Monday, May 24, 2010

Guest Blogger Colleen L. Reece

My first contact with Barbour Publishing was in March 1989. I'd seen an advertisement saying they were starting to consider Christian fiction. Their only fiction at the time was a few Grace Livingston Hill titles. Most of my 48 accepted/published books at the time were in that category. I asked if they would be interested in reprinting some of my out of print Moody Press titles.

The Calling of Elizabeth Courtland coupled with Honor Bound launched the inspirational Romance Reader 2-in-1 flip books. Sales took off like Superman. I did several more including my first westerns: Voices in the Desert with its sequel, Echoes in the Valley.

In 1992 Barbour asked permission to change four previously accepted titles from flip books to launch the Heartsong Presents line with A Torch for Trinity (#1) and Wildflower Harvest (#2). They found an enthusiastic, waiting audience. The next month brought the sequels: Candleshine and Desert Rose. As they say, the rest is history. Dozens more titles followed: historical, Biblical and contemporary fiction; YA and gift books.

After being chosen Favorite and/or 2nd Favorite Author several times, Barbour named Tracie Peterson and me as the first members of their Hall of Fame.

Now I have just completed and submitted the third title in an exciting historical series. Book One, Romance Rides the Range, has just been issued. Romance Rides the River is scheduled for fall 2010 publication. Romance at Rainbow's End neatly ties up the trilogy and is scheduled for release in January 2011.

Each title is unique yet allows readers (and me--smile) to discover what comes next in the lives of the original characters. Many must ride tangled and dangerous trails before discovering there is no way to real happiness except through Christ.

It's a long way from my initial contact with Barbour to having 140+ "Books You Can Trust," that have sold six million copies and are touching lives. God has led me every step of the way. I thank God for calling my attention to a small, inconspicuous advertisement that brought me to Barbour and then Heartsong.

13 comments:

Susan Marlow said...

Hey, Colleen!
I loved this "little known" insight about your start with Barbour. Somehow you never told me all that. Thanks for sending me the link. It was a fun read (the post). Oh, and of COURSE the new book was a fun read, as well!

And Becky! I saw your picture and remembered . . . it's been a LONG time since I met you at Winthrop, WA, in 2000!

CatMom said...

Thanks for sharing this, Colleen. You are one of the very first authors I read when I "discovered" Christian fiction! Love your stories!
Blessings, Patti Jo

Carrie Turansky said...

It was great to read Colleen's journey with Barbour. What a journey, and so many books! Congratulations, and thanks for leading the way for all of us.
Blessings,
Carrie

Erica Vetsch said...

What a wonderful and inspiring post. And what a wonderful legacy in Christian fiction.

Vickie McDonough said...

Colleen,

It was so interesting reading about how you got started with Barbour. Congratulations on your legacy of Christian fiction books.

Aaron McCarver said...

As and editor and now author at Barbour, I loved reading this blog. Thank you so much for being a pioneer and blazing the trails (sounds like one of your stories) for the rest of us!

Lisa Faye Harman said...

What a wonderful story. Thank you so much for sharing.

Julie Reece-DeMarco said...

As fun as it is to read the summary of your journey from Christian fiction pioneer to the acclaimed author of numerous millions of copies of Christian books sold, it has been much more fun to be a part of the journey. From an initial "idea" sounding board, to a very-greatful co-author, it had been wonderful. I can't wait to see what adventure is around the corner. Julie

Colleen L. Reece said...

Thank you all so much for your wonderful comments. They mean a great deal to me. By the way, this is my first attempt at blogging. Evidently I passed (smile).
Colleen

Marge Gordon said...

Hi, Colleen,
So nice to read of your writing journey on fast-forward. Actually, I think Barbour was incredibly lucky that you came along, with all your talent, imagination, and commitment to being the very best writer you can be to honor God with your gifts.
Hugs,
Marge

Susan Page Davis said...

Colleen, I absolutely loved reading your "first blog" and getting to know you better. Thank you for sharing your story. I can't wait to read your new series.

Lauralee Bliss said...

Colleen, you are the true pioneer for the rest of us authors with Barbour. So glad to know you are still writing away!

Laurie Alice Eakes said...

Impression and what an encouragement to me with my four Heartsongs. LOL.