I Received a Signed Contract from 4RV Publishing for “Joan’s Elder Care Guide”

I Received a Signed Contract from 4RV Publishing for “Joan’s Elder Care Guide”

I am so excited. After 44 years of waiting for a book of mine to be published by a traditional publisher, 4RV Publishing and I have signed a contract for them to publish my “Joan’s Elder Care Guide.” Its scheduled release date is June, 2015. This is in 4 years, two months from now. They moved the publication date up to June, 2014. However, it will now be released in 2016. 

4RV Publishing is a high quality, small traditional publisher.  I love the books they publish. I like the trailers they put on the website to advertise the books. Vivian Zabel, President, said that they are expanding and hope to be able to move their books up so they are published sooner than the scheduled release date. I am honored that they believe in me and my writing. They have a blog: 4RV Reading, Writing, & Art News. It’s filled with information to help others become better readers, writers, designers, and illustrators.  All of the writers and illustrators who are published and are going to be published by RV Publishing are invited to contribute to it. I’ll be posting on it the third Wednesday of each month. You can click on the link above and subscribe by email

Here’s a little history on how all this came about: In October 2010, I participated in The Muse Writers Online Conference. Lea Schizas, facilitator and organizer of The Muse Writers Online Conference, asked different publishers and agents to join the conference. These publishers and agents accepted pitches through chat rooms. Lea Schizas read my pitch for my elder care guide and approved it as meeting the guidelines that 4RV Publishing had advertised at the conference. On October 11, 2010 I gave my pitch to Vivian Zabel in the chat room.  I had five minutes to convince her to take a look at my manuscript. I was very excited when she said, “It sounds promising. Send us the first three chapters and a synopsis. The guidelines are on our website.”

I sent the first three chapters and a synopsis as she asked that same evening of October 11, 2010.

I heard back in January, 2011 that they were tentatively interested, if I was willing to make a few changes.  I told them that I had revised the manuscript. Each time I revise my aim is to make it better and better. They asked me to send the whole manuscript.

In March, I received a contract by email. I danced on the ceilings, on the roof, and all through the house. I studied it for a few days, signed it in front of a notary public at the bank, and sent it back to 4RV Publishing. Today I received in my mailbox, my copy of the contract with a notarized signature of Vivian Zabel, President of 4RV Publishing. Hip Hip Hooray!

Here is part of the pitch I used. I updated the statistics from my site for this blog post.

“Joan’s Elder Care Guide: Day to Day Survival” is a resource for caregivers packed with practical day-to-day survival tips from my fourteen years of experience in caring for my elder Mother. In this guide, caregivers assess and meet their needs and those of the elder by using prayer, humor, hymns, devotionals, sample forms and charts, and other resources.

In 2000 the U.S. Census counted 35 million people 65 years of age and over in the United States. Now and for the next 20 years, middle-aged adults will need advice to care for parents and grandparents. My book will help these people find a less stressful way to meet their own needs and care for their elders, too.

Genre: Non-Fiction, Christian, Self-Help, in the Health and Aging section of bookstore.

Length of book:  200 pages double-spaced, black and white, no color needed. A cartoon for each chapter would heighten enjoyment. Devotional, Songs, and annotated bibliography at the end of each chapter

I am qualified to write this book because I took care of my elderly Mother for fourteen years – from the time she was 78, until she died at 92 years of age.

My Writing Credits

1. Growing with the Gospel for Liturgical Years A, B, and C published by Liturgical Publications, New Berlin, Wisconsin. I wrote the devotionals for Growing with the Gospel Grades K-1. I was consultant and editor for both K-1 and 2-3.

2. Flip Flap Floodle. I am author/illustrator of self-published picture book with BookSurge in 2004.ISBN-10: 1594572852 ISBN-13: 978-1594572852.

3.  My Never Give Up blog http://www.joanyedwards.com had 133 posts/8,053 visitors/591 comments from October 9, 2009/April 9, 2011.

I am honored that you are here.  Thank you. Subscribe by email or RSS.

Never Give Up!
Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2011 Joan Y. Edwards and her licensors.

Contests over May 2011.




What Is Your Story’s Premise? Editors Want to Know

“What Is Your Story’s Premise? Editors Want to Know” by Joan Y. Edwards

Editors ask: What is your story about? They want to know your emotional premise, your simple three to six word premise
Before you write your story, while you are writing your story, or after your story is finished you must know what your premise is. You must know what your story is about. You must know what it is you prove with the characters and the situations in your story. Are you proving that poverty plus distrust leads to crime? Are you proving that faith versus fear leads to success? Are you proving that ambition plus jealousy leads to failure?
Bill Johnson said a good story revolves around human needs in his article: Premise — Foundation of Storytelling (2000) http://www.storyispromise.com/wpremise.htm
William Foster-Harris says premise is a solved illustration of a problem of moral arithmetic, such as pride + love = happiness in his book: The Basic Formulas of Fiction (1944).
According to James N. Frey, author of How to Write Damn Good Novel,  “to find your premise, you start with a character or a situation, give the protagonist a dilemma, and then say what if such and such happened.” In his book, The Key, Frey adds that premise has to have character, conflict, conclusion, and conviction of the author.
James N. Frey, Emily McKay, and Debra Dixon agree that every character in your story must have a (GMC) goal, motivation, and conflict. However, the goal, motivation, and conflict of your protagonist is the one upon which the proof of your story’s premise should be based.
A premise is what you, the author, set out to prove in your story. With your premise, you are saying to your readers, given these characters and this situation, human nature is such that it will end up this way. It is a very short emotional summary of your story that says this human emotion, quality, or condition struggling against an extremely negative emotion, quality, or human condition leads to a final changed human condition at the end of your story. It doesn’t always have to happen that way in real life. However, it’s that way in your story.
Your premise is a message for your readers that when two particular human emotions, qualities, or conditions are pitted together, you come up with a concluding emotion, quality, or condition.
The same premise can be used for different stories. A premise is universal.
Joan’s Emotional Premises for Movies
Blind Side (2009) Premise: trust plus compassion leads to family.
Saying, proverb, cliche: One person can make a difference.
Love Story (1970) Premise: courage versus illness leads to unselfish love
Saying: Perfect love means unselfishness.
Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009) Premise: addiction plus respect leads to love.
Saying: Practice What You Preach
Fatal Attraction (1987) Premise: love versus obsessive jealousy leads to death
Saying: What Goes Around, Comes Around
Liar Liar (1997) Premise: lies plus love leads to divorce; truth plus forgiveness leads to reunification
Saying: Lies Catch Up with You in the End
Make your main character with one of these, struggle for or against one of these, and end up with one of these emotions, traits, vices, virtues, qualities, or conditions of his/her body, soul, and mind.
Emotions, Traits, Vices, Virtues, Qualities, and/or Conditions of the Body, Soul, or Mind
abundance, acceptance, accusation, addiction, admiration, affection, alienation, ambition, anger, annihilation, anxiety, apathy, approval, attention, authority, awareness, awe, beauty, belief, belonging, betrayal, blame, brutality, challenge, chaos, cheerfulness, choices, coming of age, competition, compassion, commitment, confidence, contempt, cooperation, corruption, courage, cowardice, creativity, crime, curiosity, death, debt, deception, dedication, desire, despair, destitution, destruction, dignity, disillusionment, disapproval, disaster, disbelief, discomfort, disgust, dishonesty, disrespect, distress, distrust, divorce, doubt, dream, education, enlightenment, enthusiasm, envy, equality, experience, etiquette, evil, excitement, failure, faith, faithfulness, fate, fear, forbidden, forgiveness, freedom, friendship, fun, fury, future, gain, generosity, genius, good, gratitude, greed, grief, guilt, handicap, happiness, hatred, honesty, honor, hope, humility, humor, hunger, identity, independence, indignation, individuality, initiation, injustice, innocence, insanity, intelligence, interest, isolation, jealousy, joy, justice, judgment, kindness, knowledge, lack, legal, lies, life, loneliness, loyalty, marriage, materialism, money, morality, murder, nature, nobility, order, obsession, oppression, pain, panic, passion, past, patience, peace, pity, power, peace, persecution, perseverance, pleasure, possibilities, poverty, principles, prejudice, pride, problems, protection, punishment, rage, rebelling, rebirth, redemption, rejection, relationship, religion, respect, responsibility, revenge, reverence, reward, romance, ruin, rules, sacrifice, sadness, satisfaction, security, selfishness, self-doubt, sex,  shame, shelter, sickness, sinfulness, sorrow, spirit, starvation, stinginess, stubborn, success, suffering, suicide, surprise, survival, talent, taxes, tenderness, terror, thankfulness, thirst, time, tragedy, trapped, triumph, trust, truth, understanding, unfairness, ungratefulness, valor, vengeance, violence, vulnerability, war, wisdom, wealth, wonder, work, and wrongdoing.
Use the Practice Chart below and put what you think would happen with the two traits I’ve chosen. Make your own chart listing the premise for each of the stories you have written. Write a premise for ten of your favorite movies. Write a premise for ten of your favorite novels.
Joan’s Practice Chart for Writing a Premise
Your Character with what trait?
+ Dilemma Conflict Struggle
Has to Fight Against What Trait?
Leads to What Result?
Extreme Positive or Negative  Emotion, Quality, or Condition
Conflict with, struggle against or fight for powerful, emotion, quality, or condition
Leads to Different Extreme Positive or Negative Emotion, Quality or Condition
1. extreme love
extreme disgust
leads to what?
2. extreme respect
extreme fear
leads to what?
3. extreme peace
extreme hate
leads to what?
4. extreme perseverance
extreme greed
leads to what?
5. extreme loyalty
extreme envy
leads to what?
6. extreme curiosity
extreme cowardice
leads to what?
7. extreme humility
extreme grief
leads to what?
8. extreme courage
extreme lust
leads to what?
9. extreme faith
extreme suffering
leads to what?
10. extreme hope
extreme hunger
leads to what?
I have heard people call this a theme, rather than a premise. Regardless, you have to have it, you have to know it, you have to believe it 100%. After you have your premise, you can write your pitch and the events of your story from the beginning, middle, and the end. Your premise will be proved by your story. Universal emotions and conditions that are understood by all human beings is transferred to your reader, and you will have a best seller.
Books That Discuss Premise
Art Of Dramatic Writing (1946,1960) by Lajos Egri free download of Chapter 1 http://www.writerswrite.com/fiction/egri.htm
How to Write a Damn Good Novel (1987) by James N. Frey http://www.amazon.com/Write-Damn-Novel-Step—Step/dp/0312010443
How to Write a Damn Good Novel, II (1994) by James N. Frey http://www.amazon.com/How-Write-Damn-Good-Novel/dp/0312104782
How to Write a Damn Good Mystery (2004) by James N. Frey http://www.amazon.com/Key-Write-Fiction-Using-Power/dp/0312300522
Goal, Motivation, and Conflict by Debra Dixon http://www.amazon.com/Goal-Motivation-Conflict-Building-Fiction/dp/0965437108
The Key: How to Write a Damn Good Fiction Using the Power of Myth (2000) by James N. Frey http://www.amazon.com/Key-Write-Fiction-Using-Power/dp/0312300522
Online Articles That Discuss Premise
Basics of Screenwriting, Session I, one of the contributors is Amy Dunkleberger
Definition of Premises
Premise–Foundation of Storytelling (2000) by Bill Johnson:  http://www.storyispromise.com/wpremise.htm
Theme vs. Premise by Joel Haber http://funjoel.blogspot.com/2005/09/theme-vs-premise.html
Online Articles That Discuss Emotions and Human Needs
1.      Fundamental Human Needs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_human_needs.
2.      What Are the Universal Themes
3.      List of feeling words: http://www.eqi.org/fw.htm
4.      List of negative feeling words: http://www.eqi.org/cnfs.htm
5.      List of general emotions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_emotions
6.      Basic Emotions by ChangingMinds.org http://changingminds.org/explanations/emotions/basic%20emotions.htm
7.      Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions
8.      Robert Plutchik’s Eight changingminds.org/…ons/basic emotions.htm
9. Primary Emotions and How to Use Them, Part 1 and Part 2 by Daniel Benjamin Smith http://dragonscanbebeaten.wordpress.com/2010/06/04/plutchiks-eight-primary-emotions-and-how-to-use-them-part-1/
11.  Paul Ekman’s Big Six Emotions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Ekman
12.  Character Helps for Writing from SFF.Net, Julie West http://www.sff.net/people/julia.west/CALLIHOO/dtbb/emotions.htm
14.   Great pictures matched with emotions: http://www.feelingfacescards.com/
15.  Lists of emotions: http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_emotions
To those of you who are reading this. Thank you. I am honored. I hope my explanation of premise to help you latch onto that and make your stories stronger, more meaningful, and highly  marketable.
A story with no premise has no meaning and will not be sold. If you want to read more about premise, choose one of the books or online articles listed above.  James N. Frey gave me the best explanation.  I appreciate James N. Frey’s reading over this article for my blog to make sure I didn’t lead you astray.  I appreciate his allowing me to review his books on my blog.

Good luck in getting your work published.
You Have the Writer Essentials for Submitting: Go for it. 
Step 1
Step 2 
Step 3
Step 4

Never Give Up
Live with Enthusiasm
Celebrate Each Step You Take

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2011-2022 Joan Y. Edwards

Posted on

Writing, Inspiration