Friday, December 22, 2017

The Call ...The Call by Jean C. Gordon

In a land long ago and not so far away, there was a young mother who had fairly recently discovered and fallen in love with romance novels. So, what did she do? Being a writer – tax and financial news – by profession, she wrote one, finding that fiction writing is much different than news writing. I’m sure you’ve figured out that young mother was me. My romance author dream was to sell to Silhouette Romance, Harlequin’s old sweet romance line. I sent my story, Bachelor Father off to Silhouette and quickly received a form rejection letter. But a friend in my local writers group told me about another sweet romance publisher, Avalon Books, that provided hardcover books to libraries.

Sorry for the tilt and glare.
It's affixed to the wall.
I submitted Bachelor Father to them and waited and waited and waited, meanwhile starting another sweet romance, Mandy and the Mayor. I submitted the first three chapters of that book to the New Jersey Romance Writers Put Your Heart in Book Contest and finaled in the contemporary romance category.

Off I went to the NJ Romance writers conference, my first romance writers conference, with an appointment to meet with Erin Cartwright, the very new Editorial Director at Avalon Books. I wanted to find out what was going on with Bachelor Father. I won first place in the contest. At my editor appointment, Erin was very interested in Mandy and the Mayor and disappointed that I had only the first three chapters written. Then, I told her I had another submission at Avalon Books. She said she’d look at it as soon as she got back to the office on Monday.

True to her word, Erin called me at my day job Tuesday with an offer. I’d like to say I went home with my news and my family was jumping up and down excited for me. But we’re kind of low key. Their universal reaction was, “you said you were going to sell a romance novel, so we knew you would.”
Fast forward 11 years, during which I continued to try, unsuccessfully, to sell to Silhouette Romance and did sell four more books to Avalon. I had started reading Love Inspired books and had written a proposal for the contemporary line. In an echo of The Call, I had an appointment at the NJ Romance Writers Conference with Love Inspired editor Emily Rodmell where I pitched my work in progress. Not too long afterwards, I received A Call from Melissa Endlich with an offer for my first Love Inspired Romance, Small-Town Sweetheart. While my First Call was exciting, I admit to being more excited about my Echo Call from Love Inspired.


  1. Jean, what a great story. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. I love the new cove of Bachelor Father. Thanks for sharing your story. I love reading the call stories.

  3. Great story, Jean. So glad you got where you wanted to go. Keep setting those goals, and God bless you.


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