Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey


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Unplugged

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

In September, I celebrated my two year blogging anniversary. I remember my first post and hitting the publish tab. Later that evening, I was anxious to see if anyone commented.

Initially, I posted every day, but soon I realized that wasn’t going to  work with my schedule. During those early posts, the excitement of a comment or a ‘like’ kept me going on those days when there were no comments.

As 2014 comes to a close, I’ve been reflecting on the wonderful connections I’ve made through blogging. For non-bloggers, they might not understand. For the rest of us, we understand that even though we are separated by state lines and oceans, it doesn’t diminish the strength of the connection. So thank you all for being there, some from the start. You’ve all made my world a little brighter in your own unique way.

For the first time in over two years, I plan to step away from blogging in order to spend the holiday season with my family. In fact, I plan to completely unplug in order to meet some self-imposed deadlines and give a certain someone my undivided attention, especially during our Jeopardy competitions. I want to wish all of you a safe and joyous holiday season. See you in 2015!

xo
Jill


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Welcome Author Jolyse Barnett

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Today, I’m so happy to welcome friend–and gifted writer, Jolyse Barnett. She’s not only taking over my blog, but she’s also generously giving away her Christmas novella to a lucky winner. Take it from me; this story will warm your heart on a cold winter day.

 

Thanks so much to Jill for allowing me to take over her blog today. I always enjoy her perspective on the writer’s life. Like Jill and many of you, I work hard each day to hone my craft and learn as much as I can about the business of writing while still enjoying the art of it.

It’s a juggling act, to say the least.

I recently joined the ranks of published authors with my debut release a month ago, but I’ll talk more about that in a bit. First, I’d like to take you on a little journey…my version of “The Call.” Or more aptly, “The Call AFTER the Call.”

Back in October 2013, I was on top of the world. After four years in pursuit of a writing career, my romantic suspense/magic novel received an offer of contract, a mere five months after submission and an easy Revise & Resubmit.

I’d made it.

Or so I thought.

I’ve learned a lot about the publishing since then. Like life, an author’s status with a publisher can change on a dime. Editors leave, marketing strategies change, publishers file for bankruptcy, merge with another publisher, or a host of other unforeseen events. In my case, the editorial director left AND the marketing strategy for my series’ line changed. The bad? The book I’d sold was once again in search of a home. The good? I was asked by the publisher to write for another of their imprints.

During those months of waiting for a firm release date, I listened to my more seasoned author friends and continued to write, attend conferences, and network. I completed the second story in the romantic suspense/magic series as well as the synopsis for the third.

You know how I mentioned networking in the last paragraph? Well, my author friendships are what ultimately led to the “call AFTER the call.” One day my girl friend, Jeannie Moon, called to ask if I’d be interested in writing a Christmas romance should we garner interest from a publisher for a related series.  Without a drop of hesitation, I replied, “Of course!” Within twenty-four hours, we received word that Tule Publishing wanted our synopses for the four stories. Oh my! I wrote that synopsis in four days, emailed it with crossed fingers to Jane Porter, and within minutes learned that she loved it. I was ecstatic. The contract followed shortly after and the writing gig was on.

Writing a 40K contemporary romance in nine weeks was a challenging endeavor, but worth all the sleep-deprivation to share my world of imagination—giving others the joy I’ve known as a reader myself. I’m proud of my debut novella, A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW, part of the Christmas in New York series about four life-long girlfriends who each find love during the holidays.

So I guess my story is about keeping an open mind while working toward your goals. Be receptive to new opportunities that may be a different path than you’d planned but achieve the same end. Don’t let the negative nuances of the business get you down—the rejections, the changes of heart, the less-than-stellar reviews. Just keep working toward your dream. Listen to the constructive criticism, heed what resonates with you, and ignore that which doesn’t. Most of all enjoy the relationships you build and the journey you take.

Because that’s what writing, like life, is really all about.

Love Christmas? I invite you to get in the spirit with a heart-warming, holiday read. Comment below for a chance to win my ebook, A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW, Book 3 of the Christmas in New York series. (The stories can be read independently of each other, but forgive my bias…I highly recommend reading them all!) The winner will be announced at https://www.jolysebarnett.com on Tuesday, December 16th. I also love to connect with other readers and writers on Facebook at www.facebook.com.JolyseBarnettAuthor and Twitter @jolysebarnett. If you’re interested in a sneak peek, here’s an excerpt.

 

JO_HeadShot1Jolyse Barnett may not be able to cook to save her life, but she can whip up a delicious romantic tale. She discovered the joy of playing with words at a young age, filling notebooks with poetry and stacks of pink diaries with her teenage angst and dreams. After she graduated from high school, she developed a more practical side. She earned her degree in Writing (Of course!), fell in love with her best friend (Yes!), and now lives her own happily-ever-after (Yay!). She is the author of A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW, a Christmas romance novella (TULE Publishing). Along with writing romance, she enjoys a fulfilling day job and explores the world one vacation at a time with her two children and real-life hero.