Monday, 8 November 2010

My debut novel is going to be PUBLISHED!!!

I'm so excited!!! Yesterday I got news that Lucky Press LLC want to publish my debut novel! I am so thrilled, excited, and oh my God I'm probably still in shock because I really just can't believe this is finally happening to me!
Janice Phelps Williams, publisher of Lucky Press LLC, and I have been sending emails backward and forward now for about a month. But I thought my chance to be published by them ended last Friday when she sent me letter saying that she was NOT going to publish my book. She didn't think it represented me as the writer I portray myself to be online. And she was right. You see, I have grown as a writer so much since finishing Dead in The Corner of My Bedroom (this title is going to change by the way, which I will get your imput on tomorrow!), and she didn't think it would be wise to publish it as it was.
Despite thinking that the plot was good and well-structured, she thought the meat of the story lacked the heart and soul that I've put into other writing she's read online. She said it basically read like chick lit, when she was expecting it to be more literary. Not that chick lit is a bad genre, it's not, it's awesome, it's fun, it's entertaining, and I love reading it now and again, but it is just not a genre Lucky Press seek to publish. Nor is it really my style. I know it's not my style. Why did I write the novel like that then? I'll get to that in a minute.

But Janice believed in me, and so sent me some feedback with the 'not yet, not now' verdict on Friday night, But she also offered me the opportunity to send her revisions and/or any other work for consideration at any time. I felt miserable. Shoved pizza down my throat, watched a stupid romantic comedy. Tossed and turned in bed, stared at the ceiling for a while, but eventually asked myself: 'Do I really want to publish this book as it is when it doesn't represent who I am anymore?' and the answer was a definite, 'No.'

When I went to sleep, I had a dream about how I could revise the story. I woke up in a panic and immediately sent Janice an email, asking if she would be willing to read my revised first chapter and give me another chance to prove myself. I revised it immediately and in a fit of frenzy and tears in 5 hours on Saturday. I proofed it, sent it off, and bit my nails until I woke up the next morning (yesterday) with a big 'YES, I want to publish your book!' in my inbox! What???!!!????? (See, hard work pays off in the end!)

So, now I have a tough schedule of revisions ahead of me. But I know I can do it. I have the drive and passion to pull this off. And it's not going to be so difficult because the plot is staying exactly how it is. All I have to do is work my magic and beautify my prose. I can't wait to get stuck into this book again and give it the heart that it deserves.

Now, the reason it read like chick lit was because I listened to some advice from a lit consultancy that suggested I focus on making it more commercial. I didn't listen to my gut, which kept telling me that I'm not a commercial fiction writer, I'm a literary writer, and I rewrote the book in a commercial style. MY BIG BAD. But I've learned my lesson now, and I found a wonderful publisher who believes in me and trusts me to make the necessary revisions to make my novel shine.

Thank you, Janice! You have a heart of gold and you've made my ... life! :o)

PS: If you'd like to help me choose a new title, please drop by tomorrow! :o)

Have a great day! SQEEEE!!!!!

129 comments:

  1. Awesome news! A huge congrats to you!

    Sounds like you have you work cut out for you! Go go go!
    I'm confident you'll rock it like it's the stone age! ; j

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  2. Congratulations! I'm so happy for you. From your posts here and on FB, I could feel your momentum. I'm glad your hard work paid off.

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  3. Heart U!!! So freaking excited!

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  4. YAAAAAAAAAYY! A big congratulations to you! Sending balloons your way!

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  5. Yay!!!! SOOO HAPPY for you!!!! Proof that dreams come true. xoxo

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  6. Yay Jessica!!! I'm so very happy for you. And the revisions might be tough work, but I think it'll be made a little easier knowing (for sure) there is a published book waiting on the other end. Congrats, girlie, you totally deserve it!!

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  7. Hi,

    Absolutely Fab news: well done for kicking your own butt and not letting the downside of the first NO keep you on the downside.

    Haul out the balloons, pour the champagne and have a party. ;)

    best
    F

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  9. Jessica, I can't tell you how excited I am for you!

    Wow! If it was me, I'd be a headcase for days/weeks/months!

    Revel in your glory. You've certainly deserved it :)

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  10. Congratulations! The news every writer dreams to hear! :)

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  11. Congratulations, Jessica! That's fantastic news!!!

    And don't worry -- revisions are part of the publishing process. Every author has to revise. You'll get it done and probably be thrilled with the results!

    Hurray!

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  12. Fantastic! All the best!!! :)

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  13. Wow this is so exciting!! I would so love a teeny slice of that pie!! Congratulations and I hope everything goes incredibly well for you from hereon in. xx

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  14. That's terrific and what a lesson learned! It's important to be true to ourselves and not force our writing for the market! Congrats! And yes, as we grow as a writer our writing changes!

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  15. CONGRATULATIONS! That's amazing news! :D

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  16. Yay! I am sooooooo excited for you! That is amazing news! Congrats!

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  17. Soooooooo exciting!!!!!! Congratulations!!!!

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  18. I'm beyond ecstatic for you, Jessica! Not only have you found a home for your debut novel and can forever refer to yourself as a PUBLISHED NOVELIST -- OMG how awesome!!!! -- but you have connected with a publisher who "gets" you, who is willing to invest her energy in ensuring your work reaches its highest potential. There is nothing more glorious than that!

    So happy to be celebrating this good news with you!

    ((hugs)) Nicole

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  19. OMG I'm so excited for you! Now I think I need to do a happy dance for you. :)

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  20. Super-duper news!!!! Congratulations, I have faith this will be a great success.

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  21. A BIG HUGE GIGANTIC CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU!!!

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  22. FANTABULOUS news! I'm soooo happy for you!!!!! What a roller coaster of a weekend you had!

    ***doin' happy dance for you***

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  23. Sweet! How great and giddy you must be feeling right now. Good for you!

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  24. I'm so seriously proud and excited for you!!! I had faith that someone would love your book and Janice sounds perfect!

    I'm glad that even though you made a mistake on commercial fiction your gut corrected everything and you're back to writing exactly what you were meant to write!

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  25. Oh, wow. That is the most amazing news. Congratulations!!! Make sure you savour every second of it.

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  26. I wanted to stop by and tell you CONGRATULATIONS! on your release! Enjoy ALL the moments!

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  27. So. Friggin. Excited. OMG!!! I am so HAPPY for you! Total pick-me-up for Monday! The dream is alive! :D

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  28. OH MY GOD!!! That is so exciting! Congratulations!!!!

    Doris

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  29. Wow, a big congrats to you! I hope you pop open a lovely bottle of champagne!

    Best of luck with revisions and I can't wait to read about your path to publication!

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  30. Congratulations! That is so exciting!

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  31. Congratulations!! Good for you for having the tenacity to go out on a limb--it certainly paid off!

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  32. That's amazing news! I'm so happy for you.

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  33. Oh that's so FANTASTIC!!!!!! Super congrats!!
    I personally love chick-lit so I don't think it's a bad thing at all. :)
    I'm really looking forward to reading your book!

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  34. This is amazing!!! Congratulations!!! Today is going to be all about exclamation points!!!!

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  35. Congratulations on this wonderful news Jessica. I can imagine how excited you must be and still on cloud nine.

    I'm sure you're having a wonderful day.

    Yvonne.

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  36. This is exciting news - well deserved! Congratulations, Jessica!
    Sounds like you learned a great truth this weekend.

    Best of luck in your revisions. I know you can do it! *Cheers you on*

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  37. SO exciting! Congratulations!

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  38. Woohoo! Congrats! How exciting!!!

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  39. OMG!!!! This is so awesome!!! Congratulations, Jess!!! So happy for you!!!! :)

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  40. I am BEYOND thrilled for you! How incredible to be publishing your first NOVEL!

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  41. Congrats!! **happy dancing** **throwing confetti**
    I'm so happy for you. You deserve this. You've worked so hard. Can't wait to hear more details. Congratulations again!!!

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  42. Aaaahhhhhhhh!! *Jumping up and down with a girly squeee of joy** CONGRATULATIONS!! You must be over the moon!

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  43. That is SO. SUPER. AWESOME!!!!!! Congratulations! I can feel your excitement :-) :-)
    And it's encouraging for the rest of us too :-)

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  44. Congratulations! Your story is truly inspiring--thanks for sharing the details. :)

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  45. Fabulous news! And what an amazing story of the powers of revision! Congrats, Jessica.

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  46. This is wonderful! Enjoy. Saw you over at Jody's and had to stop by. :)

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  47. Congrats Jessica!! I'm so happy and excited for you :)

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  48. So your dream of being published was saved by yet another dream. That is outstanding!

    You can do the revisions. You have the imagination and the determination. Take in a deep breath then dive in. Have a great time revising. Roland

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  49. Oh, congratulations!!! I'm so excited for you! :)

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  50. Ahhhh!! This is wonderful, huge, awe-inspiring news! CONGRATS!!!

    And it's funny, because I just had a conversation with someone this weekend about this very thing re: changing something when you know it's against your gut. Great affirmation to always listen to yourself!!

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  51. Congratulations!!! That's terrific news!

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  52. Bask in your awesomness, babe. This is the best news ever. Lots of blog love going on for you at my site. xo

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  53. OMG!! THAT IS FANTASTIC!! I saw something on FB and had to come to your blog to congratulate you!!!

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! I can't wait to buy your book. :D

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  54. OMG!! THAT IS FANTASTIC!! I saw something on FB and had to come to your blog to congratulate you!!!

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! I can't wait to buy your book. :D

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  55. So awesome! I'm indescribably happy for you Jess, this couldn't have happened to a nicer person.

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  56. Wow, this is amazing news! A massive congratulations to you and enjoy revising your novel. You get out of life what you put in, and now you are going to reap the rewards of your labour! Well done xxx

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  57. This is an important lesson; thanks for sharing so we remember to stay true to ourselves in our writing! CONGRATULATIONS, Jessica!!! Enjoy the moment!!!

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  58. CONGRATULATIONS!!! I'm not surprised, but I am happy for you! :D

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  59. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

    Big hug. Big dance. Big glass - heck, jug - of wine!

    Hard work and dedication *does* pay off! I'm so excited for you and can't wait to follow along on this journey with you, Jess.
    xxxx

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  60. WOOHOO!!!!!
    ✩☆ CONGRATS, Jessica!!!! ☆✩

    May your writing journey be paved with luminous moments!

    Love,
    Lola

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  61. Congratulations, wonderful news. Best of luck.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

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  62. I think this is wonderful news! I have a warm fuzzy feeling to know, that Athens has an author of quality living there.

    Congratulations, Jessica. I am thrilled for you. Cyprus is cheering! x

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  63. CONGRATULATIONS! That is so awesome. I’ve read so many posts over the last week where people said they should have listened to their gut. This is great news.

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  64. Congratulations! That's awesome! :)

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  65. Oh, Jessica, I HOPED this would be the 'good news' you mentioned! Good for you for finding someone who fit well, then finding the heart and hard work to work the revisions. I'm thrilled for you and proud of you!

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  66. OMG! You lucky duck!! Congratulations! WOW!!! I'm so excited for you!!!! HUGE NEWS!! *happy dance*

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  67. What a great lesson on listening to your gut! Fantastic news!!!

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  68. AHHHHH! Congrats Jessica!!! I'm so so so excited for you! I'm doing the happy dance! Congrats, congrats, congrats!!!! =D

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  69. I am SO happy for you, Jessica!!! Janice sounds like a fantastic person to work with and I just know your book is going to be fabulous!! :-)

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  70. In a word AWESOME! I never doubted you buddy, it was only a matter of time. Congrats:-)

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  71. Huge congrats! Great lesson in learning to trust your gut as well. Good luck with the revisions! :)

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  72. YAY!!! Congratulations!! That's awesome! Good luck with revisions.

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  73. Just popped over from Jody's blog to check out your news. Exciting times! Congratulations! :)

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  74. I am absolutely, positively thrilled for you, Jess!!! And I love the inspirational post. It's a perfect reminder that while it may not be easy, we must always write for ourselves.

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!

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  75. That's wonderful! Let's hear it for small publishers.

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  76. Jessica,
    A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS!

    This is such a touching story because you went and followed your dream and improved your manuscript quite literally. I love it when dreams turn out to be so telling.

    I think Lucky Press is lucky to have such a dedicated writer and I look forward to reading your book.

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  77. YAY YAY YAY!!!!!!!!!!

    This is such great news! What a story. Wow. A good reminder for us writers to stick to our guts. Well done!

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  78. Congratulations!!! Now that's what I call spunk and dedication. This is fantastic news! Good luck with those revisions, when it gets tough remember it'll all be worth it in the end to show off your true voice!!!

    ~bru

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  79. YAAAYYYYY!!! that is fantabulous!!!

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  80. I've popped over here from Talli Roland's blog to say Congratulations on having your debut novel accepted for publication! (Oh, and congratulations on living in Athens, as well - I used to live there and loved it! *sob*)

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  81. A very heartfelt congrats to you! Its wonderful that she gave you the second opportunity! I hope from now on you listen to your inside. they say the truth is not in what other people say about your writing, but how it feels to you in the end. Good luck, and I'll try to swing by tomorrow in between classes, kids, after school activities and Nano to see whats in store for a title.

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  82. That is fantastic news and quite the story. Congratulations. I'll try to help with a title, but I'm horrible at titles.

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  83. I'm thrilled for you, Jessica! You played it smart. Pushed hard. And now will continue to work with the same dedication and determination that you've just shown. And because of that, I'm sure you're going to do very well! I can vouch for the fact that rewrites are hard, but not impossible! It's all part of the process.

    Proud of you for your savvy and for pushing hard! Sometimes that's what it takes!

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  84. That's wonderful. And a good lesson for all of us to write what we know how to write and be ourselves.

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  85. hi miss jessica! wow! 90 posts. just think how much people been believing in you and now are soooo happy for you. i think 90 posts could need a prize. maybe for the 91st one. ha ha. thanks for letting me be one of the most first ones to know. thats a special present. i didnt ever think you couldnt get published. now i just gotta say it again. i told you so! ha ha
    ...big happy hugs from lenny

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  86. Congratulations!! :) What an absolute dream come true for you. Best of luck on your revisions and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!

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  87. Congrats! It'll be so exciting to see your books on the shelves...

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  88. That is beyond awesome Jessica!!! YAY!!!!!!! :)

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  89. Oh my gosh - that is awesome! Congratulations!

    :)

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  90. Hehe only get published when you don't go commercial. I find it deliciously ironic. Well done.

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  91. oh. :o) my eyes got all damp at the part when you sent her your revised first chapter and she said Yes!!! :o) That makes me so happy!!! Yay yay yay, Jessica! ((big big hugs))

    so proud of you, and can't wait to see your book~ xoxo

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  92. A gigantic congratulations for the book deal! And more importantly, listening to your gut and following your original instincts.
    Thank you SO much for telling us your story. You are an inspiration!

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  93. Wow, that's so awesome. Well done you :)

    Rach

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  94. Dreams can come true! I'm so excited for you. Congratulations!

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  95. Awesome news. Congratulations. And what an amazing story. Thanks for sharing the process.

    Yeah!!!!!

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  96. Congrats:) I'm so happy for you. Thanks for sharing the journey with us.

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  97. Congrats Jessica...so exciting!
    I look forward to your work~
    I always like your story line...It is an exciting time~

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  98. Way to get published, Jessica!!!

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  99. that is incredible! congratulations!

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  100. CONGRATULATIONS! I'm SO excited for you! I certainly hope you celebrated!

    Way to go!

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  101. hello, I like your blog very much and I wonder if you might be interested in a link exchange with www.poktube.com. If yes, name: Movie Trailers, then leave me a comment with the link and your name . A nice day !

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  102. What great news!! I am so happy for you. Good luck on the next part of the adventure. :)

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  103. This is super great news. Congratulations!

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  104. Congratulations! Best of luck with it!

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  105. Woo Hoo, Jessica, doing a happy dance in Albuquerque for ya! What a powerful lesson in listening to your inner heart.
    Karen

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  106. That is amazing news! Janice, who I met through you on Facebook, seems like an amazing woman! Good luck!

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  107. Cogratulations, Jessica!
    That's such great news! Best of luck with revisions:). Keep us posted on the publishing schedule!

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  108. So happy for you! I love hearing success stories, especially when I've become familiar with the writer's work...great job!

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  109. Hard work and raw talent win again! Woot! Oh, I'm so happy for you, Jessica! Soon I'll have two books on my shelf with your name on them, including Mr. Lenny Lee's One and Only Birthday Book. Can't wait!

    Good luck with revisions. You will rock them!

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  110. This is some truly wonderful news. Let me send my hearty congratulations to you and wish you a billion book sales.
    Now let me join the conga line in a celebratory dance for Jessica.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  111. This is the best thing to happen to alliteration since kids first stumbled upon those great green gobs of greasy, grimy gopher guts!

    Congratulations, Jessica! So happy for you! (Now, I'm off to try some of that "hard work" you spoke of...)

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  112. Congrats! I read that metaphors in titles were the most memorable, think "Grapes of Wrath", "The Silence of the Lambs", or any title that puts two seemingly unrelated things together in a new way.

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  113. Congratulations! So fantastic!

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  114. CONGRATULATIONS!!! Live the dream, girl!! We're all ecstatic for you :) :)

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  115. How did I miss this?! *Crawls from under her rock* BIG CONGRATS Jessica!!!! I'm squeeing with you!!! So proud of you girl :)SQUEEEEE!!!!!

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  116. Read the good news over at VR's blog. Congratulations!

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  117. Very awesome news! I found you through February Grace's blog. Congrats! I look forward to following your progress. :)

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  118. That is so Awesome!!!! Congratulations, Jess! Best of luck to you getting everything sorted okay :D

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  119. I'm glad that you're not only getting to publish your book, but it's also going to be the one that you actually want to write.

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“I'm using my art to comment on what I see. You don't have to agree with it.” ~John Mellencamp

“Allowing an unimportant mistake to pass without comment is a wonderful social grace” ~Judith S. Marin

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