Posted On November 5, 2012 by Print This Post

Author Jessica Lemmon on “The Call”

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.

*crickets*

By March, I received a reply from one publisher! …A rejection.

:-P

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.

I did.

***

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?

On Wednesday, author NANCY NORTHCOTT of the Romance Bandits joins us. We’ll be celebrating the release of her new book, RENEGADE.

***

Bio:

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?

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53 Responses to “Author Jessica Lemmon on “The Call””

  1. Jessica –

    Congrats on receiving the call! What’s the biggest way your life has changed since that time? What would you do pre-call if you had it to do all over again.

    Have a great week!
    Kelsey

    Posted by Kelsey Browning | November 5, 2012, 5:49 am
  2. WOW, first off, THANK YOU BECKE! What a humbling introduction. :)

    Hi, Kelsey! I think the biggest change is that I have more confidence in my writing. Someone validating that I don’t suck <–lol really made a difference. And, knowing those manuscripts won't flounder; that I'll be able to share those stories with the world someday rather than have them tucked in a drawer…that's HUGE.

    What would I change? Not a darn thing. Had I known or done differently, I wouldn't be here today. :)

    Posted by Jessica Lemmon | November 5, 2012, 6:24 am
  3. Thanks for the shout-out, Jess! I’m so proud of you!!!!!

    Posted by Macy Beckett | November 5, 2012, 6:37 am
  4. Hi Jessica,

    I’ve never received “the call”, just “the e-mail.” I have a special acceptance file. There are only three in it, but I hope it grows fat. Congratulations to you!

    Mary Jo

    Posted by Mary Jo Burke | November 5, 2012, 6:58 am
  5. Loved your call story, Jessica! Just curious. How would you rate the heat level in Tempting the Billionaire?
    Also, what helped you the most in improving your writing.
    Congratulations on your success!

    Posted by cathyshouse | November 5, 2012, 7:06 am
  6. Hi Cathyshouse! Hmm…have you ever had the Volcano Taco from Taco Bell? The heat sort of sneaks up on you, makes your face warm, then dissipates until you take another bite? It’s kinda like that. ;)

    Posted by Jessica Lemmon | November 5, 2012, 7:09 am
  7. I adore your story!

    If you can’t find your dream job of potato chip taster, I guess romance author is the next best thing. ;)

    Posted by Linda G. | November 5, 2012, 7:42 am
  8. Hi Linda! And HA! Yeah, this is my way to have my chips…and eat them, too.

    Posted by Jessica Lemmon | November 5, 2012, 8:07 am
  9. Morning Jessica!

    What a fun story. =) Congrats on your agent and your new releases! My big question – how hard was it to edit that book in ONE week? Seems almost impossible!

    Congratulations!

    carrie

    Posted by Carrie Spencer | November 5, 2012, 8:26 am
    • Thank you so much, Carrie! Well…I think we *technically* took 10 days. (snork!) and THEN because of another development, we took another five days to add approximately 5k more words and edit those, too.

      O__o

      I wouldn’t say it was hard, but it definitely took will and dedication on both mine and my editor’s parts. Thankfully, my editor at Grand Central is nothing short of AMAZING!

      Posted by Jessica Lemmon | November 5, 2012, 8:51 am
  10. Other friends have reported similar stories of having to complete edits in a very short time. I wonder if this is normal?

    Jessica – I want to congratulate you particularly on the fast turnaround from sale to publication. That’s FABULOUS!

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t you have another sale recently, too?

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | November 5, 2012, 8:45 am
    • Thanks again, Becke. You may be thinking of Book #2, which we just titled HARD TO HANDLE last week. There hasn’t been another sale (yet!), but I am ALWAYS writing. ALWAYS. :)

      Posted by Jessica Lemmon | November 5, 2012, 8:53 am
      • *pulls blanket over head*

        I admit it – I’ve been a slacker this year. Turns out I’m not good at multitasking. Now I’m all moved in and eager to tackle some revision, but it turns out babysitting for a 3-month-old (my new grandbaby – I may have mentioned her once or twice…) is pretty much all-encompassing.

        Okay, it’s been a long time since my kids were that age, but you’d think I’d remember a little detail like that! I need to get back to my old routine of writing after midnight. Or maybe before dawn!

        Help – somebody zap me with Raid for Exclamation Points!!!

        Posted by Becke Martin Davis | November 5, 2012, 8:59 am
  11. What an uplifting article!!! So glad your hard work & courage paid off–happy for you!! Enjoy the ride of a lifetime : )

    Posted by Diane J. Reed | November 5, 2012, 1:44 pm
  12. Great call story!!

    Posted by Jennifer Shirk | November 5, 2012, 1:48 pm
  13. Hi Jessica,

    Here’s to perseverence and potato chips! Congratulations and thank you for sharing your experience with us.

    Landing a publishing deal and acquring an agent is huge, but I also think the rejections and “detours” along the way serve as a reminder that you’ve definitely earned your stripes. Best of luck and thanks for being here today.

    Posted by Jennifer Tanner | November 5, 2012, 2:31 pm
  14. Hi Jessica! Congratulations! You have an infectious style that if it is reflected in your writing, as I’m sure it is, will make Tempting The Billionaire a fun read.

    Please don’t attempt to eat every potato chip. Those of us still toiling will be in great need of them. What’s your favorite flavor?

    Posted by PatriciaW | November 5, 2012, 3:03 pm
  15. Infectious smile – yep! Winning way with words – without a doubt! Funny and talented – the world has no idea just how much so! I can’t wait for readers to get their hands on this book. Fantastic interview, Jess!

    Posted by Niki Hughes | November 5, 2012, 6:44 pm
  16. I had all this wonderful congratulatory and whatnots to say; before i clicked the link to the pinterest thing.
    they all sort of fell out of my head, through my slack jawed mouth.

    Aisheewawa~ Swoon-worthy is RIGHT~

    and, that said, a coherent congratulaory thought popped into my head.– CONGRATULATIONS!!

    and thank you for the post! i hadnt known some of the things you mentioned(the timing of thing, why its good to get representation, etc.)I also took encouragement from your words about God giving talent for a reason.
    So, thank you in triplicate.(the pinterest page counts as a thank worthy item- maybe twice over. lol~)

    Posted by ~Zeal | November 5, 2012, 7:33 pm
  17. Jessica – Thanks so much for sharing your call story with us and for visiting with us today. I can hardly wait to get my copies of your books. I hope I can get to Cincinnati for one of your book signings – I still feel bad that I missed Macy’s signing! I wish you much success with these and your future books!

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | November 5, 2012, 10:50 pm
  18. 7 books later you’re an overnight success! Woohoo!
    Seriously – can’t wait to read it so glad it’s happening so fast.

    Posted by Judy, Judy, Judy | November 6, 2012, 12:54 am
  19. I totally agree about polishing your manuscript before making queries. If you rush it and send something that’s not your very best work, you burn the contact and you cheat your story out of it’s chance of being selected.

    Posted by Nicky Peacock | November 6, 2012, 6:21 am

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