Packing for the Publication Road

by Kristy Cambron, @KCambronAuthor

Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.—Philippians 1:6 (NIV)

“Realistically, what can we stand to lose?”

I stared down at four small carry-on bags that wouldn’t zip closed. My husband responded with: “Well, let’s start again and see.”

We were packing for a nine-day research trip overseas and since we’d be road-tripping across Ireland, our luggage would likely never find us if it was lost in transit. So, we opted to carry-on for two adults and two kids… That meant we had to pack light—and right—for the journey ahead.

But we didn’t step into the fray unprepared. We took the journey seriously, investing in the right research ahead of time. I found Pinterest travel hacks—’How to pack for Ireland’ posts were pure gold.  I researched the weather in places we planned to stop—Do I really need that bulky sweater when a rain jacket will pull double-duty? And you’d better believe I tucked a ball cap in my carry-on for those hat-and-go days when we wanted to explore in the rain.

If you’re new to this transition from the aspiring road to a published one (or if you’ve been here for a while), you still need to pack the essentials. So get your carry-on ready… we’re about to tuck in(5)must-haves for those heading out on the publication road:

  1. GOOGLE IS YOUR FRIEND— I’m asked the “How do I get published?” question more than any other. It may be obvious for aspiring authors, but it’s certainly not the only one. There are many to consider before you take your first step out: Am I called to fiction or nonfiction? What genre? Traditional or indie publishing? What about working with an agent? Who’s my dream publishing house? What do they publish?There’s a massive travel trunk full of questions. With your future cheerleading section (spouse, family, friends…) and God, you’ll have to wade through them all.Have questions? Then research everything you can to make sure you get on the right road for you.
  2. CRAFT IS A VERB—Before a writer can master the ins and outs of story craft, they must first fall in love with storytelling. That’s reading. Writing every day. Attending conferences and signing up for workshops. So much of what we do isn’t glamorous—instead of being whisked around on a book tour, authors are more often hashing it out on the laptop at 3am, working our way through a second pot of coffee while wearing a messy bun and the same yoga pants for the third time that week. Why? Because it’s work. Hard work. And if you develop an authentic love for storytelling before you’re published, you’ll have an anchor to fight through those writing deadlines AND to rejoice if you do get a book tour after.
  3. COMMUNITY: Remember that cheerleading section we mentioned? Share your dreams with them. Family, pastors, and mentors will encourage you. Fellow authors will share knowledge and experience. Critique groups will rejoice with you when the news is noteworthy… and lift you up if rejections come. Invest wisely and often to surround yourself with a community of Jesus-chasers who will defend your dream—this group will help carry the load as you walk the road.
  4. SOUL-CARE: The author life is an amazing calling, but remember that a vocation cannot define who we are. The road to publication is paved by what Jesus did for us… not what we do for Him. Find times of intentional soul rest along the way. Celebrate the milestones. And know that timing is everything; God’s plan is bigger and better than we could ever imagine.
  5. IN THE WORD: This is the answer I always give to “How do I get published” question. It begins and ends (and stays in step) with Christ from start to finish. He gets us to the right road, brings our support community together, and cultivates the storyteller’s heart beating in our chest. Fix your eyes on Him and fuse your heart to the Word, then start walking.

I look back on our family research trip and smile because we actually did it!

We emptied the carry-ons of one life for another. We sacrificed. Scaled down to the essentials. Organized and packed again. And we prepared for the journey… until the bags finally zipped closed and we were on our way down the right dream-chasing road.

What about you? If you only had a carry-on, what essentials would you take on the start of a publication journey?


The Lost Castle

Broken-down walls and crumbled stones seemed to possess a secret language all their own. What stories would they tell, if she finally listened?

Ellie Carver arrives at her grandmother’s bedside expecting to find her silently slipping away. Instead, the beloved old woman begins speaking. Of a secret past and castle ruins forgotten by time. Of a hidden chapel that served as a rendezvous for the French resistance in World War II. Of lost love and deep regret . . .

Each piece that unlocks the story seems to unlock part of Ellie too—where she came from and who she is becoming. But her grandmother is quickly disappearing into the shadows of Alzheimer’s and Ellie must act fast if she wants to uncover the truth of her family’s history. Drawn by the mystery surrounding The Sleeping Beauty—a forgotten castle so named for Charles Perrault’s beloved fairy tale—Ellie embarks on a journey to France’s Loire Valley in hopes that she can unearth its secrets before time silences them forever.

Bridging the past to present in three time-periods—the French Revolution, World War II, and present day—The Lost Castle is a story of loves won and lost, of battles waged in the hearts of men, and an enchanted castle that stood witness to it all, inspiring a legacy of faith through the generations.

Kristy Cambron has a background in art and design, but she fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. She is the author of The Ringmaster’s Wife, named toPublishers Weekly Spring 2016 Religion & Spirituality TOP 10. Her novels have been named to Library Journal Reviews’ Best Books and RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards Best lists, and received 2015& 2017 INSPY Award nominations. The Lost Castle (HarperCollins Christian Publishing, 2018) is her fifth novel. Her first Bible studies, The Verse Mapping Series, will release in 2018.

Kristy holds a degree in Art History from Indiana University and has 15 years of experience in education and leadership development for a Fortune-100 Corporation. Kristy lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, where she can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read. You can connect with Kristy in her WRITING DESKNewsletter at: KristyCambron.com Facebook: Kristy Cambron | Twitter: @KCambronAuthor  | Instagram: kristycambron Pinterest: KCambronAuthor