda Brendle @LindaBrendle


It's another success story! 


We'd like to invite you to join us in congratulating Linda Brendle on her publishing contract with Anaiah Press! We are so excited to share this success story with all of you! 

Take it away, Linda! 

A Long and Winding Road to Publication | by Linda Brendle

My book was conceived in September of 2007 while I was making plans for an RV trip with my husband and my parents. I’m a bit of a control freak, and one of the ways I attempt to control my life is by making lists, and this epic trip was going to take a lot of control and a lot of lists. David and I had owned our motor home for less than two months, and we planned to visit 16 states in 7 weeks. To add a little extra drama, my mom had Alzheimer’s and my dad had vascular dementia. In the preceding few months I had written several articles on Facebook about my caregiving experiences, and since this trip seemed like it might provide plenty of good writing material, I added a spiral notebook and several of my favorite Precise V5 pens to my shopping list.

I filled the first notebook and bought a larger one, and 4 years and 14 edits later I had a memoir called A LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos. Then the question was now that I’ve written it, what do I do with it? I talked with other authors and sought out sources to educate myself about publishing, and I learned about queries and pitches and rejections. In late 2011 I signed with an agent, but by early 2013 I wasn’t where I wanted to be, so I decided to strike out on my own.

In July of 2013, one of the members of my author support group posted information about PitchMAS, and I decided to give it a try. I didn’t make the top 50. Crushed but not broken, I put it on my calendar, and on December 15, I tried again. This time Jessa and Tamara included the top 75 in the final blog group, and on December 19, my blog pitch was posted in the #73 spot. Almost immediately I received a request from Kara Leigh Miller, Managing Editor at Anaiah Press, asking for a query and the first five chapters of my manuscript. I responded that afternoon, and the next day I received a request for the full manuscript from Jessica Schmeidler, Senior Editor of the Inspirations imprint at Anaiah.

I was excited but a little disappointed that I got no other requests, but I’ve been told that memoir is the hardest genre to sell unless you’re a celebrity, so I was grateful for Anaiah’s enthusiasm. One thing my education in publishing had taught me was that the wheels turn slowly in this business, so I settled in for a long wait. But this time was the exception. On December 26 I received an e-mail from Eden Plantz, Executive Editor at Anaiah, offering me a publishing contract. It has been a long road since I first bought that spiral notebook and those pens, but thanks to the wonderful ladies at PitchMAS and the extraordinary staff at Anaiah, I’m reaching my destination.

Anaiah Press is a Christian digital-first publishing house dedicated to presenting quality faith-based fiction and nonfiction books to the public. A LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos will be released July 1.

You can find me on my blog called Life After Caregiving, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

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  1. A beautiful story, if I do say so myself. ;-) A big shout-out and thank you to everyone who is involved with #PitchMAS. You guys have created a wonderful opportunity for writers and publishers, alike.

  2. Oh my gosh. Someone go back and edit my poor comment... *hangs head in shame*