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Posts tagged with: persistence

Golden Heart Finalist Gwynne Jackson: “Yet She Persisted!”

Today I’m delighted to introduce 2018 Golden Heart Finalist Gwynne Jackson, another of the fabulous Persisters. She’s been nominated in the Best Contemporary Romance Category for her manuscript DUET.

I was first ‘introduced’ to Gwynne when I was named as her GH mentor through THE GOLDEN NETWORK, an RWA chapter of past Golden Heart finalists. After a few emails, her talent, confidence, and generous spirit were quickly apparent, and my role morphed from mentor to cheerleader and fan.

Gwynne was born in New York City and raised in Connecticut. After earning a degree in English Literature, she went on to a promising career in fast food, advertising, educational support, typesetting, and technology, where she wrote plenty of How-To manuals and tested buggy code before giving it all up for massage therapy. Along the way, she spent far too many hours of her life hauling amps and equipment from vans and trucks to rock venue stages large and small, where she also mixed sound and lights.

These days she lives in the Seattle area with her family and pets. Her focus is primarily on writing contemporary rock & roll romance from the inside out, featuring strong, outspoken heroines who know what they want and aren’t afraid to reach for it. She does her best to bust at least a few tropes per book. Banter is her guilty pleasure. When she’s not writing, she’s either taking photographs, doing artwork of some kind, or critiquing manuscripts for writing partners.

Her nominated manuscript DUET is a look at life behind the scenes on the road with a major rock tour, where appearances are deceptive, privacy is nonexistent, no one is who or what they seem, and taking what doesn’t belong to you is par for the course.

Here’s a blurb:

Whatever it takes to succeed is guitarist Lila’s mantra. When her band is invited to fill in as opening act for Johnny Blue and the Lightning Bolts, they leap headfirst. There’s only one problem: the Bolts’ frontman is a head-up-his-ass sellout pop star with zero integrity. The rest of the musical world might be worshiping at his feet, but hell’s going to have to freeze over twice before Lila will ever stoop to that level.

The only thing openly bisexual rock star Johnny ever wanted to be was everything. What he never anticipated was that being everything would mean losing the people most important to him. The hole that puts in his heart shuts him down, leaving him to consider the unthinkable: success in music might not be the life goal he’s truly looking for.

 When Lila approaches Johnny and asks for private lessons in Rock Star 101, neither of them expects the rhythm of their own personal song to turn into something beautiful…and Johnny certainly doesn’t expect Lila to steal his best lyrics right out from under him.

Trope busting, indeed! I can’t wait to get my hands on this unique perspective of the world of rock rooted in Gwynne’s real-life experiences.

As with most of us, her pursuit of a writing career has been filled with twists and turns, ups and downs, and even a few potholes, putting her persistence to the test. In her own words, she’s going to fill us on the challenges she’s faced and how she persevered.

Tell us all about it, Gwynne:

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YET SHE PERSISTED

We writers are a notoriously fractious bunch. Everyone’s got their own opinion on the best way to write (plotter! no, pantser!) or the best time of day for creativity (first thing in the morning! no, deep into the night!). We like to wax poetic about the best subgenre of romance, or about writing styles, or about favorite authors. But one thing we all seem to be able to agree on is that to make it in this business, you have to stick with it. You have to be persistent.

The first time I saw a writer friend declare publicly that she was quitting writing forever, I panicked. How could someone do that? I understand getting to a point where you think you don’t have it in you, or you feel like a giant imposter, or you’ve received your fifteenth rejection letter that week and wonder what the point is in continuing. But to see someone else make a public announcement about broke my heart. My first reaction was no, no, no, you can’t quit writing forever! Because what if you get a plot bunny tomorrow? Do you just cast it aside and say sorry, too bad, I’m not a writer anymore? Inconceivable.

Meet 2016 Golden Heart Finalist Carrie Nichols!!

 Today we’re welcoming 2016 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist and 2015 Maggie Award winning author Carrie Nichols, whose manuscript RESCUING RILEY has been nominated for best Short Contemporary Romance.

Carrie is a hardy New Englander transplanted to the deep South, where two inches of snow can bring a city like Atlanta to its knees. She loves to travel, is addicted to British crime dramas and knows a Seinfeld quote appropriate for every occasion. Carrie’s characters, much like her family, often ignore the wisdom and guidance she lovingly offers.

Here’s a bit about RESCUING RILEY:

On mandatory medical leave, Marine Corporal Riley Cooper returns to his childhood haven, Loon Lake. All his fond memories revolved around summers here with his grandmother and the McBride family next door. All his fantasies involve Meg McBride – the girl next door, his best friend’s sister – and their one night of passion before he was deployed.

Megan McBride has returned to Loon Lake, too. Though not for the summer. She’s a permanent resident, looking to open a new chapter of her life. She has a lot to consider, how to make ends meet in the small community, where she wants to raise her daughter, Fiona, how to deal with life as a single mother, and how to finally give up on Riley Cooper.

Soon Riley has a lot more to deal with than his injuries. Meg is more beautiful than ever and angrier than he ever expected. Every time he tries to help her, he ends up making things worse. And then he meets her daughter – a little girl with her hair and his eyes. How is he ever going to prove to Meg that he deserves a second chance?

“How to finally give up on Riley Cooper”….what a line!! Sigh–small town, wounded hero, secret baby, second chances!! Carrie’s got us hooked already!!

And she’s here today with her own story about hope and persistence that will ring true for (and inspire) many writers.

Take it away, Carrie!!

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Carrie NicholsThe Long and Winding Road that Led to the GH Final

I have wanted to be a writer from the moment I picked up a crayon. The road to my GH Final has been long, slow process. As a newlywed, I wrote a romance and sent it off to Harlequin. Because I’ve been married since the Dark Ages, I had to box up my printed pages (printed on 25 lb bond, mind you) schlep it to the post office, purchase something called International Reply Coupons—the equivalent of a SASE so the editor could write back to tell me how my story made her weep with joy. Months passed before I received a form rejection from Toronto. But wait! There was a hand written note from an editor (I still remember her name was Helen something) that said “You’re a good writer but need to find your voice.” I had no idea what she meant, and that story went under the bed with several others.

The Latest Comments

  • Lydia Stevens: I think where I am struggling with this the most is because Atlantis is typically a lost city, a...
  • Lydia Stevens: I wrote mine two ways, one I’ve had stuck in my head for my pitch on Saturday at a conference...
  • Elizabeth Langston: This is so true! Editors are like readers, they have subgenres and tropes they love–and...
  • Darynda Jones: I have an INCREDIBLE developmental editor who looks over my work before I send it to my publisher....
  • Lydia Stevens: Hi Autumn! Thanks for the post. I love my editor. She is amazing. I would also like to point out, it...

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