I waited for two months wondering and hoping that someone would want my manuscript. My agent, 003, worked hard to collect several interested editors, the most incredible being a woman—I’ll call her Mary—an acquisitions editor at Zondervan.
Mary met me at Starbucks in my hometown, she was all poised and classy sipping her coffee. I met her with all the frustration and frazzled feelings you feel when you receive—and I still think it was—an undeserved parking ticket.
Mary could boast both literature and philosophy in her background, a deep and abiding love for small dogs with short legs and a hunger for how Christ dignified women. She was a kindred spirit from day one.
Mary became my advocate at Zondervan and worked my proposal through all boards and VIPs to land me a contract. After one final nerve-wracking month of passing board meeting approval in summer 2005, She’s Got Soul, the working title at the time, was formally invited to join the Zondervan team. In the summer, I visited Grand Rapids and took a tour of Zondervan. Mary pointed out the board room where she presented my book proposal. I sat in the same chair Philip Yancey honored with his presence. But the highlight of my visit was meeting Mary's boss who extended his hand in a warm handshake and said, "Jonalyn, thank you for the honor of publishing you book." I walked out on clouds.
Encouraged that this book was good enough for Zondervan and vital for Christian women everywhere, I was instructed to write my heart out. And better yet, Mary would work with me through the whole process.