Book Related Stories

First of all: Thank you for reading this post.
There are three topics I want to explain to you:

#1) Why I Dedicated this book to my Wife, Joanne

There was a day – this was years ago – when Joanne gave me a BIBLE.

Back then, I had no idea what to do with a Bible. So the Bible sat on a shelf somewhere.
A few years later, Joanne invited me to go with her to a program at a church where the speaker would be talking about the Bible. So, I went with her to the meeting.
The speaker, referring to John 3:16 said, “draw a circle around the word “world” and write “me” above it. He said that if I was the only person in the world, Jesus would have died on the cross – for me.
This was EYE opening for me. It Wouldn’t have happend, were it not for Joanne.

A few years later, Joanne was standing at the kitchen sink, washing the dishes. She was listening to an audio message, and the speaker (Chuck Swindoll) had a very compelling message.
Later, I was washing the dishes and listeinig to the Chuck Swindoll preach about being “born-again”. As I listened, I realized he was describing me.It Wouldn’t have happend, were it not for Joanne.
Later, when we wanted to set up a web site, Joanne suggested the name “”
It Wouldn’t have happend, were it not for Joanne.

Above, you see two photos showing how Joanne and I (Jan) look now.
Here we are on the day we got married on august 30, 1969.
As I’m writing this in December 2022, On August 30, we celebrated our 53rd wedding anniversary!

Here, from left to right are Joanne,her twin sister Janet, her sister Judy, and her sister Patty.

So – as you can see – these things are why I dedicated my book to Joanne,

#2) There are three names on the acknowledgment page that you don’t know

If you listen to radio broadcasts, you are familiar with most of the names in the list.
But, who are the three names at the bottom of the list?
Michael Merrick.
Mr. Merrick was my teacher for college freshman English class. Near the end of the term, he gave us an assignment to write a paper on Ernest Hemingway’s book: “The Son Also Rises.” So I wrote my paper and handed it in. It came back with an A on it! I met with him and asked why the A? He put hand to his forehead and said, “I was getting a headache from all the papers – until I read yours”. That was SO encouraging!
Sharon St Germain
My wife, Joanne, urged me to sign up for a class on writing feature articles for magazines.
Long story short: I got several articles published in magazines. Here is one of them:

Petersen’s Photographic magazine — October, 1980

Article Title: Cityscapes At Twilight  Click Here to see the article in a PDF file.
It Wouldn’t have happend, were it not for Joanne.
John Lippert
The company I was working for wanted to take a course in Technical Writing.
I thought, “how boring” wrong! He was funny. He urged us to avoid what he referred as the “dirty passive”.
He used an example: instead of writing “The ball was hit by Joe: write Joe hit the ball.
Another example: “Remember in this class it is more blessed to Get than to Receive. Shorter words win!
These lessons have influenced my writing to this day!

#3)The slush pile

I didn’t make up the term “Slush Pile”. Here are examples I found on the internet:

You know, if you are a well known pastor or theologian the publishing industry welcomes you to the publishing industry.
We, the unknown need not apply.
The agent who rejected my book manuscript said that books based on blog posts don’t sell.
This was a Christian agent. Wait till the agent sees what happens with my book!
Now, let me tell you about query letters.
A query letter is something that an author uses to persuade a literary agent to publish your book.
Before I continue, let me explain something to you.
As web site administrator, I have a program I run that counts how many times a page has been viewed.
I had set up a page where the agent could read each “chapter”.
For surface mail, an author has to put enough summary information onto an 8.5 by 11 page to get the agent to take you on as a client. Between surface mail and email, I sent out 108 queries. Both surface mail and email included a link to the page I had set up for the agent to read. Before I sent the query letters, I ran the program I mentioned earlier, that counts how man times a page has been viewed.
I also sent out many query’s by email. Doing that allowed me to add much more information, again attempting to get an agent to take me on as a client.
I ran the program I mentioned earlier, that counts how man times a page has been viewed.
The answer? 0 Not even 1 agent read the page I had set up. 108 agents read the query, and turned my offer down.
Someone told me to send out your query letters, then wait 5 weeks to see of any literary agent wanted you as their client. I sent out my last query letters (these were by email) on December 18. Five weeks would be in January 21 2022
But I believed them to all the same, so at the very end of December, that’s when I signed up to have Xulon Press publish my book.
By the way, I watched the stats untill January 21 2022 – and I was right. Not one agent wanted to present my book to the publisher they represent.

- Jan

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