Get Set
Glenda Rouxel

Glenda Rouxel is an Australian author,a trained elementary school teacher and she is the author of The Embarrassed Evangelist. She is also a frequent speaker at churches, book conventions and conferences, and has her own Christian radio show in her home town. Learn more about her at

The Aussie Author

Here I am sitting on the other side of the world, Australia, writing while pondering the lovely summer evening, fully aware that many who read this will be layered with jumpers and getting friendly with heaters. I am taking full advantage of the Internet, the only method of communication within my means and timeframe that reaches across the seas to try to crack it big-time into the world of Christian publishing.

Yes, even we Aussies dream of seeking to serve the God of the universe with our mere words by putting pen to paper or, in most cases these days, fingertips to keyboards. You say you have a few hoops to jump through, trying to gather endorsements, mentors, publishers, and agents? Well, my dear northern hemisphere colleagues, I have hoops, too, but mine are very tiny and often on fire.

You know what, though? God is still God here on the lower side of the planet, and he is still quite capable of taking a somewhat bizarre woman who gets an itch to write and transforming her dreams into a workable reality. Yes, he can get an Aussie girl published and exposed to an international market. I’m here writing for you wonderful people, now aren’t I?

After penning the first few pages of my manuscript The Embarrassed Evangelist and showing it around and having friends laugh hysterically (which is a good thing because it was meant to be funny), I decided that this might be worth a go. Although at the time I was new to the Internet community, I searched and dissected Web pages on publishing and writing.

My research ultimately led me to an American Web site that would preview manuscripts for a small fee and submit a report to many publishers. I tentatively but hopefully submitted my baby to the manuscript masters on the other side of the world. The anticipation was exhilarating. Just the thought that publishers from all over the world were looking at something I had written had me walking on air for a long time. When an offer came in . . . Whoa! They like me . . . they really like me!

After a few very interesting offers, I chose a brand-new publishing company, Revival Nation Publishing, who is based in Canada, because their ideas were exciting, their people were passionate (namely about my book, who can resist gushing compliments?), and their royalties were generous.

Once I signed the contracts and I officially became an author (I even had a T-shirt made! Show off much?), then the real fun began. International phone calls are expensive, and because we share a sun, very often the lovely Canadian publishers would be

asleep when I had a question or a brainwave. So most communications were done via e-mail. E-mail is fabulous, but I like to hear a voice every now and then so I can hear their pleasure when I pour out the gratitude liberally!

I have to admit, some other international limitations exist. At times when my manuscript was showcased on a Web site, it was subtitled “NonUS.” I’m not sure how much of an impact that had on publishers considering investing time in my writing, but it did feel a little icky, like I didn’t have the right shoes for gym class. Also, when I requested a review on a popular blog site, I was more successful if I didn’t mention my nationality. Author book swaps sounded like such a fun and fabulous idea to make friends, learn from others, share my work, and get some other good stuff, but mail is expensive, too, so that plan didn’t find much fruit.

Even my own publishing company invests most of their time, efforts, and dollars into publications created a little closer to their home. This is understandable of course, it’s just easier. Also, Australian agents don’t often deal with international publishers, and international agents don’t often take on Australian writers. Although I have learned quickly to act as my own agent, many times it was a bit of a “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” game.

However, I have found a few very big bonuses in being where I am. Australians are a novelty. Apparently I have an accent. (I don’t, though you all do!) Hence, people like to interview me on radio stations from time to time, possibly because of my book and not my weirdo voice, but the lady who made me say “Pastor” a few dozen times had me wondering. Also my comparatively little country gets kind of proud when one of their own goes international, and I had a lot of people here in Oz ask me to speak and sign books. It’s really sort of sweet when you think about it.

But the most amazing thing? Through the Internet I have access to my very, very big Christian family that extends across oceans. I have received support from authors and writers all over the world, through visits to my Web site, e-mails, online Christian communities, and just readers who happen to have picked up the book. I know God is blessing this little Aussie writer, even in just the lessons I have learned; like how much he loves uour encouraging one another and sharing our joy.

While being an international author can be difficult and somewhat of a limitation, God is a very big God, and he knows the plans he has for me. I’ll just have to remember that the next time I don’t fit through a hoop.

The Embarrassed Evangelist