Monday, November 28, 2005

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

I hope everyone had a splendid Thanksgiving holiday. Now that you are stuffed to the gills, get ready to flex that mental muscle. Guess who's coming to dinner (so maybe not dinner if you are on the east coast--more of a late night snack)?

TKA Chats will be starring
Thursday December 1st from 9-10PM EST
Not only does Janice Lynn have a very cool name (more on that subject later), but she also has a new release out this week: JANE MILLIONAIRE.
Want to know more about our Janice Lynn? Keep on reading! Below is a copy of the full 3 page spread that Tenneesee Magazine did on our lady author:
Dream Come True
Story by Trish Milburn

Not many people enter a contest and walk away with
their life’s dream. But for Janice Lynn of Manchester,
that’s exactly what happened when she entered one of
her novel manuscripts in the first-ever American Title
Contest co-sponsored by Romantic Times BOOKclub
Magazine and Dorchester Publishing. Modeled after
television hit American Idol, the contest pitted ten
talented finalists against each other in Internet
voting, the end of each voting period seeing the
departure of the two finalists with the lowest number
of votes. When the final ballots were cast, Lynn
emerged victorious — the fiction world’s version of
Kelly Clarkson.
Like many writers, Lynn had always harbored the
desire to write but, also like many writers, that
desire got put on the back burner as she got married,
had four children, got her nursing degree at
Vanderbilt and began working as a nurse practitioner in
Woodbury. With a busy family and a full-time job,
there was little time for anything else. But after
Sept. 11, 2001, Lynn made time.
“I seriously started writing after 9/11,” the Duck
River Electric Membership Corporation member said. “It
made me ask myself, ‘Why am I not chasing my dream?
Nursing was one dream, writing was the other.”
Lynn was a long-time reader of romance, so that was
the genre toward which she gravitated.
“I love nursing, but nursing can be hard on a
person’s spirit,” she says. “Unfortunately, I can’t
help a large number of my patients have a
happily-ever-after because it just isn’t medically
possible. Writing romance, where there is always that
promise of a happy ending, is how I de-stress and stay
As with many super-busy people, Lynn is phenomenal in
the amount of things she can do in a single day. In
addition to working more than full days, she’s always
zipping to one one of her children’s soccer practice
or football game or any of a myriad of school
activities. And yet, she’s managed to write 11
manuscripts since finishing the first in December
2001. She has so much energy, if she could bottle and
sell it, she’d be filthy rich in no time.
Lynn has been successful on the writing contest
circuit. Many local chapters of Romance Writers of
America, including her home chapter of Music City
Romance Writers in Nashville, hold annual writing
contests where detailed critiques are offered to
entrants as well as a chance to be judged by an
acquiring editor or a literary agent for those who
make it to the final round. Lynn has finaled in more
than 40 chapter contests and in 2003 finaled in the
Golden Heart, RWA’s top national contest for
unpublished romance manuscripts, with her fifth book.
It was on the e-mail loop for the 2003 Golden Heart
finalists that Lynn first heard about the American
Title Contest in May 2004. The prize? A publishing
contract with Dorchester Publishing. She bought a copy
of Romantic Times BOOKclub Magazine to read more about
the contest and then entered two of her manuscripts
which she thought would fit the co-sponsoring
publisher. Over that summer, the editorial staff at
Dorchester narrowed down the more than 100 entrants to
10 finalists. Those finalists were notified in August.
One of Lynn’s two entries, Jane Millionaire, which is
set in a reality TV world similar to The Bachelorette,
had made the cut.
Then began the really hard part, five rounds of
Internet judging, each round two agonizing weeks long.
The first round, in mid-October, pitted each entrant’s
first line against each other. Round two was a
description of the book’s hero and heroine. Then came
the story summary, then a dialogue scene and finally a
romantic scene. At the end of each round of voting,
the two finalists with the lowest amount of votes were
eliminated from the competition.
Lynn said the competition was nerve-wracking. “My
friends and family were so supportive during the
contest. I had to step outside my shell and put myself
on the line as three American Idol style judges made
public comments about my writing. Not once did my
support system waver. I am very blessed by a great
husband, great kids and friends who are unbelievably
loyal and willing to go to battle for me because I
never could have done this without them.”
As she survived each round of competition, the
tension only increased. “There was excitement, the ‘Oh
my God, it might really happen!’ I also wondered how
I’d deal with it no matter which way it went. But I
already felt like a winner. Making it that far was so
much more than I ever expected.”
Even after the final round of voting ended March 6,
2005, the waiting wasn’t over for Lynn. Though she was
notified that she’d won, she wasn’t able to tell
anyone until the winner was officially announced at
the Romantic Times convention in St. Louis April 28.
It was there that the announcement was made in
dramatic fashion when Lynn’s book cover was revealed.
“I had to sit through the entire luncheon before
seeing it, worrying what I’d think of it” she says.
“Luckily, I loved it. There was a huge sense of relief
after that. The contest had taken over my life. But it
taught me a lot about publicity, accessing the media,
what works and what doesn’t in promotional items, how
expensive book promotion can be, and it made me step
outside my comfort zone. The judges’ stinging comments
also prepared me for bad reviews because every writer
gets those at some point.”
Lynn has even already gotten a taste of fan mail,
though Jane Millionaire isn’t scheduled for release
until this December. “I’ve gotten fan mail from people
I’ve never met, people from all over the world. That’s
a really cool and surreal feeling.”
In the months since she was announced as the winner,
Lynn has been busy helping her patients, driving the
soccer mom van, writing on another book and anxiously
awaiting her first book release. She’s done
interviews, sent out advanced reading copies for
review -- and tried not to chew off her fingernails
while waiting for those reviews, and kept her Web site
at updated with the newest
Lynn knows that the romance genre has its detractors,
but for her the genre has a more important purpose
than many observers realize.
“I think romance novels offer an escape from the
world’s harsh realities, and for a few hours the
reader gets to live vicariously through the heroine,
go through the ups and downs she faces and experience
the triumph in the end when she finds happiness,” she
says. “Romance offers hope, and I think that’s
something we all need.”
Lynn cites a touching real-world example. “A
published friend of mine (historical author Sandy
Blair) received an e-mail from a nurse in Iraq
thanking her for the escape her book provided and
telling her that the nurses had passed the book around
because finding good in a world gone crazy wasn’t an
easy thing to do. For me, that’s what it’s all about
and what I want my writing to do. I’m not out to
change the world or to impart some major piece of
knowledge. I just want to provide readers with a
smile, a laugh, a few hours of escape where they know
good will triumph over evil. Instilling hope, making
people believe that happily-ever-afters are attainable
and worth struggling for, well, it just might change
the world one person at a time and impart a wisdom
that says as long as there’s hope, there’s a reason to
trudge forward despite the odds. So, maybe I am out to
change the world and impart knowledge -- one
happily-ever-after at a time.”

Janice’s Jane

Though Jane Millionaire is a December release, it is
scheduled to hit store bookshelves Nov. 29 or can be
pre-ordered through the many online bookstores. For
more information about Janice Lynn, including any
contests she hosts for readers, visit her Web site at


Anonymous Jennifer Echols said...

What a beautiful article that captures Janice's spirit so well!

Monday, November 28, 2005 at 7:19:00 PM EST  
Blogger Marley Gibson said...

That's a GREAT article!! I've been in awe of Miss Janice since we met on eHarlequin, what...four years ago? Yikes! Congrats on all the success, Janice!

Marley = )

Monday, November 28, 2005 at 9:16:00 PM EST  
Blogger Natalie Damschroder said...

I got my copy on Saturday! I'm gonna try to read it before the chat.

Monday, November 28, 2005 at 10:32:00 PM EST  
Anonymous JaniceLynn said...

Wow! I didn't know that article was going up. (Janice cast Julie a motherly look) But Trish did a fabulous job with it and made me sound...organized or something. ;)

And double wow! It has been four years, hasn't it? Or right at. That Marley is pretty awe-inspiring as well. :) Plus, she's a fabulous author and friend! (& she's a great person to hang with at conferences because she knows *everyone*!)

Natalie~I read your post & thought--she's in Tennesse & got a copy of the magazine? Cool! Then I realized you meant Jane...yes, I'm having one of those...OMG! MY BOOK IS COMING OUT TOMORROW!!!!!!! moments. :)

Monday, November 28, 2005 at 11:21:00 PM EST  
Blogger Gena Showalter said...

I can't wait to get my copy of the book!! I've been so excited about reading it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 at 9:27:00 AM EST  
Blogger Robin Caroll said...

I watched that contest with interest, yep voted, too, and can't wait to read the book! Great article as well!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 at 9:45:00 AM EST  
Blogger Mel Francis said...

This is a great article. I have several friends who are American Title finalists this year and followed last year's contest as well.

Congrats on the book finally coming out! I'm gonna order it today since down here in Oxford, MS we don't usually get the new releases for a while. :(

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 at 10:16:00 AM EST  
Blogger cin said...

Just ordered my copy- have been anxiously awaiting ever since I saw the unveiling in St. Louis!

Cindy S.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 at 5:25:00 PM EST  
Blogger Natalie Damschroder said...

Sorry for the confusion, Janice! LOL I did mean the book, of course.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 at 10:10:00 PM EST  
Blogger Bernita said...

A wonderful review, warm and enticing.
Trish Milburn deserves lots of chocolate too.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 at 6:09:00 AM EST  

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