Friday, July 11, 2014

Celebration Time! I SOLD!!

I can't believe I'm writing this post. 821 blog posts and I'm finally writing it.

I sold a book to Harlequin Love Inspired!!!

Yes!! I. Sold. A. Book.

The current title is Her Wedding Hero and will be released in April 2015! Amazing!!

Signing my contract!!

I don't know about you, but whenever I hear a writer sold her first book, I'm curious about her writing path. Let's go back, shall we?

1992 - I throw a romance novel across the wall, mutter "I can do better than that," and decide I will. I write twenty-two pages of a dippy romance where the hero and heroine have no problems and go on fun dates. It hits me that characters need problems or the book ends at page twenty-three.

1996 - Browsing a bookstore, I find How to Write a Romance and Get It Published by Kathryn Falk. I'm mesmerized. A manual? For a job I never dared dream about? I'm in! I devour this thick book.

1997 - Nine months pregnant with our first child, I quit my job. My husband and I agree I'll be a stay-at-home-mom. I announce my next career will be writing romance novels for--wait for it--Harlequin!

2004 - After years of putting writing on hold, I'm itching to get back into it. Our youngest will be in pre-school soon. I join a local writing group and get very excited about our assignments. Publishing feels real again.

2007 - I join RWA. My youngest will enter Kindergarten, so I begin writing full time. I finish a romance novel--a delightful kidnapping/private island contemporary. Imagine my giddiness when Harlequin Romance requests a partial! This is it! I'm on my way! (On a side note, I believe this was when I said, "I'll give it a year. If I don't get published, I'll find a job." *snort*)

2008 - We move to Michigan. I join MVRWA, a local RWA chapter. A form rejection for my first book arrives on our anniversary. Depressing, yes, but I've written another romance. I send the query. Surely, this book will be the one!

2008-2009 - More books, queries, rejections. I finally take the rejections for what they are--indications I need to study the writing craft. Additionally, I start this blog. I eat up every piece of writing advice and craft book I can find. I join ACFW. Get very active in MVRWA. Meanwhile, I write constantly. Revise. Critique and be critiqued. Query. Repeat.

2010 - I get the call in October from Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary Agency. She wants to represent me! *fist pump*

2011 - Another rejection. Great. Now I'm the dud client Rachel's going to regret signing. But wait...Rachel's amazing. She believes in me and urges me to expand the book to full length. I agree. For the first time, I write both category and full length romance novels for the Christian market. However, I can no longer walk into book stores. Every time I do, I cry. This dream has become raw. Real. And heart-breaking.

2012 - Bad start to the year. Every editor rejects both books I have on submission AND I find out my dad has dementia. I seriously consider quitting. Instead, I study the market for a month and jump back into my normal full-time writing routine. I have to push myself to meet my daily word count goals. I find I don't have to feel good to write well.

I get a call from Susan May Warren. I'm a Frasier Contest finalist! (My Book Therapy sponsors the Frasier!) The contest is a bright spot in a dreary few years.

I've had six novels rejected at this point. I'm not sure I have what it takes. Talent obviously eluded me. I'm no longer as excited to blog and keep up with social media. I begin to feel like a has-been who never was. 

We move out-of-state again. This makes three states in five years. Everything I'm clinging to slips away. I have to trust God to hold me together. Sometimes I fall apart.

I attend my first ACFW conference. I'm so blessed to meet old friends and make new friends, but after two so-so pitch sessions, I spend a lot of time crying in my room. Oddly, I take this experience as a sign God wants me to keep writing. I sense He's breaking my spirit for a reason. I started this journey so confident and excited. I'm now humble. Numb.

2013 - I do not think about my submissions. No dreaming. No excitement. Just prayers. Pleading prayers. Rote prayers. Prayers I'm not sure I believe in anymore. Publishing prayers. Since 2011, I've teared up when I see good news by someone I don't know. That's terrible. I feel guilty. How can I be such a jerk? Their success has nothing to do with me. But it still hurts. And I continue to get sad when I see good news that isn't mine.

I enter an online pitch contest through Harlequin Love Inspired, called Happily-Editor-After. Shana Asaro seems like the ideal editor for my work. I sign up to pitch to her. I'm desperate, but I have a blast plotting the new book. That's the thing, I've always loved writing. Shana requests a proposal. Yes!

I get a call from Ann Mulligan. I'm a Genesis finalist! (ACFW sponsors the Genesis Contest!) Soon Chicken Soup for the Soul contacts me. They are buying one of my pieces! My husband brags to family and friends that my work will be in bookstores. He's one of the main reasons I'm still writing at this point.

Shana asks me to revise and resubmit my proposal from Happily-Editor-After. I happily revise and resubmit. Later in the year, the full is requested. Good news, but I refuse to get my hopes up.

One day, I force myself to walk through a Barnes & Noble. As usual, my heart squeezes until my soul hurts. But I see all the books written by authors I personally know. I think how amazing it is that I know them. I feel incredibly blessed to have been given the opportunity to meet these women, to be friends with them. Soon I'm a regular at the book store again. No more tears.

2014 - My dad's dementia (and Parkinson's disease) worsens. He's now in late stages of Alzheimer's. Strangely, I want to be published more than ever. Our finances have been strained for five years. I'm tired. Tired of pouring all my free time into a career that isn't panning out. I want validation. I want to be paid. I want a chance. I still cry when I see good news from anyone other than a good friend. Still feel guilty.

I browse Monster.com. Tell my husband this is it. One more rejection and I'm going back to a full-time job in electrical engineering. I'm tired of feeling like a failure. I CANNOT do this anymore. And I'm still praying every day. I know God doesn't want me to be miserable. I've been miserable for almost three years. Enough is enough.

And then one day it happens. I answer my cell phone, convinced it's a telemarketer because I don't recognize the area code, but it's not. It's Rachel. She tells me "this is the call I've been waiting a long time for." And I burst into tears. (Clearly, I'm a crybaby.)

I submitted my first romance novel six years and seven months ago. I've been on submission with ten different novels for five years and two months.

You read that correctly. On submission with ten books for FIVE YEARS and TWO MONTHS. 

The book I sold is my thirteenth novel. I'm convinced this is 100% God. I would have given up years ago if He hadn't put someone in my path, given me a small win, or just held me steady during the nothing times. Everyone says you have a breakthrough when you hit rock bottom, but I hit that point three times and did not have a breakthrough. You have a breakthrough when God determines the time is right. Period.

I'm sharing all this because it's easy to become discouraged trying to get published. In fact, it's easy to get discouraged, depressed, and desperate at any point in your writing journey.

About three years ago I realized publishing is a dream come true, but it doesn't make all your dreams come true. I needed the rejections, the endless waiting, the discouragement, and yes, the countless times I forced myself to write to understand this. 

The day after I got the call, I wrote myself a note card. It's pinned to my bulletin board above my desk. It says, "Whenever you feel like complaining, remember all the years and heartbreak it took to get here. Gratitude!"

I'm extremely grateful Love Inspired is taking a chance on me (thank you, Shana!!). I owe so much to my agent (thank you, Rachel!), for all the work she's poured into me and my books. And I have a long, long, list of close friends and family to thank, particularly my critique partners Wendy Paine Miller and Jessica R. Patch, as well as my former critique partners Cindy Wilson and Terri Tiffany. It truly took a village to get this gal a contract!

Thank you for celebrating with me! Thank you for taking the time to stop by my blog! Thank you for being you!

Please sign up for my newsletter if you haven't already. I'll be sending my first one out soon! It will contain my latest book news, a healthy dose of quirkiness, and personal photos of my new-to-me hometown. Also, my e-mail address is jill(at)jillkemerer(dot)com. I love to hear from you!

Thanks again!!

Are you surprised about anything on my writing journey? 

Have a wonderful day!!


101 comments:

  1. I am ao HAPPY for You!!!!! I I know how long you been trying. I also know how well you write. enjoy this moment!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Terri! I'm so excited about your news too! Woo-hoo!

      Delete
  2. Congratulations! Cant wait to visit bookstores to see your name on the shelf.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thanks CJ!! You have a special place in my heart. You've always made an effort to pop over to my blog. I appreciate you!!

      Delete
  3. Congratulations! Your story gives me hope that if I persevere, one day it will happen for me as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Never give up hope, Amy. I'm not saying it's easy, but it's worth it!!

      Delete
  4. Jill, I'm so happy for you and I can really relate to those years when you wonder if God even cares about those prayers to make that desire of your heart reality. When your heart is breaking and you're hanging on the computer for your next acceptance/rejection. I know how that goes to watch "everyone" else get picked up, so it seems. I'm so glad you hung in there and that your dreams are being realized! Been a long journey but I pray your writing career will be full of happiness for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heather, my story is not unique, sadly enough. For every writer who gets a contract for the second or third book she wrote, there are five or more writers who are choking on another rejection while writing their sixth book. It's a tough market to break into, and the last four years have made it even tougher.

      Delete
  5. Congratulations, Jill! I'm so excited for you and can't wait to buy your book!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Connie!!! I can't wait to see you soon!!

      Delete
  6. Congratulations Jill! I was so happy to see your post this morning and really enjoyed reading about your journey. I look forward to reading your book! Oh, and I love your signing picture. You look fantastic and that smile says it all - how hard you have worked and how special the moment was.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Kelly! I forced my son to take the picture. We had about five minutes of "Do I have to? None of these are turning out." And then I would say, "Just take one and I'll figure it out later. It doesn't have to be perfect!" Ha!! Thanks for celebrating with me!!

      Delete
  7. So good to get that first contract, Jill. I enjoyed reading your post. Next week I'm going to be a guest at Seekerville with a similar post about my up and down writing journey using bits from my journal. So it was neat seeing yours. My journal kept me going by being my place to cry and try to pump myself up during the hard times when nothing was selling. After several years of rejections, I wrote what became my first published inspirational novel, Scent of Lilacs. I also know what you're going through with your dad's dementia. My mother is in the last stages of dementia. She no longer knows us. It is a difficult disease. But joy and sorrow often mix. So glad you are able to rejoice in the promise of one of your very own stories being in a book you can hold in your hand and share with readers everywhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ann, your kind words earlier this year (on the Bookie page) about my dad's dementia really stayed with me. Wish your poor mom wasn't going through this. It's heart-breaking. You're right, though, there is joy and sorrow in it all. And I know your Seekerville post will help many writers. We need to hear that not everyone is a superstar from the get-go!

      Delete
  8. This is wonderful news, Jill! I think your faith and endurance and determination is really inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Elizabeth! You've been an inspiration and role model for me for many years. I love seeing your books in our library and bookstores!

      Delete
  9. Thank you so much for sharing your journey!! I really needed to read this. Sometimes, I just don't believe people when they say it's normal for the road to be long...and then I wonder what is wrong with me! I have an amazing agent and have had two novels completely rejected, working on my seventh novel now, and somewhere between the point of crying in a bookstore and finally at the point of no tears when I see good publishing news for others! HA! Your journey is truly amazing and gives me hope! CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Can't wait to read your debut novel!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We don't always see the reality of writer's publishing journeys. I often felt as if I was the only writer who wasn't a big hit. Or the only one who had written, submitted, and been rejected on so many novels. It's tough on the ego! But even if I am the only one who has written, submitted, and been rejected on so many novels, it doesn't matter! Because I sold. :) Ha! Keep going and please e-mail me if you need encouragement!!

      Delete
  10. I'm so excited for you, Jill! I've only known you for a handful of your submitting/working/writing years, but your dedication to the craft, determination to succeed and excitement - for writing, for other people and for your own wins - has awed me. And I'm so glad you're seeing the fruits of your labor!! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're old soul sisters, Kristi! I've loved watching your perseverance pay off over the last years. You constantly inspire me!! Can't wait to see you soon!!

      Delete
  11. I'm so inspired by your words, Jill. Congratulations!!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh, Jill, how wonderful! I am so, so HAPPY for you! I have to admit, I teared up a bit reading about your journey. I am awed by your faith and persistence. You deserve every success! Good luck with your future novels, too! Hugs, Kathy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathy!! It finally happened!! Wish we lived closer so we could celebrate! Thank you very much!!

      Delete
  13. So exciting! I'm a new Bookie, and can't tell you how much I appreciated you taking us on a turn-by-turn of your publishing fairytale. Congrats on the contract, and best wishes as you forge ahead on this new frontier! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, thanks, Rebecca!! Congrats on joining such a fabulous agency! I'm very thankful for my agent. Wishing you quick success on YOUR journey!!

      Delete
  14. THis post was so awesome it made me cry. And I am NOT a crybaby. ;) But I have been there…all those struggles, the ups and downs and the feeling of it's never going to happen. Lots of days I am still there. But I can't give up either. One day…somehow…the dream will become reality again. I am so happy for you!! YAY!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know you're not a crybaby, Cathy!! Thank you. I know it's been tough for you too, and I'm so proud of you for moving forward with your dreams. Go you!!

      Delete
  15. INCREDIBLY inspired! Congratulations to you, Jill! This an amazing story. So glad you kept moving forward and leaning hard on God.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Caroline! God is GOOD!!

      Delete
  16. SO, SO thrilled for you, Jill! You've certainly had an amazing journey to get here and it's wonderful you kept the faith and didn't quit!! And kudos to your hubby and family, too, for letting you live your dream. All in good time:) God is so good! Thanks, too, for being so supportive of other writers. You have a great spirit. Again, thrilled for you!! This is great inspiration for others. Must. Pin. Now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laura!! You helped my writing so much and you don't even know it! I could NOT stop thinking about Courting Morrow Little. It was so complex and amazing. Then I read The Colonel's Lady and was blown away again! Thanks for putting out such thought-provoking, well-written books!!

      Delete
  17. I'm surprised and deeply blessed by how deep my friendship has gone with you. We've been through so much together and I cannot tell you how proud of you I am. I believed this for you the very first time I read your work. You have a gift and now the world will get to see how talented you are. Love you!
    ~ Wendy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, get the tissues!! I feel the same about you. We've been through SO much. Ups. Downs. More downs. Deep-way-down downs! Ha! I'm thankful for you every day. Love you, Wendy!!

      Delete
  18. I am so thrilled for you, Jill!!! I've thought about you countless times and been amazed and inspired by your diligence and fortitude. I can't wait to hold that book in my hands!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thanks Gabrielle!! I think about you a lot too! I can't wait until you share YOUR call story, and I have no doubt you will!! Thanks!!

      Delete
  19. Thrilled for you as I cry over my own journey. You give me hope!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll pass the tissues, Dalyn, because trust me I know. I know that it was probably painful for you to even click on this blog. It would have been hard for me. And I'm telling you now to hold on. Keep praying. Keep going. And feel free to e-mail me. jill(at)jillkemerer(dot)com. This is a tough biz. *hugs*

      Delete
  20. Oh wow, I so relate to this! Thanks so much for sharing your honest journey, not just the "But I trusted God every step of the way and laid my career at His feet daily" parts. Congratulations! I'm so happy for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jeanette, I didn't always trust God every step of the way! I'm not that great! Ha!! But He faithfully picked up my feet and pushed me. A LOT. I've been bitter, angry, jealous many, many times over the years. But I've also been filled with joy, awed by writers' generosity, and happy too. I love writing. I just don't love trying to get published... :)

      Delete
  21. Jill!!! I'm so happy for you, I could just burst. And I related to so many lines in your publishing story--feeling like Rachel's dud client, tearing up when you see someone else's contract news, getting to the point where you're humble and numb. God takes us through quite a process, doesn't He? I can't wait to read your book! I pray there are many, many more in your future. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Karen!!! I wish I could go to ACFW so we could chat and hang out again!! Yes, my story is not unique. So many of us struggle along the way. Thank you for celebrating with me!!

      Delete
  22. I'm leaping and squealing for you, Jill!!! I love, love, LOVED reading about your journey. Your perseverance and faith shine through every word. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay!!! Donna, every time I see your name I just want to run to you and hug you!! Love you!! Congratulations on your new book, too!! I know God is using you to minister to women!!!

      Delete
  23. Congratulations, Jill! I loved reading about your journey. Your perseverance is very inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Gwendolyn! I can't take the credit for persevering. God did all that. I wanted to quit so many times. It's hard. But thanks!!

      Delete
  24. Jill, I'm beyond thrilled for you. I watched you deal with those dreaded Ds: "discouraged, depressed, and desperate" and admired your perseverance, patience and positive attitude in the midst of that seemingly interminable wait. You kept leaning on the Lord through it all and inspiring those of us on the sidelines with your firm faith. I knew this day would come, and I couldn't be happier for you. And now we're Love Inspired buddies. How cool is that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love Inspired buddies!! Bookies!! And we share so much more. I'm very grateful for you. You've helped me so much over the years. Thanks for listening to my woe-is-me tales and for always encouraging me!! Can't wait to read your book!!

      Delete
  25. Wow this is such an inspiring story, Jill!! I can't wait to read your book when it releases. CONGRATULATIONS!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think of you often, Preslaysa!! Thank you so much! Hoping we'll be writing together for LI soon!!

      Delete
  26. Love this! Glad the news is out :) Proud of you for persevering!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Laurie!! It's been an interesting journey, that's for sure!! Ha!

      Delete
  27. Happy tears for you, Jill!!!!!! Seriously, you are amazing and resilient, way to keep in there and not give up! GOOD things come to those who wait, ay?

    *hugs* Seriously, SO SO SO happy for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hugs right back at you, Krista!! I loved chatting with you at conference last year. You inspire me. You're dealing with SO much, and yet you always smile and keep working hard. Love you!!

      Delete
  28. Celebrating big time with you, Jill! Thank you for this post-- tears of joy sprang up when I read the notecard you wrote to yourself. God has already touched lives through your heart and writing... and now He gets to do it in book form, too? This is a beautiful, beautiful thing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you SO much, Amanda!! I love the writing community. I've been blessed by so many authors, including you. Thanks!!

      Delete
  29. I am SO happy for you, Jill! True testament to perseverance and prayer! Congrats to you!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kelly!! You always make me smile when I'm on Twitter--I appreciate you!!

      Delete
  30. I really like what you said about hitting bottom and the breakthrough still not happening. It comes when God decides. Good reminder. CONGRATULATIONS!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure some people do get that breakthrough! I didn't! Ha! That's okay. I'm still here. :) Thanks so much!!

      Delete
  31. Thank you for sharing what has been quite a journey. I'm sure this post has helped many writers who think they are all alone while all around them deals are made and success trumpeted. With God, there is both wilderness and ever-flowing streams, and I was so glad to hear your faith kept you going through the hardest of times.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we hear about all the deals and success. And we should. But sometimes we need to hear the not-so-successful stories too. :) Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  32. What a lovely and inspirational post. So happy you stayed the course, and congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Deb!! I'm happy too! Thanks again!!

      Delete
  33. I LOVED this post, Jill. So very encouraging. I am beyond excited and happy for you, friend:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan!! Thank you!! Thanks for being such a support. Miss you!!

      Delete
  34. Jill I tried to leave a comment earlier but my phone was being wacky. I'm sooooo happy for you. AHH so happy. And I'm so going to read your book the day it hits bookshelves. You rock...congratulations!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My blog isn't always great about allowing commenting!! Thank you SO much, Melissa!! I love your books, and you've been an example of generosity and Godliness to me. You touch many lives. :)

      Delete
  35. I am so, so, so, so happy for you, Jill. Truly. Elated. Delighted. Overjoyed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks soooo much, Beth!! Thanks for always encouraging me!! I appreciate it!!

      Delete
  36. Jill, The thing I love most about you is your gut-level honesty. (Well, that and your ability to make me CRACK UP!) :) This post is so refreshing and inspiring, just like you. So excited for you, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah!! Do you remember what I said to you when we finally met for the first time at ACFW in 2012?? I believe it was, "I will punch someone in the face if they pat me on the shoulder and tell me, 'you'll get there someday.'" I'm a little TOO honest sometimes! I miss you. Can't wait to see you again!

      Delete
  37. Congratulations! I'm thrilled for you!

    I am one of those who sold her first book to the first publishing house. But it's not all its cracked up to be, not for me anyway. That book did well, but the journey since has been difficult, filled with disappointments, low wages and a battle to stay on bookstore shelves. But there have been amazing moments, lovely people, and lots of fun too.

    I admire your dedication and your obedience to God. There is no easy road in the writing world. We all work hard. We all live with disappointment and rejection. And we also get to enjoy some mountain top moments.

    Cheering for all writers everywhere. Keep on writing. Love the work. Love the journey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, Bonnie! That is SO cool! I hear you on the downsides, though. That's one nice thing about being aspiring for years--you hear a lot of stories. I'm pretty realistic about what being an author really entails. :) Wishing you long-lasting success!! Thanks so much!

      Delete
  38. God bless you, Jill! I'm so proud of you and so happy for you. I can't wait to read your debut novel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Becky!! Thanks so much for your friendship. You've been a mentor to me in many ways, and I'm SO thankful for you!!

      Delete
  39. Congratulations, Jill! I am so, so happy for you. And I truly appreciate you sharing your journey with us. It encouraged me. I admire your tenacity, faithfulness, and obedience. I rejoice with you in all the exciting things happening! Hugs, sister!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Susie!! The journey wasn't always pretty, but it was mine. I wouldn't have it any other way! God bless you!!

      Delete
  40. Replies
    1. Thanks, Danica!! I'm so happy for you too! When I saw your good news, I smiled ALL day!! You earned it!!

      Delete
  41. I know how you feel, Jill! I was writing for over 10 years, then in the space of 6 months, got 3 writing contracts from 3 different publishers! God is amazing!

    Big congrats on your book! Isn't Love Inspired great?

    Cheers,
    Sue

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How cool is that, Susan?? God IS amazing!! Congratulations!!

      Delete
  42. CONGRATULATIONS!!! SAVOR IT! You sure earned this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Tina!! I always enjoy seeing your updates about your writing. They motivate me to try harder! Thanks!!

      Delete
  43. Yay, Jill!! I'm so happy for you that I could burst! I tried to post earlier but looks like it didn't go through. Thank you so much for sharing your journey--it made me cry (does that make me a crybaby too?). I pray every day for the kind of perseverence you have and the humility to lay the journey at the feet of Jesus. Thanks for being a great example in all that you do! Congratulations, and I'll keep praying for your publishing journey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janice!! Thank you!! No, of course you're not a crybaby! Ha!! Thanks so much for your sweet words and for celebrating with me!!

      Delete
  44. So pleased for you, Jill! I really felt like this year was your year, and whee!!!! So much to celebrate. As someone who wrote and submitted and got rejected for nearly FIFTEEN years--and quit writing several times--I can definitely attest to the statement that God gives you a breakthrough when the time is right not when you hit bottom. GRATITUDE! Can't wait to give you a big congratulatory hug in person this fall.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fifteen years!! Carla! You know I admire your tenacity, honesty, and perseverance. You helped me get through some rough patches this year--thank you!!!

      Delete
  45. Oh my word! I think you wanted this more than anything I've ever wanted in my entire life. What perseverance and dedication! I almost feel ashamed to have published so quickly. :( You certainly earned your stripes!
    And YES, gratitude goes a long way. But I can't imagine you will ever whine about this contract. Have fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha, ha!! Virginia, we each have our own journey. I'm glad to have mine with all its ups, downs, and in-betweens. God knows what He's doing!! Congrats to you too!

      Delete
  46. Congratulations, Jill. This is very encouraging to me. Blessings to you and yours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Cecelia. I really appreciate your support!!

      Delete
  47. Woot! I'm so excited for you, Jill! It's been a crazy journey and here you are! Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cindy!! It has been a crazy journey! I'm so glad we've been on it together!

      Delete
  48. Love your story, Jill. Funny, poignant, inspiring--like life, right? Your note to yourself about gratitude is so smart. I think I'll steal that idea, if that's okay. Can't wait to read your first (of many) books!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha, ha! Yes, steal it! Nothing wrong with being grateful. :) I miss you!!

      Delete
  49. Hi Jill - 100th comment .. maybe on your way to 100 Harlequin Love stories .. so many congratulations - enjoy the summer.

    Sorry to read about your father .. that combination is a really distressing one - my thoughts to you and the family ..

    But have a cheers on me for your future .. Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How sweet of you!! Thank you SO much for your encouragement!! Yes, my dad's condition breaks all our hearts, including his. It's tough. But thank you for celebrating my good news too!

      Delete

I love to hear from you!