Kim V. Sawyer

Kim Vogel Sawyer is the bestselling, award-winning author of 12 novels including Waiting for Summer’s Return. Her compelling stories always provide not only entertainment, but also life-lessons her readers can use on their Christian walk. A wife, mother, and grandmother of six, she is active in her church where she teaches adult Sunday school and participates in both voice and bell choirs.

A Dream Fulfilled

In June of 2002, something I’d dreamed of since I was a very little girl came true. I became a published author. Holding that book in my hands was the most gratifying experiences of my life to date.

I still tear up just thinking about opening the box, lifting out the first copy, and feeling that weight in my hands. I slid my fingers across the sheeny cover, then opened the pages and sniffed the “new book” smell. I held it out to my family—“Look! There are words in here!” And we all laughed together. Of course words were in there! But for several days, I returned to the box to lift out a book and check to be certain the words were still printed on the pages. Rather a silly pastime, I suppose, but at the time it was my way of assuring myself that my being published was real, not imagined.

Holding that book in my hand was a victory. You see, for more than two years in the early 1990s I had tried to capture the attention of a publisher. I came very close, but I could never quite make it over the “publishing hump.” Defeated, I set my dream aside and focused solely on my “other career,” teaching elementary school. I love the kids—love teaching—but even through all the successful years in the classroom, a small part of me remained unfulfilled. When the kids I and discussed their future plans, I would always tell them, “When I grow up, I want to be a published author.” The dream refused to die.

My parents were well aware of my dream. After all, they’d witnessed me sneaking off with a pad of paper and a pencil (or Daddy’s typewriter!) to the sturdy branch of a tree or the shadowed corner of a closet to spill my heart onto the page. They encouraged my dream through all of my growing-up years, so it wasn’t surprising when, in January of 2002, Daddy and Mom came to me and said, “Kim, you need to be published.”

I didn’t disagree, but I knew how challenging it was to find a traditional publisher. And I knew how painful it was to receive rejections. The sting of rejections had followed me through eight years of non-submission! But Daddy had a different plan. He had researched self-publishing, settled upon a company called American Christian Writers Press, and believed this was a good route for me to take.

I examined the information sent from the company. I liked that it was a Christian-owned company and they only printed books with a Christian theme. I also liked that I would retain my copyright rather than signing it over to someone else. It gave me the freedom to resell the book at a later date, if I so chose. They also had a warehouse and the ability to ship the books directly to booksellers—an important issue for me, since I never liked doing magazine subscription sales in high school! I wouldn’t have to “peddle my wares,” so to speak.

I told Daddy, “Okay. Let’s do it.” And thus began my adventure. I can’t describe my delight at the first feedback from readers—people who loved the characters and wanted to see the story continue. That encouragement gave me confidence—something I sorely needed. My determination to learn more about the publishing world so I could do a better job of marketing this book led me to begin attending writer’s conferences, where I began networking with other writers who became wonderful mentors and friends. I also connected with an agent who liked my writing, signed me on, and began submitting my stories to publishers. (An agent is a wonderful person—she receives the rejection first and “sugarcoats it” before sharing it with me.)

In March of 2005, after several years of learning, growing, hoping, praying, waiting, and dreaming, the door to traditional publishing swung wide. Within a nine-month period, I signed contracts for ten different books with two publishing companies. In January of 2009, A Promise for Spring, my twelfth traditionally published title released. Some of my books have been reprinted in several different languages and have become audio versions. To say it has been a whirlwind would be an understatement, but oh, the joy of dreams fulfilled!

Looking back, I know it was the encouragement I received from readers of that first book that propelled me along the pathway to publication. Had I not experienced the joy of holding my first book and the thrill of knowing I had connected with readers’ hearts, I would probably still be telling people, “When I grow up, I want to be a published writer.” Self-publishing my first book opened up this world to me, and I am so grateful for the experience.

God promises in Philippians 1:6, “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.” God keeps His promises, and I trust Him to continue to guide me (and grow me!) as He and I travel this road of sharing stories of redemption with readers.

Promise For Spring