Uh yeah, I am encouraged. Here is the email response I received this week from Paul. No, I am not counting on this (desperately hoping yes) but I wanted to share the encouragement!
Please accept my apologies for being so long in responding to your proposal…2013 has started just like 2012 ended, and that’s busily!
At this point, I don’t have a definitive word on your proposal, but wanted to pass along some observations and ideas:
2) The forgiveness angle is a good one for a story like this…I think that, no matter how compelling the crime story is, what will make the book speak to readers is the redemptive takeaway. And I truly appreciate all that I know of your family’s reaction, both immediately and long term, to your loss.
3) From the first time you and I first spoke here at Barbour, I’ve struggled to see this as a traditional “Barbour book”—since so much of what we do is not author-driven, and often on the lighter devotional/inspirational side, it’s been hard to see our publishing house doing your story justice. Often, when we’ve tried to break away from our lighter, mass-appeal approach, we just haven’t succeeded. However…
4) …having said that, I wonder if there might be a way to tie your manuscript into some other projects that we have high hopes for. I hesitate to go into detail at this point, and possibly create hopes that could be disappointed later…but I will say I see a little more chance for success at this time than when we talked a few years back.
All that to say, Becki, I’d like to talk more with our publishing team, to see what, if anything, we might be able to do with your story. It’s certainly a powerful story, both in the event itself and your reaction to that.
We should be meeting with our team in the next week or so, and I’ll try to follow up soon afterwards. But please feel free to check in with any questions or comments until then.