Over the past five years, I have marveled at the many ways I have grown as a writer because of my debut work, In Those Other Lands. The risk I took in writing, the bravery required to share my work and ideas and best efforts, all of this mattered to me on a deeply personal level.

The story was birthed out of my incredible love and devotion to my grandparents, whom I affectionately called Oma and Opa, and the stories of faith, tragedy, loss, forgiveness, and redemption I grew up listening to, and learning about all the interesting ways the world had changed in their lifetimes. The Lord had rescued them from much and both grandparents were humble and faithful people who lived on three continents and faced world war, among other trials. They loved their families and worked hard. I found so much inspiration in their example and writing their stories was healing for me in many ways during a difficult time in my own personal life. I wrote through my own life experiences of griefs, joys, losses, and blessings.

Now, five years later, I knew the story needed a refresh, so I reimagined the brand and the story. I spent a great deal of time thinking about what I needed to eliminate from the story, the extra bits which might slow down some pacing. I was able to edit the 200,000 word story down to 160,000 words. This, for me, was a tremendous success because I had shifted my own emotional connection I have to the story and aimed to read it as an editor. I removed some pieces and scenes that did not work, and read through twice just to make sure. Then I felt like I still had the essential story and the overall word count felt more manageable!

Then, I hired a professional artist to create a cover, update the interior, and I am now re-publishing with about 75 fewer pages than before. I am excited to see how I continue to mature as an author, and I am so grateful for the ways this project blossomed into a book available for the whole world to read. I hope and pray this story continues to resonate with readers who find themselves in the pages and find great hope and redemption as they read. Thanks for joining me in this writing journey!