Posts tagged with: finding courage

Meet 2017 Golden Heart Finalist Jennifer Camiccia!

It’s hard to believe, but the Golden Heart Awards Ceremony will be taking place at RWA Nationals just TWO WEEKS from today!!! And the Ruby blog has just three more Golden Heart Finalists guests before they all fly off to conference! Yay, Rebelles!

Today we’re welcoming 2017 Golden Heart Finalist Jennifer Camiccia, whose manuscript BIRDY’S SONG is nominated for Best Young Adult Romance!

Jennifer has lived in the wilds of Los Angeles where she wrote her first book at the tender age of five, Iran where she developed a fear of camels and a fondness for pistachios, Hawaii with its balmy breezes and memories of learning to swim, and the San Francisco Bay area where she now lives with her four children and husband. She loves to ask: what if…? This question has resulted in her writing short stories and novels where the characters experience heartbreak, find love, and discover the intricacies of life along the way.

In addition to the Golden Heart nomination, her young adult debut BIRDY’S SONG was featured in the Pitch Wars showcase. Two of her other books placed in the Golden Rose contest and Cleveland Rocks contest. She is a member of SCBWI, YARWA, and RWA.

When she’s not writing, running her kids around, volunteering, or working you can find her on twitter at @jencamiccia busily snooping and gathering ideas for future stories.

Here’s a blurb for BIRDY’S SONG:

When seventeen-year-old Emmaline Frazier’s unstable stepfather drives the family car into the ocean with Emmaline and her half-sister, Birdy, still in the backseat, the crash leaves Birdy in a coma, her stepfather dead, and Emmaline with debilitating anxiety. Their flighty mother abandons them to Birdy’s grandmother’s care, and for the first time Emmaline is offered the stability she craves but is afraid to trust.

A singing competition presents Emmaline a chance to win enough to pay for Birdy’s care, and a recording contract to help achieve her own dreams. Except her plan won’t work if she can’t learn to control the heart-wrenching panic attacks she gets every time she sings. Added to that is the sweet anguish of first love. For Emmaline, giving into her feelings for Asher and accepting his love is nearly as scary as singing in front of thousands. Only by trusting she’s worthy of love will Emmaline be able to find her voice and sing for Birdy…and herself.

Okay, Jennifer, that description seriously just gave me chills!! I’d love to read that book!! I know it would appeal to the John Green crowd. Good luck!!

Folks, Jennifer’s here today to talk about how she overcame some of her own fears, and learned to believe in her own voice.

Take it away, Jennifer!



First of all, thank you for having me. This is my first blog post ever. I’m an introvert of the first order, and for a long time I was content to write in a bubble. I was convinced this would be enough for me. It had to be – because the thought of pitching to an agent or joining a critique group was terrifying.

Two years ago, something changed. My youngest son asked me when I was going to sell my book. He’d seen me typing away his whole life, and to him I was a writer. He told all his teachers I was a writer (which always made for many an awkward pause when I told them that I hadn’t, in fact, published anything). He even offered to be my agent. It hit me that I was always encouraging my children to follow their dreams but I wasn’t practicing what I preached.

I wasn’t going to improve or get where I needed to be if I allowed my shyness to stop me. So…I took the plunge and entered a twitter contest. I had zero social media presence (except for Instagram and Snap Chat to spy on my kids), and the whole thing terrified me. I joined RWA and entered a couple of chapter contests. I finaled in both, and this kept me plugging along. I must not suck too bad, right?

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