Mega Monday Announcement – Jessica has a Super September

10582889_751759908196645_2794101897649874998_o-12014 is shaping up to be an incredible year for The Write Romantics. Helen P released book 2 and both her fantastic Annie Graham novels continue to storm the charts, Rachael has just released her debut novel following her success in the SYTYCW competition earlier this year, Alys secured an agent in the summer, and Harriet announced her call from Crooked Cat last Monday.

September is turning out to be an incredible month for us because Super September is the month that just keeps on delivering. On 1st September, I woke up to “the call”. It wasn’t actually a call as such but an email from a US publisher wanting to publish my debut novel, ‘Searching for Steven’. Eek! A few email conversations later and this became a three-book deal because ‘Steven’ is actually the first in a trilogy. Harriet got her call at the end of that same week but was able to make the announcement sooner because her contract came with her offer whereas my publisher took a different approach of sending me a template to consider, receiving questions, then pulling together the official contract.

P1050673During this waiting time, I faced a dilemma. I had two more submissions outstanding and, although the professional and honest part of me wanted to go back and say “thanks but no thanks”, I felt a little superstitious about doing this until I’d signed on the dotted line. Just as well I felt that way because it would appear that publishing deals are like buses; I’d waited around for about a year and then two came along at once! They were very different offerings and I had to take a few days to make sure I was making absolutely the right decision although I knew that, after my initial conversation with the Publishing Director of the second publisher that my heart lay there. If you’re interested in how I made my decision, I’ve written a two-parter called ‘A Tale of Two Contracts’ on my blog.

I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that I’ve signed to So Vain Books, a new publishing company with a very exciting vision for the future. ‘Searching for Steven’ will be released in the spring or summer of 2015 in eBook and published format. I can’t believe that, this time next year, I’ll have a book that I’ve written in my hands. Talk about a dream come true!

P1050693I collect teddy bears and I made a lovely addition to my collection this weekend to celebrate. I wanted something relevant and a bear with “love” on his dungarees felt very relevant for a romance writer! My good writing friend and fellow-founder of The Write Romantics, Jay, sent me a lovely bear too with “You got ‘the call’ Julie” on it (Julie being my real name and Jessica being my pen name). He sits pride of place on my desk.

So what do I write? My trilogy is set in the fictional North Yorkshire town of Whitsborough Bay and follows the lives and loves of three women: Sarah, Elise and Clare. The debut novel, ‘Searching for Steven’ tells Sarah’s story. When Sarah Peterson finds a clairvoyant reading that’s been missing for 12 years, she’s shocked to discover all the predictions have come true … except one; she’s about to meet the man of her dreams and his name is Steven. The search for Steven starts and there’s certainly no shortage of them. So why can’t she stop thinking about new friend Nick? And former flame Andy? Could one of them really be her Steven?

It’s taken me twelve years from the idea for ‘Steven’ to receiving my publishing offer but I’ve learned my craft during that time (and am still learning every day). I also had huge gaps where I didn’t write at all e.g. a few years during pregnancy and the baby/toddler years although I never stopped thinking about writing. Book 2, ‘Getting Over Gary’, tells Elise’s story and has taken about eighteen months to write so I’m picking up pace! The third book, ‘Discovering David’ tells Clare’s story.

And September keeps on delivering … but that’s not my news to tell 😉 Do watch this space for more exciting announcements from The Write Romantics.

My final words would be to say that, if you’re a writer and have a dream of being published, never give up as you never know when your bus will arrive. And it may be quickly followed by another!

Jessica xx


22 thoughts on “Mega Monday Announcement – Jessica has a Super September

  1. Many congratulations on getting the call, Jessica! I can’t wait to read the book, oh no, hang on, three books! Amazing success. Well done, you. x

  2. Fantastic news, Jessica! I’m really looking forward to reading all three books…what an exciting premise for book one 🙂
    You’ve shown everyone that determination really is the name of the game, and of course the amazing talent that we will all see for ourselves in 2015!
    From one Write Romantic to another…Congratulations!
    Helen R xx

    • Thank you so much Helen. Glad you like the premise. It’s actually quite nerve-wracking admitting to the world what it’s all about for the first time! Starting to mention by title was scary enough but actually revealing the plot feels like a huge thing! xx

  3. Brilliant news Jessica!! I’ve had the pleasure of already having read your first, and what a treat it was!! I enjoyed every second and am looking forward to reading it again in print & reading the two follow ups!! The publishing world has treasure in their hands!! 🙂 🙂

  4. Congratulations Jessica, I can’t tell you how excited I am for you and the other lovely Write Romantics with such amazing news. September is definitely a great month for writers 🙂 I can’t wait to read everyone’s books.

    Helen xx

    • Thank you Helen. Yes, it really is an amazing month, isn’t it? And your news today was super exciting too! I’m on hols over Hallowe’en so am hoping my Kindle will automatically update abroad if I pre-order. If not, it will be my first read on my return xx

  5. I am so delighted that you’ve got the opportunity to make that dream of holding a paperback which you wrote come true. I am sure that this is going to be just the start of a wonderful writing career for you xx

    • Thanks Ellie. Do it!!! It’s really hard when you first do it but, once you’ve let go once, it becomes easier and easier. Funnily enough, the rejections aren’t that hard (assuming most people do get them) because they just enable you to move onto your next action. It’s the waiting and not knowing that’s the real killer. Be brave. We’re right behind you xxx

  6. Hi Ellie236,
    It’s quite terrifying sending a book out there isn’t it? But you do get used to it! Have you had it read by a friend or another writer? That’s a good starting point and can help to shape your work…even better if you can join something like the Romantic Novelists Asosociation’s New Writers’ Scheme as you get a thorough critique which is gold before sending your novel to agents and publishers.
    Best of luck and be brave!
    Helen R 🙂

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