Shepherd in Residence

I’ve been holding off on writing this blog post for two weeks, and now that I’m allowing myself to write it, I’m having trouble figuring out how to say what I want to say.

Here goes: today I signed a contract for the publication of “Shepherd in Residence”, my memoir about my time keeping sheep. It’ll come out sometime in the spring of 2012.

It’s not the first time I’ve signed a book contract, but it is the first time I’ve signed one for a book for adults. Up until now my only published book has been “Erik the Viking Sheep”, which was written for children. Because of that, I’ve been pigeonholed as a children’s writer, when in fact I write a lot more stuff for older readers – adults and young adults.

Laurence Steven of Scrivener Press in Sudbury made the offer to publish a couple of weeks ago. He and his wife, Jan, came to Thessalon this weekend so we could get to know each other a bit and discuss the contract and the details of publication. There are a lot of details! I’m still taking it all in and figuring out what I’ll have to do – I have “homework” for this week!

But the paperwork is done and the project is now under way. Laurence will be putting on his editor hat and working with me to put the final polish on the manuscript before the printing.

It was a great meeting – I like Laurence and Jan, and we had a great conversation over brunch at Tina’s on Main before getting down to business. I really feel that the experience of working with Laurence will be good. He had ideas for the cover – because we need at least a placeholder cover for October 1st – and for promotion. I had a few ideas about promotion, too. I brought photographs of my sheep, and we tossed around ideas, not only for the book, but also for promoting writers in the north generally, and for the possibility of a writers’ conference in Thessalon. It was stimulating, exciting and lots of fun.

I feel like the whole writing thing is really moving now. I’ve shown that I can produce a manuscript that is good enough to interest a publisher, and it’s boosted my confidence a lot for The Swan Harp.

I feel like a writer, like a real writer. Okay, yes, I know I’ve been a real writer for years, but today, today I really feel like it.

I couldn’t go to sleep until I’d told you.

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5 Responses to Shepherd in Residence

  1. Father Steve says:

    You SHOULD “feel like the whole writing thing is really moving” because it has been for some time and sometimes it takes the feelings a while to catch up with the reality.

  2. jbucklew62 says:

    Congrats! That is great news. Looking forward to seeing it in print.

  3. Zin Kenter says:

    Elizabeth! I am so happy for you! And I can not wait to read this! I think I will get several copies and give them to people as gifts – it is strange, no one I know would want a book of fiction but I think many would want a book about shepherding!

    Erik the Viking Sheep
    Shepherd in Residence

    Are you worried about now being pigeonholed as a sheep writer? 😉


  4. Marybk says:

    Congratulations, Elizabeth! That’s fantastic. You’re so versatile.

    I’ve been wondering about Swan Harp. 🙂

  5. Thank you all! Yes, I guess it does take the feelings a while to catch up with the reality! I’ve been thinking of – is it Keats? “The world is too much with us, late and soon/getting and spending we lay waste our powers” ‘Scuse the punctuation. Anyway, I feel sometimes that I’ve been paying too much attention to the necessities of bill-paying and not enough to the joy of my work.

    Pigeonholed as a sheep writer? I think I could live with that…I’m looking forward to seeing the book in print, too, holding it in my hands and saying to myself, “I did this”.

    And now back to The Swan Harp.

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