My Journey to the Writers Exchange and First Publication

Christine E. Shulze Author ImageHullo, fellow authors, readers, and book-lovers. My name is Christine E. Schulze, and I am an author of all things fantasy, from Christian fantasy to romance fantasy, from paranormal to adventure to a dash of horror. Oh, and being an eternal child at heart, almost all of my works are either YA or middle grade as well.

I began my writing pursuits at the fresh young age of around four years old. I was already creating books with just pictures telling the stories. I was a flower girl in the wedding of a family friend, and the bride requested one of my books as a wedding gift. Thus, “Jonny to the Rescue” was born. It would spur the inspiration for many later books, including a series I wrote when I was in second grade, as well as one of my current series, “The Legends of Surprisers”.

Even as a small child, I always knew that I would be published someday. I kept writing and writing, inspired by the people who surrounded me who often found themselves woven into my books–whether they liked it or not. 🙂

As I grew older, I began to send out submissions. My first rejection came from Penguin at age eight; my mom is still anti-Penguin to this day–playfully of course. My next submissions went out when I was in my teens, and looking back, I can see how unprepared I was and how much I’ve matured since then.

Finally focused on honing my craft, I edited one of my books the best I could and sent it off while attending Southwestern Illinois College. It was my freshman year, I believe. I was going for Elementary Education and was working at the school as an English tutor at the time.

One evening, while at work, my mom burst in with an envelope and exciting news–my book was accepted! I was to be published.

But upon further inspection, the contract showed that to take my book, they wanted my money too; nearly four grand, no less.

Very disheartened and always a very stubborn person, I wanted to pay the money. But encouragement from friends and a bit of wisdom from God made me finally decline. I was a better author than that; I didn’t need to pay exorbitant amounts to be published. Something better would come along.

In the meanwhile, I sent out a few magazine submissions. One story, “Autumn Falls” was a Finalist in Calliope’s annual fiction contest. It was published in their magazine; it also happens to be part of an anthology, The Chronicles of the Mira, which will be released by Writers Exchange this year. Even then, the Lord was working with my writing without me even knowing all the details.
Because one day, not terribly long after the scam incident, I received an email. From a certain Sandy Cummins at a Writers Exchange wanting to publish my YA vampiric Christian fantasy, Golden Healer, Dark Enchantress, as an ebook. My mind spun; I was both breathlessly excited yet cautious at the same time. And a little confused. I hardly remembered sending anything to this woman.

But then, slowly, it came to me. Yes, I sent the book to her because somewhere she had mentioned loving both vampire stories and Christian fiction, so I had taken a gamble, seeing it as the perfect opportunity to place my book. And here was Ms. Cummins, accepting the book!

Through a long process of edits, I learned much about perfecting not only Golden Healer, but many of my other works as well. Writers Exchange was the first publisher to accept one of my books for publication, and not only have they helped me thrive there, but in my overall writing life as well. I’ve learned much from Sandy, as well as Laura Shinn and Jenna concerning editing my work to the best it can be. I’ve made great connections and friends and am excited to continue working with these encouraging and talented ladies.

Check out Christine’s Author page for purchasing information for all her books (both direct from the WEE site or from Amazon):