Romance Writer Julie Lessman Joins Us Today

*Contest Following the Interview*

Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 2009 ACFW Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long Inspirational, Julie is also the recipient of 13 Romance Writers of America awards and was voted by readers as “Borders Best of 2009 So Far: Your Favorite Fiction” at Borders.com. She resides in Missouri with her husband, daughter, son and daughter-in-law and is the author of The Daughters of Boston series, which includes A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed, and A Passion Denied. You can contact Julie through her website at www.julielessman.com.

Julie, I was so thrilled to be at the ACFW conference in 2009 when you won the Debut Author Award. Congratulations again! Tell us about your journey to becoming an award-winning author.

Thanks, Sharon! For me, the journey began at the age of 12 after reading Gone With the Wind, which is when I first penned 150 pages of what today is my debut novel A Passion Most Pure. Fast forward almost forty years later to July 2001 when I was sitting in a beauty parlor reading a Newsweek magazine cover article that said Christian books, movies and music were on the threshold of exploding. My heart jumped, and something in my spirit said, “It’s time to finish your book.” I started writing A Passion Most Pure the next month, finally selling it to Revell 4-1/2 years and 45 rejections later.

And “Award-winning author”? Gosh, that sounds nice, doesn’t’ it? As a published author, I’ve received several awards, but I have to say that the American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Book of the Year award for A Passion Most Pure left me speechless … literally!

I mean, have you ever had an ice-cream brain freeze? You know, the kind that starts in your head and slides down your body like a bone-chilling avalanche? Well, trust me, I did when the ACFW MC announced the winning book by reading its first few lines. All I heard was “Sisters are …” and cold shock rippled through me from head to toe before I went deaf. I seriously couldn’t hear anything after that—not my Seeker friends screaming at the table behind me nor applause. I stumbled up to the stage the wrong way and winged it through a speech I never wrote because I never expected to win. I told the audience that the last time I was up on the ACFW stage was when I won a booby prize (a lovely basket of books) for the most rejections in a year at the 2005 ACFW Conference. My rejections had climbed to 19 that year but eventually rose to a total of 45. So, all you aspiring writers out there—I hope and pray that inspires you!

I see you have a new book coming out in September 2010 titled A Hope Undaunted, which will start a new series. What is the book about and what are your plans for the series?

YES, and I gotta tell you, Sharon, that A Hope Undaunted is my favorite book so far of all the books I’ve written, not only because Katie O’Connor is such a sassy heroine but because Cluny McGee is hands-down the best hero I have had the privilege to write. Talk about chemistry and head-butting—WHOA, these two have it in spades, and trust me, if readers have as much fun reading it as I had writing it, we’re ALL in for a real good time!

And what an era! The wild and reckless Roaring 20s when the youth cut ties with past tradition to live for today, producing a “flapper mentality” where young women wore scandalous short skirts, cut their hair and indulged in smoking, drinking and promiscuous behavior. Add Prohibition to the mix, and you have a decade rife with flappers, gangsters and suffragettes forging the way in equal rights for women. And not only does Katie O’Connor aspire to further the woman’s cause by becoming a lawyer, but this rebellious era plays a major part in the drama that unfolds for the O’Connors when The Great Depression finally descends.

Here is the blurb for the book:

What happens when the boy she loved to hate … becomes the man she hates to love?

The 1920s are drawing to a close, and feisty Katie O’Connor is the epitome of the new woman—smart and sassy with goals for her future that include the perfect husband and a challenging career in law. Her boyfriend Jack fits all of her criteria for a husband—good-looking, well-connected, wealthy … and eating out of her hand. But when she is forced to spend the summer of 1929 with Cluny McGee, the bane of her childhood existence, Katie comes face to face with a choice. Will she follow her well-laid plans to marry Jack? Or will she fall for the man she swore to despise forever?

The series continues with Book 2, A Heart Revealed, which tells the forbidden love story of Sean O’Connor and Emma Malloy. Book 3, A Faith Restored (working title), will be Steven O’Connor’s story during the exciting era of Prohibition, speakeasies, dance marathons, gangsters, G-men and era criminals like Bonnie & Clyde and John Dillenger.

I love the cover for your book A Passion Most Pure. Where did the story idea come from? Also, when you wrote the book did you envision a series?

Well, the story idea for A Passion Most Pure originally came from that first book I wrote at the age of 12 after reading Gone With the Wind. I knew I wanted an Irish family (like the O’Hara’s in GWTW) and a war (didn’t have the nerve to follow after Margaret Mitchell and go for the Civil War, so I went with WWI), and I wanted to have a sister rivalry like I had with my own sister, Ellie, who was the “Charity” in my life. So I guess you could say the story just flowed from those few components, which makes sense for a “seat-of-the-pants” writer like myself.

As far as the cover, that’s an interesting story in itself. First off, my prayer partners and I prayed for one solid year for an anointed cover, and I think we got it. Then Revell’s artists extraordinaire, Cheryl Van Andel and Dan Thornberg, patiently worked with this very high-maintenance debut author to get the perfect look for Faith and Collin. Originally Faith’s hair was loose and down her back, but I told them it looked too “prairie romance,” so up it went. Then they had a shot of Collin that looked like some scared namby-pamby that literally made me cry. “Don’t you have any other shots of the male model?” I asked, scared to death they would tell me no. “Just one,” Cheryl said, but claimed that everybody at Revell thought he looked too angry in that shot, so they didn’t use it. “Can I see it?” I asked. So she sent it … and VOILA … the rest is history. I LOVED the smoldering look of anger on Collin’s face because he WAS angry! Angry that he wanted Faith and she didn’t want him, and angry that he couldn’t have her. WHEW! Talk about instant chemistry on a cover …

Tell us about your writing regimen. How long does it take you to crank out a book, and under what conditions do you work best?

Pretty boring stuff, I assure you, but I usually rise at about 6:30 or 7:00 AM, eat peach oatmeal and drink coffee while I check a few blogs (The Seekers, for one, at http://seekerville.blogspot.com/), then I listen to worship music on the treadmill for 30 minutes, followed by a few other exercises. Next, it’s Bible reading and prayer time, and then laundry, paperwork, etc. get my attention briefly before I dive into e-mails. When I write (I don’t write everyday like a good author should), I start about 10:30 or 11:00 AM and crank ALL day (usually without lunch) until I hear my husband’s stomach growl (we work in the same tiny office, back to back!), at which time I fix dinner.

How long does it take to crank out a book?

They’re all different, but the fastest was A Passion Redeemed, which I wrote in two months, working part-time at my day job. The rest of the books took me about eight or nine months a piece, and I work best at my computer with hazelnut coffee and a candle burning and bare feet—which go into a little foot warmer in the winter. Oh, and I constantly put on lip gloss and each and every time, I lean back and kiss my husband because he likes my lip gloss too. 🙂

What has been the hardest thing about being a writer?

Without question, the toughest thing has been staying grounded in what God wants for me versus what I want for me. Sure, I would love to be a bestselling author, but what does God want? I am learning (very painfully, I might add) that I must become less so that He can become more. But I will be the first to admit, that as a human being who thrives on the positive feedback of readers, this is a challenge that has taken me by surprise. My love for God has always been deeply passionate, but never have I encountered anything as difficult as this—staying focused on God rather than my books. One of my favorite Scriptures that I try to pray daily is 2nd Corinthians ll:3—“Do not let “my mind be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” Sigh. Easier said than done.

One final question for you, Julie. When you think back on your writing journey, what stands out as a favorite memory?

A favorite memory on my journey to being published was when I got “the call” from my agent, Natasha Kern. I was in the middle of praying with my prayer partners when my cell phone rang. My heart dropped when I heard Natasha’s voice, but when she told me the pub board was unanimous in offering me a contract, I started crying. I repeated everything she said so my prayer partners could hear, and they were screaming and jumping up and down in the background. Believe me, after 45 rejections and another publisher giving me a slice-n-dice rejection the week before, this phone call was balm to my battered soul.

One of my favorite “reader” memories would be the following e-mail, which made me cry because THIS is the reason I write. The reader said: “I just wanted to write to let you know that in all my life, I’ve never before read a book that has inspired me to change my life as much as this one has. The desire to turn my life over to God has never been this strong. Thank you for making such a strong impact on both me and my family.”

Now I ask you—is there any better reason to write??

Thanks, Sharon, for allowing me to connect with your readers today and I pray God’s abundant blessings on them and on you!

 

And now for the contest! Julie has graciously offered to giveaway A Hope Undaunted to one very fortunate blog reader. To enter the drawing, leave a comment and your email address in the following format reader[at]blogsphere[dot]com. The contest winner will be announced June 22nd.

 

 

Related Posts:

Come Visit and Get to Know Author Tricia Goyer

Author Laurie Alice Eakes Joins Us Today

Writing, Faith, and Family with Author Jennifer AlLee

 

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63 Responses

  1. Julie and Sharon,

    What a delightful interview 🙂 Brightened my day. I have always said Julie could write a shopping list that would be fascinating 😉

    Can’t wait for Cluny’s story, either. Loved him from the getgo!

  2. Hey, Sharon and Julie!!! I can’t wait to read your new book, Julie! And Sharon, are you coming to the ACFW Conference in Sept? Would love to see you again!

  3. Don’t enter me! I just had to say how much I love Julie and her books! I cannot wait for A Hope Undaunted! The Daughters of Boston is one of my all time favorite book series!

    Blessings
    Michelle V

  4. I love the cover of A Hope Undaunted. It looks great. Please enter me. katey(dot)1m(at)hotmail(dot)com

    Thanks

  5. MELANIE … likewise, my friend!! Your book, “The Healer’s Apprentice” is at the VERY top of my TBR list, girl, so bring it on!

    MICHELLE V … You always bless me with your kind support — thank you SO much, my friend!

    KATEY … Thanks for stopping by and if you love the sassy look of the cover, just wait to you see the sassy heroine inside … she’s a pistol! 🙂

    Hugs,
    Julie

  6. This was such a fun interview to read. Can’t wait for A Hope Undaunted. If grown up Katie is anything like young Katie, she may end up my favorite O’Connor daughter. Please enter me in the drawing.

    Holly
    oceandreamerfla(at)aol(dot)com

  7. Hi Melanie,
    I would love to see your smiling face again, but unfortunately I won’t be able to make it to the conference this year. 😦 I’ll have to live vicariously through you so be sure to have enough fun for the both of us!

  8. Julie’s books (once she explained a few issues to me) are the best romance books I’ve read. She infuses the Word of God in such a way that it draws me in and is integral to the characters of the books. A great testimony of women sticking to the Word to influence their lives over their own desires for a man. Great job, Julie! Thanks Sharon for sharing her interview with us.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  9. Julie I love reading your books. Thanks for the opportunity to win one. Great interview Sharon.

    Lourdes1174[at]gmai[dot]com

  10. oops left out the 3 in my email address in the previous comment.

    Lourdes11743[at]gmai[dot]com

  11. I LOVE Julie’s books-especially after she came to talk to our book club. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to be entered for the newest book.I have been waiting semi patiently for quite awhile! I am so excited! Can you tell?

  12. Hey Julie,

    Loved all the DB books and although Lizzie is my fave character and likely will be Katie certainly provides some great comedies of errors in the earlier books and I can only imagine what crazy “trouble” she and Cluny will brew up when they’re not at odds. Looking forward to Hope Undaunted and would love to win a copy – forest_rose[at]yahoo[dot]com

  13. Hi Katey,
    You’re officially entered in the contest. Thanks for stopping by today!

  14. Holly, it looks like we’re all excited about Julie’s latest masterpiece, A Hope Undaunted. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and entering the contest.

  15. Hey Julie,

    Wonderful interview as usual. You are so inspiring to us all. I can’t wait for your next book – it sounds great.

    Please enter my name in the draw.

    Continued blessings on you and your writing. I feel so blessed to have found such a wonderful author and mentor as you.

    Sue
    sbmason (at) sympatico (dot) ca

  16. Hi Julie,
    I love how you wrote something at 12, used it in A Passion Most Pure, and now it’s published!
    I also love reading the Seekerville blog, because I am an aspiring author. I struggle with actually finishing a story. I can’t wait to read A Hope Undaunted! The cover is amazing!! Thank you for all you do! Please enter me into the contest for the free copy of A Hope Undaunted!
    Blessings,
    Emmy
    chapinfamily5@verizon.net

  17. Hi Julie!
    OH, I am just DYING to get my hands on A Hope Undaunted!!! But, you knew that already 😉 Gosh, I have been eagerly awaiting and breathlessly anticipating the release of this book for well over a year now- and SOS! I am having some MAJOR Colin withdrawals here! But I’m worried Cluny might bump Colin out of the number one spot for my favorite Lessman-bad-boy-gone-good. Mercy, I can’t believe I just typed that!

    But seriously, once you read Julie’s books (and PLEASE make sure to read them in order) the O’Connor’s become your family- you LOVE them like family and you MISS them like family. And I LOVE how each character’s story and POV never stops just because they’re not “main characters” anymore- though calling them “secondary characters” seems blasphemous somehow, so I’m not sure what to call them exactly. Hmm… I think I like the term “forever characters” it’s more fitting 🙂 Julie intricately and uniquely ties in everyone’s story in every book and we get to grow with them along the way, just like family- who does that?! It’s GENIUS!!

    And Julie, you know I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the cover of APMP!!! I don’t think I’ve ever seen front cover models so perfectly matched to the characters of a book before, EVER!!! Truly an “anointed” cover my friend!

    Thank you so much Sharon for spotlighting Julie and giving us an opportunity to win her new book!! And Julie, thank for writing it 🙂

    Blessings,
    Amanda Stanley
    mrose608{at}cox{dot}net

  18. I’m sorry, I put my email in the wrong format! 🙂
    chapinfamily5(at)verizon(dot)net

  19. Hey Julie! Great interview!!! I loved hearing about the making of the cover of A Passion Most Pure! I so want to read A Hope Undaunted! Please enter me into the drawing!
    cdnovelist(at)aol(dot)com

  20. I would love to read this book!

    edwina[dot]cowgill[at]yahoo[dot]com

  21. Hey, HOLLY, oh you bet the grown up Katie is JUST like the little Katie, only a lot more sophisticated and definitely more sympathetic to the underdog … that is, every ‘underdog’ but Cluny McGee! Talk about a battle of the wills … move over Charity and Mitch! 🙂 Good luck in the contest, Holly.

    Wow, LINDA (desertrose), thanks SO much for the great compliment and I’m glad that whatever I said to you convinced you to keep reading my books! Hopefully, you will think Undaunted is the best one yet because it actually is a bit toned down passion-wise from A Passion Denied, something I decided to do in this series. Thanks for coming by, Linda!

    LOURDES … I just LOVE that name!! Must be my Catholic heritage coming out. 🙂 Thanks SO much for reading my books, and here’s to a win!

    ASHLEY!!! Yes, I can tell you’re excited, which is something I LOVE in a reader, especially when it’s over my books — THANK YOU!! 🙂 Which book club did I meet you at, by the way? I LOVE meeting reader friends in person because it’s so much fun putting a face with a name. Good luck in the contest, sweetie.

    MELISSA!!! Always good to see your name, my friend, but you don’t have to try to win a book if you sign up for Revell’s blog tour, which I thought you had since you review books on your blog. If you would like to sign up for it, please shoot me an e-mail with your home address, okay? The blog tour is going to run in Sept., but the books will be sent out mid-August.

    SUE!!! Thanks SO much for your kind words and ongoing support, my friend. I hope to return the favor after you get the “call,” which hopefully will be SOON! 🙂

    EMMY … A Seeker friend!! Thanks SO much for helping to make Seekerville as special as it is AND for your encouragement and support for my books. I wish you well in your writing endeavors and hopefully some day I will be trying to win one of your books on a blog giveaway! Good luck to you!

    AMANDA … I swear you make me laugh out loud every time I read your adorable notes — you are SOOO cute!! Gosh, I hope we get to meet someday. And good news — not only will you love Cluny as much or more than Collin (a recent winner of an Advanced Reader Copy of Undaunted read it and wrote me that Cluny has now topped Collin as her favorite hero!), but Collin and Faith have a very dramatic sub-story in Undaunted, so you will see plenty of both heroes in this book. 🙂 Thanks again for your incredible support, my friend.

    CECILIA!!! Oh, honey, if there’s anybody I want to read this book, it would be you with the way you write reviews, girl! Thank you for stopping by and good luck in the contest.

    EDWINA … trust me, I would LOVE for you to read this book, too, so let’s hope for win, okay? But if you don’t win here, check my website calendar throughout the summer because I will be having TONS of giveaways, especially in August and September.

    SHARON, thanks again for this fun opportunity!

    Back to revisions on Sean and Emma’s story …

    Hugs,
    Julie

  22. I loved the Daughters of Boston series–such passionate writing. I hope that my own writing can be half as good as Julie’s! I’m excited about the next book coming out. I can’t wait to see the two of them all grown up. I can’t wait for the other stories too.

    Please enter me in the book drawing.

    cynthiakchow (at) earthlink (dot) net

  23. I love Julie’s books. sharonalavy [at] gmail[dot]com

  24. Hey Mrs. Lessman It’s me again:)
    I always love it when I get to read one of your interviews every time your asked a question your answers are always overflowing with your life about the Lord and how he helps you! I just love it! And it amazes me!
    I gotta tell I love Julie Lessman Not only are her books amazing, but every time you read something she says she always helping you spiritually in some way I always come away feeling encouraged in the Lord, and wanting to walk closer with Him:)
    And please add me in the drawing I can’t wait to read her next book! You always pull me into the pages like no one else can;)
    lindseypa89(at)yahoo(dot)com

  25. love Julie Lessman and would love to win her book! my daughter and I LOVE her books! keep writing!
    toddraber(at)verizon(dot)net

  26. Well, look who Sharon’s invited round the place?!

    Wow, friend, you HAVE been busy. What a sizzling cover!

    I am speechless on the hook and story line and…yes, the cover!

    Are you getting ready to teach together?
    Patti

    Rev up all cylinders, girl!

    I will just buy my own copy and get you to J.Hancock it.

    Blessings and love,
    Patti

  27. HI Julie,

    I am so looking forward to reading Katie’s story…thanks for the chance 🙂

    karenk

  28. I am a Seekerville reader and occasional commenter, and Julie is a household name over there, so I feel I “know” her. 😀
    Julie, when you shared about winning debut author of the year, I cried. My eyes are still wet. Thank you for sharing that glimpse of hope when we follow our hearts and God’s path. Bless you and your readers.
    Sharon, thanks for hosting this interview and for introducing so many great writers to your readership.

  29. I love Julie’s books….plan to read all of them! Please enter me for this one! Thanks!!!
    jackie.smithATdishmailDOTnet

  30. Oh so anxious to read Katie’s story. You are truly one of my favorite authors. If I am to be an author myself, then I aspire to write as well as you. 🙂 Thanks so much for staying faithful to God and for keeping him first in your stories. I’d love to win a copy of AHU, but no fears, I’m saving my pennies and I’ll be ready either way. Blessings to you Julie!
    kaupp[at]gridcom[dot]net

  31. Hey, CYNTHIA, thanks SO much for coming by! And, yeah, I do tend to be rather fond of passion — both in my relationship with God AND in my romance, as you can tell from my books. Passion is key, I think, for any author, whether they write Amish fiction or fiction like mine, so as long as you have passion in your own writing, Cynthia, you’ve got a key component for success. I pray God’s abundant blessings on your own writing journey!

    SHARON … And I love hearing that, too, my friend. I appreciate you stopping by to enter the contest, and I wish you the best.

    Gosh, LINDSEY, what an incredibly wonderful thing to say to me, that I encourage you in your walk with the Lord, helping you to want to walk closer to Him! THANK YOU sooo much! That’s really what it’s all about and the MAIN thing that I wanted to do as an author. I think living for God should be as natural as breathing in everything we do, so I really always want to portray that type of spiritual relationships in my books as well, so thank you for letting me know that for you, at least, I have. That’s HUGE!

    JOETTA!!! Girl, it’s so fun to see you here!! And I love you and your daughter as much as you love my books, so there! 🙂

    PATTI!!! You have been on my mind a lot as our teaching partnership draws closer, my friend. I can’t wait to see you, and I’m guessing we need to put our heads together in July to figure out a plan, okay? Can’t wait!

    Hey, KAREN, and I’m looking forward to you reading Katie’s story too, because I am hoping it will win your heart like it’s won mine. And even if the story doesn’t, I KNOW that Cluny will! Sigh.

    Grin, KATHLEEN … “a household name,” eh? Yeah, we have quite a few of those over in Seekerville, as a matter of fact … characters all, and lovely women every single one. And sorry to make you “cry,” regarding my story about debut author of the year, but when we see how much God moves on our behalf, tears are inevitable, aren’t they? Trust me, you’ll be crying some of your own at what He does for you on your own writing journey, my friend. Thanks for coming by!

    Why, thank you, JACKIE, for planning to read all my books. Now I just have to make sure they’re worth reading, each and every one, right? Good luck in the contest, my friend.

    Hugs,
    Julie

  32. REL!!! I don’t know what happened, but your comment showed up MUCH later, but right up at the top of the comments, so that’s why I am just now getting to it. Very weird! Not you, of course, the order of your comment! 🙂

    And I had to laugh at your cute comment that “Julie could write a shopping list that would be fascinating.” VERY nice to know, although my daughter would beg to differ with you. Sometimes I actually draw pictures of packaging so she gets the right thing or I ramble on forever about the color or size I want of an item. Passion (or anality!) is my middle name when it comes to ANYTHING … including grocery lists! 🙂 Thanks for coming by, Rel, I always love seeing your name pop up.

    Hugs,
    Julie

  33. *sigh* if that first line of the cover blurb doesn’t make you want to read A Hope Undaunted you must be dead! I am SO SO SO excited for it as I loved Daughters of Boston so much that it’s my favorite Christian fiction series (at least until I read Winds of Change series)! 😉

    XOXO~ Renee
    steelergirl83(at)gmail(dot)com

  34. I’ve never read Julie, but many of my blog friends have cited her as a favorite…I have A Passion Most Pure on my Kindle and am hoping to read it soon. Please enter me for Julie’s new book…I love the cover!

    julesreffner(at)gmail(dot)com

  35. I was so impressed by Julie’s award last year at conference. I wanted then to read her books, but have had little time to do it. The interview is great and Katie’s story sounds fascinating. I love the name Katie. Thanks for this opportunity.

  36. RENEE!!! Your “favorite Christian fiction series”???? Gosh, I’m not sure I knew that, but that sure blesses the socks off me, girl, so THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!!!

    And, grin … I love your statement that “if that first line of the cover blurb doesn’t make you want to read A Hope Undaunted you must be dead!” because I really had to go to bat for that first line. You see, I actually wrote it, which is unusual because the publisher usually handles the blurb and Revell had something else in mind. So I am SO thrilled that they let me keep it because I think it’s the perfect foreshadow for all the head-butting, heart breaking in store for these two bullheads. Revell did write the rest of the blurb, which is outstanding, I think. They do really good work! Thanks, sweetie, for being SUCH a great support to me and a good friend.

    WOW, JULIA, thanks for telling me that I am a “favorite” of “many” of your blog friends — that tickles me. NOW … we just have to convince you, right??? I am SO glad you are starting with A Passion Most Pure because this really is a series that is best read in order to get the most out of a number of big surprises. If you like the book after you read it, Julia, let me know, okay? If you don’t, uh, well, never mind … 🙂

    Hey, MARTHA, thanks for dropping in to enter the contest! And I have to admit, I was “impressed” by the award last year too … impressed that God is SO darn good to us!!! And thanks, Martha, for your interest in my books, but a word of warning, if I may. PLEASE start with A Passion Most Pure first because as I said above, this is one series you will want to read in order, and keep in mind that A Hope Undaunted is basically a continuation of the O’Connor saga. So if you win this contest, I hope you will let me send you A Passion Most Pure instead of Undaunted, okay? And I love the name “Katie,” too, because it is the name of one of my favorite sisters.

    Hugs,
    Julie

  37. I love the Passion series–read two out of three–and can’t wait for the Undaunted series. Most I like Julie’s spirit, the way she is passionate about God, about writing what God gives her despite criticism, and about sharing what she’s learned on her journey.

    pwriter1 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  38. I don’t know if I can handle 45 rejections! You’ve insprired me to get my novel polished a bit and put it out there again. Thanks for sharing your story.

  39. Hi Sharon & Julie –

    Great interview! I’ve been getting a bit glum over the rejections. Thanks for the encouragement.

    Please enter me in the drawing. I’ve been looking forward to this book for a year. Please. Pick. Me. 🙂

    susanjreinhardt (at) gmail (dot) com

    Blessings,
    Susan

  40. This was an interesting (and long!) interview. Thanks to both of you for this inspiring post. I have not read Julie’s books yet, but have three on my wish list at Amazon. God bless you both! Carrie

  41. Melinda,
    I think I need thicker skin because 45 rejections would be more than my little heart could handle. LOL

  42. Hey, PATRICIA!! Thanks for stopping by, and yeah, I’m a tough old bird by this time regarding criticism, so it mostly rolls off my back by now. I think the turning point was when God told me point blank, “Julie, you’ve been praying for my direction, guidance and anointing for six years now regarding your writing, not only with your prayer partners, but on your own. Don’t you think I would have reined you in by now if you weren’t doing my will???” MAN, what a revelation that was! So now I just keep my eyes on Him and write the passion He wants me to write … both spiritual and romantic. Good luck in the contest, Patricia!

    MELINDA … trust me, I wouldn’t have thought I could handle it either, but the good news is that they come one at a time, not in one big number like you read in my testimony. And God gets you through every single one. Hands on the keyboard and eyes on Him … one day at a time! Blessings on your writing journey and may your R’s be under 45! 🙂

    SUSAN!!! Wow, it’s SO good to see you here, my friend! How are you doing? I guess the R’s make you think “not so well,” but the truth is that every single one is a step toward publication with God leading the way. You’ll get there, girl, I will bet on it.

    CARRIE … Uh, yeah, “long” is my middle name, you will soon discover if you read my books. They are all around 500 pages, but people tell me they read like fast like a skinny book, so hopefully you won’t let the length run you off. And be sure to start with A Passion Most Pure if you do read them, okay? Good luck in the contest, and if you win, I will send you APMP if you want.

    SHARON … Like I told Melinda, try to think of them as one at a time, not 45 at one fell swoop. Although to be honest, whenever I saw that #10 self-addressed envelope in my mailbox, it carried the punch of 45 Rs, guaranteed!! 🙂

    Hugs,
    Julie

  43. Hahaha it doesn’t surprise me that you wrote the first line of that blurb that’s probably why I though it was sooo good!

  44. Julie,

    From the very beginning I have been one of your biggest fans. You have such an amazing talent writing your stories, each and every one has captured me and taken me along for the ride like no other writer has done. I am SO excited this book is going to tell Katie’s story because I’m a huge fan of the O’Connors and didn’t want it all to end with the Daughter of Boston series!

    Would LOVE a copy of a Hope Undaunted 🙂 Sign me up!

    With Love,
    Marissa

    rissa(dot)young(at)gmail(dot)com

  45. Hey, RENEE, actually Revell is pretty darn good at the jacket blurbs, but I had that line in my head because I use it in the book. But thank you, sweetie … I can ALWAYS count on your for support!

    WOW, MARISSA, what a lift to my day, girl!! THANK YOU!! To say that “each and every one has captured me and taken me along for the ride like no other writer has done” is HUGE to me because each book I write is a roller-coaster for me as I write, so I definitely want my readers to “go along for the ride,” feeling what I’m feeling, crying when I’m crying. Trust me, I’m just a big as mess at my computer as you may be tearing up while reading, so that’s good to hear! And if you are a huge fan of the O’Connors, you are going to LOVE Undaunted because there is more of the family in this book than just about any other and as I have said before, this is MY favorite of all the books I’ve written. Hope I’m not building it up for a let-down, but I guess time will tell. Anyway, thanks again, Marissa, for your very kind words and for stopping by. Good luck, sweetie!

    Hugs,
    Julie

  46. I am DYING to read A Hope Undaunted!!! I am listening to Julie right now on blog talk radio and it has me all anxious to read her latest book. 😀

    caseymh18(at)gmail(dot)com

  47. A Hope Undaunted looks like another great book from Julie! I enjoyed the interview!

    Blessings,
    Carla
    http://writingtodistraction.blogspot.com

    carlagade [at] gmail [dot] com

  48. CASEY!!! I hope I didn’t sound like a dork on the radio! I’ve only done a handful of radio interviews, and I talk REAL fast, so I’m not sure how I come across (ditzy, I’m guessing!). Anyway, thanks for listening, and be sure to go back on the website to leave a comment because then you will be in the contest to win a signed copy of A Hope Undaunted, and you don’t have to have listened to the interview like it said on my website … I was wrong! The link is on my website for anyone who wants to leave a comment and enter the contest.

    Hugs,
    Julie

  49. Dear Julie,
    I just wanted to let you know that your books are absolutey, without a doubt AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!! You have totally inspired me in so many ways!!!!!!!!!! The romance was EXACTLY what I’ve always been dying to read AND live, and the relationships with God in your books are amazing and inspirational. I couldn’t put your books down and I am recommending you toall my friends!!!!!!
    I want to be an author myself(any suggestions?) and after reading your intervew you don’t know how much better it made me feel to know that you were rejected 45 times and yet made it and went on to win awards! I’m always so scared to be rejected…..I’ll have to remember this and remember that God will lead me through it if it is His will! I hope one day I’m half as good of a author as you!
    Sign me up for the contest, I’m DYING to read A Hope Undaunted and would LOVE it if i was signed by one of my favorite authors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My email is ashleybug12(at)hotmail(dot)com!
    Much love and adoration,
    Ashley

  50. OMIGOSH, ASHLEY … a girl after my own heart who loves ellipses!!!! 🙂 WOW, girl … thank you SOOO much for your kind words and encouragement — as you will discover some day when you are published (and it’s coming, I pray!), new authors need all the encouragement they can get!!

    And, YES, I happen to have a whole list of things that I did to get published, so I will e-mail this list to you, okay?

    Thanks again, sweetie, for starting my day off with a bang!!!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

  51. I love, love, LOVED Julie’s first two books and can’t wait to read this one.

    Ann Lee Miller

  52. Hey, Ann!!! And honey, I can’t wait to read YOUR book, girl, as soon as it is published, so get a move on, you hear?? I’m expecting to get an e-mail from you any day on this, now … okay???

    In the meantime, thanks for your support, Ann — I tend to fully reciprocate when it’s time.

    Hugs,
    Julie

  53. Wow…the chance to fall in love with the bane of your childhood? Does that only happen in books? I still know the bane of my childhood and boy, am I glad I did not marry him!!! = ) Looking forward to reading this book!
    martha(at)lclink(dot)com

  54. Wonderful intervierw. “A Hope Undaunted” looks wonderful. I cannot wait to read it.

    ~Steph
    soklad@hotmail.com

  55. Whoops, CARLA … don’t know how I missed you, girl, but I did — SO sorry! Thanks for the sweet comment AND for your support of Seekerville! It’s friends like you who make that site so very special.

    MARTHA … grin, I know what you mean! Can’t imagine falling for the bane of my childhood existence, either, but this IS romance, after all. You know, “Calgon, take me away”? So, YES, Katie falls for the bane of her existence and fights it ALL the way … 🙂

    STEPH, thanks SO much! Only two months to go till my favorite book (of all five that I have written, the fifth being Sean and Emma’s story that I just finished) hits the shelves … believe me, I can’t wait either!! 🙂

    Hugs,
    Julie

  56. Julie,

    I’m so excited to see that you have another book coming out. I loved your Daughters of Boston series.

    fictionfan1[at]cox[dot]net

  57. I like Julie’s books. Thanks for offering this one.
    wsmarple[at]gmail[dot]com

  58. VICKIE!!!! It is SO good to see you here, my friend! I am dying to read The Anonymous Bride, too, so maybe we can trade??? Thanks so much for stopping by!

    Hey, WENDY, I really appreciate your support, and I wish you the best in this contest!

    Hugs,
    Julie

  59. Julie,
    Thank you so much for being my guest this week. I’ve so enjoyed having you and I hope you’ll visit again soon.

    Blessings, dear one.

    Sharon

  60. Looks like I’m finding this rather late in the game but at least I didn’t miss it entirely – LOL. My signed copies of Daughters of Boston will live proudly on my keeper shelf except for the times I shake them free of their accumulated dust to reread them or show them off to reader friends. In the meantime I would love a chance to acquire a copy of Hope Undaunted from Winds of Change. I suspect Katie & Cluny’s story will start the series off with a huge bang and continue the fireworks to an extremely dynamic and dramatic finale to their relationship. Subsequent books like the Daughters of Boston books will include significant roles for the rest of the O’Connors and their “hero’s” just as this book will allow readers to reconnect with favorite players from the first series despite Katie and Cluny being central to this volume and “stealing” the stage from her sisters and brothers. Anyways my email is forest_rose [at] yahoo [dot] com .

    Julie thanks for sharing your fabulous stories with us readers, being a great friend to us, and for all your fun stories (books and otherwise) as well as the contests offering a chance to win your books.

    Sharon thanks for inviting Julie to share with us via your blog and questions about her as a writer as well as hosting this chance of winning her book.

  61. SHARON, thank YOU for being kind enough to extend the invitation to me, my friend, and I look forward to seeing you at ACFW this year, I hope.

    This was fun, and let me know if you want to pick the winner or if you want me to, okay?

    Have a blessed weekend!

    Hugs,
    Julie

  62. MELISSA, it’s SO great to see you here, and trust me, my friend, I would LOVE to get A Hope Undaunted in your hands ASAP because you are one of my favorite reviewers. And thank YOU for your incredible support and kindness to this newbie author.

    Hugs and happy weekend!

    Julie

  63. Julie,
    I’d love it if you picked the winner. Could you email me the name of the person you pick so that I can post a blog announcement on Tuesday? Thanks again, my dear.

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