Sometimes, life works in ways you don't expect.
Let me tell you a story.
Early in January, I was surfing the 'Net and looking for potential freelance jobs. I visited the website of The History Press, a book publisher specializing in local and regional history. I'd had my eye on them for some time and was impressed with their dedication to publishing history books that university presses and big publishers missed.
On a whim, I sent them my resume and asked if they had any freelance opportunities available. I mentioned that I had focused on local history with my master's thesis on the German POW camp at Fort Robinson, Nebraska, during World War II.
Within ten minutes, I had a return email. I started reading, and my heart stopped.
It was from an acquiring editor.
"Would you be interested," she said, "in sending a book proposal on the German POW camp at Fort Robinson?"
Here is where life is interesting in more ways than one. I have long thought I needed to write the book on this camp. I did most of the research for my thesis and just needed to compile it for a book. But I kept putting it off. Now, however, I was being asked to write a book proposal on it for possible publication.
I didn't hesitate when I said I'd love to submit a proposal, and I worked on it that weekend, submitting it on a Sunday night.
The editor loved it. She told me she would submit it to the editorial board during their weekly meeting.
So I waited.
Then the phone call came.
"Well, it's not a yes, but it's not a no, either," she said. "They want to know if you can incorporate all of the major camps of Nebraska so that we can market to the entire state. Would that be possible?"
Instead of just a marketing to a small corner of northwest Nebraska, my book could reach far more people across the state. This meant more work on my end, but I didn't care. This was a golden opportunity. "I can definitely do that," I said.
She said she would call me back with their decision. Thirty minutes later, the phone rang.
"They accepted it!" she said. "Congratulations!"
That, my friends, was a good day.
I am now happy to announce that I have a book deal for a non-fiction book on the history of the Nebraska POW Camps during World War II. It will be published in mid 2014.
Finally, that master's degree in history is paying off.
I do believe that maybe I'll crack a smile the next time I pay my monthly student loan... =D