Please welcome Debut author Jessica Scott!!

Jess1a

What Changed Between The End and The Call

It’s great to be back here at Riding With The Top Down. I have to say, a whole lot has changed since my last visit here in 09. I finally sold to NY and my debut novel BECAUSE OF YOU comes out in less than two weeks. Honestly, it’s kind of freaking me out. But today, I figured I’d talk about what’s changed since, well, The Call because so many people (self included) wonder what life is like on the other side of Sold.

Honestly, there were so many days when I never thought I would sell. My stuff didn’t fit, it wasn’t ready. Agents and editors would read military romance and automatically assume romantic suspense. I tried my hand at romantic suspense when I was first starting out. I’ll leave that to the masters *cough Cindy*

Anyway, I got The Call back in May of this year. And my life was, well, busy to say the least. My husband had been deployed for about four months at that point. I was a single mom whose daycare was imploding, a company commander for about a hundred and thirty troops and oh by the way, trying to figure out what to pitch to my agent next because my most recent project didn’t get out the door.

Because of You

Needless to say, despite being really busy, I was at an impasse in my writing career. Mind you, I’d written through my deployment in Iraq in 2009. I’d written during my train up for that deployment. Writing had been a constant in my life since 2007 when I wrote my first real book. And yet, in May, I was struggling to figure out what next. So when Sue Grimshaw (Random House) dropped me a note and said, um, yes, I really like Shane and Jen in BECAUSE OF YOU (it was titled Her War then. I know, don’t laugh) she really got me reinvigorated because suddenly, I wasn’t just writing for some vacuous far off day.

I now had…a deadline.

To be honest, the best thing that has happened to me in the writing field is having a deadline because now, I can pace myself. I don’t have to sit down at the computer night after night, hitting some self imposed word count just to hold to the maxim that writers must write every day. I don’t believe in that. I had to give that up because at some point during the last year, there simply wasn’t enough Jess to go around. I love writing but sometimes, sleep is more important. So getting a deadline and having the ability to really pace myself on my projects helped tremendously.

The other thing that helped a ton was learning to answer a few basic questions before I started writing. I read Alexandra Sokoloff’s Screenwriting Tricks for Writers and it was literally like light bulbs went off. Once I started really thinking through my story before I started writing, I found I still had all the fun of writing a book (I was really worried about killing my sense of discovery that my characters led me on) without the having to throw the entire book out and start over part. Kind of liberating.

The really cool part that changed with The Call wasn’t what anyone might expect. I’ve always believed in my work, that’s never been a problem. But when you’re the only one arguing with New York after HUNDREDS of rejections, sometimes it gets a little daunting. So the coolest thing about The Call was just a little bit of a confidence boost. No, I’m not on the New York Times Bestseller list. I’m not some wildly wealthy self published author. But my book sold after a really, really long journey and people other than my editor like it. So while it’s always been about the book and the characters, having finally reached that elusive goal of sold is kind of a quiet boost that says, yeah, I can do it.

And that, really is the best part. Feeling like the last five years of struggling, of crying in Iraq because my then agent wouldn’t answer an email or a phone call, of getting yet another not right for me rejection. All of those were just stepping stones on the path to yeah, I can do it. I did. So whether or not Because of You takes off and becomes some great novel or if it’s just my first book, it’s going to always keep that special place in my heart of this was The One that did it for me. It was my first sale, the book that wouldn’t quit, the book that made me believe in it when no one else did.

So that’s the big change for me between The End and The Call. What’s your favorite Call story from any author? I’ll be giving away a copy of Because of You to one lucky commenter today!

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About cindygerard

Cindy Gerard is a New York Times best-selling author of action packed romantic suspense novels. Learn more about Cindy at http://www.cindygerard.com
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31 Responses to Please welcome Debut author Jessica Scott!!

  1. Barbara Elness says:

    I can’t think of any one in particular, but I’ve read some pretty hilarious ones. They’re all so special because they mean that the author gets to fulfill their dream and do what they love and I think that’s wonderful.

  2. Nicole mc says:

    I LOVE “The Call” stories, for so many reasons. One, because I’m a writer and, well….duh!? We all dream of it! 🙂 Two, just like Barbara above said, it means someones dreams have come true. There is nothing better than that! I also have to say that I’m completely inspired by you! Writing during deployment! Wow, and I love the idea of Military Romance! Can’t wait to read this! 🙂

  3. Sherry Gloag says:

    Congratulations of The Call after all that hard word and best wisahes with sales of your new book.
    Like you, acceptance of my first novel was my big moment. No, I’m not a best seller, and yes I’ve written and published other books since then, but The Brat, published by The Wild Rose Press took me across the divide of aspiring to published author, and it felt/fels great.

    sherrygloag @ gmail dot com

  4. SueG says:

    My favorite call was being able to call you with an offer 🙂 Congrats – I think I’m as excited about Shane’s story as you are *wink*

  5. readergirl10 says:

    I had two favorite calls. Each time I got the call that I was going to have a baby each time-that was 14 and 15 years ago respectfully and I still tear up when I remember it. Jessica I am realy looking forward to your book,I’ll be first in line to buy it.-Gail

  6. Sue, you’ve definitely pushed me to write a better story. Shane and Jen are better because of your advice and guidance. I’m incredibly fortunate that you pulled me from the slush pile:)

    Call stories are great across the board, aren’t they, ladies? That first book will always be special, I think, for most writers. Thanks for stopping by today!

  7. Helen Brenna says:

    Welcome back, Jessica. And congrats on your first book coming out! Wow. In just 2 weeks. Love the cover, too. He’s gorgeous.

  8. Congrats Jessica! Love the cover. I don’t have a favorite “getting the call” story. I’ve read quite a few that were great.
    My “call” was actually an email that I thought was a rejection. I had to read, re-read, and re-read again to understand that the editor was offering me a contract! LOL

  9. LSUReader says:

    I don’t really have a favorite Call story. I just enjoy reading them, because we readers get to share in each author’s happiness and success. Who doesn’t like that? Thanks for sharing your story with us today.

  10. Welcome, Jessica! This old Air Force brat loves a good military romance, and that cover is a great start.

    It’s been a very long time, but I still get a rush when I remember going to aerobics class–had to drive 50 miles each way (mule team got a little cranky on the hills)–after I got “the call” and singing loud and proud (albeit off key) with every song. With the music blaring, maybe nobody heard me, but for once I didn’t care. I had my eyes on the basketball hoop in the gym–I can still see it–and I kept thinking, Swish!

    Go Jessica!

  11. lois greiman says:

    Thanks for joining us, Jessica. Those hundrrreedds of rejections get a little hard to take, don’t they? Congratulations on hanging in there!! Random House is a great company.

    When the editor from Avon called me about my first book she asked if the manuscript was still available. I said, “Available for what?” Don’t know what I was thinking…to line bird cages maybe?? I guess the rejections may have taken a bit of a toll on my self esteem. 🙂

  12. Minna says:

    I can’t really think of a favorite Call story. There are so many!

  13. It’s funny how many of us have mistaken the call for another rejection. Yeah, it’s tough getting through all the no’s to that one yes, but it does only take one, right?

    By the way, as a note, the book giveaway will be digital. Hope that’s okay!

  14. kris says:

    I am sooooo looking forward to this book! and the cover is totally lickable too!!! 🙂

  15. Anne W says:

    I got the “call” of my own offering me an early read of BECAUSE OF YOU. One word: WOW! I feel certain that romance readers are going to be very happy and satisfied. Not only is it a powerful story but a tender and breathtaking romance. The characters, both lead and secondary, touch your emotions, make you laugh out loud, and steal your heart! As my two-year old granddaughter would say, “You DID it!” Congratulations, Jessica!

  16. Na S. says:

    I like all call stories from authors so there’s no one favorite that comes to mind. I just know there is a lot of happiness and celebrating. Congratulations on your upcoming debut release. I imagine it’s going to be a thrill seeing it in a store aisle or bookstore.

  17. Encouraging post, Jessica! Congratulations on your sale! I look forward to reading it.

  18. PatriciaW says:

    Congratulations, Jessica! Wow, you wrote in Iraq?! I have no idea what that might have been like, but I admire it nonetheless. Makes those times when I kind of just don’t feel like it seem, well, pretty weak. I love the idea that you do military romance without the romantic suspense. Always did love a guy in uniform.

  19. Cathy P says:

    I don’t have a special Call story that I like the best. They are all wonderful. I love to hear about authors excitement and jubilation.

  20. catslady says:

    I heard a call story (and I can’t remember the author) where her child was screaming for her mother about getting to the pottie and I believe she hung up on the caller lol.

    I love firsts – congratulations on your first book!!! And where would us readers be if you wonderful authors didn’t have such perserverance. So thank you!!

  21. What an encouraging story! I’m really looking forward to reading this book, and I’m happy you didn’t give up on it, or on writing. 🙂

  22. kaetrin says:

    I don’t have a favourite “call” story either. It must be one of the most exciting days for an author though! 🙂

    Also, I definitely agree that the cover gods smiled at your for your debut!

  23. Have to say, hanging up on an editor because your kiddo is using the potty? That’s awesome. Thanks for the awesome showing today. I so hope y’all enjoy Shane and Jen. Writing in Iraq was the easy part. All there was to do was work, eat, sleep, go to the gym. No dishes to do, no laundry to wash no house to clean. When you hear folks say it’s easier being deployed, in a way, it kind of is. Not emotionally, mind you, but you get the idea.

  24. MaryC says:

    Congrarulations, Jennifer!

    I’ve been looking forard to reading BECAUSE OF YOU since I heard about it over at Romance at Random.

  25. Laurie G says:

    It sounds like you had a fascinating call story. I believe Jill Shalvis had a crazy call story to go with the rest of her topsy turvy life!

  26. Isabella Voltolini says:

    I don’t have a favourite call story either but I love reading them because they make you more “human”. Authors seem like some creative gods to me and hearing about your struggles and final success at being published let me keep believing in making it someday.
    Congratulations!

  27. donnas says:

    As a non-author I dont have a call story. But thanks for sharing yours because they are some of my favorite things to read about.

  28. I love every single call story I’ve ever heard! They’re all special and so many are funny. Congrats on your sale! 🙂

  29. Isabella, if by creative gods, you mean crazy, then yes. I can’t speak for other writers, but the voices in my head won’t stop until I write them down:)

  30. Amy Gregory says:

    I’m in that spot! Believing in my book, trying to get others to as well. It’s wonderful you have succeeded and I can’t wait to read it! BTW… More importantly,,, thank you for your service!!! Hugs! Amy

  31. Wow, what an awesome inspiring story! You should be proud of yourself Jessica! Persistence pays off. Can’t wait to read Because of You!

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