This is a little embarrassing. Thank you for letting us be anonymous. I have previously published some stories where the main characters' behaviors are--uh--not quite up to LDS standards. It was a long time ago and I sort of regret it now, but what's done is done. I haven't written anything in several years, but I now have an LDS story that I'd like to submit to an LDS publisher. Will my sordid past come back to haunt me?Hmmm. That's a question I can't answer without more details, so all I can give you is a "Maybe; maybe not. "
It depends on several factors:
- How sordid was your past? Or rather, your stories?
- How widely read were your stories?
- Did you publish under a pen name?
- How likely are LDS readers to recognize you?
- What is your current story? Is it squeaky clean or edgy?
At some point in the submission process, BEFORE YOU SIGN A CONTRACT, you're going to have to let your potential publisher know about previous publications. If your books were truly sordid, your publisher is going to need to have a plan in place to counter any possible repercussions--this could be anything from using a pen name to referencing a conversion in your bio.
I recommend dealing with it right up front in your initial query by listing your previously published titles. Then make sure that query and/or synopsis shines so brightly that they'll have to read your manuscript.