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Just for Now (Escape to New Zealand, #3)
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Ask An Author, Win A Book Corner > AC: Rosalind James of Just for Now (Nov 14-15)

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message 1: by Dee (last edited Nov 06, 2012 09:22AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dee (austhokie) | 7316 comments About Rosalind
I met my husband Rick at UC Berkeley when I was 21, so I really do believe in True Love and Happily Ever After—which helps a lot in writing about them! We renewed our vows two years ago with the help of our two grown sons. One is living in the little town of Albany, Western Australia with his girlfriend, working, surfing, and saving money for future travels, and the other is normally a science teacher, but is currently teaching English in Taiwan. We're happy they're having adventures, but we miss them! Our home base when we're not having our own adventures is in Berkeley, California, where the summers are foggy and the food shopping is the greatest.

WHEN I’M NOT WRITING: I raise bantam chickens, foster Labrador Retrievers, and try to remember to cook dinner for my long-suffering husband.

Website
http://www.rosalindjames.com/

Books
Just For Now (Escape to New Zealand) by Rosalind James Just This Once by Rosalind James Just Good Friends (Escape to New Zealand) by Rosalind James

Giveaway
Rosalind will be giving away an ebook version of Just For Now - it will be open to all participants


message 2: by Dee (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dee (austhokie) | 7316 comments Welcome Rosalind, it's a pleasure having you with us!

I hope you enjoy your time with our members; and good luck to you all!


GUIDELINES FOR AUTHOR AND PARTICIPANTS:

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/3...

Members, if you can please write the questions in bold; it would be easier for Rosalind to know that you have asked a question and less chance that it will be missed. Thanks!


In order to bold-

Place < b > before the question you have for Rosalind and < /b > after the question. Make sure there are no spaces.


Lily (Night Owl Book Cafe) (nightowlbookcafe) | 8 comments Hi Rosalind! Welcome!

I haven't yet had a chance to read your books so its always exciting to meet new authors :) as a newbie to your books I have a few questions.

1. What are the major themes of your work?
2. How do you get inspired to write your stories?

Thank you!


message 4: by Fran, Moderator (new) - added it

Fran | 9279 comments Welcome Rosalind!

I love Contemporary Romance and your books look great. I also love your covers!

Why did you choose New Zealand as the setting for the series? Does it hold special meaning for you?


message 5: by Dee (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dee (austhokie) | 7316 comments Morning Rosalind - I have the admit that the first thing that drew my eye to your books are the covers

how much say do you/ or did you get in the cover designs?


message 6: by Rosalind (new)

Rosalind James (RosalindJames) | 20 comments Fran wrote: "Welcome Rosalind!

I love Contemporary Romance and your books look great. I also love your covers!

Why did you choose New Zealand as the setting for the series? Does it hold special meaning for you?"


Thanks, Fran! Yes, New Zealand is very special to me. I wrote the first book, "Just This Once," and planned the next two while living there for 15 months, and I'm hoping for another long trip very soon. It the most beautiful place I've ever lived, but it's the people that make it so special. The Maori culture and the way it is woven into national life and the national character is part of it, and the fierce egalitarianism is another. No matter how rich or famous you are, you are required to be a "good bloke," and not to be a Tall Poppy. (The tall poppy gets cut down!) And rugby . . . what can I say. Handsome men in tight uniforms hitting hard on the field and speaking softly off it. Spells "romance hero" for me!


message 7: by Rosalind (last edited Nov 14, 2012 07:16AM) (new)

Rosalind James (RosalindJames) | 20 comments x~ Twiggie ~x wrote: "Hay Rosalind *waves*

Just for Now sounds like a brilliant read, it's now added to my ever growing TBR pile.:)

Have you, or would you ever re-invent yourself like your main character Jenna in Jus..."


Hi, Twiggie! I haven't had exactly Jenna's experience (thank goodness), but when I was young, I did gain weight after a traumatic experience. I moved to Berkeley, California to finish college, lost 30 pounds and gained a new body. I know exactly how it feels to suddenly be "visible," and how disconcerting it can be. Luckily, my story ended as happily as Jenna's!

Dee wrote: "Morning Rosalind - I have the admit that the first thing that drew my eye to your books are the covers

how much say do you/ or did you get in the cover designs?"


Hi, Dee! I have a great cover designer, Robin Ludwig. The covers were a joint effort. I told her what "look" I was going for (romance, but not cheesy, please!), and spent some hours going through stock photos and choosing ones I liked. (two of "my" photos are on my covers, and two of them are Robin's choices.) I sent her the blurbs and told her the "feeling" of each book, and asked her to tie the covers together into a series. We went back and forth until we were both happy. The cover for "Just for Fun" (due Dec. 8) is my very favorite!

Lily (Lily Pond Reads) wrote: "Hi Rosalind! Welcome!

I haven't yet had a chance to read your books so its always exciting to meet new authors :) as a newbie to your books I have a few questions.

1. What are the major themes of..."


Hi, Lily! (one of my favorite names). My books all share a theme of taking risks, taking that leap of faith that is moving to a new country, falling in love, putting your heart on the line and committing, whether that is to your work or to another person. In some of my books it's the hero who has to take that leap, and in others the heroine. It can be a hard thing to do when your heart is bruised and battered. The other thing I'd say is that all my heroines are strong women, though in different ways. They have to be, to start over in a new country.

As for how I get inspired: I am walking or running, and people start talking in my head! Sounds like schizophrenia, huh? Sometimes it feels like it, too. "Just for Now" and "Just for Fun" each started as a dream. In "Just for Now," the dream was about the Wombat Bottom!


message 8: by Rosalind (new)

Rosalind James (RosalindJames) | 20 comments I'm having a bit of trouble replying to each individual message separately--thanks for your patience in following my replies!


message 9: by Samantha (last edited Nov 14, 2012 07:40AM) (new) - added it

Samantha Arnold (NahteeraiSamanthaArnold) Hi Rosalind! :D

I haven't read your books yet, but hope I can soon. :) I hope to become an author too. Here are some questions I have for you.

- When did you decide to become a writer?
- How long did it take you to write your first book and how old were you?
- How do you come up with the ideas of what to write about?
- How do you come up with the titles?


Okay, that's it for now. Thank you!

~Sammy


message 10: by Rosalind (new)

Rosalind James (RosalindJames) | 20 comments Samantha wrote: "Hi Rosalind! :D

I haven't read your books yet, but hope I can soon. :) I hope to become an author too. Here are some questions I have for you.

- When did you decide to become a writer?
- How long..."


Hi Samantha! My answers are probably going to be pretty different from what other writers would tell you--just goes to show you that there are many paths to take into this business!

I had been a marketing writer for ten years--writing catalog and website copy, newsletters, etc. I never even thought of writing fiction. My fiction career before "Just This Once" was limited to one story when I was 9, for a science assignment, about Betty Bacillus. The teacher read it aloud, but I wasn't too excited (I thought it was derivative).

I was on holiday in New Zealand with my husband almost exactly one year ago, and I had a story unfolding in my head as I so often do. For some reason, instead of telling myself to stop daydreaming, I let the story continue for days. I asked my husband, "Do you think I could write a book?" and being the great guy he is, he said, "Of course!" So I had him stop the car in Te Kuiti (Drew's hometown, in honor of the occasion) and bought a notebook, paper, and a pen. It was Oh So Scary to write the first sentence. But within two weeks, I was writing six hours a day on top of my regular job, and I knew this was all I wanted to do.

So my first book was written one year ago, and I'm not going to say how old I was! One year younger than I am now :) It took six weeks, while I was working full time, to write the first draft. (more time to edit it). I write/edit a book in about three months, but that's because I've been a professional writer working to deadline for so long--writing my own stories is so much more fun, it's just a matter of keeping up on paper with what's in my head.

The ideas just come to me. I can't say how. Magic! They always have. The difference is, now I allow them room instead of chasing them away.

The first book was originally titled "Rescue Me," which is still my favorite title for it. But after I finished it, Rachel Gibson came out with her book of the same title, and since she is also known for sports romance, I had to change it. I knew I wanted to call the second book "Just Good Friends," so I hit on the idea of using "Just" for all the books in the "Escape to New Zealand" series. I play with titles for all the books--some come quickly, others change titles mid-stream. (Again, I had years of experience writing product titles--much more fun to title my very own stories!)

Thanks for asking!


message 11: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 1 comments Hi Rosalind!

We have actually talked a little bit through your FB page, but wanted to leave a note here to say how much I have enjoyed your novels and am eagerly waiting for December to get here for the new one.

I have been meaning to ask you, Is the character of Drew in Just This Once in anyway based off of rugby player extraordinaire Richie McCaw?

~Kim



message 12: by Samantha (new) - added it

Samantha Arnold (NahteeraiSamanthaArnold) Rosalind wrote: "Samantha wrote: "Hi Rosalind! :D

I haven't read your books yet, but hope I can soon. :) I hope to become an author too. Here are some questions I have for you.

- When did you decide to become a w..."


That's so cool. Thanks for answering. :)


message 13: by Rosalind (last edited Nov 14, 2012 08:19AM) (new)

Rosalind James (RosalindJames) | 20 comments [Whoops, my trouble with replying to the right post again! In response to Kim's question about Richie McCaw]
Hi, Kim. Thanks so much! And oh, dear! If you write a book where the hero is the captain of the All Blacks, it's really hard to avoid comparisons to Captain Fantastic. The resemblance (I hope) is to the pressure and the visibility in that position, though, not the person. While I wrote the book, I avoided reading any interviews with Richie or anything about him (as much as possible when you live in New Zealand!)

If you actually made Richie your hero, he'd be ridiculous. Played seven months and won the World Cup on a broken foot, turned down a knighthood, helicopter pilot, New Zealand's Most Trusted Person, New Zealand's Sexiest Man, New Zealander of the Year . . . and, by all accounts, a truly humble Good Bloke. Plus, in case you haven't noticed, wow, is the guy good-looking. People would REALLY be telling me the guy was too good to be true!


message 14: by Dee (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dee (austhokie) | 7316 comments if anyone would like to see a picture of Richie McCaw

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message 15: by Debra (new)

Debra (countrymom6) | 166 comments Hi , I haven't read any of your books ,yet but I'm so going to go to library this weekend... I'm so looking forward to reading them.

My question is: what do you do in your free time? And what book would be the one to start with? Also what do you do for things such as writers block, if you have that when writing?
Thank you Debra


message 16: by Procyon (new)

Procyon | 2 comments Hi, Rosalind! Loved the whole Escape To New Zealand series! Two questions for you: 1) Which of your heroines is most like you, Hannah, Kate, or Jenna? 2) When I’m reading series fiction, one of my favorite things is when the author brings in characters we know from her previous novels, even if it’s only for a brief “cameo” appearance. Any chance of that happening again in your upcoming “Just For Fun”?


message 17: by Rosalind (last edited Nov 14, 2012 09:15AM) (new)

Rosalind James (RosalindJames) | 20 comments Debra wrote: "Hi , I haven't read any of your books ,yet but I'm so going to go to library this weekend... I'm so looking forward to reading them.

My question is: what do you do in your free time? And what book..."


Hi Debra! Right now the books are only available for the Kindle (or other devices where you can use a Kindle app). I think you can request Kindle books from your library, though, and borrow them--does anybody know? The books will all be coming out in paperback in early 2013, by the way!

I've been having a little trouble with the concept of free time lately (ask my husband)--in major Book Mode as I finish "Just for Fun." But I do most of the things my characters do: open-water swimming, trail running, hiking, yoga, sea kayaking, etc.--I love all that stuff.

As for writer's block--I don't get it, but that's because I was a marketing writer, and you don't get to have writer's block. Writing my own stories is so much more fun, it's more a matter of keeping up with what's in my head. But if I do get stuck, I go for a walk (pretty much guaranteed to spark ideas), or I edit what I've already written, or I take a notebook to the coffee shop so I don't face the "pressure" of "real" writing on the keyboard. Nora Roberts said, "I can fix a bad page. I can't fix a blank page," and that's pretty much true. Even if the writing starts off stilted, it starts flowing pretty quickly, then I go back and fix up the beginning.

Oh, and as far as the order of the books: the first in the series is "Just This Once," then "Just Good Friends" and "Just for Now." Any of them can be read as a stand-alone book, but if you want to read the series, start with "Just This Once."


message 18: by Rosalind (new)

Rosalind James (RosalindJames) | 20 comments Procyon wrote: "Hi, Rosalind! Loved the whole Escape To New Zealand series! Two questions for you: 1) Which of your heroines is most like you, Hannah, Kate, or Jenna? 2) When I’m reading series fiction, one of my ..."

Hi Procyon! It's definitely Hannah. Which is a bit embarrassing. Some people have found it annoying that she has such a wonderful guy and yet that doesn't "fix" her or make her believe that she can actually find happiness (not right away . . . she gets there, honestly!) People say, "write what you know," and that's what I did. A fair bit of autobiography in that book. I had no idea I was so annoying, LOL. What your best friend won't tell you . . .

And yes, you will get a chance in "Just for Fun" to catch up with the characters from the other books. Just because I love them and can't leave them behind! Thanks for asking.


message 19: by Procyon (new)

Procyon | 2 comments Rosalind: Thanks for the answers (especially about the “return appearances”)! If you don’t mind, can I squeeze in one more question? Actually, it’s a three-parter: What made you decide to self-publish your books? Did you try it the other way first? How has the experience been for you?


message 20: by Rosalind (new)

Rosalind James (RosalindJames) | 20 comments Procyon wrote: "Rosalind: Thanks for the answers (especially about the “return appearances”)! If you don’t mind, can I squeeze in one more question? Actually, it’s a three-parter: What made you decide to self-publ..."

Wow, good question. I started out thinking I'd go the traditional route, so I queried agents for about 3 months with "Just This Once." I got requests for more of the book from a few agents and one publisher, but no actual bites. And OK, true story here. One day in June, I heard back from a very prominent agent, who'd requested the full manuscript, that she really enjoyed the story, but that "New Zealand rugby" would be too tough of a hook. An hour earlier, I'd heard from my doctor, who said, "I'm referring you to the gynecologic oncologist, because we can't tell what your tumor is." My first thought was, thank God my children are grown. And my second was, thank God I have had the chance to find out what I wanted to do in life, and to do it. The one thing I KNEW was that I didn't want to die without publishing my books.

And the other thing I KNEW was that "New Zealand rugby" was a GREAT hook! I'm doing great, tumor was huge & nasty but benign, I finished writing "Just for Now" two days before going into the hospital and started editing again seven days after surgery. And I decided that I STILL didn't want to die without publishing my books! What a reminder that life's short, and if you want to do something, do it NOW.

How has the experience been? So, so much better than I could have dreamed. I am very lucky that I write romance, and that romance readers are the most generous out there in terms of taking a chance on a new author. My background is in publishing, editing, and marketing, so I did perhaps have some advantages going the self-publishing route, but it was still scary. I'm still learning, but having so much fun too.


message 21: by Kami (new)

Kami (aidansmama) | 973 comments When you come up with an idea for a story do you immediately know where your story is going or maybe you come up with the first line or a concept and you have to write it to see what happens? What is your favorite part of your book? What was the hardest part to write?


Sassafrass (sass-a-frass) | 1875 comments Hi Rosalind! Thanks so much for being here. :) I was wondering...

as you've matured, how would you say your idea of true love and romance has evolved?


message 23: by Rosalind (new)

Rosalind James (RosalindJames) | 20 comments Kami wrote: "When you come up with an idea for a story do you immediately know where your story is going or maybe you come up with the first line or a concept and you have to write it to see what happens? What ..."

Well, I know they're going to fall in love LOL. Seriously, I start with a concept, and let it play out in my head for at least a week before I write anything down. At that point I know what's going to happen in about half of the book. The main thing is that I really have to know my characters and their backstories before I start. (I can tell if I've thought them out enough because the sex scenes come easily if my people are "real." True story!)

By the time I have the book to the halfway point, I'm writing the ending. And then, knowing who the characters are and where they're going to get to by the end, my mind can fill in the rest.

My favorite parts of "Just for Now" are the parts where Jenna's halo slips: when she drinks too much, and when she has a meltdown dealing with the kids. I like writing people's imperfect moments.

The hardest parts to write of any book are when people are being mean or worse. I have to go back over those and rewrite several times to get them bad enough! My mind shies away from that. I'll never be a True Crime writer!


message 24: by Rosalind (new)

Rosalind James (RosalindJames) | 20 comments Sassafrass wrote: "Hi Rosalind! Thanks so much for being here. :) I was wondering...

as you've matured, how would you say your idea of true love and romance has evolved? "


Wow, good question. I think a lot of what's important to me now is respect and admiration for the other person, and to be able to talk things through, to be able to share deeply enough for real intimacy. I'm not sure I was as aware of those things when I was young. Also, the appeal of jerks or anybody with a mean streak is GONE. The obsessive stalker or the guy with anger management issues is NEVER going to be the hero in my books!


message 25: by Kami (new)

Kami (aidansmama) | 973 comments What book are you reading now? Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?


message 26: by Rosalind (new)

Rosalind James (RosalindJames) | 20 comments Kami wrote: "What book are you reading now? Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?"

Hi Kami--I'm actually not reading now as I'm writing. I can't do both things at once! I can't hold both stories in my head. Very strange for me as I've been reading voraciously since I was 4. And I hate to be unoriginal, but my favorite author is Jane Austen, for her humor and her dialogue. (Two things that are among my favorites to write.)

The book I read recently that I loved the most was "Major Pettigrew's Last Stand." I read it as an audiobook--four times! It had moments that just delighted me. Funny, tender, moving. And I loved that it was about people later in life, who'd had successful marriages and had lost their partners, and were now taking the plunge again. It touched my heart.


message 27: by Michelle (new)

Michelle | 2 comments What inspires you in New Zealand that sparks your ideas for your contemporary romance novels? Having visited when I was young your descriptions of the sights bring back many wonderful memories. The people of New Zealand are wonderful and great stewards of their home. It always amazes me that some have a gift of writing so vividly that it seems that you are there living that life. Cheers!


message 28: by Rosalind (new)

Rosalind James (RosalindJames) | 20 comments Hi, Michelle. Thanks for the kind words. You're right about what good stewards Kiwis are of the gift they've been given. I think that is what it is--that New Zealand IS a special place. It's so very, very far from everyplace else in the world (recent developments like the Internet notwithstanding) you do feel like you are at the ends of the earth. And everyone who lives there seems to feel such a pride in their country, in the very best way--wanting to keep it beautiful and preserve it. I think that sense of uniqueness, of the pride in their country, is what struck such a chord in me.


message 29: by Katie (new)

Katie (SkateandDonate) | 47 comments When will the next book be released?


message 30: by Rosalind (new)

Rosalind James (RosalindJames) | 20 comments Katie wrote: "When will the next book be released?"

What a good question, Katie! :) "Just for Fun" comes out December 8!


message 31: by Kami (new)

Kami (aidansmama) | 973 comments Which is your favorite Jane Austen book? Favorite quote from a movie? What is your favorite romantic movie?


message 32: by Rosalind (new)

Rosalind James (RosalindJames) | 20 comments Kami wrote: "Which is your favorite Jane Austen book? Favorite quote from a movie? What is your favorite romantic movie?"

Favorite JA book: "Persuasion." Favorite romantic movie: oh dear, here's where I confess that my (male) children can both quote liberally from the (later) BBC version of "Pride and Prejudice" (the one with Colin Firth!) And my favorite quote from a movie (or a book) has to be: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man of good fortune must be in want of a wife." Romance Novel 101!


message 33: by Debra (new)

Debra (countrymom6) | 166 comments Rosalind,
Thank you for you answers that helps as for with the kindle app i will look them up on my kindle. thanks i appreciate. i know walking helps me to so i understand that. thanks im going to try and get them asap and start reading since my weekend is a 3 day weekend and then its thanksgiving and loads of family over ... thanks so much


message 34: by Rosalind (new)

Rosalind James (RosalindJames) | 20 comments Debra wrote: "Rosalind,
Thank you for you answers that helps as for with the kindle app i will look them up on my kindle. thanks i appreciate. i know walking helps me to so i understand that. thanks im go..."

I hope you enjoy them, Debra, and that they give you a little break from the work that the holidays can be. I find that I enjoy thinking and reading about Southern Hemisphere Novembers and Decembers when it's cold and wet up here. This will be my first Northern Hemisphere Christmas in four years :( I've decided I love my beach Christmases! Maybe next year . . .


message 35: by Kami (new)

Kami (aidansmama) | 973 comments What is your favorite Thanksgiving and/or Christmas Holiday tradition?


message 36: by Rosalind (new)

Rosalind James (RosalindJames) | 20 comments Kami wrote: "What is your favorite Thanksgiving and/or Christmas Holiday tradition?"
This is going to sound odd--but our favorite family thing to do at Thanksgiving is to go for a hike in a beautiful place, then stop for hamburgers on the way home. Turns out that it's pretty similar to how a lot of people spend Christmas in Australia and New Zealand! You go to the beach, then have beer and fire up the barbie. It's great.


message 37: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Beck (JABeck) | 2 comments Dee wrote: "About Rosalind
I met my husband Rick at UC Berkeley when I was 21, so I really do believe in True Love and Happily Ever After—which helps a lot in writing about them! We renewed our vows two years ..."


Samantha wrote: "Hi Rosalind! :D

I haven't read your books yet, but hope I can soon. :) I hope to become an author too. Here are some questions I have for you.

- When did you decide to become a writer?
- How long..."


Wow, I just read your answers to a question about when you first began your fiction career. I'm amazed (and jealous) that you can complete a first draft in less than two months. I love your book covers, too.

I'm an ex-lawyer turned mother turned wannabe author. I've a completed manuscript (contemp. romance) I'm shopping around now, but am also considering self-publishing. Any advice for another 'new to the industry' hopeful?

Best wishes for your continued success!


message 38: by Rosalind (new)

Rosalind James (RosalindJames) | 20 comments Jamie wrote: I'm an ex-lawyer turned mother turned wannabe author. I've a completed manuscript (contemp. romance) I'm shopping around now, but am also considering self-publishing. Any advice for another 'new to the industry' hopeful?

Thanks, Jamie! I didn't know anything about this stuff a year ago myself. I'd spent my entire career in publishing, but self-publishing was a whole new idea. I was reluctant, largely because of the "stigma" attached. But as I said, events conspired to make me say, "do it NOW."

I'm now convinced that self-publishing makes a lot of sense in this current environment. Agents and publishers alike are extremely cautious. (I know, because I used to be one!) The thinking is: if we DO take a chance on a new author, they'd better be writing more of what worked last time. Publishers may SAY they're looking for something fresh and new, but in fact, they're looking for a "different" approach to vampires, BDSM, etc.

On the other hand, if you have some success self-publishing, if you can show that you've sold books and have built an audience, suddenly you have something to sell. You've shown them that your actually-fresh-and-new idea WORKS. Or, if not, at least you've made some money, and got your books out there!

The average advance for a romance author is $5,000, and that can be spread out over two years. And 90%--90%!--of authors never make back their advance. That $5,000 is all they'll ever see for that book. And if your first book doesn't earn back its advance? Forget about getting your second one published.

Self-publishing is a way to test the appeal of your books, and the risk is low (other than to your ego. It's scary to put your work out there.) You'll be out the cost of your book covers, and editing (both of which are, in my opinion, best done professionally), and an author website--which you'd need anyway, even if you were traditionally published. Another hard fact: you'll be expected to market your own books, no matter how they're published.

I think self-publishing works best, though, if you write genre fiction (romance is good!), and if you write pretty fast, so you can get more books out and start building something.

The caveat to all this: I'm two and a half months in! Ask me again in a year--hopefully I'll know a whole lot more! But I hope the above helps you in your own decision.

Best of luck to you too. It's hard work, but the satisfaction of having other people escape into the lovely little world you've created--you really can't beat it.


message 39: by Rosalind (new)

Rosalind James (RosalindJames) | 20 comments And the winner of the challenge (randomly selected by Excel because that's the kind of geek I am) is . . . Twiggie! (comment #5. I'll send you a separate message, Twiggie.

Thanks, everyone, for participating. I had a great time answering--so many good questions! The new book, "Just for Fun," comes out December 8!


message 40: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Beck (JABeck) | 2 comments Rosalind wrote: "Jamie wrote: I'm an ex-lawyer turned mother turned wannabe author. I've a completed manuscript (contemp. romance) I'm shopping around now, but am also considering self-publishing. Any advice for an..."

Thanks for the advice and pep talk! Best wishes for your continued success!


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