Book 3 and Reflections
by Billy Beasley
My third traditionally published novel, The Girl in the River, released July 21. It is a different world than when the other two books were released. Book signings at Barnes & Noble or independent book stores are not on the horizon. I miss that but I have been stunned with people wanting signed copies mailed to them.
I don’t know if this book will be the one that doors open up where it reaches beyond the tight loyal following that I enjoy. I don’t feel the pressure to try and make that happen this time. I am not a part of the upper literary world. I do not belong to academic crowds. I have no one in the business that can help me. And I am good with that because if it ever moves beyond where I am currently at, I will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was God.
There was a time when I would have given anything, sacrificed almost anything to have a big breakthrough. But now, what I have learned is that if God is not part of it, I don’t want it. It will not be enjoyable. It may be profitable financially but not in the ways that really matter. It took me a long time to reach that point. Even when I had a dramatic Damascus Road moment when I was nineteen, I never placed God above what I wanted.
Why do we do that? I think it is because we think we know what is good for us more than God does. I am guilty of it, how about you?
My son, Micah, seems more engaged this time. It could be that he is maturing into his life as we all have hopefully done. Don’t get me wrong. I think he has always been proud of me for not giving up during the years of rejections.
We chatted on the phone recently and we reflected quite a bit. He was a little guy when I began writing in journals and then hauling a floppy disc around because I didn’t have a computer. I went to my office before and after work and on the weekends to write.
We talked about a few key moments in my life. I had two huge desires of my heart for many years. I wanted the right woman and I wanted to be published traditionally. I was driving in January of 2012, fresh off of an unplanned trip to Passion in Atlanta. I said, “God, you take the wheel and I will go where you say go even if it is not what I want.” I have always had this vision that when I said this to him, his response was to gather the host around him and say, “I have his attention. Let’s go to work.”
I knew at that moment it may be that I was having to let go of my two dreams and I was willing. I was finally worn out from doing it my way. But God did not desire that I give these dreams up. He just wanted me not to make them my God. Idols come in all shapes and forms.
I met my wife, Julie, less than five months later. Three months later we went out on our first date. (I was a little slow.) We were married by the next Spring.
Our first summer as a married couple she encouraged me to try once again to be published. I literally looked at a page of publishers I had written down at one time. I picked one. That September, Oak Tree Press, offered a contract for The River Hideaway.
In 2018 I was offered a contract for, The Preacher’s Letter, and now yet another publisher has said yes, to The Girl in the River.
And best of all, I am happier and more at peace than ever.
About the Author
Billy Beasley resides in Carolina Beach, NC with his wife Julie and their Australian Cattle Dog, Teke.
The Preacher’s Letter is his second traditionally published work of fiction.
Billy’s shares two simple beliefs with his favorite character in his first novel, The River Hideaway—Faith in God and a conviction that ‘Hearts have no color’. His third novel, The Girl in the River, released in July 2020.
You can read his “Sunday Inspiration” column on the 2nd Sunday each month here at Mustard Seed Sentinel.