Slush Pile Stories – Gail Kamer

Slush Pile Stories

Gail Kamer

Gail Kamer

Gail proves that you can become an author at any phase of life. Writing full time didn’t begin for Gail until after she retired from education. Since then she has published several books and adult coloring books with more to come!


This is her Slush Pile Story:

Q. How old were you when you began writing?

I began writing plays for my siblings to perform for my parents when I was around ten years old.

During my tenure as a teacher, one of my classroom activities was published in Writing Teacher magazine. When I retired from education, I began writing full time. The journey began with picture books since I’ve spent so many years in education.

Q. Since you started writing later in life, what tools did you use to help you move toward publication?

Being green, I enrolled in several online courses, joined websites, read blogs, and bought books on how to write children’s books. The best book for me was Writing Picture Books by Ann Whitford Paul. I took a course from The Institute of Children’s Literature. In addition, I joined critique groups online and was fortunate to find a face-to-face group near me. They have all been invaluable resources.

Q. Can you tell us a little about how you first got published and the books you’ve written?

In the beginning, I didn’t realize that I needed to send out so many requests to agents and publishers. I tried a few and then since I didn’t hear back, stopped. So, I began self-publishing and have the following books:

Children’s Books:

  • Beach Birds
  • Chick-a-Bunga
  • Fang Sang
  • Secrets Hidden Within: The Levi Coffin House
  • Swoosh and Slide, Search and Glide
  • Someone’s Spying
  • The Kid Jesus
  • The Pardon
  • Wanted: Icky, Stinky, Dead Stuff: Scavengers Got to Eat, Too
  • What Is That Thing?

Gails Books
Adult Coloring Books:

  • Butterfly Theme
  • Coloring Book with Devotional Scripture Reading and Reflection
  • Tree Theme
  • Those Relaxing Musical Days of Summer

Gails Coloring Books

Q. Where can readers buy your books?

On Amazon! Click here to view my Author Page.

Q. Do you have any books in the publishing pipelines? When will they be out?

I have a middle-grade book, Alien Chronicles, which is with The Gettier Group and will be out next year. The publisher was a member of one of my critique groups and loved the manuscript.

Little Chick, a picture book, will be released in 2019 by Pen It! Publications. I happened to meet one of Pen It!’s authors at a book sale we were both working.

I have a New Adult book rising from the Slush Pile at another publishing house and is under consideration. Keep your fingers crossed.

“Good writing is forever.  Good writers live on and on through their readers.” -Gail Kamer

Q. Any advice for new or discouraged writers?

My advice to writers is to keep writing, keep revising, keep in contact with other writers and never, never, give up. I set yearly goals and monthly goals and check them often to keep me on track.

Q. What would you love to hear someone say about your books?

My dream is to hear a child say about one of my books, “Read it again.”



Gail is married and lives in Kentucky. She’s in a mixed marriage—Gail went to the University of Kentucky while her husband went to the University of Louisville. Those are fighting words in Kentucky but they’ve worked it out. Gail has lived in Kentucky and Texas and traveled to all fifty states plus nine countries! Besides writing and travel, she loves reading and being on the beach.

Awards and Interviews

  • Swoosh and Slide, Search and Glide received a 5 star rating from Reader’s Favorite.
  • Chick-a-Bunga received a 4 star rating from Reader’s Favorite.

Blog interview by Jen Selinsky:

Radio interview by Steve Bowers on WTJS in Jackson, Tennessee

Gail’s Social Media

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Her Website:

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Thanks for sharing your story, Gail!



Slush Pile Stories – Tarrah Montgomery

Slush Pile Stories

Tarrah Montgomery

Tarrah Montgomery is the author of the fantasy young adult series, The Princess Chronicles, published by Walnut Springs Press.

This is her slush pile story:

I'm Not Cinderella (The Princess Chronicles Book 1) by [Montgomery, Tarrah]I finished my 1st draft of my 1st published book, I’m Not Cinderella, in the Spring of 2010. By this time, I had written 2 previous full-length novels but hadn’t received any interest from any publishers. So, I sent this new novel (with faith that this one would be the one everyone would fall in love with) to three different publishers that summer. Two of them were actually a little bit interested, but that suggested some major changes before they were able to even consider publishing it.

It wasn’t until 2 years later…and after many tears of self-doubt, I had some beta readers read over my book and I made massive changes to my beloved book. In the Summer of 2012, I sent my manuscript off again, and I was offered a contract with Walnut Springs Press who distributes through Deseret Book. Since I was a new author, my book got put  on the waitlist until the Fall of 2013. After edits, etc, it wouldn’t officially be in stores and available on Amazon until December of 2013. So, from start to finish – it took 4 years (that’s including the time it took it write the 1st draft).

My 2nd book was a lot quicker – especially since I had already published. I finished the 1st draft in the summer of 2015 and it was in stores December of 2015. From start to finish – it took 1 year!

I went to a phenomenal class with Shannon Hale, New York Times Bestseller, who gave a statistic that out of 100 people who want to write a book, only 1 of those people will actually accomplish their goal and complete a book. Then she went on to say, that out of 100 people who have completed a book, only 1 person will get their book published. I believe wholeheartedly that determination and perseverance is what gets authors published. It’s hard to take rejections and setbacks. You have to have the drive and the passion to push through those obstacles. Writing a book was on my bucket list, but I never dreamed of being able to do something I love.

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I have more writing tips on my blog My books are sold on Amazon and through Deseret Book. The last book (the 5th) of The Princess Chronicles is titled ‘The Princess and the Pesky Pea’. It might be my favorite so far! It ties all of the other books together to wherever everything began.

P.S. One more word of wisdom I heard from somewhere: to be a good writer, be a good reader. You must write a lot and read a lot. Your brain will thank you for when you stumble on difficult scenarios and you can’t come up with the right words. The words will flow better when you are also reading other literature.

Good luck!!! It’s been a fun ride.

My photoSee all of Tarrah’s books here.

Follow Tarrah on twitter @TarrahAuthor

And learn more about her on her blog: