Labor Pains

The biggest joys of my entire life were the mornings I birthed my baby boys. After months of wearing maternity clothes, doctor appointments, baby showers and reading stacks of parenting books . . . the big days finally arrived. Contractions turned to holding my sweet infants in my arms. Nothing on earth compared!

277347_WhereRiversPartGilbert_newsletterheader While I very much anticipated holding my newborns and bringing them into the world . . . a surprising amount of pain was involved leading up to the big days.

Birthing a book, and releasing my story babies into the world, is much the same.

Months of plotting, writing, revising, editing turn into more months of marketing meetings with my team at the publishing house where we plan the promotions, the graphics, the advertising, and my appearances . . . all to get the books onto YOUR READING SHELVES!

The entire event is exhilarating . . . and painful.

Fear creeps in.

What if no one BUYS the book and all the money my publishing house has invested does not result in profit?  What if the book doesn’t sell and they don’t contract me again? What if the readers and reviewers don’t like the story?  What if . . . what if . . . what if ???

See what I mean?  This is the HARD PART of being a novelist.

My author friends share this sentiment. One says she always has dreams of being on stage and needing to go potty. One says nightmares of walking down the street naked haunt her in the days before release. Doesn’t take a genius to decipher the meanings.

So . . . all that to say, WHERE RIVERS PART releases this week–on Tuesday, February 17, to be exact. And I feel like I’m in labor. I’m trying to breathe through the fear (hoo hoo–hee hee) and I’m praying a lot.

Ultimately, YOU THE READER will meet my story baby soon. I hope you think WHERE RIVERS PART is the prettiest baby you’ve ever seen!


When a Writer Cooks Breakfast


“Honey, do you want your egg yolks yellow as the sun and flowing like a river? Or, would you prefer your breakfast scrambled with emotion, clinging to a plate of security?”

Husband grunts from behind newspaper.

“If I had more time, I’d grapple with a richly complex frittata, ripe with contradictions where strong-willed yolks unite with timid artichoke and red pepper to create a richly formed union of flavors.”

Her man lets out another grunt.

“Do you want toast richly-layered with butter, or a muffin bulging with blueberries? Or, maybe you’d like syrup dark with authenticity meandering across the landscape of a pancake. And juice weighted with the tangy scent of oranges.”

Husband stands, places the newspaper on the table and says he’s going to MacDonald’s.


Writer leans against counter, sighs and buoys her sagging spirits with the knowledge MOTHER OF PEARL will be releasing on September 1.  Maybe then her inspiring way with words will be appreciated.

Or, at least she hopes.

Publishing – A Big Gamble?

According to the news, masses are running to their local grocery stores and gas stations to purchase tickets for the Mega Millions Lottery, hoping for a big win. I understand. The idea of sudden wealth is intoxicating. So is hitting it big in the publishing world.

I admit watching The Hunger Games phenomenon and having major author envy. What would that experience be like, to write a hit series read by millions? When Suzanne Collins hears Matt Lauer talking about her book on the Today show, does she get that buzzy feeling in her tummy?

My debut novel, MOTHER OF PEARL, may not garner Collins’ massive notoriety (the odds are about as good as winning the Mega Millions lottery) but I do have a ticket to some level of success.  Let me tell you about it….

My agent, Sandra Bishop of MacGregor Literary, is in my corner. This business is full of ups and downs and Sandra lends her expertise and time to carefully guide my publishing career. Without her support, I’d be nowhere.

My publishing house, Abingdon Press, works tirelessly to position my book for success. They assigned me a cracker-sharp editor, created a gorgeous cover, answer my unending questions, and are so supportive of Mother of Pearl. Can’t even describe how much that means to me.

I also have a network of book-reading supporters. People I grew up with who are cheering me on, family and friends who are telling all their friends (and sometimes people off the street) to order my book. Writing buddies who stand on the sidelines yelling “Go Kellie, go!” Reviewers and endorsers who recommend this story about a high school counselor who works to bring a predator coach to justice.

I could fill this blog with many more examples (like the web-designer, the film studio, the marketing consultant, the graphic designer who have helped me) but first I’d have to swallow the lump in my throat. It does take a village, you know?

Most importantly, every morning I spend time with One who reminds me that even if my book sells like The Hunger Games (or not), I’m simply a woman loved by Him. My true worth is already settled and does not depend on sales numbers.

Life is good.

P.S. – MOTHER OF PEARL is now available for pre-order. Head over to and get yours! And if you’re the lucky one who wins the lottery tonight, I’d be tickled if you’d order a few thousand more!