Here are the contents of this month’s newsletter:
- A Blessed Easter
- News about my World War 2 Book – my first rejection
- You never know who is praying
- Am I Fired?
- Last Month’s Events
- Upcoming Events
1) A Blessed Easter
I pray for you a most blessed Easter and Passover weekend. May all of our new years be blessed, indeed.
2) News about my World War 2 Book – my first rejection
Since last month, I completed the Book Proposal and sent it to my agent, Greg Johnson, who fine-tuned it and has begun shopping it to a number of publishers. The first response came in fairly quickly and was, as Greg put it, a thoughtful rejection. It was from a senior editor of a fairly large publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt:
Thank you again for sending me Walt Larimore’s proposal. This is a fascinating story, and he’s clearly done a herculean amount of research to bring his father’s saga to life and honor his memory. Yet I confess that I’ve had a hard time seeing how we would break this out in the way that HMH requires me to expect. The market for books on WWII is just so crowded, and nonfiction books that focus on individual figures can be a tough sell unless the subjects in question are household names. Then, too, I fear that Elizabeth Letts’s THE PERFECT HORSE may have gobbled up most of the market for the Lipizzaner rescue for the foreseeable future. Given those concerns, I think I’d do best to step aside and let you find an editor who will get behind this worthy project as it deserves. I’m sorry not to have a different take, but thank you again.
But, I’m looking forward to a positive response from one or more publishers that will be “just right” for this book. And, I’m reminded of these facts:
- After 5 years of continual rejection of her first manuscript, Agatha Christie finally landed her first publishing deal: Agatha Christie. Her book sales are now in excess of $2 billion. Only William Shakespeare has sold more.
- 12 publishing rejections in a row for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. Her last four novels consecutively set records as the fastest-selling books in history, on both sides of the Atlantic, with combined sales of 450 million.
- Louis L’Amour received 200 rejections before Bantam took a chance on him. He is now their best ever selling author with 330 million sales.
- “Too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling.” One of several dozen rejection letters sent to Dr. Seuss who now has over 300 million in sales.
- 140 rejections stating “Anthologies don’t sell” until the Chicken Soup for the Soul series by Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen sells 125 million copies.
- Dozens of publishers reject L.M. Montgomery’s debut novel. Finally, L.C. Page & Company agreed to publish Anne of Green Gables and it goes on to sell 50 million copies.
- The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter was rejected so many times she decided to self-publish 250 copies. It has now sold 45 million.
- Margaret Mitchell received 38 rejections from publishers before finding one to publish her novel Gone with the Wind. It sells 30 million copies.
- Despite 14 consecutive agency rejections Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight goes on to sell 17 million copies and spends 91 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list.
- 26 publishers rejected A Wrinkle in Time. It wins the 1963 Newbery Medal and becomes an international best-seller. 8 million sales and counting and a new Disney movie.
- 60 rejections before Amy Einhorn Books took Kathryn Stockett’s The Help. Now a worldwide best-seller and movie.
You get the idea. But, there are many more examples here.
3) You never know who is praying
Most of us have no idea of the folks who are lifting us up in prayer. I received a wonderful reminder from an old friend and her husband about this fact. She wrote:
When I was cleaning out a drawer in my filing cabinet the other day, I came upon my prayer journal from 30ish years ago. Back in that time frame, the Lord had laid it on my heart to pray for America’s Health Network(later to become the Fox Health Network), especially for you and dietician Pam Smith.
See, God has intercessors out there and His heart is turned to you! We send the best to you and your family. Keep on shining. You two are making a difference in this world.
She enclosed the page which has a picture of the 12 health professionals who were hosting shows on the network, including yours truly. Her prayers:
- For more opportunities for Walt and Pam to share their Christian faith
- For the opportunities to lead their co-workers to You. For salvation for these doctors
- That they would give good advice
- That his schedule wouldn’t be too difficult for his family
- For balance in his life
- Greater infilling of the Holy Spirit
- Wise career decisions
- Marriage better.
Wow, what a blessing. And, each of their prayers was answered! Thanks, Judy and Bruce!
I went on to do 854 live “Ask the Family Doctor” shows, each Monday-Friday evening, from 1995 through 2000. At least two of my co-hosts became Christians during this time, along with several staff members. It was a blessing, undergirded, I am sure, by many faithful prayer partners.
4) Am I Fired?
Just a few days after the Lord blessed me with the note above, my pastor’s wife, Diane Myers, walked up to me at church. She had been cleaning out old issues of the Focus on the Family Magazine and came across an article about me in November 2002 that related to the prayer above. The article was entitled, “Am I Fired”?
Two weeks into his job on the cable show, “Ask the Family Doctor,” Dr. Walt Larimore received a call from a man named Lymus, complaining that he’d been depressed for six months.
He said, “I’ve tried everything there is.”
Dr. Larimore had only three or four minutes with each caller, so he silently asked the Lord for wisdom to help this man in that short time window.
“Lymus, did anything happen six, seven, eight months ago. Was there any big event?” Dr. Larimore asked.
“Yeah, my house burned down. I came home, and my house was on fire.” His two little girls had been stuck inside, and they burned with the house.
“Lymus, no doctor can help you, because we don’t treat guilt. The only way you can recover from guilt is to develop a strategy to have God forgive you. But until you talk to a pastor or priest or rabbi, you won’t find help.”
It was a moving moment for Dr. Larimore and for Lymus, but Dr. Larimore knew he’d just crossed a line in secular television.
His producer, a tiny woman full of energy who was not a Christian, approached him after the show with her head down, which was unusual. Dr. Larimore thought, “She’s going to fire me. But so be it. I had to do that.”
When the producer looked up at him, she had tears in her eyes. “That was compelling television. Where did you learn to do that?” She thought it was a technique.
From then on, he was encouraged to incorporate matters of faith and healing on the show. He remained the host until the network closed in May 2000, eventually televising over 850 episodes.
5) Last Month’s Events
- Mar 21-24: Barb and I were in Orlando, FL, and enjoyed several wonderful visits with dear friends. I was blessed to be able to speak at CMDA’s Remedy Medical Missions Conference.
6) Upcoming Events
- Apr 19-21: Barb and I will be in Cincinnati, OH, to teach at the Christian Community Health Fellowship‘s Annual Conference, Risen & Awake.
- Apr 24-29: Barb and I will be attending an AMA meeting in Chicago. I’ve served as a RUC Commissioner since 1992, and am likely in my last term doing so.
6) Past Issues of our family newsletter
You can get more information on many of our upcoming events here.