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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Welcome to my new adventure!

I began writing fiction in earnest when I was first unemployed, back in 1991.  I think the title of the first novel was Best for Last, because the Vanessa Williams song was stuck in my head.  So, I joined Romance Writers of America and the Indiana chapter, out of Indianapolis and sent the thing out to enter the Golden Heart competition for unpublished authors. 

The result was some interesting evaluation sheets.  Two judges loved my excerpt and one even gave me the phone number for her agent.  Another two marked it as fine, but not outstanding.  To be fair, the judges were pretty overwhelmed with entries that year.  But, two absolutely hated it.  One said something to the effect that she was so very tired of "damaged" heroines.  My heroine had been raped in high school and called the hero, her overweight friend, to help take her to the hospital.  They meet again several years later and truly fall in love.  The other judge said (and I can quote this), "People don't talk like that."  I found it particularly humorous, as I had lifted an actual conversation with a male friend for that particular excerpt.  Also, I later read one of her books (a Harlequin Presents) and thought it was poorly written dreck, with absolutely no romance or compelling features.  But, I digress.

I continued to submit excerpts to various writers' contests and workshops, some in conjunction with RWA and some with the local writers' guild, of which I served as president and board member for a good dozen years.  Each time, I got good reviews and encouraging words.  After I read my scene at a writers' retreat, a fellow author chided me for having the heroine call a male friend.  I felt justification and gratitude when another participant said she'd been raped and her male friend was the first person she called.  Even got a chance to pitch to Melissa Senate, then of Silhouette books, who asked for a partial and synopsis.  I never did anything with that, because I could not for the life of me write the synopsis.  I'd written the whole book, but couldn't write the synopsis! 

Twenty plus years later, I know I wasn't ready.  "Fate and faith puts us where we need to be," I have one of my characters say in my second completed novel, Seven Days and I know it's true.  This one is a kazillion times better and I have several synopses, in different lengths.  I have three other novels in various stages of completion, involving the same family and I've used the time of my second unemployment to work on my craft.  I know we'll see the hero and heroine from my first novel again in the third book in my series.  They are not ready yet, either. 

So, now I am ready.  I'd like to thank all those who have shown faith in me and my writing.  I'd also like to thank those who knowingly or unknowingly gave me what I needed to help round out my characters or stories.  A friend gave me a canvas bag for Christmas that says, "Careful, you might show up in my novel."  It's true.  I'd especially like to thank God for sending what I needed across my path, for encouraging me along this journey when it seemed too hard or too frustrating. 

Come along and join the fun!


  1. Congratulations, Julee, on your blog and your new Facebook page! I enjoyed reading your history as a novelist; I have only been at it a couple of years now and have yet to enter a contest, but I am looking into my options for this year. I truly believe that the universe provides what we need when we need it, and we are exactly where we are supposed to be at any given moment. I wish you much success; this is our year!

  2. I am very proud of you Sister-in-Law! I can't wait to read your novels! I wish you much success! If you write about real life experiences and people you know, then you should have a LOT to write about. However, that would come under a different genre than Romance! Who knows, it could be a best seller! I love Comedic Dramas! I can see it now: Julee Adams sells rights to Warner!

  3. Thanks, much Pam! It is our year, isn't it? Your success has been an inspiration and I want you to know you're appreciated.

    And, Val--thank you. It means a lot. I have a lot of dialog in my writing and I'm going to ask your brother for help trying my hand at scriptwriting!

    More later in the continuing saga.....

  4. Julee, I am proud to call you my cousin! I can remember going to your house and seeing lots and lots of books in almost every room. I would never have dreamed that you would be writing novels and that I would be teaching students the meaning of novels. Maybe sometime you could visit your old home site and inspire Mt. Carmel High School students to become better writers. Soon we may be adding a scholarship in your name to the one we already have in your dad's name. I can just imagine having a conversation with your parents about your latest book and seeing the joy on their faces... I can't wait to buy your books and for you to autograph them! I will be reading between the lines for characters who resemble me...feel free to use my name if you want if the character is basically wonderful (*smile*).

  5. It is always great to start a new adventure. The writing community is very welcoming. I hope you meet lots of new people here and find what you are looking for :) You just made a new friend --- Also on an adventure!

  6. Hi! I loved your telling of how you got to where you are today. I think it's great! Good luck with getting pub'd! I'm a new follower and hope you'll stop by my blog about my journey as a romance author.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Gabrielle Bisset

  7. I'm a new follower from the writer's Hop! I can't wait to hear more about your journey to publication! Hope you have a fantastic and creative weekend! :)

  8. New writer here as well. Noticed many started this avocation after being laid off or because of the recession. Maybe some good came out of it after all. Thanks for your words. Follow me at and see if I hang in there and keep writing or fail and fall to the wayside.

  9. Nice to meet you all--thanks for stopping by! Regge, some good did come out of it and please hang in there! I've really enjoyed seeing all your blogs and will be right there, asking questions soon on how to make this better. Hope to contribute too. Thanks, again!

  10. Excellent name, as it is a long and hard journey which ends well for those who persevere. I'll be following to help with support, ideas, or just to contribute to your inspiration. Have a great weekend!

  11. Thanks, Julius and all--I've really enjoyed the blog hop and seeing everyone's pages! Best wishes to all and have a super rest of April!

  12. Hey, well done. I've enjoyed your page and reading about how you got to where you are. I remember a writer telling me 'there are as many ways of becoming a writer as there are writers'.

    Good luck! Darrell.

  13. Thanks, Darrell! I looked at your page, but the link took me to the one page and I don't Tweet, yet. You'll be one of my go to experts when I take on that challenge. Baby steps. Appreciate your stopping by!

  14. Hey Julee,

    I hope your writing is going well. And I hope you're reading heaps (Stephen King reckons good writers have to be good readers too).

    Stay well,

    Darrell Pitt.

  15. Congratulations! I wish you the best on your journey. Be sure to have fun and stay true to you.

  16. Hey Julee,

    Hope you are well. I like the links on your page. Good stuff.

    Good luck with your writing and come visit me sometime.