Author Rachelle Alspaugh agonized over the decision to republish her first book, a story about living through a failed adoption.
When they found out the two Colombian children who already lived in their hearts would never move into their Texas home, they grieved hard.
“The adoption just completely fell apart, and we were devastated,” she said.
Rachelle began writing to cope with the grief. Words poured out as her book took shape. A pay-to-publish company offered to print it in only twelve weeks.
“You don’t realize how fast they push you to make decisions,” she said. “I made a lot of little mistakes, because I was naïve.”
She joined a writer’s group and learned more about publishing. Although her story hadn’t changed, her storytelling improved. This raised the question of whether to rewrite her book.
She said God paved the way for her to work with Authenticity Book House. Because she wanted to hold a book in her hands that made her feel proud she made the decision to work with ABH.
“It’s going to reach an audience I never would have considered or thought of,” Rachelle explained. “Not only is the writing better, but it’s going to have more of a ministry impact.”
When an ABH editor coached her to add more dialogue, she learned to channel the children’s voices to the page to draw the reader in.
“If it made me emotional to go back and write the dialogue, you can imagine how it makes the reader feel.”
Following ABH’s standards of concise prose challenged Rachelle. But she admitted the standards and coaching made her a more efficient writer.
According to Rachelle, ABH lives up to its core value of empowering authors in everything from personal emails from the publisher to allowing her input on cover design.
“I feel like they want to work with me and help me become a better author, but they also want to know me and want to know my heart for the story,” she said. “They’re not just trying to sell a book. They’re trying to sell a message.”
Rachelle speaks of God’s grace—the same grace she clung to when her adoption crumbled. Although her book chronicles grief and the times she questioned God throughout the ordeal, the greater story speaks of hope.
“The only way I came to the end of my grief was to let go of the whys,” she said.
Two weeks after she let go of the questions, the children’s older brother, Julian, surprisingly e-mailed her, and a deep connection grew.
“The more we got to know him the more we realized he was an orphan too, and he needed a family,” Rachelle said. “We realized this was our story. It was about this seventeen-year old boy who needed us.”
Both her adoption and publishing journey point to the same truth.
“God is worth trusting,” she said. “He will bring beauty from ashes.”
Her book, Unexpected Tears, takes readers on the roller coaster ride of faith and obedience. It launches this fall. A sequel, Painful Waiting, is in production. Stay tuned to ABH’s website for more details.