Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing


on January 6, 2015


Three years ago on December 30, 2011, my very first book, STAINED GLASS SUMMER, released as an ebook from Musa Publishing. Although I had been writing and publishing short stories and articles, I had not yet sold my first book.

I began writing the story in 2002 and it traveled with me to the National Book Foundation Summer Writing camp where I met Norma Fox Mazer who encouraged me to apply to the Vermont College Masters in Fine Arts Writing for Children program. Once at Vermont, I continued working on the story and the first seventy five pages, then called, GIRL ON A THIN WIRE, were my creative thesis.  The scene I read during my graduation lecture is the scene where Jasmine first meets Cole. Through all the revisions between my graduate reading and the publication of the book, that scene stayed the same.

It took awhile for me to find the right home for STAINED GLASS SUMMER. It was a “quiet story” and no one wanted to buy it, although it came close at two different publishing houses. However, I could not give up. Every time, I went up to Orcas Island, where I based the story, I saw the setting and characters unfold before me. My mom often joked that Jasmine was her granddaughter and we expected her to pop out at us any minute while shopping in Eastsound.

Through all the rejections, I knew there were readers for this story.

Finally, in August 2011, I received the long awaited for email from Celina Summers that Musa Publishing wanted to publish it as an ebook. At the time, ebooks were new and not common–especially for children’s books, but I took a chance and signed the contract with Musa.

In those three years, STAINED GLASS SUMMER went on to have a companion short story, ELF SHOES.


It became an audio book.

stained_glass_summer audio cover

It was a  2013 EPIC ebook Award Finalist in the Children’s Category.


I had many positive reviews:

“...The author did a great job of making this story relatable, not only to children dealing with the emotions of their parents splitting up, but also to anyone that has dealt with feelings of inadequacy…”Long and Short Reviews Young Adult

“…Hardwick’s setting on the San Juan Islands of Washington State is rich and authentic. The relationship between Jasmine and little Sammy is heart-warming and revealing….“-Goodreads Review

I’ve done numerous school visits and received touching letters from young readers and adults.


And that holiday season of 2011, when STAINED GLASS SUMMER released, those “uncommon ebooks” became something we all read–even children.

But, the one piece of the puzzle which STAINED GLASS SUMMER did not have was a print book which was widely available. Six months after publishing the ebook, Musa released a limited edition promo print copy. I used theses for book signings and giveaways and sold to friends and family. But there was always the piece of the puzzle missing…how could people who did not see me locally get a copy of the print? How could more readers find Jasmine’s story set on this small Pacific Northwest island?

It is my great pleasure to announce that STAINED GLASS SUMMER has a new three year contract with Musa Publishing and we are going to a print version which will be available for you to purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.

And as a bonus–the companion short story, ELF SHOES, will be included in the back of the book!

That print version should be out in January 2015–look for it near the end of the month.

STAINED GLASS SUMMER’s journey is a story of never giving up, believing in the story against many odds, and being graced with finally finding the right publisher for this story to send it out into the world for readers to read.













  1. Lori says:

    Congratulations! Thank you for your very inspirational story!

  2. Kim says:

    Uh, and the result of fine writing! Congrats to you and your grit, Ms. Hardwick!

  3. K.L. Pickett says:

    I am so happy to hear your news! I currently have three eBooks out, but my dream is to have a book in print some day, like you! Thanks for sharing your story!

  4. You’re welcome! It will happen–hold to your dream!

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