When a dream comes true

Posted Apr 8 2016, 2:30 am in , , , , ,

As many of you already know, in late 2015 an editor from a big New York publishing house called my literary agent. She wanted to buy my 2015 Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® final manuscript, in a three book deal, for her publisher’s digital-first imprint. 

When my agent called me with the news, it was one of the happiest days of my life. After many years of writing on hope and numerous rejections along the way, I was going to be a published author. 

I can now share more good news. I’ve just signed another contract for the same three books, still with Hachette Book Group USA, Grand Central Publishing, but this time for Grand Central’s mass market paperback line, Forever.

Although my books will still be available in e-book format, paperback copies will also be sold in bookstores and other retail outlets which order them. In the U.S. and Canada, that means I might see my books in grocery stores and Walmart. In the UK, stores like ASDA and Tesco.

I’ve dreamed of seeing my books on a shelf in a store since childhood. In today’s romance publishing industry, though, print contracts are rare for début authors so it was a dream I didn’t expect would come true any time soon.

My first book, now titled THE COTTAGE AT FIREFLY LAKE, releases in January 2017, followed by books 2 and 3 in the series in July and December 2017.

The “Firefly Lake” series is set in a fictional small town in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, an area where Tech Guy and I spent several happy vacations. Firefly Lake was also inspired by another vacation spot, Lake Placid  in northern New York state. I couldn’t be more excited to share my stories, and parts of these special places, with readers.

The writer I am has been shaped by the family I come from, and a tradition of storytelling and respect for reading and book learning going back generations.

Hungry to discover the world of books, my Irish great-grandmother taught herself to read alongside her oldest son when he started school. 

My grandmother contributed articles to community newspapers and Women’s Institute publications, capturing snapshots of small town life when local news made up the fabric of isolated, rural communities.

My dad wrote newsletters for various voluntary organizations, and the rhythmic clacking of his typewriter was a soundtrack to my childhood.

Although my mom wasn’t a writer, she was an avid reader and sharing books with her is one of my most cherished memories.

I hope there are bookstores and Kindles in heaven. And I hope that those who loved and encouraged me, and whose legacies have influenced my life’s path, are sharing in what one of my favourite fictional heroines, Anne of Green Gables, would call this “epoch in my life.”

I mark writing milestones on a charm bracelet. For this one, I’ve chosen a dream catcher.  

Dream catcher charm

Dream Catcher History and Legend 

Grand Central Publishing, Forever 

Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom 

Lake Placid, the lake

 

18 Comments

Comments

18 responses to “When a dream comes true”

  1. Tracy Brody says:

    That is fabulous news, Jen! So excited to see your dreams coming true. Love how you’ve set your stories in places special to you.

    • Jen Gilroy says:

      Thanks very much, Tracy. I’m excited to be part of your writing journey too and appreciate how we support and encourage each other. I like to think of the setting as almost another character in my books so those special places are important to me.

  2. Congratulations again, Jen!!! Paperbacks! In Walmart! This is the big time!

    I love your charm bracelet idea. So good to mark these special occasions along life’s journey.

    Can’t wait till your books are out. Good luck and enjoy your success!

    A xo

    • Jen Gilroy says:

      Thanks so much, Arelene. I really appreciate your support. I hope my local Walmart stocks my books but you never know! By the way, I also have a dragonfly charm on my bracelet for our 2015 Golden Heart class!

  3. Jean Bull says:

    Great News! And I’m pleased to hear that we can buy your books this side of the Atlantic!
    Interesting, too, that you have writers in your family. They would be very pleased for you!

    • Jen Gilroy says:

      Thanks very much, Jean. I hope some stores in the UK will choose to stock the paperback editions. If not, there’s always on-line shopping! I appreciate your kind words.

  4. Heidi Vanstone says:

    Such happy news! After so much hard work, determination and “grit”, this milestone must be incredibly special. Well done, you!

    • Jen Gilroy says:

      Thank you, Heidi. Your words are especially meaningful because you’ve shared in my writing journey for so many years. Thanks for cheering me on, not only in writing but in life.

  5. Sue Bavin says:

    The Cottage at Firefly Lake – what an appealing title. I love it. I’m so pleased that your original dream-come-true of finding a publisher and securing a contract has now expanded into even-more-of-a-dream-come-true as you look forward to seeing your books published in paperback format. I hope they will be available here in the UK – it would be wonderful to pick one off the shelf; but if not, I’ll happily settle for buying from Amazon.

    You have worked so hard, Jen, and never given up on your dream. You deserve every success. Your story is an inspiration.

    • Jen Gilroy says:

      Thank you, Sue. Your kind words mean a great deal to me, and I appreciate your steadfast support and friendship. I’m also glad you like the new title for my book. I do too!

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