The Story Behind the Picture

It started off bad. As most Sundays, there was a family meltdown involving tears and tantrums an hour before we were expected at church in our Palm Sunday best to praise Jesus. Of course. Fast forward to early evening. My husband and daughter were playing out in the backyard while I did the responsible thing and started washing dishes. As the sink filled up with hot, soapy bubbles, the phone rang and my agent’s name flashed. Ok, that means either really good or really bad so with my stomach flipping over I answered. Pleasantries were exchanged all while I kept thinking ‘just tell me!’. At long last, my rejection streak came to a screeching halt as I got what all writers dream of: The Call! Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas has except Rolls Royce in No Man’s Land, my WWI romance. The coolest thing, ok next to the coolest thing besides actually getting published, is that it’s coming out in 2018 which will be the 100 year anniversary of the end of the Great War. Meant to be!

So what do you once you finally get The Call? After the jumping around and screaming, that is. You take a picture of signing the contract of course. I had the glorious moment all planned in my head: sunlight streaming in my office window to highlight my beautiful desk and pink office walls, pen poised in my hand as I gaze excitedly yet professionally into the camera. The reality was completely unglamorous. No contract on parchment, or scroll, no golden quill. So sad. Just a simple PDF that I printed off myself to the unique celebration of my family. To commemorate the momentous moment they decided to clap, jump in the air, and then spin in circles while slapping their butts. Yep, high class all the way. Amidst all the rear slapping you may have noticed that I didn’t mention a camera, well, that’s because we didn’t take a picture that day. Why on earth not?! Because I had a hair appointment a week later. Why not immortalize the signing moment with a fresh new do? So that’s what we did, and you’ll notice no bad roots showing đŸ™‚

I’m super excited to start this new journey in my life and career. I started seriously writing over 12 years ago. Five novels and one novella later and my dream has finally come true. There have been many rejections along the way, many tears, too many to count writer’s blocks, times of depression and jealousy as I watched others get published, but never once have I given up. I was born to write, it’s who I am, and what stirs in my heart. No matter how many more bumps I go over, I’ll never quit because I love stories and the possibilities they capture and inspire.


  1. Jodie

    I’m so happy for you J’nell. We got ‘the call’ on the same day. I think we need to celebrate together. đŸ™‚

  2. linda glaz

    A family meltdown involving tears and tantrums??? How long did it take your family to make you stop???? đŸ™‚

  3. Mom

    Congratulations !!!! I love you so much

  4. Tamra Phelps

    I really like books set during WWI or WW2. I’ll definitely be looking for yours!


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