The Day a Dream Comes True

lucille zimmermanGuest blogger: Lucille Zimmerman

Almost five years ago… or was it six? maybe seven… I decided to write a book. I’m a counselor and a regular person who had a regular person’s dream to write a book that would help people.

I wanted to go with a professional publishing firm so I knew I needed an agent. “Hmmm, where do you find an agent?” I wondered. I ended up on the website of the Colorado Christian Writer’s Conference and looked at the list of editors and agents from the previous year’s conference. I found a man named Greg Johnson at WordServe Literary.

He was so kind to even read my email, considering the fact that I did not follow protocol or write a proper query. Nowadays I know that writers need to learn to query an agent. And for non-fiction, they need to learn how to write a proposal and three sample chapters. Even if you think you have a great idea, you still need to follow basic guidelines.

I was a newbie and it showed. Yet Greg forwarded my email to Rachelle. She was generous to send back a long reply telling me how to do things the right way.

Years passed while I read her blog and learned how things are supposed to be done. I wrote my proposal. Eventually Rachelle and I met at a conference and she offered to represent me. So did another agent. I went with the other agent who was a great champion for my book idea. We worked together to try and sell that first book, but it didn’t happen. Due to some unrelated snafus I ended up switching agents. Now I was back with Rachelle, working on a second book proposal, which she then shopped to publishers. Another year passed.

Maybe it’s the protector of our hearts that cautions us not to get our hopes up too high, but even when you believe you have a great idea, and even when you have a skilled agent, it’s almost unfathomable to really envision an editor saying yes.

So one morning last summer, I was out jogging when I felt a buzz on my phone. “I just checked my email. Now there’s more?” I squinted, shading my tiny phone with my hands. All I saw was the name of an editor and the words, “Lucille’s book is a go.”

I froze, looked around and tried to decide my next move. I verified that the email meant what I thought it did. Then I began to skip. And then cry. I wondered, “Now what do I do?” I thought about going home, but reconsidered when I felt adrenaline surge through my body. I called my husband who couldn’t understand me trying to tell him thanks for all his support. It’s cliché to say but he has been such a believer in me. All these years he helped me tinker with websites, search for lost Word documents, and encouraged me to attend seminars. All these years he believed it would happen.

Luckily I didn’t have any clients that afternoon. I spent the day in happy silence and introspection. I walked across the new $3.5 million dollar bridge near our home. Just for fun. I felt silly inside. I giggled out loud. I talked to my agent, and told her I wished my parents were alive. I cried.

ChampagneI knew the hard part was just beginning. But I was overwhelmed with gratitude to all the people who supported me on this journey. I think of my professors, friends, critique partners, supervisors, pastors, clients, Facebook and Twitter friends, writer friends, relatives, and of course, my agent and now my brand new publisher.

There was a bottle of champagne in my fridge that had been waiting to be opened for a long, long time. On a normal day in August, a normal person with a normal dream of being published saw her dream come true, and finally opened that celebratory bottle of bubbly.

How do you envision your dream coming true — or if it’s happened for you, how did it happen? How did/will you celebrate?

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100 Ways to Care for YourselfLucille Zimmerman is a licensed professional counselor in private practice in Littleton, Colorado, as well as an affiliate faculty professor at Colorado Christian University. Her book about self-care will be published Spring, 2013 by Abingdon Press. Visit her blog, Rumors of Glory, where you can get a free copy of 100 Ways to Care for Yourself.

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  • Joanne Bischof

    Congratulations on your upcoming book, Lucille. I so enjoyed your story–I could just feel your joy in that special moment. I love that you skipped. You deserved it! I’d imagine your parents would be so very proud of not only their daughter, but their son-in-law for being so supportive.

    And I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who loses word documents =)

    • Lucille Zimmerman


      Thank you for taking a moment to write. Your comments about my parents brought tears to my eyes. I think I needed to hear that.

  • Nancy S. Thompson

    First, I have to imagine the moment when I finally land an agent. That’ll be an amazing one, too. Then the book deal. Both moments are so big in my mind, I can’t even imagine the magnitude of my celebration, the screaming, the dancing about, the tears, the rapid-fire texts followed by phone calls. Next to the birth of my children & my husband’s proposal, it will be the best moment of my life, the one thing I’ve done that was just for me. I look forward to it more than just about anything else in the world!

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Yup, Nancy, that’s pretty much what it’s like. My best wishes to you.

  • Neurotic Workaholic

    What a great story. Good for you for persevering, and congratulations on your book.
    As far as my dream coming true, I’ve thought of it happening in several ways. One way is walking into a bookstore or library and seeing people reading my book; it would be a thrill just to see my book on the shelf along with other authors I admire.

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      It’s interesting, I’ve never even thought about what it will be like to see my book on a bookshelf. Do you think that will really happen? :-)

  • Keli Gwyn

    I enjoyed hearing more about your writing journey, Lucille. Kudos on your patience and perseverance, and congratulations on your First Sale. I look forward to the day your book hits the shelves.

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Keli, you’re a bit further ahead of me. I can’t imagine what it was like for you to finally see your book cover.

  • Beth K. Vogt

    Thanks for the glimpse into your “moment,” Lucille.
    Last March I got a cryptic “Today or tomorrow might be a very good day” email from my agent. Well, today became tomorrow … and then a week and another … but finally it was that “oh so very good day.”
    I celebrated by dancing around my house. And making lots of phone calls. And my husband — who also believed in my dream with me — took me out for a wonderful dinner at our favorite restaurant that night. Later that week, we celebrated with family because, well, they’re the ones who put up with the “I can’t talk now/cook now/do laundry now” moments that finally became a contract for my debut novel!

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      There’s nothing like that moment is there Beth. It’s sweeter when you get to share it with others who were such an important source of help along the way.

  • Dave Cullen

    What a wonderful story–and so deserving. Beautifully told, which confirms why it happened: you’re ready.

    My best friend and I finished grad school in 1994 with finished books in hand, landed hot agents who were confident they could sell them . . . and didn’t.

    It was years and years before either of us saw print. We are grateful for the delay now. Those books were not ready, we were not ready. Our writing skills were decent but not good enough. We’re glad those books never saw the light of day.

    But even if the books were good enough, it’s hard to imagine we would have appreciated the success if it came so easily. We sure didn’t want to hear it at the time, but the years of beating our heads against the rock made it so much more fulfilling when it came. (Yes, we’ve all heard a zillion stories of writers, painters and every stripe of artist struggling for years, beating their heads against the rock. But there’s no substitute for your own head getting smacked around.)

    Funny, I had hoped you could be spared all that. I thought your first book idea was wonderful, and the world would profit from having it. (It still may.) But now, this feels very right. You’ve earned it, you’re ready, go get ‘em.

    • Lucille Zimmerman


      You bring up a great point. I can see how these long years have prepared me. If I had gotten a book deal right away, I would not have had the years of building up friendships on Facebook and Twitter. When I look at my blog posts from three or four years ago, I see how much my writing has improved. Time if definitely a gift. So are you.

    • Marcus Brotherton

      Well said, Dave.

  • Melissa

    Oh my gosh, I love this. I almost cried reading it. I can’t wait to get that kind of news. I know it will happen and reading posts like this are so motivating. How cool is that? Just for that, I’m putting some champagne in the fridge to keep ready. Thanks for the spark of hope and sharing your special day with us. Fun, fun, fun!

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Melissa, I like your attitude. One of the most important tips I can give to someone is to persist.It seems like so many people give up instead of continuing to learn and persue the dream.

  • Adam Porter

    Since I was still celebrating single-digit birthdays I knew I wanted to make a living writing. I remember sitting at the office where I worked, staring at the phone receiver, after hearing an editor, for the first time, request to publish my work.

    I was not yet 21 years old and overcome with a sense of disbelief. The reality that I was one step closer didn’t really set in until I saw that first byline.

    Now, 13 years and innumerable bylines later, I am supporting an entire family with my pen. I don’t feel that sense of disbelief anymore, but, every once in a while, when a check comes in or I see my name in another magazine, I still pinch myself.

    I cannot wait to finish my first novel, to be that giddy, gobsmacked kid again, staring at my phone and replaying a message that will become the first chapter of an entirely different story.

    • Lucille Zimmerman


      So young for success to come! You are obviously a seasoned and talented writer. Thank you for commenting.

  • Anna Labno

    Yes, that was a beautiful story.
    I don’t want to think about it. Some days, I see myself and envision that it will happen. On other days, I just move one foot forward.
    I don’t want to live in a dream. If it was meant to be, it will happen.

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Anna, I think we are a lot alike. I never wanted to clarify the dream too much because I was afraid of dissapointment. However, I think we need to be able to imagine it just a bit on order to keep keeping on.

  • Donna Pyle

    Lucille, what a thoroughly exhilerating, wonderful day that was for you! I can only imagine a similar one for me at this point, except to say that they’ll probably hear me singing, “The hills are alive with the sound of music!” for 20 square blocks. :) I can’t wait to read your book when it comes out. Blessings!

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Donna, what was it like to get your first Bible study published? How many do you have? What are you working on now?

      • Donna Pyle

        So far, I have self-published 17 full-blown studies through my ministry. The first official, traditionally published Bible study comes out next summer, “The God of All Comfort.” It was so exciting getting my first ever contract for that a few months ago. Eeeeek! I remember falling to my knees, holding up the contract in the air, and telling God, “You did this. This study is for you. Comfort those who study it as only You can. Give me the words to finish it well.” It was a truly profound moment, my Friend. :)

  • Sra

    How will I celebrate? Probably I will turn on 80′s music and dance on the couch. Journey and Michael Jackson are inevitable.

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Haha, love it. Any particular MJ song?

      • sra

        Ooh, I don’t know. There are so many good ones. I like a lot of the typical classics: man in the mirror, beat it, black or white, billie jean… Etc.

    • Alisha

      Fantastic! Journey and non-alcoholic sparkling cider for me! Think I’ll stash a bottle in the back of my fridge, too!

  • P. J. Casselman

    My dream is to see lives touched and minds renewed by my writing. I’m seeing this in small doses with my self-published works. I rejoice every time a teenager says Angel Blood helped them rethink their faith or when a father says it taught them about mentoring. I praise God for every person that says the bread on the water scene in From Chicago with Hope helped them overcome guilt and pain. Yes, I would love to see this on a larger scale, because my joy would be even fuller. Praise God for all victories both great and small. :-)

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Yes, P.J. I agree, we never know who might be touched by the things we write. Whether we sell alot of books or just a few. My best wishes to you and the lives you touch.

  • Ellen Painter Dollar

    My book comes out next month, and I have trouble imagining how I’ll feel and what I’ll do when that first batch of “real” books lands on my doorstep. It’s been such a long journey, every step taking months. An editor at my publishing house worked with me for a year to refine my proposal until she felt it was good enough to present to the editorial board. I do remember that when I finally got her email saying the board had accepted my proposal and a contract would be on its way, it was my oldest daughter’s birthday. That seemed so appropriate because my book is partly a memoir rooted in my vocation as a mother. But the process had been so long that the contract offer, by that point, was somewhat expected.

    And that brings up a question I’d like to ask Rachelle; maybe it’s a topic for a future post? Lucille mentions that, despite her not following query protocol, you and Greg saw some potential in her work and were willing to hold her hand a bit to help her put together a winning proposal. Something similar happened in my case, except it was the acquisitions editor, not an agent, who saw something of value in my rough proposal and was willing to work with me to refine it. Obviously, this doesn’t happen all the time. I imagine you do occasionally get queries that make you think, “Huh. That could be an interesting book. But this author didn’t follow any guidelines and is clearly such a newbie that I have to pass.” What factors cause you to occasionally set aside the normal “rules” of how things work and give what basically amounts to free professional coaching to help them get where they need to be for their proposal to be taken seriously? I am grateful every day for the editor who took a chance on me and looked past the rough spots to see something worthwhile. I can so easily imagine things going another way.

    • Lucille Zimmerman


      Your book looks like a very important work. As a counselor I have seen clients who really struggle with these issues you address.

      You ask Rachelle a great question….I’m all ears.

  • Katy McKenna

    Lucille, Your beautiful heart shone through in this post. I do know that the first thing I would do, if I got the news that a book of mine had sold, is thank my hubby for all he’s done for me. Even when I don’t believe in myself, he still believes. He’s the type of guy acknowledgment pages are made for! I loved your story so much–thank you for telling it here….

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Katy, your writing always touches me deeply. You have such emotional depth. I can’t wait to celebrate when your book becomes a reality.

      Thank you for your kind works.

  • Neil Ansell

    Lovely story. there is certainly no feeling quite like it, when something you have worked towards and dreamed of for so long finally becomes a reality.
    My agent had taken me on on the strength of one chapter and had schooled me in how to write a proposal. When she thought I had written enough she said she would ‘dip a toe in the market’ but not to be too hopeful as the market was very slow and publishers were all saying they were not taking on any new writers.
    A few days later she called me to say that she had sent it out to 5 publishers, and all 5 had said yes. It all gets a bit hazy after that. I remember being taxied around London by my agent, from one publishing house to the next, while they all tried to convince me to go with them and the offers went up and up. I was an unemployed single father who had recently lost his job, and suddenly everybody wanted me. It felt like the most extraordinary affirmation, the day my life changed completely.

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Neil, that sounds like a movie…or a dream. That’s crazy!

  • jeffo

    Congratulations, Lucille, that’s a lovely story.

    I have no agent, and have not yet begun to query, so I have no story of what I was doing when I got The Call. I admit that I imagine it from time-to-time, and use it as motivation to keep pushing on.

    • Lucille Zimmerman


      I would encourage you to continue learning the process. It’s not difficult but there really is a protocol and Rachelle’s blog is the best resource you could have.

  • kiff

    I think it is so important to tell your story and reading yours today, has truly given me hope. I know the first thing I’d do, would cry and then I would find the nearest corner to thank God for his blessings. I’m getting ready to attend a writer’s conference soon, and thank you for reminding me today, that impossible is nothing.

    • Lucille Zimmerman


      I’m not sure I mentioned God in this post, but I gave thanks over and over to my Maker!

      It’s been a thrill to see how God allowed me to go over rough places and then have those things redeemed. He does that for all of us.

      Best to you,

  • Deborah Serravalle

    Congratulations on your success. Your story and your ‘voice’ are uplifting.

    It’s odd, but I’ve never considered how I’d celebrate a book sale. I haven’t gone that far in my imagination yet. I tend to go at projects the same way you would an elephant – one bite at a time – and,presently I’m at the ‘make this revision very good and the one following with my mentor, great’ stage. Then I’ll query for agent. Therefore my idea of success at this point would be finding an agent that would go to the wall for my novel manuscript and me. And in that order. I really want it to be about my work.

    So now you’ve got me thinking about celebrating when that happens. Champagne! I’m stealing your idea. I love champagne. The good stuff. And something yummy to go with it.

    As I write, and this sounds corny and gushy (yuck) but I love what I do so much (when I’m not having a bad day which I do regularly) and feel so fortunate to be pursuing this dream that it’s all it’s own reward and celebration. Still, I’m not adverse to champagne!

    Great post! Thanks.

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Deborah, I too was afraid to think too far ahead. At the same time, that self efficacy or sense that you can really achieve this dream is important.

      Do go get that bottle of bubbly!

  • Lou Belcher

    Nice post. I love success stories. Congratulations and aren’t you glad you were persistent?


    • Lucille Zimmerman


      Yes! I remember how just a few months prior I had asked a friend if I should give up. I had some painful things happen along the way and wondered if that was God’s way of saying stop. I’m so glad I didn’t and I’m so grateful for all the people who helped me on this endeavor. It’s so true that a book takes shape by the help of so many people, not just one author.

  • carol brill

    Lucille, Congratulations and thanks for sharing your success story. I haven’t had that special day yet, but along the journey to get there I’ve had support beyond my wildest dreams from my husband. Not just reassurance and nurturing but practical support like taking over house chores to give me time to write and get my MFA.
    Even if I never get “the call” I’m grateful for all I’ve learned on the journey

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Carol, I hope you do get the call. It sounds like you are surrounded by some amazing people. Thank you for taking a moment to comment and encourage me.

  • Susan Foy

    I have been imagining that moment for 16 years. At this point it is hard to believe it will ever happen for me. But who knows, maybe someday…

    • Lucille Zimmerman


      Blessings on your fiction writing. Sixteen years shows you have a strong desire to do this thing. I hope you’ll continue writing because it’s obvious it matters to you.

  • Karen Jordan

    Thank you for your encouragement to envision that moment. Sometimes in the waiting room, we lose sight of our vision. But I know when the day of my first book publication arrives, I’ll want to celebrate with my husband, family, and my writing friends! They will be the ones who will really “get it”! Blessings!

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Karen, you are so right. So much work, training and persistance goes into a book idea. I think if we really knew ahead of time how much effort it would take most of us would stop. I guess that’s why it’s so important to enjoy the process…not the final product.

  • Wendy

    Loved reading your story, Lucille! And your book idea intrigued me instantly because I feel like it’s often difficult for women to intentionally care for ourselves.

    I smiled when you mentioned you skipped. ;) Happy silence and introspection…those are great descriptors for how I often react.

    It seems whenever I’ve gotten bursts of good news so far we have a power outage (for a week at a time) so I’m banking on no lights when contract news comes my way.
    ~ Wendy

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Wendy, you just received the happy news of an agent. I have no doubt your book offer will arrive soon, so get your skipping shoes out.

      Thank you for commenting here. So glad I’ve gotten to know you here at Wordserve.

  • Susan Husk

    Congratulations! What a blessing! Now the hard work of selling begins, however authors look forward to getting to that stage. I wish you every success.

    My reaction to news that my book is a go would be relief and gratitude that the story of a woman I met through historical research will be told. She endured far more than most and did so with grace, fortitude from faith, and honor, despite tremendous cost. I will be thrilled that others will meet Elenor, too.

    My hope for you, Lucille, is that your journey satisfies the longing that inspired your book.

    Many book sales for you!

  • Kathryn Elliott

    What a fabulous accomplishment! Congratulations! And to answer the question, I’m not sure what I will do when my dream comes true – but I know I’ll share the joy with those I love, and heaps of chocolate!

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      I spent a minute looking at your web site. It’s unique and fun. I’m with you on the chocolate. I know I must have had some mixed in with all the tears and champagne.

      • Kathryn Elliott

        Thanks for stopping by Babble! Always nice to have new visitors in my little corner of chaos!

  • Michelle DeRusha

    Lucille, I am so heartened and encouraged by this post. And I really just love your humble attitude. Thanks for brightening my day.

    • Lucille Zimmerman


      Thank you for taking a moment to share your sweet encouragement. So glad we are in the Wordserve Water Cooler together.

  • Robbie Iobst

    Lucille, It’s difficult to write this cause my eyes are blurry with tears. I am so tickled for you. You are a QUALITY gal and this book you have written is going to help SO many women! I love your heart. It’s a great heart and I am honored to call you friend! Woot!

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Hey Robbie,

      A few days ago I was with Sherry and we were both talking about what a great person you are. You spread joy and laughter everywhere.

      Thanks for your sweet comments. I love that I got to know you on this writing road.

  • Tiffany Stuart

    Love this post. Congrats, Lucille! Cheers!

    • Lucille Zimmerman


      Thank you. It’s been a joy getting to know you on this journey.

  • Martha Ramirez

    What an awesome story! I love how your husband always believed in you. Congrats! It’s makes my heart very happy when I see writers who make it.

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Thank you Martha.

  • Jan Drexler

    What a great story of your “call”! I’m buying a bottle of champagne to stick in the fridge today so I’ll be ready when my call comes!

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Jan, I hope you do.

  • Linda

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful success story, Lucille. I wanted to add that several years ago, maybe eight or so, I too stumbled upon the WordServe website and emailed a very kind man named Greg Johnson. He didn’t dismiss my email because I didn’t follow proper protocol, but he encouraged me to send him a proposal instead…for a children’s book, something he doesn’t even represent! You are blessed to be with such a great agency.

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Linda, the folks at WordServe are truly all about the people, not about the money. How on earth did we get so blessed to find such gracious folks. Blessings to you.

  • joan Cimyotte

    Thank you! I needed an upbeat happy story today. I’ve thought about how I would be if someone was interested in my book. Lucille knocked it out of the park for me. She hit on a lot of the emotion we go through just having the audacity to dream.

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Joan, I went to your web site. Your paintings and cards are gorgeous!

      • joan Cimyotte

        Thank you, Lucille! Great post!

  • Joe Pote

    Congratulations, Lucille!

    Thank you for so beautifully sharing your story. As you described it, I felt for a moment as though I was there celebrating with you.

    I also realized that this is one of the major differences between conventional publishing and self-publishing.

    With self-publishing, I did not have to wait as long for the celebrations, but rather than one or two major celebrations, they are lots of little celebrations of milestones.

    Celebrating completing the book/page layout; completing the cover design; receiving the first drafy copy; approving the final draft copy; figuring out how to set it up as an e-book; my first sale; my first blog post; my first fan e-mail saying what a blessing the book had been;…

    Lots of little celebrations along an ongoing journey…

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Joe, it is important to celebrate each of those important milestones isn’t it. The joy really is in the journey.

      • Joe Pote

        Hey, as long as we’re on the topic of celebrating the little triumphs…

        I’ll invite you to celebrate one with me.

        Last night, my mailbox held an announcement from Midwest Book Review of my very first official book review by an offical book review publication!

        I was like a kid on Christmas morning! =^)

        What’s the cyber-equivalent of a champagne toast?

  • Lucille Zimmerman

    Some of you tried to get the list of Self Care Ideas. There was a glitch in the Aweber link but my husband tinkered around with it and got it fixed.

    Please let me know if you would like me to send it to you via email.

  • Mel @ Trailing After God

    What a lovely story! I felt your excitement the whole way through it :) I imagine I will cry, laugh, and cry some more. I love that you skipped and celebrated through out your day. I can imagine the biggest smile on your face. Thank you for sharing your encouraging story. It helps so much to hear other success stories!

    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Mel, you got the picture :-)
      Thank you for sharing in my joy. Thanks too for taking time to comment here.

  • Carol Hatcher

    I loved this!! Congratulations! What a glorious day. I’ve envisioned the same in my mind for so long. I think I need to get an agent at this point. Your story helps other “normal” people with “normal” dreams have hope! Thank you!

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Carol, I’m glad it inspired you. I do think think regular people can do this thing, as long as they persist and learn.

      • Lucille Zimmerman

        See, regular people who make typos….

  • Lucille Zimmerman

    I’m headed out to spend some time with friends seeing a movie. Trying to make time for rest and self care in the midst of a busy schedule. I’ll check in later.

    Again, if anyone didn’t get the PDF about self care and wants it, please email me at

  • Alisha

    This made me cry! Thanks for sharing such a personal, triumphant moment. I often wonder what that day might feel like, God willing it comes. I am writing a series and tried an agent once, but to no avail. I’m actually glad those first steps didn’t pan out, as I realized that each book I write brings new life and changes to the ones before it. I want to get them all written, now, before I try again. Might be a few years, but that’s okay! I’ll dream of the day I get the news via that call or text (or whatever miraculous means of communication exists when I am finally finished with my series!) It will be a grand, skipping and shouting and reflecting kind of day– with Journey and sparking cider! Many blessings and best wishes to you!

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      It sounds like you have a true love for writing. I hope you continue to follow your dreams.

  • Christy Truitt

    Goose bumps! Thank you for sharing, Lucille. Your writing is lovely and visual. I skipped along the bridge with you. I remember when, after two years of searching, I received an email of representation from an agency. I literally fell to my knees, weeping and rejoicing. Soon, the agent left this side of the industry and moved over to publishing which dropped me to my knees again; this time not so much in joy, but frustration. But as all winding roads do, we finally find a destination. I found Rachelle. We’re still plugging along, but your story reminds me to nurture patience through my impatience. One day I’ll cross the same bridge! XO – Christy

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Christy, thank your for the compliment about my writing.
      I think the story you told about your publication journey is common. I wish it were simple and smooth but I must believe God has a purpose in the bumps that enter our path.

  • Richard Mabry

    Lucille, Thanks for sharing this. Although we’d like our journey to publication to be smooth and quick, God’s got it all planned out. Glad you’ve reached this point.
    And you’re right–it’s just the beginning. Let me share one word with you: marketing. You’ll find your time divided now between writing and marketing, but it’s a great problem to have.

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Dr. Mabry,

      Oy! Marketing. That’s all I have to say :-)

  • S.L. Bartlett

    When (or if) that day ever comes, I’m going out and drink an entire litre of chocolate milk, even a glass a luxury I rarely allow myself. LOL A grand story, and I could picture it in my mind. I have served my seven years of “apprenticeship” as a freelance journalist, so now that I’m tackling a full length novel, (of which the research and writing is the fun part), I’m hoping to have that kind of moment! Congrats on the signing, and great fortune in the future to you.

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Thank you S.L.
      Sounds like you have been hard at work. Can’t wait to read about your success here someday.

      p.s. I love chocolate milk!

  • Kay Day

    Lucille, I loved reading this! I could picture your sweet smile blazing across your face.
    I’m SO happy for you and I can’t wait to get a copy!

    I have a lot of steps to get through–mainly, finishing the book!–but I have thought ahead. I’ve thought about the book launch party. But I skipped right over what I’ll do when I get that notification that someone wants my book.

    I’m thinking I’ll have a celebration with my family and then I’ll invite all of my writing peeps, including you of course, to a party!

    • Lucille Zimmerman


      I know how much you read and write. I pray your day comes, and yes, I wll be at your celebratory party. So glad I know you.

  • Megan DiMaria

    Great story, Lucille! I love that you skipped when you got your good news. Your book is going to help so many, I’m truly happy for your success!

    • Lucille Zimmerman


      You have been an inspiration to me. You showed me that real people – people you can reach out and touch – write books. You were on of the first real authors I ever knew. You have led the way for me. Thank you.

      • Megan DiMaria

        Lucille, you’re so very gracious. Thank you for your kind words. I hope you sell a million books!

  • terri tiffany

    Congratulations! Your story brought tears:) It is always so sweet to hear about another writer’s journey. thank you for keeping at it and making my day.

    • Lucille Zimmerman


      And all these notes from Rachelle’s readers brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for taking time to write.

  • Carol J. Garvin

    Congratulations on your upcoming book, Lucille. I love reading success stories but can’t imagine that moment ever happening for me. Good thing there’s so much satisfaction in the writing part because I’ll be doing that until my last breath … but I can’t envision contracts or publication.

    • Lucille Zimmerman


      It really is one of those things you can’t really imagine really happening. Kind of like having a baby.

      I hope it happens for you!

  • Valerie Comer

    Aw thanks for sharing your story, Lucille! I’ve enjoyed getting to know you over the past month or so, so it was especially fun to read this post. God bless you!

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Valerie, I feel like I’m just starting to get to know you on Facebook. Thank you for your kind words.

  • Neil Larkins

    It’s always great to hear someone’s dream come true, even if you don’t know that person. Great going, Lucille!
    Persistance, especially the resolve to not negativity get you down, won the day. That, and a supportive spouse, your husband. Would that we all had that. Your spouse can be your best cheerleader…or the #1 quasher of your dreams.

    • Lucille Zimmerman


      I certainly would not have had the stamina to make this journey without John’s help. Thank you for your sweet words.

  • Deidra Alexander

    A very inspiring story. Hopefully, it comes true at least once for all aspiring writers.

    • Lucille Zimmerman


      How I wish that too. So many gifted writers out there with so many wonderful things to say.

  • Sandra Bishop

    Tears of joy for you, Lucille. So, so happy for you and Rachelle.

    • Lucille Zimmerman


      Look what you started! You have been an intergral part. Thank you for believing in me and for your great idea.

  • Marla Taviano

    So excited for you, friend!!!

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Thank you Marla.

  • S. Wiersma

    I loved this! I am totally going to put some bubbly in my fridge to encourage me to continue writing, even when I don’t feel like it. I’ve never tried champagne, so now I can’t try it till I get published, right? ;) Congratulations! What a fun journey!

    By the way, just a friendly word of caution, you might want to look up the definition of “snafu”. Its origins are…shady.

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Dear S.

      I did not know that about the word snafu. Good to know.

      Praying the day comes when you break out your bubbly.

  • Sarah Thomas

    I’m trying to stop imagining the day my dream comes true! I have a terrible habit of thinking I see where God is headed with things. Maybe I notice that the timing would be just right to get “the call” on my birthday–and how perfect would that be? I imagine it in such detail that it’s a little hard to take when it doesn’t happen. Even so, there WILL be champagne. I think that’s a pretty safe bet ; )

    • Lucille Zimmerman


      We are so much alike. I can’t tell you how many times I told God when would be a good time for the news to come. LOL.

  • Pam Zollman

    Congratulations, Lucille! Fantastic story about your perseverance and success! As far as my experience…well, I’d been selling short stories and articles for a long time to magazines and newspapers (for adults and children), but had yet to sell a book. I submitted the first 25 pages and synopsis for critique at a writers conference and got Regina Griffin, who at the time was at Holiday House. She told me she loved my story and wanted to buy it…but I had to submit the entire manuscript. It was finished but had not yet been submitted to anyone yet. So as soon as I got home, I sent it off and then immediately got worried. What if it was just a quirk that she liked the beginning? What if she hated the rest? A few weeks later, she called me and said she loved it and wanted it. I was so excited and tried so hard to be professional — hard to do when you’re giddy. As soon as I hung up I shrieked and ran around the house, my two dogs barking and running with me, not knowing why I was acting so crazy. Immediately I called my husband, who was in a meeting. Darn. I called all my writer friends. No one was home. Double darn. I called my neighbors. No one was there either. Where was everyone???? In desperation to tell someone, I called Information. Back then, a real person still answered and she said, “What city, please?” I said that I didn’t really need any information, that I just wanted to tell someone my good news. She sounded pleased and asked me the title of my book. WooHoo! I should have gotten her name and sent her one…but I didn’t. I was way too self-absorbed at that moment. My first book, Don’t Bug Me, came out in June 2001 and it was an incredible experience to see it on a bookshelf in a bookstore. Getting fan mail is also an incredible experience. Congratulations on your first book and hope you have many, many more!

    • Lucille Zimmerman


      I can’t tell you how hard this made me laugh….and cry (because I was so tired) last night.

      I love this story. I’m going to post a little on my FB page if that’s okay. You sound like someone I would love in real life!

      • Pam Zollman

        Lucille, it wouldn’t let me reply to your reply (did I confuse the computer?)…so I’m posting again. I’d be honored if you shared my story! And I’d love to meet you sometime. Will you be in Greenville, SC, anytime soon? Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Conference in Ridgecrest, NC? Uh…I should check your website for your schedule.


  • Marielena

    You wanted to write a book to help people … how lovely to come from this heart space in your writing. Congratulations, Lucille. May your words and work continue to shine and be of loving service.

    • Lucille Zimmerman


      Every time I wanted to quit, I thought of all those I wanted to help. It is what kept me going.

      Thank you for your sweet words. They brought tears to my eyes.

  • Sundi Jo


    Congrats on your first book! So happy for you. This guest post came at a perfect time, as my manuscript was just turned down two days ago after months of consideration from the publisher.

    One more no is closer to yes.

    Good luck!

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Sundi Jo,

      Oh, I’m so glad this blog post came at the right time to encourage you. Blessings.

  • Stacy

    Congratulations, Lucille. I’m so very, very excited for you!

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Thank you Stacy, I’ve enjoyed getting to know you just a bit on this journey.

  • Brianna

    Such a great story. Renews my faith in possibly going traditional with my book.

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Yeah, Brianna, I’m glad it made you consider the traditional route. May God guide your steps.

  • Lori Bonn


    I was blessed by your story…I am an aspiring writer currently writing my first book. The encouragement of others who told me, “You need to write a book” is what got me the motivation to begin. It has been a dream on the back burner for many years because “life happens” and the tyranny of the urgent begs for my attention. But I feel if the Lord wants you to do something, its best not to argue. ;-)

    God Bless-

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      You’re right Lori, there absolutely must be that felt sense that God is calling you to this. I always say, “Where God calls, God equips.”

      Thank you for taking a moment to write.

  • Ruth Chambers

    I was so naive, inexperienced, callow, etc.that I nearly hung up on my agent when the call came saying a publisher wanted my novel. I’d submitted to only one agent, many years before , and despite all the glowing turndown letters from publishers, I assumed I wasn’t a good writer when the book wasn’t picked up. In the meantime I became friends with my agent. When she called me at work one day, we chatted and finally I said, “Well, it was good talking to you,” and she asked if I wanted to know why she’d called. “Oh. Why did you call?” I nearly fainted. My young daughter had made a huge banner that hung across the doorway when I got home from work, and we celebrated by going out to dinner. BTW, the book received good reviews in the NYT Book Review.

    • Lucille Zimmerman


      Thank you for taking a few minutes to share your story. I could completely see myself doing that! (almost hanging up on agent)

      LOL, Congratulations on the success of your book.

  • Lori Lavender Luz

    Congrats, Lucille! A friend forwarded your link to me because I announced the very same thing today, too!

    I feel the way I imagine a newly-elected President must feel on the day/evening of the inauguration — formalizing things and celebrating. Knowing that it will soon be time to focus on the work ahead, but for now, it’s all right just to enjoy the bubbly.

    • Lucille Zimmerman


      Congratulations! Yes, that wonderful pause between trying to get a book noticed and all the hard work once you land a publisher.

      Where in CO are you?

  • Lori Lavender Luz

    P.S. I’m in Colorado, too!

  • Lucille Zimmerman

    I want to respond to each of you. Your comments are so touching. Truly, Rachelle has the best readers! I hope to have more time tomorrow.

  • Jordynn Reese

    Thank you. Thank you because you will never know how much this was needed. I share the same dream that has come to fruition for you. I haven’t yet sent anything out to any agents or anything along those lines…but it is my deepest hearts desire. I write hours upon hours, but I keep them all locked away in secret files. I am just now deciding to test the waters and start by “Blogging”. Its huge! SUPER! For me anyway. So, I decided to just join the wave of Twitter (I never really understood it) and I fell upon your agent. I was interested in her tweet about someones dream coming true and I couldn’t resist the click of a link to lead me to some type of inspiration. What I read here made my heart palpitate because I could see myself where you were, receiving an unexpected email saying You Did It! I know you don’t know me or my life, but I needed this. I needed to feel that jolt of excitement. Just to know that its possible. For me, this wasn’t just an inspirational art piece… it was the quiet whisper reassuring me that I am not alone and that I am not forgotten. So again, thank you.

    Peace & Blessings –
    Happy Holidays
    Jordynn Reese

    • Lucille Zimmerman


      I hope you take the risk to show your work to lots of people. The first critique I received was very harsh. It left me in tears for days until my agent picked me up off the floor and told me it was one person’s opinion.

  • Charlee Vale

    It’s so great that you got to spend the whole day basking in the happiness. I bet that was FANTASTIC. :)

    I think, if it happens for me, it will depend on where I am. If I’m with friends, I’ll probably squeal like a five-year-old with candy until they calm me down enough to explain what’s going on, and I KNOW I won’t be able to wipe the smile off my face.

    If I’m alone, I’ll probably stare at the e-mail until it seems real, then call my parents.

    THEN either way, there will be some kind of glorious disgustingly bad for my sugary treat. It will be a good day.

    Thanks for the reminder that the hard work CAN pay off!


    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Aw, Charlee,

      I can really sense you envisioning it. Sharing it with friends and family is the very best party.

  • Stem Cell Therapy for Dogs

    I want to have one copy of your book and read it from cover to cover. It is really a dream come true to you my dear friend and I know you did a good job. Congratulations!

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Thank you for taking a moment to write and encourage me.

  • Megan B.

    I enjoyed your story so much. I am working on a novel, and hope to start seeking an agent next year. Your post is a reminder that published authors all start out as aspiring authors; that first moment of success is something each one has experienced.

    When I recently had a short story published, I got a little taste of the feeling. I remember my hands trembling for probably an hour. But if I can get my novel published, I know it will be much better, much more exciting. Stories like yours are the best inspiration for me, especially amid all the talk of how hard it is the break into publishing.

    • Lucille Zimmerman


      It sounds like you are well on your way. Best to you!

  • marion

    What a beautiful post, Lucille!
    You make us feel it with you, & that gives us renewed (cautious!) hope.

    And you make WordServe sound like the DreamTeam! Which they are, of course.

    • Lucille Zimmerman


      Yes to both of those, I really do want to give hope, and WS is the dream team.

  • Terri DeGezelle

    I like to believe “All in God’s time”…but not always so easy to live that thought out. Years ago, I had a magazine article accepted, I received payment but the most important part of being publishing, being a new writer, was to see my story in print. I remember like it was yesterday, a Saturday around noon, the mail came, the magazine was retrieved from the mail box I hurried in the house to show my family. I searched the table of contains… there I am… my name and the title of my article. I turned to the page. No not there. I started again this time from page one.. turning page after page until I am at the back cover, again I search the magazine. Nothing. I called the company and surprise, the editor, I had been working with, answered, she looks too, nothing. It seems the story was cut at the last moment between the editor’s desk and the printing dept. the reason… they simply ran out of room. I still have the magazine. I have always wondered is it fair to count that has a published story?!

    • Megan B.

      Terri, that must have been such a let-down for you! But your name is still in the table of contents, so I guess at least you have proof that they *were* going to print your story. Still, I can only imagine the feeling of opening to the page and finding it not there.

    • Lucille Zimmerman

      Terri, that same thing happened to my friend Dave Cullen but it was for the Oprah show. They taped it and everything. Then the decision was made by producers they didn’t want to focus on the killers in Columbine on the anniversary. I admire her decision but what a letdown for Dave.

      What a letdown for you as well.

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