Earlier this week I received a call from Kathy Davis, acquisitions editor for Harlequin Heartsong Presents. She told me I was the first agent she called. Unfortunately, she had bad news. Heartsong Presents as a line will cease publication next year. I was sorry to learn that Kathy will also be looking for another position. A caring and competent editor, Kathy will surely find a soft place to land. The closing of Heartsong Presents takes a piece of my heart along with it. I have been in Christian publishing for some time, as illustrated by the photo that shows what I looked like when I first started writing books.
When my daughter Jill was an infant, I started typing manuscripts on the manual typewriter I took to college and submitting them to Heartsong Presents. It took a few tries for my work to be accepted for many reasons, I’m sure, but largely because I needed to learn how to write specifically for the Christian market.
Back then, the act of seeking publication was different. Reputable agents listed in The Writers Market said they charged clients for phone calls, photocopies, and postage. They also said you had to send SASE (self addressed, stamped envelope), and not to send them carbon copies of your work. I kept a stock of paper and envelopes on hand, and made trips to a store whose sole business was making copies of various documents for customers.
The process of having my first book published was a long one — at least to me. But it was definitely worth the wait! Being a published author has been invaluable to me as an agent. I understand firsthand the author’s journey, the process, and the love and work involved in the career of a writer.
I am very proud that I was a Heartsong Presents author. Rebecca Germany, Tracie Peterson, JoAnne Simmons, and Kathy Davis were and are all wonderful editors who care about readers and I am privileged that I was able to work with them as a writer, and later, as an agent. Heartsong Presents introduced many talented writers to the reading public. I know their readers will be saddened to see the line close.
Farewell, Heartsong Presents. I already miss you.