I’m welcoming JoAnn Wagner as today’s Wednesday’s Guest with a fun post about never giving up when faced with a huge challenge. We’ve all been there, so we can all take heart from her experience.
PERSISTENCE PAYS OFF
Yes it does! I’ll tell you how in a little bit, but let me start with a big thank you to Maryann for reviewing my latest book – Book 8: Sir Pigglesworth’s Adventures in Pigeon Forge and for inviting me to be a guest blogger today.
Before I tell my ‘persistence pays off’ story (don’t worry, I won’t forget), I’d like to tell you a little bit about my author journey.
Sir Pigglesworth came into my life out of the blue and turned my world upside down. The pastor of my church gave the congregation a pink stress ball pig one Sunday in May, 2014 and asked us to post pictures on Facebook so everyone could see where we spent our summer, kind of like Flat Stanley…remember him?
Instead of posting pictures of myself with the pig, I asked everyone I met if I could take a picture of them with the pig. Everyone loved my little pink friend…no one turned me down! As a matter of fact, my postings became hugely popular and people wanted more. I had to give him a name by then and came up with Mr. Pigglesworth, but one day I thought…he looks like royalty. Before you could blink, the Queen knighted him, and Sir Pigglesworth was born!
I have been incredibly blessed in my journey, and I’m forever grateful to my pastor and my church family for their continued support, encouragement, and love. I wouldn’t be where I am without them! As I always say, my success is a God thing.
My hoofed hero became an unstoppable life-force early on, and he was thrust into the limelight right from the first book. My life has changed in many ways since I started my author journey. As a generally shy person, I’ve come out of my shell (somewhat) and I have become more open to talking to groups at schools, libraries, and churches. I have been featured in a national magazine, given radio and internet interviews and even do a live stream on Facebook every Tuesday. I have made many new friends including authors and fans. I love my new life!!
OK…now back to ‘persistence pays off’.
Book 8 in the series features Sir Pigglesworth’s adventures in Pigeon Forge, TN. As you probably know, that area is all about Dolly Parton. Since many of the tourist attractions are Dolly Parton related, I had to get permission to be able to highlight all the Dolly venues in my book. I searched the internet and contacted a gentleman who assured me he could get me the permission I needed.
Well…that’s where the problems started.
For four long months, I went back and forth with Steve…weekly and then daily phone calls that went unreturned, emails that were unanswered, except to tell me that he was ‘still working on it’. Grrrrrr…very frustrating.
Finally after four months, we drove to Pigeon Forge to talk to Steve in person. He was shocked when I walked in requesting (demanding?) an answer. After two days, he told me “no, I can’t give you permission to use Dolly’s name.”
Imagine my disappointment. But I wasn’t ready to give up!
Back to the internet, where I found the name of the managing partner of the Dolly Parton Foundation. There, I hit pay dirt! Two weeks after first talking with him, I got a phone call saying I have permission! I did a happy dance all around my house…my husband thought I was crazy…LOL.
If I had given up at the first ‘no’, my book wouldn’t have happened…after all, you can’t write a book about Pigeon Forge without mentioning Dolly! So the lesson here is – never give up the fight, believe in YOU.
(I love her tagline – Stay #pigalicious. She ends all correspondence with it and it makes me smile when I see it. I dare you not to smile!)
JoAnn Wagner is the author of the popular Sir Pigglesworth Adventure Series for children ages 6-9.
Sir Pigglesworth has become an unstoppable life force since her first book was published in 2014. JoAnn has continued the piglet’s mission of sharing smiles around the world through a series of fun illustrated chapter books for children. She has published eight adventures so far, all of which won First Place in the Royal Dragonfly Awards for Children’s Chapter Series in 2016. She also won First Place for Children’s Series from the Texas Authors Association in 2017. Two weeks after Book 8 was released in July 2018, it won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award. She and Sir Pigglesworth have a full itinerary of new travels and more exciting adventures coming soon.