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Back In Print

by Barbara Wood last modified Nov 23, 2016 13:01

      I can’t tell you how excited and deeply moved I am to have my first novel being re-issued in the English language after having been out of print for years. THE MAGDALENE SCROLLS was my very first novel. Forty years ago this month, I had just ended my work shift at Santa Monica Hospital and my husband came to pick me up. As we were driving down Wilshire Boulevard, he handed me the mail. He said, “You got a letter from that agent.” A few months earlier, I had timidly submitted a manuscript to an agent in New York and had been anxiously awaiting news. The novel was about some ancient scrolls being discovered in the ruins of Magdala on the Sea of Galilee and the astonishing message they deliver to the modern world.

      I had written the book by hand during what free hours I could grab: at breakfast, during coffee breaks, in the evenings. At work I would take my lunch hour in a suture closet and scribble away on a writing table perched on my knee. When I figured it was finished, I sent it off. So now I had a response from the agent. I tore it open. The letter informed me that he had sold my book to Doubleday Publishing in New York and that it was going to come out in hard cover format. I screamed at my husband to turn the car around and get me back to the hospital. I burst into the surgical suite waving the letter over my head and screaming something about selling a book. People from the day shift were still there, and the evening shift had arrived. Someone thought I was having a coronary. Surgeons rushed to my side. Nurses came running out of operating rooms. I jumped up and down and passed the letter around. I had not told anyone I was writing a book. They were stunned and congratulated me. And then my husband and I went home and opened a bottle of bubbly.

     So my “first baby,” having been unavailable in English for many years, is now back in print and I feel like a mother attending her eldest child’s college graduation.

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Copyright © 2007 by Barbara Wood. All rights reserved.