Terrebonne Parish


Unlocking Terrebonne Parish’s Pages

It’s been a while since I’ve updated, and the use of “a while” is an understatement, I know, so let me update you thus far.

Terrebonne Parish is finished. I say that with no level of excitement because I know I’ll continually be rewording, rewording and rewording it until I’m forced to stop via publication. For me, that’s the only time anything is (temporarily) finito.

So now what?

Obviously, I need to find the right publisher — one who is currently looking and hoping to find me, as well. I haven’t spent much time doing this for two reasons: one, even though Terrebonne Parish is complete, it doesn’t feel complete; and two, because I’ve yet to hand the final draft to my editor, who will probably spill her “red wine and purple ink” when she reads this to find she’s still to learn what happens to Karla after tumbling into a strange, twisted world of July picnics and August tea parties.

I admit I did, against my better judgement, spend two days during the Christmas weekend sending it off to publishers — mostly Christian fiction publishing companies. I sent the work (via the required submission processes, which are different for each and every company and often lengthy, lengthy processes — I could blog about the process, but trust me, there’s tons of those type posts on the interweb already) to nine publishers/agencies. Each had a statement informing hopeful future-published writers that, due to the number of submissions they receive, it could take up to 6 weeks before receiving a response, if one receives a response at all. Thus far, the only response has been from The Dunham Group, located in New York, NY, who replied kindly with the following statement:

Dear writer,

Thank you for your inquiry. We are sorry that we cannot invite you to submit your work or represent you. Moreover, we apologize that we cannot respond in a more personal manner.

We wish you the best of luck elsewhere.


Dunham Literary, Inc.

It really was worded nicely, but it did nothing to lessen the sting of the first rejection.

Last year, the Literary Hub’s website posted an article written by Kim Liao about striving to get 100 rejection letters a year. I’m at rejection one, so only 99 to go for 2017. Of course, the hope is to NOT get 100 rejections. The point to be made is: if you’re not getting rejections, you’re not sending your stuff out.

I want Terrebonne Parish published. I do. But only because I want it read. The message is so powerful; at least, it was for me when I was writing it. The book’s editor (not “my” editor, as you’ll understand by reading “My Editor, My Love”) gave me a wonderful, handmade gift for by birthday last year:

Photo-tears of my readers cup

Trust me when I tell you this cup caught plenty of my tears while I was writing Terrebonne Parish, and I want you to cry the same tears and laugh the same laughs; so,  I make this commitment to you, because for me writing isn’t about being famous — it’s about telling the story — so if by June 3, 2017, I haven’t found the right (or any) publisher for Terrebonne Parish, I will begin posting each chapter online for you to read. Totally free. What is a story once written if it’s never read? It’s nothing. A waste of talent and gifts given by the good Lord. A wasted message never to be heard — to be learned. A wasted laugh or tear never shed.

Such a waste.

So . . . mark it on your calendar folks. That’s six months in which I will begin to more diligently send in the manuscript and update you on responses from said agencies. If you’re not following me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, start now because not all my updates will be in blog form. Sometimes, they’ll just be a sentence or two on the aforementioned social media accounts.

I end abruptly with: As always, love Avlen.


  1. Mom

    Keep on writing Girl, your a great writer and you have always been. Think of All the many great inventers that had many nonfailures, just one more way of getting it right. I’m sorry if I don’t have the gift of words you do, but I hope you get the drift–you’re a fighter.

    1. Avlen

      Thanks, mommy. I love you.

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