October 29, 2014

One Book’s Eleven-Year Journey to Publication

By Karen Whiting

As an author, success came fast. I started submitting and within three months received my first acceptance. I wrote articles, puppet scripts, and activities for a few years when an editor called and asked me to write a book. I started to submit book proposals and received both acceptances and rejections. But, one book proposal remained an unclaimed treasure for eleven years.

I wrote books for women and girls, but getting one contracted for boys proved super difficult. I wrote, rewrote, retitled, re-proposed, and redesigned the book several times. I wanted to use ideas I created for my youngest son Daniel. He had enjoyed the sample I wrote and thought a whole book would be great.

The concept seemed good. I wanted to have devotions for tween boys that would engage their minds and pair it with an activity that would grab their interest.  I wanted to provide a variety that includes jokes, puzzles, experiments, weird facts, and fun food concoctions to create and eat. I also planned to include a checklist once a week for boys to access their faith or actions. I designed it for ten weeks, then ninety days, and even one-year. I asked a children’s magazine editor for feedback and he loved the concept and told me to keep submitting it. He had written several books for boys, so I trusted his opinion.

Finally, as I prayed, I had a new thought. In publishing a book, the publisher has to trust the author can reach the audience. For boys, it would help to have a male author who could speak at father-son events. I prayed about that. The book at times moved to the back shelf with deadlines for new books to meet. Then, the perfect timing helped things fall into place.

The magazine editor Jesse Florea (Focus on the Family Club House Magazine), the editor from Tyndale, and I were all faculty at the same conference. Jesse and I had both done books with Tyndale. I asked Jesse if he’d be interested in co-authoring the book. He remembered it and agreed. Then we asked Katara, the editor at Tyndale, and she loved the idea of teaming us up for the book. Jesse and I rewrote the proposal for the book, as a one-year devotional. A few months later we received the contract.

I asked Daniel if he recalled the book idea. He laughed and said, “Mom that was eleven years ago. I’m grown up now.” I responded that he had nephews the right age to enjoy the book. He agreed.

At last, The OneYear Devotions for Active Boys just released. It’s been a long journey, but with Jesse’s editing and input, the book is better than I had dreamed. It takes persistence to follow a dream, and flexibility. There might even be a new plan for a book idea that will be wonderful.
Karen Whiting is an international speaker and author of 18 books, including the best-selling God’s Girls series. Karen hosted the television series Puppets on Parade for Miami educational TV and has been a guest on various television shows. She has spoken in such faraway places as Russia and Malaysia. Her book The One Year My Princess Devotions won the 2014 Christian Retailing Best Award in children’s nonfiction. Her book Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front won the Golden Scroll nonfiction book of the year in June and gold medal from the Military Writers Society of America nonfiction category. Her writing experience includes more than 600 articles in more than sixty publications. She writes for Leading Hearts, Book Fun Magazine, and Molly Green magazines. Karen Whiting’s website is  Her social media links are and

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