Home School Heartbeat Radio Program

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Publishing Young
Volume 118, Program 54
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It usually takes a writer years of writing and editing and querying publishers to get published. And that’s if she gets published! Listen in to today’s Home School Heartbeat, as homeschooler Rachel Coker explains to host Mike Smith just how she got picked up by a major publisher—when she was only 16!

Mike Smith: Rachel, your first book was published by Zondervan when you were only 16 years old. How did you get a publisher to do that so early?

Rachel Coker: Oh, it’s definitely a God story because there is no way that I ever should have gotten, you know, that big of a publisher. But I started writing out letters to different agents (because I realized you had to get an agent if you wanted to get a publisher); and every single agent wrote me back and said they were not interested, that I was too young, that I didn’t have enough experience; and really all it took was one man, my agent, Bill Jensen, who wanted to take a chance on me. And he loved the story, and he sent it to some of his contacts at Zondervan, and, for some reason, they liked it too! And I had an offer on it within just a couple weeks; it was really amazing and surreal.

Mike: Rachel, other than getting an agent, do you have any advice for other young writers out there?

Rachel: I would definitely say, for young writers who want to become published authors, keep reading! Definitely, just keep expanding your horizons and trying out new things. Write all the time. Give your writing to others to get feedback on it, and just remember to always keep enjoying yourself. And don’t ever let it feel like work, or something that you have to do, you know. Have fun with it! It should be something that’s enjoyable.

Mike: Well, thank you, Rachel, for this encouraging insight. And until next time, I’m Mike Smith.  

Program Offer

If you’ve enjoyed this interview with Rachel and would like to read her new novel, Chasing Jupiter, be sure to click the link above.

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