Our guest today is debut author JESSICA LEMMON, who I met through the Ohio Valley Romance Writers chapter. I felt an instant bond with her – now I know it’s our mutual love of potato chips! Seriously, she has an infectious smile and a winning way with words, as you’ll see. She’s funny and talented, and I couldn’t be more excited for her!
I thought when I received “The Call” I’d be euphoric. And I was! I still am. What I hadn’t expected, was to be shocked. In the spring of 2012, I promised myself I’d stop being in a hurry. Even if it took another two and a half years (or more, *whimper*) of writing and submitting, I was willing to struggle to get published. Well, the moment I made that sage and adult decision, I was knocked completely ass over teakettle.
God’s funny like that.
See, by the end of 2011, I had written seven novels. I believed my most recent attempt was the best of the bunch. And because I believed in my shiny, new novel, I whisked it off to the Golden Heart contest. And submitted it to another contest. And just for fun, queried it to two different publishers.
Then I sat back and waited for the world to become enthralled with my masterpiece.
By March, I received a reply from one publisher! …A rejection.
It wasn’t my first rejection, but it wasn’t about to be my last, either. At this point, I figured I had two options: submit on my own again, or bury my feelings of inadequacy by eating every potato chip in the county.
I’m kidding about that last part. (Sort of.)
Option two? Seek representation.
Luckily, my very talented friend Melissa Landers had recently had some major successes and clued me in on how she acquired her agent. I knew it took three-to-twelve months of waiting (even for a rejection!) to hear back when submitting on my own. Maybe an agent could clue me in on the flaws of my writing. If only I could find out where I was going wrong, I knew I could make it right.
Despite being beyond ready to query, I took my time doing one “final” edit. It wasn’t easy to leave my prepared query letters in the wings while I tinkered, but I did. And, finally, TWO MONTHS LATER, I was ready to submit.
I emailed my letter and pages to the lovely and fabulous Nicole Resciniti (who I’m proud to call my agent), and a scant eleven minutes later she requested my full manuscript. This is why you should always have the whole shebang polished before querying! This is also where that “shock” thing came in. When she arranged a call with me, she introduced herself, then said, “So, I loved your book.”
Flabbergasted, I replied, “You did?”
I simply couldn’t believe it. All those months of hearing nothing, or being rejected, and Nicole loved my book?
Shock and awe ruled the days that followed, as each one became more magical than the ones before it. We received very positive attention for TEMPTING THE BILLIONAIRE, and from very prominent, respected romance publishers. I considered it a privilege just to be in touch with them, let alone when we began to receive offers!
In the end, we went with Grand Central who will be releasing TEMPTING THE BILLIONAIRE and its follow-up, HARD TO HANDLE. And that good news got better! You could have knocked me over with a feather duster when I received a call from my agent informing me they had an open slot for TEMPTING on New Year’s Day 2013. Typically, it takes 12-18 months before book meets world. My date was only four months into the future.
When asked if I could edit in a week, there was only one answer: “Absolutely yes!”
Around that time, I found a note in my journal from earlier this year. I’d written: “God, when this happens, it needs to happen fast because I’m notoriously impatient.”
So be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.
Like many of you, I’m still dreaming of “The Call.” How will you react when you get it – champagne? Chocolates? Cheers? Or will you celebrate on Facebook or in the Twitterverse?
Jessica Lemmon has always been a dreamer. At some point, she decided head-in-the-clouds thinking was childish, went out, and got herself a job…and then she got another one because that one was lousy. And when that one stopped being fulfilling, she went out and got another…and another. Soon it became apparent she’d only be truly happy doing what she loved. And since “eating potato chips” isn’t a viable career, she opted to become a writer. With fire in her heart, she dusted off a book she’d started years prior, finished it, and submitted it. It may have been the worst book ever, but it didn’t stop her from writing another one. Now she has several books finished, several more started, and even more marinating in her brain (which currently resides in the clouds, thankyouverymuch), and she couldn’t be happier. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want. (While eating potato chips.)
Jessica is a former meat-eater, writer, artist, dreamer, wife, and den mother to two dogs. You can find online at www.jessicalemmon.com and follow her on Twitter @lemmony.
TEMPTING THE BILLIONAIRE can be preordered here. In lieu of a cover, you can check out Jessica’s drool-worthy Pinterest page for TEMPTING at this address: http://pinterest.com/lemmony/tempting-the-billionaire-book-1/
Here’s the blurb:
BUSINESS OR PLEASURE?
Crickitt Day needs a job . . . any job. After her husband walks out on her, she’s determined to re-build her life and establish a new career. When swoon-worthy billionaire Shane August hires her as his assistant, she jumps at the chance to prove herself. Despite her growing attraction to her boss, she vows to keep things strictly professional. No flirting. No kissing. Definitely no falling in love…
Shane August is all business, all the time. He’s a self-made man who’s poured his heart and soul into his company, and he’d never allow himself to get involved with an employee. Then he hires sweet, sexy Crickitt-and he can’t keep his mind or his hands off her. But no matter how much he wants Crickitt, Shane fears that painful secrets from his past will always come between them. With fate working against them, can these two lonely hearts learn that sometimes mixing business with pleasure is the perfect merger?
- Jessica Lemmon Presents Shane August’s Top Five Valentine’s Day Gifts
- Weekly Lecture Schedule, February 11-16, 2013
- How To Market Without Losing Your Mind by Jessica Lemmon
- Weekly Lecture Schedule November 5 – 9, 2012
- Debut Author Jennifer McGowan: How Not to Get Off Track