Throwback Thursday

written by Lee Strauss | Lee Strauss, musings

February 25, 2016

Since this is a relatively new blog, there are a lot of things I'd like to post eventually, just for the record, so I thought a Thursday Throwback post, on occasion, would facilitate that.

First up, my very first traditionally published book.

Diesseits des Himmels

Interesting story here: I lived in Germany in the late nineties and through serendipitous connections through my husbands music world, I was introduced to a woman who worked for Schulte & Gerth, a prominent Inspirational Books and Music publisher. She read my manuscript, written in English and called East of the Sun, liked it and offered to publish it in German (as Diesseits des Himmels – This Side of Heaven.)


I didn't speak or read German, so my very first (and for many years, only) published book was in a language I couldn't read, nor could any of my friends and family back home in Canada.

This was the year 2000, eons (in publishing years) before indie publishing became a viable option.

When I should've been excited and on top of the world, I was a published author!, I remember feeling incredibly insecure and almost embarrassed, like I was a fraud or something. How was I able to get published in Germany, yet continue to be rejected over and over again by agents and publishers in my own language?


This was fairly early in my journey and my skin was not yet thick enough to handle the publishing landscape. Though I kept writing, I stopped talking about it to people, and brushed off any reference to my only published book that no one I knew could read. It was almost a relief when it went out of print.

Truth was, my skills weren't really there yet. East of the Sun was the first full novel I'd ever written. I had a lot to learn about the craft.

Fast forward ELEVEN years.

I'd managed to snag an agent for my young adult book Clockwise, but still no sale. A roller-coaster ride of hopes raised, then dashed.

However, it was 2011, and self-publishing had started to make waves. Still frowned upon, deeply, by many in the industry, it was a way into what was once a business insulated by tall, seemingly impenetrable walls.

If you could just get past what people will think.

So, I jumped into indie-publishing with Clockwise and never looked back. I still struggle with feelings of insecurity, but no longer in a debilitating way. I still don't like rejection (or bad reviews), but at least now, my career is in my own hands. I have options.

My skin is thicker.

I did eventually rewrite and publish East of the Sun in English, and have once again retired it. This time it for branding reasons. I've recently pulled all my contemporary romance titles down because I have new plans for them. I'll write about those plans in another post down the road.

Happy Thursday!

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