Jill Weatherholt

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

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.

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Author: Jill Weatherholt

My name is Jill Weatherholt and I’m a writer. I have a full-time job, but at night and on the weekend, I pursue my passion, writing. I write modern stories about love, friendship and forgiveness. I started this blog as a way to share my journey toward publication and to create a community for other new writers. Raised in the Washington, DC area, I’ve lived in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2004. I hold a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and a Certification in Paralegal Studies from Duke University. My first book, SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE, will release in March, 2017. It's now able for pre-order on Amazon. I was the first place winner in the Dream Quest One Short Story Contest in the Winter 2014-2015 competition. In 2014, I placed second in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest. I was also a top ten finalist in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest in 2012 and 2013. I’m a 2010 and 2012 winner of the NaNoWriMo Contest. I love to connect readers, visit me at jillweatherholt.com

97 thoughts on “Welcome Author Jolyse Barnett

  1. Thanks Jill and Jolyse! I would love a chance to win the holiday read! I am going to check our the Christmas in New York series.. 🙂

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  2. Congratulations, Jolyse! Your series sounds very good. I enjoyed reading of your publishing journey. 🙂

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  3. The very idea of four friends finding love in NY over Christmas is captivating. Thank you for sharing your publishing journey.

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    • Hi Georgette! We’ve tried to find similar existing series from a marketing standpoint and are pretty sure ours is unique. We’re all great friends, we’re all from the same state, and we wrote the books on the same timeline. So all four girlfriends’ stories occur between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. It was challenging but so much fun to write and we’re thrilled with how well they’ve been received.

      I’m hoping you’ll like them too! Merry Christmas. 🙂

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    • Hi Georgette! The collaboration involved among the four writers is pretty amazing. I read Jolyse’s novella first…just because. The entire series is wonderful. Enjoy your weekend!

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  4. Sounds like a wonderful Christmas story!

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  5. Jolyse, what a story! Thank you for your honesty. I’m glad you persevered through all of that. Christmas novellas are a great addition to the season.
    I’ve also seen the dark side of publishing, namely having books go out of print, having an editor hold on to a proposal for three years and then announcing that the publisher was being sold. So, I feel your pain. I’m glad to know you’re back in the game.
    And thank you, Jill, for once again sharing your blog.

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    • Hi, L Marie! I sympathize with your setbacks, too. But remember, they’re just that. You keep going and opportunities will eventually present themselves as a result of talent, hard work, networking, and timing. I never really felt like I was out of the game, however, since I was in the dark about the true status of my first contract and series until after I’d received this new one and was in the middle of writing. So, it was a far lesser blow to my writer ego than it could have been. I’m very thankful.

      Isn’t Jill wonderful! She’s a quality, pay-it-forward kind of woman. Love her. ❤

      Good luck with your journey as well, and wishing you a beautiful holiday season.

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    • Hi L. Marie! Yes, Jolyse’s story is amazing. She is one of the most diligent and focused writers I know. Through all of the ups and downs of trying to get her work published, she was also experiencing some personal struggles, which makes her that much more amazing. She’s determined and a wonderful role model for someone like me.
      I’m sorry you’ve experienced the dark side of publishing, but you’re a fighter too, so I know things will work in your favor. With your giving spirit, that’s a given!
      Have a great weekend, my friend! xo

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  6. I enjoyed this wonderful real-life adventure in how to get published and the real truth of publishing. I think your story may include the words, “Try, try again…” I love romances but usually count on the library to provide the source of my reading (and writing on their computer makes it hard to ‘receive’ an e-book!) I wish you the best, Jolyse!
    P.S. I love the premise of your romantic set of four books with four stories of love with four friends, too.

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    • Thanks so much for your feedback and appreciate your kind words. Were you to win, I could gift your book to someone of your choosing. So I’ll still enter you if you’d like.

      PS – I get my best writing done in my local library. 🙂

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      • This was so sweet of you, Jolyse, to let me know of your best writing being accomplished at your local library. I have found ‘fodder’ for my writing character development by seeing people at my library. Learning and practicing using description in what I call ‘character studies.’ I have met four homeless people, then I try to fill in the way their lives could have gone to lead them to where they are now. (My posts have had these, along with a series of men who were met at the library, too.)

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    • Hi Robin! If there is one word I would use to describe Jolyse, it would be perseverance. Once she set her mind to writing for publication, she took all of the steps to make her dream come true, despite the obstacles. Enjoy your weekend!

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  7. Thanks Jill. And congratulations Jolyse. Good advise about perseverance in the publishing world. And the idea of a Christmas in New York series with four friends caught my attention, would love to read them all! 🙂

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    • Thanks for the good wishes! I’d love for you to read them all as well. 😉 The other authors/books are: THIS CHRISTMAS by Jeannie Moon, ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS by Jennifer Gracen, and GOODNESS AND LIGHT by Patty Blount. They can be read in any order, but our publisher is marketing them in the order I gave them to you, with my book after Jennifer’s. 🙂

      Good luck in the giveaway!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Geralyn! I’m so happy you met Jolyse. The entire Christmas in New York series is wonderful. It would be a great series for you to read in between your hiking trips. 🙂 Enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. What an encouraging and inspiring read, thank you so much Jill for featuring Jolyse and her journey to publication. Jolyse, thank you for sharing your insight and wisdom with us. I particularly like how you urge us not to lose sight of all the positives, especially the wonderful friendships we make along the way as we journey forward together, in search of our writing dreams 🙂 I wish you every success with A Light In The Window…love the title and the cover just for starters 🙂

    Have a great weekend Jill, you and DFD…catch up soon 🙂 xoxo

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  9. Jolyse, thank you for such an honest and positive post on publishing in the real world. I love stories like yours because they show that opportunities can and will come along if your heart is open to them. Jill, thank you for hosting Jolyse. Happy (almost) weekend to you both!

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    • I’ve always enjoyed reading “The Call” stories, too, 1WriteWay. I’ve been a tad disappointed to actually never receive a bona fide phone call, but I suppose much of the publishing world has changed over to email communication. Oh well. Yes, I believe we need to be in the right place at the right time and PREPARED for that opportunity–that’s where the hard work comes into play.

      TGIF for sure!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Marie! It’s been my pleasure to host Jolyse, she’s awesome! I hope you have a great weekend and you’re able to rest up a bit. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Change is the only constant in life. We all have to go with the flow. So glad you have your Christmas book out in time for the holiday! Congratulations, Jolyse!

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  11. I always enjoy reading about other author’s journeys to publication. The common denominator seems to be determination, hard work, and persistence. Sounds like Ms. Barnett has it all. 🙂

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    • I agree, Carrie. That’s partly what kept me going all those months, and what keeps me going today. I believe that hard work eventually pays off. And the feeling of seeing your story published, getting positive feedback from readers whose hearts you’ve touched in some small way with your creation–is absolutely priceless. Not to mention the bond I have with my three writer pals. We’re going through this wonderful ride together, and it’s awesome.

      Wishing you every success in your endeavors, too, Carrie! ❤

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    • Hi Carrie! I also love reading about author’s journey to publication and peeking at their spaces. 🙂 I think persistence is Jolyse’s middle name. Have a great weekend, Carrie!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I love Christmas stories and yours sounds Fab, Fun, and Festive.
    Have a Holly Jolly Holiday, Jolyse!

    Thanks, Jill for shining the spotlight her way.

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  13. Thanks for sharing your road-to-publication story with us Jolyse (and thanks to Jill 🙂 ) Sadly I can relate to your experience – the difference is that the publisher I had signed with went bankrupt. I am a big fan of Christmas romance/stories and would love to read your novella 🙂

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    • I’m sorry for your publishing difficulties, Yolanda. These are just tiny bumps in the road to your success. You’ll do it!

      Hoping you love A Light in the Window. ❤

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    • Hi Yolanda! I’m happy you read about Jolyse’s journey, which has really just begun. I’m sorry you had a bad experience…I’m not sure I knew about that. You’re a beautiful writer. I have not doubt another publisher will come along. I also love to read Christmas stories and these were wonderful. Have a great weekend, Yolanda! xo

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks for another great giveway! Hope I win 🙂

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  15. Another excellent guest post, Jill, and I’m glad to meet you, Jolyse. A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW sounds wonderful, and your personal details are superb.

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  16. Just want to say hi. I have read all of the New York books, and love them all. Congrats on your journey to becoming a published author and hoping to read many more of your books.

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  17. Congratulations, Jolyse! 🙂 And thanks for introducing us, Jill! 🙂

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  18. Sounds like a good life you’ve got sorted there, Jolyse. 🙂 I’m glad another door opened.

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  19. Wow! Getting published is quite a task. Thanks Jolyse for sharing your pursuit of publishing story with us.

    Both you and Jill have a lovely weekend !

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    • I suppose I’ve learned to be a patient person. 🙂

      After a difficult delivery with my first child twenty-three years ago, I was unable to carry another baby to term. We had five miscarriages over an eighteen month period before moving onto IVF for three unsuccessful tries. Two years after that and seven years total since our first child, we decided to adopt. That process took one year. When I held that little bundle of blue in my arms, all the pain, loss, and feelings of infertility and inadequacy fell away.

      This may seem strange to some of you, but I believe I was meant to be our adopted son’s mother, you know, that it was part of my life’s purpose. Had I not gone through all those trials those years before him, I wouldn’t have been prepared for the joy and rigors of parenting an autistic child. I wouldn’t have learned the value of patience, acceptance, and not comparing my life with others. I learned not to take anything for granted.

      Like you said, the process involved leading up to getting published is full of trials, too, but all those events will prepare you for the life as a career writer. Because being published isn’t a static state of being. Rather, it’s a gradual building of your author brand/reputation, working hard daily to produce quality stories that hopefully one day will reach the hands of your readers. It’s also being happy for fellow authors as they achieve their successes, without giving into petty jealousies. The schedule and life of a published writer isn’t for the faint of heart.

      Wow, I guess that coffee made me chatty tonight. LOL I guess what I’m trying to say is that all your life experiences, including the ones directly related to your writing journey (or whatever goal it is in life that you strive for), will prepare you for your ultimate success. Try not to worry about when it’s going to happen, just keep doing all those hundred little things daily that will make it happen when the timing is right–for you.

      oxo
      Jolyse

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are so wise, Jolyse. Worrying about when “it’s” going to happen, is wasted energy. I’m a firm believer that things happen in our life when we’re ready, not just because we want it. Thank you for this revealing comment. You’re a gem! xo

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    • Hi Elaine! Thanks for stopping by and reading Jolyse’s journey to publication. As you probably realized by her comment, she’s an incredible lady. Enjoy your weekend, my friend!

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  20. Wow Jolyse what an incredible journey. I love that tip to go with the flow and snap up other writing gigs as they arise. Thanks for sharing your journey. Wishing you every success. Kath.

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  21. Nice to meet you, Jolyse! This is such a wonderful story of your journey. Good for you for being so open to new opportunities and endeavors. It obviously paid off, congratulations! 🙂

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  22. So nice to “meet” Jolyse. Thank you for hosting her, Jill!
    To Jolyse,
    Wow, what a roller coaster ride with your first book! To have such a great high when it was accepted, then to have it lose its home, and then to find a new story (well, stories!), that is such a great narrative in its own right!

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  23. Thank you, Jolyse, for sharing your story of publication with us. I’m shopping my novel around now, and this helps to prepare me. Good luck with your novel and have a great Christmas.

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  24. Hello, Jolyse. I came by to wish Jill a Merry Christmas, but found you had hijacked her blog. Nice to meet you and congratulations. Have a very Merry Christmas. And, Jill, if you aren’t tied up and gagged in the linen closet, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas as well. 😀

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  25. The winner of my giveaway of A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW ebook has been announced. Visit http://jolysebarnett.com/blog/ to read all the details. While you’re there, feel free to take a look around my site. Not only will you find information about my debut (and there will be upcoming book announcements soon!!), but I love to share my addiction to the Conch Life in Key West as well as post about little escapes and life as a romance writer.

    Thanks again to all who commented! I really enjoyed meeting you and hope to “see” you on social media and here at Jill’s site in the future. 🙂

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  26. 9 weeks. That’s amazing and how wonderful that it all worked out. Publishing is a rollercoaster, but it’s worth all the ups and downs. Wishing you great success and happy holidays.

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  27. Yeah, nine weeks. Thank goodness I don’t have the day job in the summer months or it would have been impossible. LOL. As it was, we had a lot of travel already planned (one trip to Orlando, one to San Antonio, and two to Tampa). My laptop saw many beautiful vistas this summer. It was definitely worth it. Thanks for the good thoughts and happy holidays to you as well, TBM. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I’ll have to check this out – I’ve been looking for a fun Christmas story to read. It’s so true that we have to keep writing and putting ourselves out there no matter what. I’m happy to hear it all worked out!

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