August 24, 2018

Emmaus Walk / Debra Tomaselli

Like everything else, author’s plan for first book is a God-story

Debra TomaselliDaily Mass provides clarity in the confusion of my life. It’s here that I dump my worries and burdens, only to leave with a song in my heart and a spring in my step. It’s here that the Lord speaks to me. So, it’s no surprise that when my writing life took a turn, I ran here for guidance.

It all began when I recently attended a local Christians Writers Critique group, where I was asked to introduce myself.

“I’ve been writing devotional columns since 2003,” I said. “Some of you might remember me. I belonged to the group back then, but in recent years, ongoing cancer treatments have rendered me too weak to attend.” I took a deep breath, “until today.”

I looked at the members of the organization that, so long ago, helped turn my musings into published material.

“I’m not sure what the Lord is calling me to,” I said, “but I know you’ll help me discover it. Maybe write a book? Maybe not. We’ll see where God leads.”

That very day, Jeanne, another member, directed me to a local self‑publisher. I began developing a manuscript according to their online submission guidelines.

Then I secured quotes. They would list the book on Amazon. No Kindle. No free author copies. Another local publisher offered print books only. No Amazon. No Kindle.

What? Which way to go?

Immobilized by indecision, I headed to Mass one weekday morning. As I grabbed my car keys, a thought suddenly popped into my head: Maybe Bert Ghezzi will be there. Bert is a well-known Catholic author who attends our parish.

Again, when I pulled into the church parking lot, the random thought re-surfaced: Maybe Bert Ghezzi will be there.

As I stepped into the church foyer, guess who was there? Bert!

I told him about my book plans. “How can I help?” he asked.

I explained how I was about to sign a contract, but, knowing nothing about this process, was frozen with indecision. He offered to review the agreement.

Ultimately, Bert directed me to three national publishers, suggesting I compare contracts. He was leaving town for a few days, and we agreed to talk upon his return.

Meanwhile, I began my research. I learned a lot. One of the national publishers offered everything I wanted—print books, Amazon, online booksellers, and all e-reader versions including Kindle—all for a competitive rate.

Bingo! By the time Bert and I spoke, my decision was made. He agreed wholeheartedly.

My Emmaus Walk, True Stories of Faith, Hope and Inspiration, will soon be available at bookstores and on Amazon, in print or e-reader forms like Kindle.

My head is spinning. Amazing, how God works, isn’t it?

Surprisingly, by my next writers’ group meeting, I’ll have the author copy of my first book in hand, ready to finalize production.

Who would have guessed?

I’ve always felt that someday I’d write a book. I never knew that someday was now.

Like everything else in life, it’s a God‑story. It’s all a God-story.

(Debra Tomaselli writes from Altamonte Springs, Florida. She can be reached at

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