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A Story of Triumph

Writers struggle to get published. I'm no different. There's so much to learn about the craft and the business. And it takes time--years (despite ads claiming to teach you how to write a bestseller in just a month)--to figure out how to revise your story so it's one that readers and publishers will delight in. In my last blog post, I shared how my first 12 children's books got published. In that post, I explain how I found the editors who believed in my books...and me. (Each book was different!) 

My 13th book will be out on March 5! This book stands out from all of my other books. This is my first faith-based book. It's called Quirky Critter Devotions: 52 Wild Wonders for Kids. It's with the Christian publisher, Tyndale.

As I think about Quirky Critter Devotions, I recognize it's been a long road. Countless drafts of several different manuscript ideas. I thought I'd attempt to share a bit of a timeline with you. This timeline is color-coded based on major changes/completely different directions with book ideas, though they are all connected. Quirky Critter Devotions wouldn't be here without this entire process and long timeline to publication.

September 2016: Pitched a last minute idea of a faith-based insect early reader series to an editor I met at a conference (Idea A). 
November 2016: Editor requested Idea A proposal and sample submitted and later rejected.
March 2017: Wrote a different manuscript about an insect with faith-based components (Idea B).
November 2018: Idea B manuscript submitted to an interested editor.
March 2019: Idea B rejected with a kind and clear explanation.
April 2021: Prepared an insect devotional pitch (Idea C).
April 2021: Worked with critique partners, a mentor text, and a well-published devotional writer for Idea C. Never submitted.
May 2021: Inspired by Idea C but not satisfied with it, came up with Idea D. Pitched an animal devotional to a Tyndale editor during an online conference, and the editor requested the proposal. (Idea D) During the same session also pitched Idea B. That was requested but ultimately rejected.
June 2021: Revised Idea C and brainstormed and drafted/revised additional devotions and an outline to include with my Idea D proposal.
July 2021: Submitted complete proposal and sample manuscript for Idea D.
December 2021: Editor/Tyndale made me an offer for Idea D. 
January 2022: Used the offer in hand to sign with an agent.
March 2022: Contract finalized.
July 2022: Submitted 21,371 words of my manuscript to Tyndale.
March 5, 2024: Quirky Critter Devotions: 52 Wild Wonders for Kids arrives in readers hands!

That's almost 8 years. 

And it's worth it.

Quirky Critter Devotions wasn't what I envisioned back in 2016. It's better. I am so excited that animal lovers can learn more about animals and deepen their connection with God through this book.

One devotion covers four pages. Each includes the devotion with photographs, journaling prompt, verse, prayer, Wild Wonder (fun fact), and Creature Connection (hands-on activity).
What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear them! 

And if you pre-order, send me an email if you want a personalized book plate and a little goodie from me! annettemwhipple [at] gmail [dot] com

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  1. Annette - I loved hearing the publishing journey for the devotional book! I write nonfiction kids books and faith-based essays, poems, curriculum and devotional materials for adults. I'm pondering ways to combine my faith-based writing and kids writing in the way you have. Thanks for sharing your story.

    1. You're so welcome, Donna. It wasn't easy to make it science and faith (as you could tell from my earlier tries) but I'm so grateful for this and hope for more opportunities for all of us!

  2. Annette - Love the journey you have been on. I'm praying and working on mine. So proud of you. Well done! Jo

    1. Thank you so much, Jo! We all need prayer and encouragement!

  3. I love the whole idea of connecting the scientific and the spiritual; as a naturalist, my belief in a higher power is intimately connected to my awe and appreciation of the natural world. Detailing your journey is an amazing help to those of us in the pre-publishing phase of our careers. Thanks for all!

    1. Jan, I know how discouraging the publishing journey can be. I share to encourage others! Isn't this world amazing?!

  4. This is such a fun idea, Annette. I enjoyed reading about how this book came to be, and look forward to seeing the book in person!

  5. I preordered! This is a perfect present for my 9 y o granddaughter. Carol Baldwin