Celebrating with Lisa Jordan: She Sold!

Lisa Jordan writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction, edits one e-zine, and is a columnist for another. She lives in Pennsylvania with her real-life hero hubby of almost 22 years, two sons, 17 and 20, and assorted dust bunnies.

Lisa is a SAHWAHM—stay-at-home-work-at-home-mom—who loves kids. She owns and operates a state-registered family childcare business, caring for six children ages two to five. Working from home allows her to dictate her own schedule. She writes during nap times and is able to take time off to attend writing conferences, such as the one sponsored by the American Christian Fiction Writers, and My Book Therapy retreats.

When not caring for her young charges, caring for her family, or hanging out with her characters, Lisa enjoys crafting. She’s addicted to the TV show, NCIS, which she uses as a great study in characterization. Her second favorite place in the world is Sanibel Island, Florida, where her family vacations every other year. Her favorite place is her hometown, where she enjoys spending time with her family and hanging out with her Coffee Girls.

•Lisa, congratulations once again on your First Sale! What wonderful news.

When I interviewed you in June 2010, our awesome agent, Rachelle Gardner, had sent your proposal to Steeple Hill. Ten months went by before she called with the BIG news.

What did you learn about yourself while you waited?

I’m not a patient person. However, this wait forced me to rely on God for something that was beyond my control. He spoke to me in a way that is difficult to put into words, but used different people to influence me in a positive way. A friend posted a quote in a Monday night chat that convicted me to make some room on my plate. After prayerful consideration, I gave up some responsibilities. I didn’t take this lightly, but had much peace for doing God’s will. Two days later, Rachelle called with the incredible news.

•And then you received The Call—but you were surrounded by your young charges. Many of us read your touching Call Story on your blog, but for those who haven’t, would you summarize it here?

My daycare children had woken up from their naps and needed snack. It’s the second busiest time of my day. While helping to get hands washed, my cell phone rang. I saw Rachelle’s number on the screen and my heart leaped. I said, “Hello?” She said, “Lisa, today is your day.” I slumped against the bookcase in my dining room and burst into tears. She talked, and I sobbed. My little charges were upset to see me crying, and my poor hubby thought something tragic had happened. I managed to tell him my book sold.

Rachelle, bless her ever-patient heart, answered my tearful questions and suggested I call her back when things quieted down. She said I could share with family and close friends, but I couldn’t go public. I called my mom, called my mentor, and shared with my close writing support group.

•You got The Call, and life as you knew it changed. I know one’s plate can suddenly become very full as she embarks on her new career as a published author, especially one whose book is coming out in less than a year. Please share with us what’s going on now, what you’ve been learning, and how you’re adjusting to life as a contracted author?

I received a welcome letter from Melissa Endlich, my new editor at Love Inspired, along with my revision notes. We set a phone date. She shared her thoughts about my novel, which touched my heart, talked about my revision notes, and answered questions I had about the process.

Because my novel comes out in November, I had a quicker timetable. I submitted my first round of revisions, and then submitted cover art information—different scenes, pertinent objects within the novel, and character information. My novel goes to the copyeditor in April, so then I’ll have another round of revisions, I’m sure.

As for what I’m learning now—basically God continues to leave me breathless with the doors of opportunity He is opening. He’s teaching me to find joy in every aspect of the journey, even the waiting. He’s put people in my path to continually encourage me. Even though I’ve wanted to be a published author since I was sixteen, I knew God had a plan and a purpose for my life, but it had to be in His timing.

You know, life as a contracted author is pretty much the same as one who was seeking publication. I still have dishes to do, noses to wipe, and a family to feed … well, most of the time. 🙂 Internally, I feel a sense of accomplishment. I’m high-fiving God—We did it. I couldn’t have gotten this far without Him. As cliché as this may sound, I understand this is not the end of a very long journey, but the beginning of a new one.

•Each author’s journey to publication is different. What are some steps you took that you believe helped make this big moment happen? What advice would you give to those eager to make their First Sale?

Well, you have to want it. You have to tap into that deep desire that keeps you writing even when life throws challenges your way and the word flow stops.

Secondly, study the craft, whether it’s through writing books or analyzing your favorite novels. Find a mentor whom you can trust to encourage you and tell you what isn’t working. Consider one or two critique partners who are at similar levels and can help take your writing deeper.

And finally, and most importantly, believe in yourself and the power of God’s plan for your life. And don’t rush trying to get published. Take time to savor every aspect of the journey.

For me, my writing shifted to a deeper level when I became involved with My Book Therapy. Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck have a heart for helping writers. Lakeside Reunion, previously named Draw Me Close, took second place in the 2009 ACFW Genesis contest. That same year, it attracted the attention of Tina James, editor at Love Inspired, and Rachelle Gardner, literary agent with WordServe Literary. I believe the brainstorming help I received from Susie and Rachel and their workshops and retreats helped me to take my writing to a deeper level, which led to my representation with Rachelle and subsequent book sale with Love Inspired.

Lisa’s Debut Novel

•Please tell us about Lakeside Reunion.

Is there really such thing as a second chance?

Lindsey Porter escaped her hometown of Shelby Lake with a broken heart, and said good-bye to her relationship with God at the same time. But family obligation calls her back home, and the former fiancé who dumped her is the first person she sees after crossing the county line. Is there room in her heart for forgiveness? Lindsey hopes for a second chance at love, but the obstacles in her way might just be too great to overcome.

Questions for Lisa

•Lisa it’s been wonderful having you back at Romance Writers on the Journey to share your wonderful news with us.

I invite your visitors to ask you any questions they have about your sale, your debut novel, and what life is like after receiving that long-awaited contract offer. And, of course, feel free to squee with Lisa all you’d like.

Learn More About Lisa

Visit her website ~ www.lisajordanbooks.com

Visit her personal blog ~ www.lisajordanbooks.blogspot.com

Friend Her on Facebook ~ Lisa Jordan

Follow her on Twitter ~ lisajordan

About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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18 Responses to Celebrating with Lisa Jordan: She Sold!

  1. Sherrinda says:

    Congratulations, Lisa! I cannot imagine being able to write with a life full of little ones. You must be an amazing organizer and disciplined person. Kuddos to you!

    How many books do you have under your belt? Will you try to get any of those published, or do you plan on writing new ones?

  2. Lisa Jordan says:

    Sherrinda, thanks! I giggled over your organized comment…umm, not as well as I’d like to be. To the left of my laptop, I have a stack of paperwork to be filed, and I won’t mention the stack in my closet. I am organized to a point, and then the paperwork takes over and I have to take time to put it away. I need to get better at filing on a regular basis.

    My level of discipline may be different than others, but it works for me. I work well with a deadline, so that helps motivate me to stay focused. My little darlings are gone by 4:30, so after dinner, I can sit at my desk or in my comfy chair and write. Our boys are older, so they don’t need me as much. So, this is a good time in my life to write.

    Lakeside Reunion is the first in a series of six books that are all connected by my fictional community of Shelby Lake. I have the rough drafts written of two other books, two more books loosely plotted, and I’m polishing the second book I hope to pitch to Love Inspired next month.

  3. Lisa, yours is a most fascinating story. You live the life of a wife, mother, care-giver and author with grace, if not organization. Your story reminds those of us still waiting for those magical moments, to stay the course and not give up on ourselves.

    Thank you Keli, for bringing us another moment and thank you Lisa for reminding us the important aspect of our work. Congratulations and great writing to you 🙂

  4. Lisa, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!! Wow, I’m so excited for you. What a great story about your call and your trust in God while you waited. Best wishes and have fun in your new career.

    • Lisa Jordan says:

      Thanks, Sandra!! I’m very excited too. The Seekers had a party for me in the comments of Debby’s post yesterday. I’m thankful for friends who continue to encourage when discouragement can wear you down.

  5. Beth Vogt says:

    Following your celebration around the Internet!! So happy for you, friend!!
    Question: Do all your upcoming novels have a bit of real life woven into them?

    • Lisa Jordan says:

      Beth, I’m so happy to have friends like you to share in my joy!! And to answer your question, yes, in some form, all of my novels have bits of real life in them, whether it’s part of the plot, a character struggle, or a faith element. Drawing from real life helps me to create three-dimensional characters (I hope!) that will tug on readers’ hearts.

  6. I can’t imagine anyone as busy as you are, with a daycare of children and your own family to serve, finding time to write and pursue publication of a novel. Congratulations! Blessings to you, Lisa…

    • Lisa Jordan says:

      Carol, I’m not denying I’m busy, but I guess I’ve gotten into a routine that works amongst all the craziness. 🙂 Thank you for your sweet words!

  7. LoRee Peery says:

    Lisa, congratulations! I know you won’t be idle while you wait for release. When I was young I was a licensed day-care provider, but only lasted a couple years. What you do has a life-long effect. Take care, and with a series like you describe, you’ll be following your dream for quite some time.

  8. Congratulations, Lisa!!!!

  9. Jill W says:

    Great interview, Keli and CONGRATS to you, Lisa! Thanks for sharing your incredible journey toward publication. I’m a huge fan of the Love Inspired Series, so I’ll be first in line to purchase your book!

  10. Congratulations, Lisa!

    What a story! TEN months? Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I can’t wait to pick up the book when it comes out!

  11. It’s wonderful to hear how your journey unfolded, Lisa. Trusting in God, his leading and his timing is what sustains us along the way. Your timing was obviously right. Congratulations on your sale. 🙂

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