Anita and Ben Wedding Photo

Wedding photo

A Note to Those who have read my blogs

You may have wondered what happened to me since I wrote my book. What follows is a series of blogs to answer that question!  To those who haven’t read my blogs, you may refer to them to find out what is going on. Welcome aboard! My life as a widow and author presented a whole new set of challenges. Just publishing my book was a huge challenge.

 My life as a Widow and Author – My Husband Died in December, 2009

After the death of my husband in December, 2009, I ended my book, Beyond Myself: The Farm Girl and the African Chief, with the comment that I wrote our love story to honor my dear Ben and our life together. I was compelled to tell not only my story, but his as well. I wanted to give a testimony to what the Lord had done in our lives – how He had preserved our marriage and blessed it. My grandchildren already knew their white American heritage. I wanted them to know their African heritage.

I Wrote our Love Story

Writing a chapter a day, the book poured out of me. Living in a world of the past, memories were relived and tears flowed as I described our final year and a half together. Although I still missed him, writing both of our intertwined stories meant I was about to embark on another journey as an author.

Finding a Literary Agent                                                            

Once you write a story, you try to publish it. I looked for a Christian publisher. All the large ones required I go through a literary agent so I started looking for one. Fifteen turned me down. One woman said, “Your life is too sinful. It wouldn’t be a good example for Christian women.” Another suggested, “You’ve got good material, but I think you should rewrite your book.” At first, I rebelled. Rewrite the entire book??  No way!  So I gave up the project altogether. At the same time, the potential of sharing my life story urged me to do something with it. I felt compelled to share what I had experienced.

Rewriting my Book

I ordered the books the agent suggested. Reading them was like a writing class. As I saw a new way to present the material, I followed the structure suggested, delighted that my story could be told in a more captivating way. I believed God wanted me to tell my story. I gave it another shot to see where it led.

Beyond Myself Book Cover by Author Anita Katherine DennisWhen I reorganized, edited, and added new parts, enough time had passed for a fresh look at the material, which is necessary for writers. I was thankful I saved all those air letters home during the year we lived in Ben’s remote village. I kept reliving my life as I went over it numerous times. By that time, I gave up on pursuing a literary agent. I would try to find a Christian self-publishing company….                                                                               Anita Dennis in village with woman