I’m continuing to go through my novels and share a few thoughts and notes about them on this blog. This week, I’m talking about Three Roads Home. (To enter a contest for a free copy, go to my Facebook page.)
Where the idea came from:
After writing The Promise Remains and The Watermark, I began work on a third short novel that would cap what I called The Letters Trilogy. The novel was called Somebody.
One Line Synopsis:
Three novellas that deal with love and loss in relation to marriage.
Journey to publication:
I pitched Tyndale House Publishers the third book in my trilogy of love stories centered around letters. Their response was very common in publishing: let’s wait and see how the first two books do. Those books did well, but they didn’t make me the next Nicholas Sparks. I decided to pitch this story to other publishers, and Waterbrook came back with the idea of making this an omnibus (a collection of three stories connected in some way). I loved the idea since it gave me two more opportunities to write something.
This has been my least-selling book ever published. Why? I think for a couple of reasons. Even though Nicholas Sparks was a bestseller with his novels, it was still a stretch having a male writing love stories. It was even more of a stretch to have a collection of three novellas put together. Most people weren’t really sure what this book was–short stories?? love stories based on marriage?? If I already had a name, it obviously could have worked, but I was still trying to build an audience.
This book is such a window into life as a newlywed for me. The stories are simple and somewhat naive, but like The Promise Remains, that’s what I like about them. I tried to do something ambitious with the last story titled “Still Life At Sunset” by having it go backwards chronologically. I have had A LOT of emails from readers asking me to explain that one. Looking back, I realize I tried to pull it off but didn’t quite do it. Oh, well. It happens.
Interesting Fact #1:
The acquiring editor for this was Erin Healy, who has gone on to have some great success herself with writing fiction.
Interesting Fact #2:
The publisher at Waterbrook at the time was Don Pape, who is now the publisher at David C. Cook. They’re the ones doing my teen supernatural series, The Solitary Tales.