barbarawrites (barbarawrites) wrote,

Welcome to My Blog

 Welcome to my blog's new home.   Please bear with me as I recreate posts from another blog site that is no longer available.  Thanks for visiting my page and I hope to have you visit often.




January 21, 2007



Welcome to my blog, where I will keep you up-to-date with my publishing journey, answer questions from my web page, or chat about anything else worth sharing that happens to pop into my head.  Along the way I hope you will learn the power of my four "P" words:  passion, plan, patience and persistence.

Tomorrow my husband and I will board an airplane for New York, where we will meet my literary agent, Rachel Vater, at Lowenstein-Yost Associates, and my editor, Samantha Mandor, at Berkley.  To say I am excited is an understatement...I keep pinching myself to make sure it's true because it's been a sixteen year journey to get to this point in my publishing career.    

This morning I checked the web page for The Weather Channel....brrrr.  It's snowing in the city, and the highest predicted temperature for next week is a nippy 42 degrees F.   What's a California girl supposed to do?  Pack warm, think layers, and don't plan any outdoor activities like horseback riding in Central Park or jet skiing on the Hudson River

As I think about my journey, I am amazed at how far I've traveled and at how long it's taken me to get to this point.  In 1991, after my previous husband tried to murder me., I decided to write a book to help others....I found my passion.  I knew I would need to learn to write.....I developed a plan that started with reading a how-to-write book and contacting the author to be my co-author.   He was backed up with commitments, but he did say that based on my proposal he felt I could write the book myself.  Wow!  I was jazzed.  But I had to put my plan on hold as I continued to meet the challenge of divorcing a psychopath.  I found patience.  


Two years later I updated my book plan with my next goal - to learn to write.  I joined the International Women's Writing Guild and attended their summer conference.   The following year I attended another IWWG conference, then progressed to a new writing level that fall at the Writer's Retreat Workshop .  I found persistence.  I would need all four P's as my focus once more switched, this time to the state capitol and changing the no-fault divorce law of California.


After the law was passed, I once more focused on my writing plan and found my mentor Gail Provost, who patiently worked with me as I developed my writing voice along with the characters and plot of my memoir.   By now I had become adept at passion, plan, patience, and persistence and over the next ten years I juggled writing with dating, marriage, travel, house remodeling, charity volunteering and a full time job to maintain a balanced life. 


My writing journey has gone through several stages of query letters and proposals.  I've gathered at least forty rejection letters, rightfully so, because my manuscript was far from ready.  I was fortunate to sign with a mentoring agent four years ago but she found out that she could not sell my story as true crime because I wasn't dead....thankfully.  We amicably parted ways.  Last year I started my query letter routine once more, this time with a completed, professionally edited manuscript


Throughout my journey, I have steadfastly believed that my story would be published when it was supposed to be published, not a moment sooner or later.  My initial query to Rachel was in February.   A word to the wise....don't always assume an email query from a web page form will make it through cyber space and end up with the intended recipient.  Fortunately I had the good sense to follow-up with a snail-mail query.  Four months later Rachel requested my manuscript by email.  Why aren't all agents into using modern technology?  It would save a lot of trees. 


Another four months passed and it miraculously happened that Rachel read my manuscript in New York City on the same evening and at the same time that my husband was having emergency quadruple bypass surgery in San Francisco.  I say miraculous because God gave me an ultimate high to balance my ultimate low.  The next morning when I opened my email, I found Rachel's note.  I was astonished that she had sent it at 12:30 am, saying she had just finished reading my manuscript, it was well done and she wanted to represent me.  My mouth fell open.  Tears fell down my cheeks....and I thanked God....for Rachel's words and my husband's successful surgery. 


Working with Rachel has been a dream come true.  I feel like I am speaking to a long time friend and advocate as we work our way through the process of contracts, edits and submissions.  I try to be her dream client and not bug her.  Quite honestly I don't know how literary agents survive with all the mail and manuscripts they sift through, so I respect that any time we spend together on the phone is special.  After some minor edits, Rachel sent out the proposal and within several days she sold my manuscript to Samantha at Berkley.  Yippee.


So here I am, getting ready to go back to meet Rachel and Samantha.  Because my husband and I are award winning home winemakers we plan on sharing some of our wine with them.  What a wonderful trip this should be!  Until next time.....thanks for reading.


Comments (5 comments)


As you can see, Barbara indeed found her passion with a steadfast belief that she could educate and prevent other women from becoming prey to the ultimate human predator and imposter.  She has changed California law and in doing so, realized she could further protect others by helping women understand the signs and deceit of a man who she thought loved her.  Looks like we don’t have long to wait to read her story....I for one hope Barbara has only begun her journey of further healing and, more importantly, education other females along the way.   Sheryl Sturges    2007-01-23  16:05:26 GMT 


Congratulations on living and getting this far into the publication cycle.  I’ll be more than interested to watch (read) about your journey and try to find the four P’s for my writing efforts.    rickWRW05,06    rick 2007-01-24  01:09:51 GMT 


Hello Barbara. This is Joyce,.  Rosanne Gully and I met last night at the Rue 57.   Again, congratulations!!! Have  a lovely time in NY!!      Joyce Schembri    2007-01-24 18:25:38 GMT :


Dear Barbara,
I ran across your site while researching literary agents. I am very impressed with your writing journey and I anxiously await your book! I am a former crisis intervention counselor and social worker and was physically abused during my first marriage. I am also a writer (humor) and a true crime buff, so, as you can see, I have all the ingredients for fascination with your story! Congratulations on your writing success! Is there any way to reserve a book or get notification when it is published?
Best Wishes,Crystal Wergin


Thanks for your post and your interest in my story. Release is currently set for May 2008. Congratulations on working your way past your personal tragedy. Please contact me through the Contact Us on the web page so I can have your email address. I will add it to my notification list. Remember, if you change email addresses you must let me know so I can update the list.


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