My Plans for Once a Stratton

 In Kell's Blog

I think I’ve talked a little bit about my plans for Once a Stratton – I’m never very tight-lipped with y’all! – but I’ve never gone into detail about what to expect in the next couple months and years.

So … today I’d like to write a post briefly explaining my plans and goals for the novel. And I know I’ve talked about this project a lot (well, one blog post‘s worth!), but I’m super excited about it! And when I’m excited, I ramble! (To state the obvious, hehe.)

I’ll also be asking for beta/alpha readers soon (kinda combining them this time around because I need speed!), so that’s exciting! But for now, let’s talk about my plans!


Before I really start telling you about my plans, I’m going to give you a brief summary of Once a Stratton.

Once a Stratton

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Summer 1855

Lilli Strauss never meant to offend anyone, but apparently marrying a German immigrant from the Philadelphia slums is an inconceivable action that must separate her from her family, the illustrious Strattons.

A year later, with a baby to think about, Lilli accepts her overbearing older sister’s request to come with her and her family, the Farjons, on their Virginia plantation while Lilli’s husband Chris goes to college.

However, Lilli soon finds that she simply can’t live in a place where her fellow human beings—regardless of their color—are enslaved. She can’t just look away; she is no longer what she once was; she is changed now. But … she was once a Stratton. Is family or beliefs more important?

Sounds amazing, am I right? 😉


Okay, so what are these plans you keep talking about?

Right, right, sorry!

Okay, so, basically … I want to have a completed publishable manuscript by August.

Which means revisions, alphas, edits, betas, more edits, editor(s), and proofreading. In less than three months.

It’s going to be a bit of an adventure, to say the least!


But why the rush?

Well … in August, Ivy Rose and I are going to be visiting an Oregon Christian Writers conference and while I’m there … I hope to talk to an agent.


Y’all heard me.

But why?!?!

Because … I want to traditionally publish this one? Why else would I want to talk to an agent? And yes, I realize it’s a long shot, but it’s more about the experience than anything.

But … aren’t you the most pro-Indie author ever??

Yes, I am! I think self-publishing is both respectable and an amazing opportunity for many writers.

However … that doesn’t mean I don’t get to explore, does it? And I think eventually I would like to be a hybrid – e.g. an author with both self- and traditionally published novels.

Also, I want to move in a different direction with Once a StrattonIt’s a unique book, and I truly believe it’s capable of competing in the big leagues, if you will. 😉

Well, that’s sure new! What brought on this sudden change?

I’ve recently become a member of YWW, a young writer’s program. It’s been inspiring me to expand my horizons – and it’s convinced me that I’m perfectly capable of doing anything I want to do!

You really think you can traditionally publish?

Yes, I do. *eyeroll* Your lack of confidence in me is AMAZING. 😛

But … is that going to be any time soon or …?

No, not very soon. Even if I did get accepted by an agent as soon as August or Autumn (which is probably not going to happen! Not in my wildest dreams …), you have to find a publisher, get accepted, and then there’s a process for preparing to publish and what all.

So … no. Not any time soon. But that’s my plan.

Even if I get rejected a thousand times. (Which is, of course, a very real possibility!)


Wait … isn’t this a series or something?

Hey, you’re bright! Bully for you, remembering all those little details! 😛

Yes, I’m planning on making Once a Stratton into a trilogy. I’m still searching for series titles (if you have suggestions, let me know!), but these are the next two books in the series:

Book 2: Of One Heart

Eleanor, Virginia

Spring 1861

Georgiana Farjon never imagined that it would be difficult to be married to a man she doesn’t love—or even like. It seemed the natural course of things. Because she wasn’t particular about romantic dreams like her schoolmates, she has everything a woman could want.

When war breaks out between the Northern and Southern states, Georgiana doesn’t know what to think. She might be a Southern lady now, but her Yankee heart feels torn in two. When her beloved son and only love is brutally killed, Georgiana wants out.

Out of the South. Out of the shambles of her marriage. Out of the grief and pain. But there is no way to get out, and she knows there never will be a way. As always, she must pretend to feel what she doesn’t—bravery, confidence, patience … even love.

Book 3: Half a Man

Richmond, Virginia

Autumn 1865

Chris Strauss lost his arm and badly injured his leg during the war. When the conflict between the North and South finally broke into battles, he felt strongly that it was the only way to rid his country of the evil slavery, but now he wishes he’d stayed out of it somehow, if only for his family’s sake.

Without a way to provide for his wife and three children, he must rely on the generosity of his wife’s family. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, given their distaste for him and his German immigrant heritage, but for Lilli and the babies, he does what he must.

Now living in a shattered south with people full of anger and bitterness, Chris must stand up against prejudice and hatred to protect his family … but what can he do, really? After all, now he’s only half a man.


So yes, it’s going to be a great series! (says the very prejudiced author who fangirls over her own works, halllp!)

Well, that’s all for today. Thanks so much for hanging out with me and listening to my wildest dreams! <3 Y’all are amazing!


~Kellyn Roth~

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Is traditional or self-publishing better? (No making fun of Indie, though, mmkay? *silent glare*) Does it sound like I’ve got some good plans or what? Can you tell I threw this post together the night before? *coughs* Probably shouldn’t have said that …

Any series title ideas? A friend suggestion it should be something with a number in it – all the book titles seem to have a numerical theme! But I don’t know what …

Showing 21 comments
  • Liberty H.

    Looks great, Kell! 😀
    How do you do a silent glare? Aren’t glares silent anyways?!?! 😛

    • Kellyn Roth

      Oh, Chris silently glares. xD It’s his calling card. 😉 Really, though, I probably just felt I needed a word to describe glaring and so I added silently … I don’t even know.

  • Rebekah DeVall

    I love this post! It’d definitely be awesome to see your take on querying/agents after the conference.

    • Kellyn Roth

      Yep, we’ll see how it goes! *bites nails* But hopefully it will all go well! 😀

  • Julia

    *runs screaming with excitement* I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU! Any agent would have to be stupid to say no to your writing. *shakes fist warningly at agents* I am expecting a super long post with LOTS of details after it happens. :3

    • Kellyn Roth

      Awwww, thank you so much, Julia! I’ll be sure to write a kind of “My experiences with talking to an agent in real life” post thingy. 😉 It’ll be fun, even if it doesn’t go anywhere!

  • CutePolarBear

    How exciting!! Although it does sound like quite a whirlwind. It would be amazing to have the series traditionally published, but just remember, your writing is amazing even if some random agents don’t think so!

    • Kellyn Roth

      Yep, it’s going to be crazy, but definitely fun! I love deadlines. 😉 Okay, not really, but … kinda!!

  • Lana

    I hope you can catch an agent! 😉 Also, can I just say that all the books in the series sound amazing? Especially book 3…I’m pretty sure that will be my favorite. I just love books with charries who are scarred from war. *grins*

    • Kellyn Roth

      *suddenly imagines me fishing for agents and all the agents swimming around in a lake and I’m trying to catch one with a carefully bated hook of catchy dialogue and intriguing storyline* I’ll stop …
      Yes, I think book 3 is going to be amazing! Partially because of Chris. And of course we’ll have preteen Peter. #thatsgottabegood

      • Lana

        *needs to draw this now haha*
        YES. 😀 Oh my gosh, I don’t even know what preteen Peter would be like, but I’m excited anyway.

        • Kellyn Roth

          LOL! xD
          Me, neither! I’ve written him at 26, 56, and 6 months (okay, 20 months, but I was on a roll), but never preteen … xD

          • Lana

            56?? *is very curious about this story*

            • Kellyn Roth

              I wrote about his daughters before I wrote about him or Alice, haha. He was 56 in that book, I believe. Or 54. *is suddenly doubting myself* *goes to do the math* Okay, 56 until October 1910. *was right the first time* *fistpump*

              • Lana

                Haha, good job on remembering! Wow…how did that story turn out?

                • Kellyn Roth

                  Well, I never quite finished it – I mean, I did finish the prequel thingy, but then I burned it (SOMEONE TIME TRAVEL BACK AND STOP 11-YEAR-OLD ME HELP!), so yep. But it was fun.

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