Wednesday, October 12, 2016

9 Questions I Asked My Editor: An Interview with Revell Editor Lonnie Hull Dupont

 

Julie here, and I have to say that I am truly blessed because one of my favorite people in the industry is also one of my dearest friends—my editor, Lonnie Hull Dupont.

But … it wasn’t always that way because you see, I was a very green CDQ (caffeinated drama queen) newbie and she is a seasoned professional, so frankly, I’m surprised the woman has any hair left after what I put her through!

Like the time when A Passion Most Pure was just months away from its publication date and Lonnie’s husband — an Irish historian (really, what are the odds???) — pointed out that it would have been impossible for the O’Connors to sail from Boston to Ireland in 1917 because of German U-boat warfare, which banned all passenger ship travel.

Nooooooooooooooo!!!!! Trust me, I cried buckets of tears (and I’m pretty sure Lonnie did too) at the prospect of having to totally revamp my plot so close to publication. I was so desperate, I actually considered switching the ship’s destination
from Dublin to an Irish community in Nova Scotia, Canada!

Resolution? Prayer! Would you believe that a friend I had lunch with at that time just happened to have read an article recently on freighters traveling to Europe during WWI to transport supplies to troops?? BINGO! I slapped the O’Connor’s on a freighter owned by the subordinate hero’s cousin’s freighter company, and got them safely to Dublin, saving both them and my plot from being sunk by German U-boats!

And that was only the beginning of countless unique problems I presented to Lonnie, but she braved them all, and out of all the trial and tears, a true bond of friendship has emerged that has become one of my greatest joys as an author.

So without further ado, allow me to welcome my dear friend Lonnie Hull Dupont—editor extraordinaire, public speaker, poet, and now author of a delightful memoir entitled Kit Kat and Lucy: The Country Cats Who Changed a City Girl's World.


IN HONOR OF SEEKERVILLE'S 9TH BIRTHDAY:
9 Questions I Asked My Editor, Lonnie Hull Dupont


1.)  Welcome, Lonnie! Since Seekerville is a blog for aspiring and published authors as well as for readers, can you tell me as an editor what’s hot right now and what’s not as far as what publishers are looking for in general?


Lonnie's Response: We are looking for both fiction and non-fiction, but I think you may be more interested in fiction.  Our strongest category is romantic suspense.  We also do well with regular suspense, mystery, and cozy mystery.  We acquire contemporary women’s and romance and historical novels.  And by the way, I’ve heard the rumor a couple of places that we aren’t acquiring historicals, but that’s not true; the thing is that when we do acquire them, we have to wait awhile before going to publication because we have many historicals in the wings.  That’s all. 

I can tell you that we are considering more unusual novels these days – taking some, not taking others.  A little fantasy.  A little magical realism.  A little everyday horror.  We swing back and forth between genres in terms of popularity.   But we’re looking for the next big thing like anyone else, alongside plenty of steady things.


2.)  What is your opinion on series vs. single titles?


 Lonnie's Response: This is one of those things in publishing where each goes in and out of favor for whatever reasons.  Right now we publish more standalones than we used to, though we still publish series.  I don’t really have an opinion on which is better; I personally like both, and I’ve been a binge-reader all my life for a series or an author.  But at Revell, it comes down to how well we can sell each.  That tends to inform our collective opinion.


3.)  What are your favorite types of stories to read and why?


 Lonnie's Response:  Professionally, I like books that are seamless to read.  I like a well-turned phrase.  I like losing myself in a story.  Those can be in any genre we acquire.  The same would be true of what I like to read personally.  I’m behind in pleasure reading and have been for years – the stack of books I want to read but have no time to read is pretty high.  But my personal favorite thing to read is memoir.  Anyone’s. 


4.)  How long does it take to say yay or nay to a proposed submission—by the first paragraph, first page, or first chapter?


 Lonnie's Response: A no to a manuscript is easy for me.  It can happen very soon – anywhere from first paragraph to first couple of chapters.  It happens because it’s clear that the writer isn’t ready to publish or doesn’t understand what we publish or doesn’t quite have the right sensibility.

A yes at first blush is easy, too, and happens quickly.  Sometimes it’s because I fall in love with what I’m reading, or sometimes it’s because what I’m reading is good enough for us to successfully publish whether or not it’s my cup of tea.  And honestly, I’ll take either.  After I first decide this should be a yes, the manuscript moves to committees.   If it makes it through the first committee, I will present it to the second committee.  Then the final decision is out of my control.

The hard ones for me are the maybes.  They can sit in my computer way too long because I can’t seem to decide.  That’s where my work can fall down.  I feel awful about it because I know an author is waiting for me to say something – and I have nothing yet to say.  Sigh.

I tend to go straight to the actual story writing in a proposal once I have a sense that it won’t be a decline.  I never read the complete synopsis until I’m done reading the available manuscript or partial manuscript.  That’s just me.  The synopsis needs to be there anyway – for other readers and also so that eventually I know that that author herself views her book the way I read it.


5.)  What are your pet peeves in a novel?


Lonnie's Response: Too much backstory too soon rather than letting it unfold.  Telling vs. showing.  Sloppiness in points of view.  Too many names that start with the same letter (really, that is distracting).  Anything that stops my reading.


6.)  What is the most difficult issue/topic an editor might need to tackle while proofing a writer’s book?
 

Lonnie's Response:  Books need editing.  That’s just how it is.  Anything I’ve written needs editing, too, and I understand that.  But I know it’s a challenge for some writers to handle being edited, and sometimes they can get offended or might give up and shut down.  Or write passive aggressive notes.  I try very hard to keep things as kind and respectful -- yet clear -- as I can.  That means I carefully craft and rewrite my own notes and queries before I show them to the author. 

But once I did a bad “save as” on my computer and sent an author my notes to myself about her novel instead of the carefully crafted memo I intended to send.  I wondered why she was so defensive in her responses.  It was because I sent her a short list of issues written to myself.  They weren’t mean; they were just terse because they were written to ME as reminders for writing my editing memo.  We’d worked together before, and it hurt her feelings, but she didn’t tell me.  I finally figured it out.  Boy, was I embarrassed.  The poor author!!!  JULIE’S NOTE: And, no, the author in question was NOT Julie Lessman!! ;)


7.)  The recent Christian Fiction Reader's Retreat had a panel on kissing. What are your thoughts on the parameters of kissing in an inspirational novel? And do you think edgier romance has made inroads in the CBA and if so, do you think the trend will continue?
 

Lonnie's Response:  My goodness, that would have been a fun panel!  I don’t know about edgier romance making inroads -- I only know what we sell.  When it comes to kissing, Revell books with romance in the plot have kissing.  We’re fine w/that.  But once you start using body parts in the narrative – mentioning the tongue, for instance, in a kiss – we get nervous and ask for changes.  Passionate is fine.  But make it passionate like an old movie.  A lip lock with positive force, sure, but probably not a lot of mouth movement beyond that.  I can’t believe I’m writing this.  Only for you, Julie!


8.)  You recently switched hats from editor to author with the release of your memoir, Kit Kat and Lucy: The Country Cats Who Changed a City Girl's World, so congratulations on your new book, Lonnie!
First, will you tell us a little bit about the book and how long it took you to write it?

 Lonnie's Response:  Thank you!  It’s exciting!  It’s non-fiction – a first person narrative of my moving from San Francisco to rural Michigan and the two stray cats who arrived at my farmhouse asking to move in.  It’s also about how a life-long struggle with anxiety and depression returned and how my animals clearly helped me through it.

I started a version of it twelve years earlier, about only Lucy at Christmas, but I shelved it.  I also wrote and sold several short pieces about animals in the last couple decades.  Then one day it occurred to me that I should write about both the cats, not make it a Christmas book, and weave in some of the shorter pieces I’d sold. 

So I wrote a prologue and four chapters which I took to my poetry writers group and distributed.  The poets looked a little bewildered and one said to me, “What are you doing?”  After such a reception (ha!), I shelved that idea for a while too. Then a series of events happened too lengthy to describe, and it ended with my being contracted to write that book for which I’d written a prologue and four chapters (of what would be twenty chapters).  It took me six months of writing and rearranging and weaving (all on top of my Revell job) to finish the book, which had a fast deadline.  I wouldn’t like to work that way again.  But I did it, and I stand by what I wrote. 


9.) Finally, can you tell us what insights you gained, if any, about your perspectives on both authors and editors?   


Lonnie's Response: I’m not sure I’m answering this correctly, but here are some things I learned:

-It’s a privilege to be able to write things people want to read.

-Writing to a book deadline is even more solitary than I realized.  But I handled it, and I want to write more.

-I know they say Write what you know, and I did.  But I also say Write what you’d like to read, and I did that, too.

-It’s the first time I wrote such a long narrative about my life.  I have many short first person pieces under my belt, but this was very different.  When another memoir writer told me I would need a story arc for my memoir, I had no idea what to do w/that statement.  So I just kept writing and rearranging, and the arc seemed to develop.

-I have written or compiled several books, but this is the first time an editor asked me to make a particular significant change I strongly disagreed with.  I’m usually open to editing, so this was new for me.  Since I trusted her, I thought about what she suggested for days.  After about a week I suddenly woke up in the night with the realization she was absolutely right, and I made the change. 




GIVEAWAY!!
Leave a comment to toss your name in the cat bowl for FIVE BOOKS!! Not only will you receive a copy of Lonnie's WONDERFUL memoir, Kit Kat and Lucy: The Country Cats Who Changed a City Girl's World (which I LOVED, and I'm a dog person who now may now defect to cats!), but also an ebook copy of my latest release, Love Everlasting AND signed paperback copies (or ebook if preferred) of A Passion Most Pure, Isle of Hope, A Light in the Window, and a framed quote from Isle of Hope.

Note: Unfortunately, Lonnie is not able to be with us today, but I will respond to all comments on her behalf, so leave your comment to be entered, both in today's giveaway AND Seekerville's month-long birthday contest where you can win Kindle Fires, a $50 gift card, or an iPad Mini (grand prize for the month).

HAPPY COMMENTING AND GOOD LUCK!

Hugs,
Julie


ABOUT LONNIE:




220 comments :

  1. Kit Kat & Lucy sounds like a delightfully fun book! I'm a cat person myself and this would be the purrrfect read for myself and to share with the hubby. :-)

    And now we get in the mind of an editor, how fun! I'm sure that job would be a bit stressful at times, but incredibly enriching for both yourself and the author. I'm sure many friendship bonds have been made :-)

    Toss my name in the cat dish please Julie!! Thanks so much :-) Now to head to bed and try to nurse this headache away......

    Blessings!!

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  2. First, I had no idea there was a cat writer's association. I am so excited. Thrilled to go and get your book now. Thank you. Thank you.

    Now back to my manners.

    Welcome, Ms. Hull Dupont! What a treat to have you here. Charlie the Princess cat says hello too.

    Julie, you asked all the right questions, thank you. Wow, this is an amazing interview and inside peek at what's going on with this editor and publishing house. THANK YOU!!

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  3. Psst. Patty Jo. Nancy C, Cate Nolan,

    Cat Writer's Association. We need to join.

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  4. Wonderful interview! Thank you Julie and Lonnie. Revell is one of my favorite publishers to read. I love all the romantic suspense. And while it's a different genre, who could help but love a Julie Lessman book?

    Please throw my name in the cat dish.

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  5. What a fun interview! Always enlightening to see a book's production though an editor's eyes. Thank you, LONNIE. And your memoir, Kit Kat and Lucy, sounds fabulous! Never thought I'd be a cat person either, but three years ago we decided to adopt our fur baby, Miranda, and she's been a delight. She's come a long way from the shy and easily frightened kitty she was to the affectionate and personable cat she is today.

    JULIE, thanks for sharing your experience. I would like to have been a fly on the wall as you realized your travel/timing glitch during your writing process. That HAD to be a two bucket Ben and Jerry's kind of moment. BUT see how great God is?! Worked it AL out because He had a plan. :-)

    AND... BTW, JULIE, your kissing workshop at ACFW in 2011 remains one of my all-time FAVES. Who knew God-honoring stories could be SO MUCH FUN? Please offer your workshop again soon!

    Thank you, Lonnie and Julie, for sharing today! Appreciated your perspective and insights on the creative process. :-)

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  6. *...worked it ALL out* (Hey, it's late. Typos happen.) :-)

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  7. I relate to her story of letting an author see her "to her only" notes on the MS. I write notes to myself as I crit and then make them nicer sounding before I send them back to the author.....however, Naomi and I decided to start using dropbox for our crits in a shared folder and she's looked at my notes before I was finished and told her she could look at it. Poor Naomi. And I think I've seen her notes before she wanted me to see them too.

    Anyway, caveat of using shared folders in dropbox with a crit partner, you may see those terse not-so-nicely-worded comments about a particular bugaboo in your work if you look before you're told you can. :)

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  8. I am so pleased you managed to get the O’Connors to Dublin. Such a fun post thank you.

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  9. I love the saving grace of animal friends... Animal friends have a way of bringing such peace and contentment to owner's lives. It's a wonderful thing... I mean, imagine TINA without Charlie.

    I CAN'T EVEN. :)

    Charlie keeps her calm. Focused. Happy. (She'll kill me long distance, because this might be tongue-in-cheek....)

    Seriously, I think the thought of stray animals wandering our way is marvelous, and I love that Lonnie doesn't pretend to know the next big thing... And manages to publish beautiful works anyway!

    Julie she's a keeper!!!!

    Ruthy

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  10. And I wrote the above WITHOUT seeing Tina's response to the Cat Writer's Association....

    I rest my case!

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  11. Melissa, you guys have time to critique? For real? Your time management skills are beyond amazing.

    Kudos to both of you. I figure if the editor is going to love it or want changes, I might as well go straight to her... Because when I was critiquing, they still wanted changes.

    Taking out that step saved time on both ends and left me free for more projects. But I loved working with Sandra, she's a savvy reader/critiquer.

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  12. I love reading posts from Editors and Authors where they allow us to see a little bit of what they go through to complete the process. Thank you Lonnie for sharing.

    I'm a dog person myself, but I know how having animals around can change a person's spirits and help them achieve great things.

    Would love to have my name tossed into the drawing. Thank you for the opportunity.

    Happy Birthday Seekerville! May you all be blessed today!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

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  13. What a great interview! Thanks so much Lonnie and Julie.
    "I’m behind in pleasure reading and have been for years – the stack of books I want to read but have no time to read is pretty high." I feel your pain, Lonnie. I dream of taking a month off from life and doing nothing but read.
    Congratulations on your memoir, it sounds fantastic!

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  14. Loved the interview with Lonnie, JULIE - and learning more about the task of editing, so interesting - thank you!! As a person who once read mainly memoirs (before discovering Christian Fiction) - I'd especially love to read 'Kit Kat & Lucy'. Are the cats on the book cover actually Kit Kat and Lucy??

    Coming from a family who has dealt with chronic depression for generations, I'm quite familiar with it. It seems to me editing and writing are both professions that could add to the problems of depression and anxiety, am wondering how Lonnie deals with that - other than the aid of her cats, perhaps her book will answer that question?? I'm sure her personal writing has given her much insight into the writing issues of the authors/writers whose work she edits.

    Blessings!!

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  15. Good morning Julie and Seekerville,

    It was so nice to have Lonnie visit. In real life, the only Lonnie I know is also one of the smartest women I know. It sounds like Lonnie may be a good name for strong and smart women.

    Thanks for sharing today!

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  16. Wonderful interview. Thank you, LONNIE and JULIE! So glad the WWI ship "incident" was discovered before the book hit the stands!

    "Kit Kat & Lucy" is now on my Christmas "wish list." :)

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  17. Love the interview! It's always fun to have editors share.

    Good luck with your memoir, Lonnie!

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  18. Lonnie, I woke up one morning to find a couple of kittens on my back porch. One had black fur and the other was pure white. My first thought was oh no. I knew keeping them wasn't an option, but I'd try to find a good home for them. Yeah, right. They wormed their way right into my heart and I named them salt and pepper. Maybe it's karma, because they did change my life. It makes me anxious to read your book. Thanks for sharing all that editorial advice. Your inside view of an editor's thoughts, one who also faces the same problems and doubt in her own writing is very interesting and something we can all relate too. Congrats on the new book.

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  19. I'd jump up and dfdfown for that grand prize.

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  20. Happy Birthday on the 12th day of October to the Seekerville community. Happy Fall too. I am bringing pumpkin spice coffee today and apple cinnamon muffins. Yum.

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  21. Lonnie, thanks for being with us today. Julie is always singing your praises, and rightfully so!

    BTW, my hubby is from San Francisco. Your move was significant, and your story sounds wonderful.

    Loved your mention of reading the pages first. I usually add my synopsis to the end of a proposal, knowing my story prose is always stronger than the synopsis. Also, as you eluded, I like to read a story with that fresh eye and not be wondering, after reading the overview, when certain plot points will be added.

    Revell has contracted a number of fantastic romantic suspense authors. Are you still looking for new romantic suspense voices?

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  22. Kudos on the lovely ads Revell places in the RWR! They always catch my eye and my interest.

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  23. Thanks for sharing your editor w/us today, Julie!

    I find it interesting how all houses differ on the series vs single titles and how a book goes through the publishing process.


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  24. Julie, thank you for sharing an interview with your editor! I've spoken with Lonnie at various conferences and find her a delightful luncheon table companion.

    I can just imagine Seekeville's own CDQ response to having the Germans interfere with the O'Connor's travels!! LOL! Prayer has helped you out of many a plot tight spot, Julie. I like the alternate plan.

    I'm dropping off a tray of apple tarts and pumpkin muffins as I walk out the door for day job. Enjoy the day!

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  25. Hi Julie, What a great interview with Lonnie. Please thank her for all the insightful advice and information from an editor's point of view. Wow. Those tidbits of information are so helpful.

    Thanks for sharing about her book. I know your books are truly a treasure to receive.

    Thanks again.

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  26. This is a great interview! Thanks for sharing!

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  27. JULIE, thank you for bringing your Revell Editor Lonnie Hull Dupont to Seekerville today. Her answers to your questions give great insight into the life of an editor and the workings of her publishing house. I'm thrilled Revell is still acquiring historicals, my favorite books to read.

    Lonnie's memoir Kit Kat and Lucy sounds like a fun, emotional read. I'm allergic to cats so can't own one. But from what I've heard, cats seem to have an instinct toward their owners. A friend with migraines had a cat that would curl up near her head when she was lying down in pain. The cat's warmth and presence always helped her feel better.

    Janet

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  28. What a great interview!!! I love books from Revell publishing. Please throw my name in for the books. I really can't wait to read Julie ' s new book. God bless!

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  29. AUDRA, thanks for the delicious apple tarts and pumpkin muffins. Hope you have a good day at work! I brought some ripe pears and blueberries and some Asiago cheese for protein.

    Janet

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  30. GOOD MORNING, SEEKERVILLE!! I woke up with a pain in my lower back this morning ... which I suppose is only fitting since I've been a pain in Lonnie's backside more times than she can count! Poor Keith ... I'm hobbling around stoop-shouldered with a heat pad on my back like a 90-year-old woman. That'll teach me not to start back on the treadmill at gangbuster speed. Sigh. Keith's comment as he waits on his poor, gimpy wife? "Is this what my life is going to look like in the future?"

    YES! With or without the heatpad!! ;)

    I want to personally thank Lonnie for agreeing to do this interview because if she's told me once, she's told me many times that she does not do blogs or Facebook or any of those techy things as she does not have time to spare with her editor workload. So I'm grateful she allowed me to pick her brain. And what a brain it is -- she is one of the smartest and funniest people I know!

    To celebrate Lonnie's visit, we have a full brunch spread with everything from steel-cut apple oatmeal to eggs Benedict with lots of tea and coffee, so dig in and GOOD LUCK in the draw!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  31. SUZANNE, thanks for the coffee and apple cinnamon muffins! The buffet is filling up!

    Janet

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  32. TRIXI, yes!!! Kit Kat and Lucy is a "purrfect" read for cat lovers, but even for dog lovers like myself.

    Until I read Lonnie's book, my experience with several cats told me they were aloof and predatory, which for an emotional CDQ isn't the best. But Lonnie's book has given me great insight into a species that can be heart-wrenchingly human and yes, extremely sensitive, in their relationships with their owners.

    An absolutely delightful and fun (and pretty amazing, too) Christmas gift for cat lovers and anyone who loves animals.

    Praying for your headache right now, Trixi, and that it's gone soon.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  33. JULIE - saying a prayer re: your back pain, hoping it's nothing more than a strained muscle. So sorry you're dealing with this again since I know you had it a few months ago also. Keith is such a blessing - I need a helper like him in my household too!! Hugs!!

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  34. JULIE, oh, those pesky Germans! I've had to wrench stories apart before, but always in the early stages. I can only imagine your thoughts at the time.
    This was a good post, and helpful to know what's going on. I had heard the rumor about historicals and am glad it's not true.
    SUZANNE, pumpkin and apple hit the spot. Any spot.
    Kathy Bailey

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  35. TINA ... it is, indeed, a banner day when I or a post I write can tell you ANYTHING you don't already know because to me, you are the Yoda of Seekerville!

    So it looks like you may need to join the Cat Writer's Association, my friend, because I think Charlie the Princess may be offended if you don't. ;)

    And as far as the "right questions," I owe most of them to Mary and Ruthy, who were kind enough to shoot some my way. Thank you, ladies!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  36. Aw, TERRI, thank you, my friend! And I have to agree that Revell is right at the top of my list (along with Bethany, of course, since they are sister companies) for great reads.

    You're in the cat dish, girl, so GOOD LUCK!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  37. Thank you Julie and Lonnie for bringing these insights to Seekerville today! I'd also heard those rumours about historicals, so I have one question - what eras are most popular right now (I know we see a lot of Edwardian and WW1 and WW2) and are there any books "in the wings" in different time periods that are becoming popular? And what a boon to know romantic suspense is selling so well! I've heard a few secular author friends moan that the only way they can get their romantic suspenses sold is to self-pub. Interesting how the two markets don't coincide at all. Anyway, please put my name in the cat dish! I'm a cat momma to two frisky rescue cats as well as two dogs. I love any books about cats and dogs. Cheers!

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  38. LOL, CYNTHIA ... no you wouldn't, my friend, because I guarantee you that the flies hit the road once all the sobbing commenced! ;) Again, may I say, "poor Keith"???

    And, yes, it definitely was a two-bucket moment, but I'm afraid ol' Ben Jerry sank in a sea of tears. I consider that point in my new career one of the first miracles I experienced at God's hand (along with getting published after 46 rejections!) because that is SUCH a God resolution, isn't it??

    Aw, thanks Cynthia, for your sweet comment about Ruth Axtell Morren's and my kissing workshop at ACFW. I was told that it had the highest attendance of any workshop that year, so that blessed me a lot. But then talking kisses in an organization that was originally called American Christian Romance Writers is a no-brainer, right? ;)

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK, my friend!

    Julie

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  39. I'm with Cathy Ann - I'm jumping up and down in excitement for all the birthday season fun in Seekerville! ;)

    What a great interview, Julie. This kind of insider's glimpse into what a particular publisher is doing must be invaluable!

    I love memoirs, so Lonnie's book sounds amazing. And you know how much I enjoy your books, Julie :) Please add my name to all the birthday hats!

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  40. LOL, CYNTHIA ... YES, "typos DO happen" ... just ask my beta readers and blog-tour reviewers!! ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  41. Kit Kat & Lucy sounds delightful and I'd love to read it! LONNIE, where in rural MI did you move to? I grew up in the Upper Peninsula. Interesting post and I know it has to be hard being an editor. I've done a little bit of editing, e.g., for professional newsletters as a psychologist and for our regions zone writer's ezine and I was shocked at how some authors didn't want their submissions edited at all! Thanks for sharing with Seekerville -- Happy birthday Seekerville!!! Hi JULIE!!! Hugs!!!

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  42. Love the post. Thank you Julie and Lonnie. I like kittens, though I'm mostly a dog person since I got my CeZar. Kittens grow up to be cats, and then they're not so cute, generally speaking, but puppies are puppies for life! I'd love to read Your book, though, and would love my name I the cat dish!

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  43. LOL, MELISSA ... I can only imagine!! But I suspect your relationship with Naomi is so transparent by now, there are few surprises. :)

    And actually, with a bottom-line CDQ like me, point blank works better in getting one's point across, because I actually learn better that way. Pain is an amazing facilitator! ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  44. Julie, when is your first book in the new western series coming out? Next year?

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  45. LOL, MARY ... me too!! Somehow Charity living in Nova Scotia rather than Dublin doesn't have the same punch, you know? Plus I needed a week-long ship journey in book 2, and I wouldn't have had that with Canada. :)

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
    Julie

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  46. Agreed, RUTHY! Lonnie was a gift God gave me (like Natasha) before I was even aware. :)

    And Charlie sounds a lot like Kit Kat and Lucy in the affect he has on his owner.

    Mmmm ... I wonder if Keith would agree to cat-allergy shots???

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  47. RUTHY SAID: " I figure if the editor is going to love it or want changes, I might as well go straight to her... Because when I was critiquing, they still wanted changes."

    That makes a lot of sense, Ruthy, especially for a seasoned veteran like you! And it's similar to something Mary said once that stuck with me and has helped me not be so anal about editing/proofing before the book is done. And that is that she doesn't focus too much on correcting grammar/spelling because the publisher has qualified copywriters/proofers for all that stuff.

    Uh ... unless you write indie, of course. ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  48. CINDY ... I'm a dog person myself, although I wasn't always.

    In the beginning of our marraige, my hubby wanted to get a golden retriever puppy in the worst way, so he dragged me to see a litter when I had a 103-degree fever on a day that was 10 below. I thought Golden Retrievers were ... well ... "golden," but this bunch were the red goldens that looked like Irish setters. The family had them fenced off in the living room of their tiny South St. Louis bungalow, which turned me off right away because it was anything but clean. But when one of the pups squatted and pooped a pile that looked like red Dairy Queen, I almost threw up. Keith and I went outside and argued in below-zero weather over possibly getting one of these dogs. Fortunately, I won, and we waited to find a litter when I was feeling much better, and those little sweethearts looked like snow-white baby polar bears in a very clean and spacious pen in an unfinished basement. Turned out to be the best dog we ever had!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  49. A great editor is totally worth their pay, aren't they?

    They help me "see" what I miss....

    And I enjoy working with Beth (Jamison Editing) on my indie stories because she pulls no punches. I need that because my vision is often focused one way... and then an editor reminds me to look from multiple directions.

    And I truly need that re-direction.

    ReplyDelete
  50. JILL, I hear you, my friend! And I do feel sorry for editors like Lonnie who seldom get to read what they really want to read for pleasure.

    And a month off from life to do nothing but read sounds like heaven to me!!

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
    Julie

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  51. Oh, BONNIE, GREAT question!! I will have to ask Lonnie that.

    And, YES, Lonnie's book DOES give incredible insight into how Kit Kat and Lucy helped her deal with depression and anxiety. So much so, in fact, that I find myself wanting a cat of my own! ;)

    Hugs and more hugs,
    Julie

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  52. JACKIE, you nailed it -- Lonnie is the perfect name for a strong and smart woman, at least in this Lonnie's case!

    And the only other time I've seen the name Lonnie is in Joann Bischof's Cadence of Grace series, which was one of the best series I have ever read, and that heroine was also a true woman of strength and grace.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  53. Oh, WOW, GLYNNA, yes indeedy!! The awful thing about this was that I researched my timeline quite a bit, so it was SO tight, there was no room for any change because the plot depended on it. So this prospective monkey wrench threatened the whole book for me ... till God pulled my feet from the fire. ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  54. I agree, ROSE, it is always fun to get inside the mind of an editor who sees SO many stories -- from the bizarre to the brilliant!

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
    Julie

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  55. Hi Julie
    Thank you so much for this interview. Incredible insight into the world of an editor. Please be sure to thank Lonnie profusely for being willing to answer your questions for Seekerville.

    Personally, I'm not really a pet person - although I lean to being a dog person over cat person. I think it has to do with a childhood that involved literal no food in house, no money to get any times. Pets? Unaffordable luxury item. The therapy of pets I am familiar with - dogs help my PTSD hubby. He needs one and our Akita knows when to comfort him when he needs it.

    Name in cat-dish please, if it will tolerate a no-pet preferred individual. (with apologies to pet people everywhere. I know they are wonderful - I just struggle with the expense part because of the whole survival thing...)

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  56. Oh, SUZANNE, what a GREAT story about your pets, my friend! LOL ... Salt & Pepper ... LOVE IT!!

    I have no doubt pets enhance and better a person's life, so my hubs and I will probably go for another pet down the road when we aren't traveling so much. But our last one -- an amazing golden retriever who we had to put down at the age of 15 -- broke our hearts too much to dive right back in again. They are family, after all, and the pain is not pleasant, but I'm thinking the healing they can provide is worth it all.

    Hugs and good luck!
    Julie

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  57. LOL, CATHYANN40 ... not necessary, my friend, as a comment will do. Save the jumping up and down for when you win, eh? ;)

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
    Julie

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  58. Oh, SUZANNE, YUM!! LOVE pumpkin spice coffee and, in fact, just had a pumpkin English muffin, so your coffee offering fits right in -- THANK YOU!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  59. DEBBY, I have to admit, I can see why Lonnie doesn't read the synopsis first, but I didn't know that, so when she read one of my finished contracted manuscripts and told me the plot wouldn't work, I almost had a stroke! I was looking at a total rewrite of a book that took me nine months to write. "But I had the plot line in the synopsis," I said, but that was when I learned it's not her habit to read the synopsis because she wants to read a ms. like a reader would and be surprised. Well, turns out she was not the only one "surprised" at this revolting turn of events, but once again, through mountains of prayer, God intervened with a workable solution that only required one additional scene and a few paragraph rewrites, so WHEW!! Dodged another bullet ... ;)

    You asked: "Are you still looking for new romantic suspense voices?"

    I am keeping track of any questions like yours that pop up and will ask Lonnie throughout the day. But let me just say, Deb -- you would be a STELLAR addition to a Revell team!

    Hugs!!
    Julie

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  60. DEB ... yes, Revell always has great ads in RWR and in general. I always loved everything they did for me in the promo end of things. :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  61. I'll throw my name in, but mostly want to thank you for a great interview. Always nice to hear from editors on what is sought. :)

    ReplyDelete
  62. This is excellent! I LOVE editor interviews. It helps to realize they're just real people like us writers, huh? Haha!

    Thank you for doing the interview Julie :)

    ReplyDelete
  63. I do, too, CONNIE -- because although there are similarities in how all publishers feel about certain genres, tacts, etc., the opinions/mindsets/and personalities of various publishers always manage to shine through. :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  64. AUDRA!! Always LOVE seeing your sweet face, my friend, and let me say once again how much I miss you!!

    You said: "I can just imagine Seekeville's own CDQ response to having the Germans interfere with the O'Connor's travels!! LOL! Prayer has helped you out of many a plot tight spot, Julie. I like the alternate plan."

    LOL, yeah ... it wasn't pretty, Auds ... just ask Keith! ;)

    And, oh YUM!! Apple tarts and pumpkin muffins -- there goes the diet! ;)

    Hugs and more hugs!
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  65. Will do, SANDRA, and I totally agree. Whenever we can peek into the mind of an editor, it's a treasure trove of info for aspiring authors and pubbed alike.

    Hugs and more hugs!
    Julie

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  66. You're more than welcome, SALLY! Here's hoping it nets you a win, my friend, so GOOD LUCK!

    HUGS,
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  67. JANET said: "Lonnie's memoir Kit Kat and Lucy sounds like a fun, emotional read."

    LOL ... you had me at "emotional," Janet, and YES, it IS emotional, and I've cried the tears to prove it, God's truth!

    You also said: "I'm allergic to cats so can't own one. But from what I've heard, cats seem to have an instinct toward their owners. A friend with migraines had a cat that would curl up near her head when she was lying down in pain. The cat's warmth and presence always helped her feel better."

    This is exactly what Lonnie says in the book, almost verbatim, which is only one of the many things that has amazed me about cats in her wonderful book!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  68. KELLY!! I can't wait for you to read my new book, too, my friend, so here's to a win!

    Revell is, in my opinion, one of the best publishers out there in the CBA, and I am so honored that they published my first nine books!

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK, Kelly!
    Julie

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  69. Oooooo, JANET ... ripe pears and blueberries? Sounds dee-lish, as does the cheese, so I think I'll mosey on over to the cyber buffet table ... ;)

    Thanks, sweetie!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  70. Thanks, BONNIE, I'll take all the prayers I can get, girlfriend. And, yes, I had this same stupid thing last year during the winter -- twice -- so I'm hoping it's not chronic. It's been almost nine months since I've had it so, that was a nice reprieve. :)

    Praying for you, too, my sweet friend, and hoping you are pain-free this morning!

    Love you!
    Julie

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  71. KATHY BAILEY SAID: "JULIE, oh, those pesky Germans!"

    LOL ... YES, indeed, Kath! I've never been overly fond of Germans even though I have a healthy dose in my heritage, which is why I devote all my writing time to the Irish, even though I am only 1/4 Irish myself. They're just a whole lot jollier, you know? Not to mention passionate ... ;)

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
    Julie

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  72. So nice to meet Lonnie, I bet she has all kinds of Julie stories to tell! I admire professionals in the publishing world who read EVERYTHING! I decided early on that there are too many books I want to read to spend time struggling through books that just aren't my cup of tea.

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  73. The idea that series are somewhat out of style is scary. I've hardly ever written a stand alone book.

    It sound stressful!!

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  74. LONNIE DOESN'T LIKE TOO MUCH BACKSTORY UP FRONT!!!!!!!!!!!
    I FEEL VINDICATED!!! Or maybe I've just had too much coffee!

    ReplyDelete
  75. Lonnie, your comment that books need an editor is so madly true.

    Yesterday I was writing the opening to a new book and have the heroine treed by a buffalo. The hero hears screaming and doesn't know what he'd walking into and now HE'S treed by a buffalo.

    The scene is fun, no problem, HOWEVER the opening itself oh my gosh, I wrote 'limb' as 'limp' over and over, then I started writing 'climb' as 'climp'

    I have done find and replace and reread it multiple times. But it's like I've started writing a typo book for the ages!!!!!!!!!

    Get them OUT of the woods. Do NOT give either of them a limp once they climp down from the limp.
    My brain is apparently overloaded.
    GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT!!!!!!!!!!!
    So yes, I apologize to my editors but I need you desperately!

    ReplyDelete
  76. Spell check at least catches climp.

    ReplyDelete
  77. MARY, creativity must've exploded in your brain. Don't worry, I'm guessing it'll come back before the story gets to your editor. :-)

    Janet

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  78. Leaving a comment for the giveaway entry! Also, I love Julie Lessman's books!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  79. Lonnie speaking as a country woman, when cats appear at your back door, you feed them OUTSIDE!!!
    You must trust me on this. Outside FAR from the back door, like where ever the grass gets tall.
    Your cats, well, I didn't read details, but if they're girls act FAST or expect twelve kittens in your closet come spring (or sooner)

    ReplyDelete
  80. Also don't feed them a lot. They catch mice. Also maybe check with the neighbors to see if one of their cats is missing. Also, I promise, they WON'T want it back.

    ReplyDelete
  81. JULIE, I stand in awe of our God providing just the right editor with an Irish historian husband to catch the error in your story, then providing the answer through a friend who'd read the information you needed to save your story. Some would call that coincidence but we know better.

    Janet

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  82. Also ask for a 'farm discount' at the vet. It can really bring the cost down.
    Dress in jeans, flannel shirt and a ball cap that says JOHN DEER or MONSANTO.

    ReplyDelete
  83. JULIE, praying for your back. Sound like a muscle spasm. Maybe you need a muscle relaxer. Not sure but seems like you're to alternate cold and hot.

    Janet

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  84. They won't buy the 'farmer' if you don't. (they may not anyway) Good luck with those 12 kittens.

    ReplyDelete
  85. LAURIE, that surprises me about your secular romantic suspense author friends because romantic suspense is so hot right now in the CBA. Clear evidence of that can be seen in the introduction of a Hallmark Mystery Movie channel with tons of new who-dunnit series. Perhaps the trend isn't a secular one?

    I'll definitely pose your era question to Lonnie and get back to you.

    Your name is in the draw, so GOOD LUCK!
    Julie

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  86. Julie, I am printing this off to refer to often. Please enter me in the cat dish.

    I am swamped today as I enjoy my third day of non extreme vertigo! I need to finish preparing my lesson for tonight's Master Club class. I teach the 4 year olds. Hopefully all seven lively kids will be back. I also hope to have time to get back to my writing,

    Have a great day everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Hey, SARAH, I will say that "jumping up and down in excitement" is appropriate for Seekerville's birthday month since it is the MOST amazing month in our calendar year, so THANK YOU!

    And thanks for your sweet comment about Lonnie's book and mine. Let's see if we can get both in your hot, little hands, okay?

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
    Julie

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  88. Hey, CARRIE, SO fun to see you here, my friend, especially with all you have going on!!

    Actually, I'm not that shocked "at how some authors didn't want their submissions edited at all" because a book is a very personal thing straight from the heart and often written by the author's own blood, sweat, and tears. I imagine it's a huge surprise to some of those prima donna authors when an editor wants to hack off parts of the story like lame limbs. But a true professional will welcome the insight and expertise of his or her author, so that's what I'm shooting for when I grow up! ;)

    I'll pose your question to Lonnie and get back to you, my friend.

    Hugs!
    Julie

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  89. This post was so helpful. I love Revell books and it was so great to hear what they're looking for and ways to keep from falling into the no pile.

    ReplyDelete
  90. Hey, MARIANNE, I'm "mostly a dog person" too, although Lonnie has come dangerously close to changing my mind!

    It does seem as if Cats "mature" faster than dogs, with a confidence level that elevates them considerably, but those overgrown pups sure are cute, aren't they, though? ;)

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK in the contest!
    Julie

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  91. SARAH, I was told it would release in the fall of 2017, but time parameters haven't been etched in stone yet, so we shall see. I will, however, have book 3 in the Isle of Hope series, Unchanging Love, out in the fall as well, God willing. :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  92. RUTHY SAID: "A great editor is totally worth their pay, aren't they?"

    I actually didn't realize how much, Ruthy, until my foray into indie. That's when the truth hit me right between the eyes. :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  93. DEB, I definitely will thank Lonnie "profusely" because she definitely stepped out of her comfort zone in saying yes to this interview.

    And I was never a pet person, either, Deb, although my reasons were not as difficult as yours seemed to be. I'm sorry to hear about the financial lack in your childhood, my friend. My dad was an eye surgeon, so finances weren't a problem for us, thank God, but there was plenty of emotional lack in our dysfunctional family, so I hope you didn't have that.

    I'm from a family of 13 kids, so we didn't have any pets when I was growing up and frankly, I shiver to think about a pet in the chaotic mix.

    Which means I was I was SUCH a non-pet person that when my hubby first took me to look at a litter of puppies at a breeder's kennel, I acted all squeamish and skitzy when the dogs sniffed or licked me, actually shooing them away. The breeder looked at my husband and said, "I can't sell you a dog -- your wife doesn't like them!" Boy, was my better half ticked over THAT! But I cleaned up my act and finally fell in love with a roly-poly polar bear of a pup, and I've been a dog girl ever since.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  94. ANGELA, thank you! It IS always nice to hear from people in the know about what publishers are looking for.

    Name in the dish, so GOOD LUCK, my friend.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  95. Julie, I'm jumping up and down that Lonnie is Seekerville's guest today!!! I didn't know she was your editor! She was my editor in the mid-1990s at Thomas Nelson. I was as green as a gourd back then. lol Really. I think I cried for three days when I got her notes. Boy, have I come a long way.

    Please throw my name in the kitty dish!!

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  96. Julie
    my family is pretty close knit. after my father abandon us, my mom had us pray together every morning before our day started. I am more of a dog person than a cat person. A friend of mine who loves animals in general has this sign in her house:

    Dogs love you unconditionally. Cats need to see your resume.

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  97. p.s. it was really nice to see that editors really don't want to hurt a writer's feelings. they really want the best book possible. good to know.

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  98. Thanks, MEGAN, it does help to know editors are real people! I remember being SO terrified of Lonnie in the beginning as head editor at Revell and VERY popular and well thought of in the industry, so I was a nervous wreck. Which makes our friendship and true connection all the more wonderful because it was an answer to my heart's desires as a writer to have a close bond with my editor. :) God is good!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  99. BETH!!! Always SO great to see your smiling face, my sweet friend!!

    You said: "So nice to meet Lonnie, I bet she has all kinds of Julie stories to tell!"

    LOL ... you have NO idea, and probably neither do I!! All I do know is that Lonnie DOES share Julie stories with the Revell team because she's told me so, and surprisingly enough, they all still like me ...

    Uh ... I think ...

    You also said: "
    I admire professionals in the publishing world who read EVERYTHING! I decided early on that there are too many books I want to read to spend time struggling through books that just aren't my cup of tea."

    I hear you on that one because I am the same way. Not enough time in our days to read books that don't edify us when there are so many that do.

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!

    Julie

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  100. LOL, MARY ... writing a stand-alone DOES sound stressful, doesn't it?

    But it's not too bad, I guess, because Isle of Hope was supposed to be a stand-alone (my one and only contemp, at least in my mind), but then I fell in love with the characters, and that was (NOT) all she wrote ... ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  101. Aw, RACHEL, THANK YOU, my friend, for your sweet comment -- MUCH appreciated!!

    You are in the draw, girlfriend, so here's to a win!

    Hugs and more hugs,
    Julie

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  102. LOL, MARY ... you sound like a woman with experience on kittens in the closet ... ;)

    I have to admit that cats catching mice is a benefit that has drawn me to the notion that I might like a cat ...

    You said: "Also ask for a 'farm discount' at the vet. It can really bring the cost down. Dress in jeans, flannel shirt and a ball cap that says JOHN DEER or MONSANTO."

    LOL ... will definitely pass the info on ... ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  103. Thanks, JANET, I appreciate all prayers. It does feel like a nerve or a muscle, definitely not bone, so a muscle relaxer might help.

    And I've had heat on it all morning, which does seem to help ... along with the ibuprofin. But only if I sit on my butt and not move, which is my MO most of the time anyway ... ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  104. Hey, WILANI ... sorry about the vertigo ... that stuff can be wicked, I know! Saying one for you right now, my friend.

    And I SO admire you for taking on seven lively kids -- God bless you!!

    Saying one you get back to your writing soon again too!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  105. Hey, SHAREE, I love Revell books too (AND Revell people!), so I'm glad Lonnie's answers were helpful to you, my sweet friend.

    Hugs and more hugs!
    Julie

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  106. LOL, BARB ... you're the third person "jumping up and down" this morning, so that's a sure sign of a winning guest!!

    And you didn't know she was my editor?? And she was yours too back in the day??? Oh my goodness -- I had no idea either! LOL ... green as a gourd ... LOVE IT! But I bet I can beat you on the three days of crying. I cried for a solid week over the German U-Boat debacle until God bailed me out.

    Yes, we both have come a long way with those leaky emotions, although I have a strong suspicion you've come a lot farther along than I have. :|

    Hugs and more hugs!
    Julie

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    Replies
    1. Only because of the meds, Julie. Only because of the meds. LOL

      Hugs right back, sweetie
      Barb :-)

      Delete
    2. Only because of the meds, Julie. Only because of the meds. LOL

      Hugs right back, sweetie
      Barb :-)

      Delete
  107. Oh, WOW, DEB ... God bless your mother!! And I'm so sorry your father abandoned you, my friend, but it's a blessing to see that God sustained you with a strong mother who possessed a strong faith!

    YOU SAID: "Dogs love you unconditionally. Cats need to see your resume."

    LOL ... SOOOOOO TRUE!!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  108. JULIE, this was a fun interview with Lonnie! I enjoyed reading her editor's perspective on the writing world.

    My first love is mystery followed by historical romance.

    JULIE, I'm praying you feel better soon. (((((HUGS)))))

    Have a WONDER-ful day Seekerville!

    ReplyDelete
  109. Wonderful interview, JULIE & LONNIE! It's always great to get an editor's perspective, especially one who can keep our uber-romantic Gone With the Wind fanatic reined in! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  110. Wow, it's just noon and I'm behind!

    Lonnie, what a great story about you and the kitties. :)
    Welcome to this side of the desk. Did they help you? My Schnauzer is nearby as I transcribe her stories.

    Julie, thanks for having Lonnie today. I learned a lot, as usual.

    Fun post!

    Y'all have a good one!

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  111. Oh!

    and what a STORY about how your characters came to be on the boat and get to Dublin. Love how God works these things. That is so so great!

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  112. Thanks so much for the chance to win the books, they all sound really great. Please throw my name in the dish.

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  113. Ruthy, I like one critique still, then I can pretend I'm not as stupid as I really am with some of the things I try to do. :) Only Naomi knows how terrible it was, rather than all the first readers at Bethany! And since Naomi is Indie Publishing, I guess that sort of makes me her developmental editor.

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  114. LOL, MARY ... you've had too much coffee, I think, which could explain all the typos, not to mention all the limping and climping ...;)

    Hugs!
    Jule

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  115. CARYL, I didn't realize that, my friend, that your first love is mystery followed by historical romance, so are there many historical mysteries out there?? Or are they mostly contemps?

    Thanks for your prayers, my friend -- GREATLY appreciated!!

    (((((HUGS)))))!
    Julie

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  116. LOL, MYRA, Lonnie is definitely capable of that, I assure you! ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  117. KC SAID: "Wow, it's just noon and I'm behind!"

    I hear you, girlfriend ... story of my life!

    And OF COURSE your Schnauzer is near by, girl -- she's the heroine! ;)

    Hugs to both you and May!
    Julie

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  118. Hey, LINDA ... you're more than welcome, my friend, and your name has officially been tossed int he cat dish, so GOOD LUCK!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  119. MELISSA ... having an experienced author take a first look at our work (like you and Naomi have) is a really smart thing to do, so I concur.

    My problem is I don't feel like I have the time to commit to critiquing another author's work. But that mindset might be left over from when I was in a crit group that took a lot of my time. It had about six critters in it, none of whom were published yet including moi, so it took me DAYS to crit their work since I'm a wee bit on the anal side ... ;)

    Probably would be different with an author I read and respect anyway, so you may have something there.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  120. Thank you, Julie, for interviewing your editor! I love editing--I'm able to use my passion for story, my passion for helping people grow and reach for their dreams, and my eye for detail. Sometimes I think I'd like to work for a publishing house and other times I really enjoy the freedom of freelance. If I did go the publishing house road, I have no idea how to get "in". I'm sure God will open doors in due season if that's the way to go.

    Thank you for all YOU do, too. Your stories inspire and I love your Romance 101 book. Read it when I took my trip to Italy two years ago. :)

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  121. Nice.. Another new author to read!! Toss me into the cat dish please & Happy Birthday Seekerville!

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  122. Thank you, Julie and Lonnie! Editor posts are so appreciated for the valuable insights. Good to know historicals are still being considered. I love reading and writing historicals. The list of pet peeves gives me areas to be sure I've considered and written correctly. I certainly agree that the character names need to begin with different letters!

    Congratulations to Lonnie on her new book! Reminds me of my Cinnamon and Pepper who definitely found us and moved into our lives. And what an adjustment from San Francisco to a rural area!

    Wow, Julie! What amazing timing on how your plot problem was solved! Yay for prayer!

    Happy ninth birthday, Seekerville!

    ReplyDelete
  123. A book about cats! How can it be anything but good? :-) Very nice cover, too.

    Thanks to Lonnie for taking time from her busy schedule. Interesting reading that deserves a re-read.

    And thanks, Julie, for inviting her!

    Nancy C

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  124. Tina Radcliffe said...
    Psst. Patty Jo. Nancy C, Cate Nolan,

    Cat Writer's Association. We need to join.


    Oh my gosh! I had no idea! Checking into it now ...

    Nancy C

    ReplyDelete
  125. I love reading interviews with authors, editors, and agents so thank you for this!

    I'm a big fan of your books, JULIE! When I was trying to come up with a tagline, I landed on "Passion with a Purpose" and thought it sounded familiar...ha! Anyway, you do passion with a purpose, perfectly and your stories are always entertaining.

    Hope you feel better soon! I personally swear by Biofreeze spray.

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  126. This is a really interesting peak into the inner workings of an editor's mind. I agree that following your editor's (in my case my dad's) advice can be hard and because of some of the advice he gave me I have had to rewrite the whole ending of my book- something that I had previously thought was ready to be published. But the editing is almost done- just two chapters to go!- and hopefully the book will be ready to be published!

    The memoir looks interesting (even if I am a dog person myself). One of the cats on the cover even looks like my old cat Haley (*sniffle*- bittersweet memories). Please enter my name for this generous giveaway!

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  127. I'm cheering on the cat lovers!!!!!

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  128. I so want to win! Great post and sneak peek! Thanks for all you do. (o:

    ReplyDelete
  129. JOLEEN SAID: "Thank you, Julie, for interviewing your editor! I love editing--I'm able to use my passion for story, my passion for helping people grow and reach for their dreams, and my eye for detail."

    WOW, Joleen, didn't know you did freelance editing -- do you have a website?

    You also said: "Thank you for all YOU do, too. Your stories inspire and I love your Romance 101 book. Read it when I took my trip to Italy two years ago. :)"

    No, thank YOU, my friend, for reading my books in the first place, and ESPECIALLY for taking me to Italy -- I've always wanted to go! ;)

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
    Julie

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  130. DEANNA, YES!! Especially if you like wonderful memoirs or cats, darlin', so do check it out!!

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
    Julie

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  131. I am lovin' on Beth's idea of Lonnie stories about Julie... but I have lots of Julie stories, too, and they are all WONDERFUL. :)

    Because she'd kill me if I said otherwise! EEEK!

    Mary, I keep hearing that single title stuff, too, and I think traditional publishers are being conservative about going out on a risk limb and a money limb. If they only buy one or two books, they're saving over 33% over the course of a year, and with paperback sales tight, that 33% has got to look pretty nice. BUT... from an author's standpoint, we actually need regular money, too... And it would be nice if they didn't forget that at some point.

    It's a tricky business, but also teeming with new possibilities!!!

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  132. SHERIDA SAID: "Editor posts are so appreciated for the valuable insights. Good to know historicals are still being considered. I love reading and writing historicals."

    Oh, AMEN TO THAT, my sweet friend! You know how I feel about reading/writing historicals, so that was welcome news. :)

    Oh my goodness -- you have two cats who moved into your lives too? Well, that settles it, my friend -- you will LOVE Lonnie's book!!

    LOL ... yes, it was amazing timing, Sherida, but still a littttttttle too close for my comfort, I can tell you that ... ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  133. NANCY SAID: "A book about cats! How can it be anything but good?"

    LOL ... agreed, and you sound like a cat owner, too, my friend, so I hope you win!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  134. And, YES, Nance -- sounds like you have a club to join ... ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  135. JOSEE!!! I wish I could give you a giant hug right now, my friend -- sending hubby up to Walgreens to get Bio-Freeze, which I have never heard of, so THANK YOU!!!

    YOU SAID: "I'm a big fan of your books, JULIE! When I was trying to come up with a tagline, I landed on "Passion with a Purpose" and thought it sounded familiar...ha! Anyway, you do passion with a purpose, perfectly and your stories are always entertaining.

    LOL, Josee ... great minds, I guess! If you're into passion with a purpose, sounds like we have a lot in common! ;) Thank you for your sweet comment, my friend, and sorry I stole your tag line ... ;)

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!

    Julie

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  136. BARB SAID: "Only because of the meds, Julie. Only because of the meds. LOL"

    LOL ... I hear you!! Obviously I need to up my dosage or give up caffeine ... ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  137. WHOO-HOO, NICKY ... only two chapters away!! You go, girl, and may your book find a great home!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  138. KATE SAID: "I so want to win! Great post and sneak peek! Thanks for all you do."

    You're more than welcome, my friend, and trust me -- I "so" want you to win, too, so GOOD LUCK!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  139. Really excellent article. Great questions and honest, thoughtful answers.

    Please enter me in the drawings. I'm going to *have* to read Kit Kat and Lucy whether I win or not but winning would be great!

    BTW, as a reader, I totally agree that lots of names starting with the same letter is distracting.

    May God bless you both and all of Seekerville too!

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  140. Thank you, Lonnie, for the great info. I am bookmarking this.

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  141. RUTHY SAID: "I am lovin' on Beth's idea of Lonnie stories about Julie... but I have lots of Julie stories, too, and they are all WONDERFUL. :) Because she'd kill me if I said otherwise! EEEK!"

    LOL ... sooooo true! ;)

    YOU ALSO SAID: "Mary, I keep hearing that single title stuff, too, and I think traditional publishers are being conservative about going out on a risk limb and a money limb. If they only buy one or two books, they're saving over 33% over the course of a year, and with paperback sales tight, that 33% has got to look pretty nice."

    I agree, Ruthy. When I pitched Isle of Hope and my Western, I did them both as a stand-alone and a series to give the publisher a choice since I'd heard the same thing.

    But, don't you mean "publishers are being conservative about going out on a risk limp and a money limp"??? ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  142. PHYLLIS, thank you, my friend! And I agree -- Lonnie's answers were very honest and thoughtful, just like her!

    You said: "BTW, as a reader, I totally agree that lots of names starting with the same letter is distracting."

    Uh-oh ... I can't tell you HOW many times Lonnie cinched me on that very point, so I'm hoping that I've finally learned the lesson with my indies. :)

    Hugs and God bless you too, my friend.

    Julie

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  143. LORAINE, I agree -- this is a great post to bookmark, so have at it, my friend!

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
    Julie

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  144. JULIE, this was so interesting! Definitely answered some questions I had - thank you!

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  145. YAY, LAURA, soooooo glad we could answer some questions for you! AND for me, too, actually, so it's a win-win!

    Here's to a "win-win" for you as well, my friend, so GOOD LUCK!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  146. hahahaha DEBH! Cats need to see your resume.

    But it's so worth it.

    LOL.

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  147. Julie, thank you SO much for hosting this delightful interview with Lonnie. I enjoyed reading her responses to your questions, and I'm sure you two work very well together!

    PLEASE PLEASE enter me in the drawing for her book!!! LOVE those cats on the cover (yes, they actually remind me of two of my past kitties, who've now crossed the Rainbow Bridge). :(

    Thank you again - - the interview was not only fun to read, but helpful coming from an editor's viewpoint.
    Hugs, Patti Jo (who readily admits to being a CAT lady!) ;)

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  148. Julie, thanks for this interview! It was really interesting to see into the mind of an editor. I've never thought about all the things they have to think about when editing a book. It's really good stuff to know in case I ever write a book. Also, just want to say that I'm such a huge fan of your books! It's so hard to wait when I know one is coming out, and it's really hard when I have responsibilities that prevent me from staying home and reading all day once I get the book. Really excited to read more books by you! God Bless!

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  149. Hi! How interesting to read from an editor's perspective. Please tell her congrats on her book for me. Also, please throw my name into the drawing.

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  150. It seems to be all about cats today - just hung up from a discussion with one of my BFF's about - wait for it: cats!! Her husband passed away this year, she was just given a cat by a friend - which she loves and is ecstatic about. The cat jumped up in her lap the first time she saw it and stayed there during her entire visit to the owner (friends), the owners decided to give the cat to her. Every friend and family member I know who has had cats has always had one who would either stay hidden and be anti-social or bite and claw the owner (the last cat my BFF had did this also). I've often wondered how anyone could love a cat who constantly bites and claws them. That being said - my BFF's new cat is very loving and sleeps atop her head at night, LOL. My BFF lives alone, so glad she has a companion now. She'd probably love Lonnie's book, must gift one with one, so thanks for the recommendation. Her closing comment to me: you need a cat!!

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  151. Oh, PATTI JO, I would LOVE to see you win Lonnie's book, especially since the kitties on the cover remind you of your two little kitties AND because you are a self-admitted "CAT lady,", so fingers crossed for a win, my friend!

    Hugs and more hugs,
    Julie

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  152. What great ideas - thanks for sharing!

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  153. I sincerely loved reading this article! I loved the Q&A format and hearing from an editor at a well-known publisher. Great job!

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  154. CHEYENNE, thank you SO much, my friend, for your sweet comment -- it blessed the socks off of me!! I'll do my best to keep writing those books if you'll do your best to read them. :)

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
    Julie

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  155. Hey, Boo, you're in the draw, girlfriend, so here's to a win!!

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK!!
    Julie

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  156. Thanks Julie for this fun interview! Loved getting this behind the scenes view of an editor's job (and the great story about APMP). Never really thought about all the work and details that happen in getting a book written and published. It was also interesting learning about Lonnie's new book,as a owner of two cute kitty babies myself I can't resist a good cat story! Also have to say that I'm so glad God led you to an editor like Lonnie and that you were published! Just can't imagine my life without your wonderful,beautiful stories!! You're such a blessing to us!

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  157. LOL, BONNIE, most cat owners I know think everybody needs a cat, but in the case of your friend, it definitely sounds like it was the ticket.

    And I know what you mean about some cats being stand-offish. I once took care of my neighbor's cat when they were on vacation -- fed/watered him and changed his litter box. But I felt sorry for the little guy being alone, so I would take my book down to read to keep him company. UNTIL he shot out of nowhere to claw my bare legs. Trust me, that was the last time I kept that cat company. :)

    Hugs and more hugs,
    Julie

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  158. SHERRI, thanks for coming by and here's to a win, my friend!

    HUGS and GOOD LUCK!
    Julie

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  159. Hey, HEIDI, THANK YOU!! I'm glad you liked it. It was fun for Lonnie and me to do.

    Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
    Julie

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  160. Aw, LYNNE, thank you SO much, my sweet friend, I can't imagine my life without writing either, so I thank God for hooking Lonnie and me up as editor and author too.

    And how fun that you have two kitties also -- sounds like you definitely should read Lonnie's book, girl, so here's to a win!

    Hugs and more hugs!
    Julie

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  161. What a great post! I loved reading your thoughts, Lonnie. And reading what you've seen from the editor's side of the desk and the author's side of the desk. Reading about the things that bugged you in a manuscript is helpful. And reading some of your experiences as an author working with an editor . . . I imagine that gave you some new insights for your future conversations with authors. I love that you are so deliberate about the letters you send to authors. It's nice to know editors are intentional in how they communicate with their authors.

    Your book sounds interesting! May it reach many people's hearts with your message. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, JEANNE, I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I sure enjoyed writing it AND reading Lonnie's book, so I hope you get the chance to read it too. :)

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

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  162. Hi!

    I very much enjoyed reading this posting. It was interesting to see a behind-the-scenes peek at an editor's life/job.

    It sounds like she has a lot on her plate, but that she enjoys her job. Tell her congrats on the book!

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    Replies
    1. Will do, CAITLIN, and may I just say that I LOVE your name!! ;) Have you read my O'Connor family saga yet, beginning with A Passion Most Pure?

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

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  163. Bonton there are many reasons why a cat claws and bites. Sometimes they are in a household where the owners think they are dogs and tussle with them, or their children do. Sometimes there is a trust issue. Sometimes the owners haven't figured out the rules. The cat's rules.

    :)

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    Replies
    1. LOL ... yes, definitely ... "the cat's rules" means the cat rules!! ;)

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
  164. Caitlin O'Connor. Are you related to Julie's fictional characters????

    Welcome to Seekerville.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, TINA ... I JUST asked her something like that!! ;)

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
  165. Tina Radcliffe, I wish I was!!!

    I own all and LOVE every one of her books on the O'Connor family, my favorite is probably Faith's story or Sean's...it's hard to pick!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CAITLIN!!! You just answered my question from above, so THANK YOU for reading about the O'Connors!! Have you read Marcy and Patrick's prequel love story, A Light in the Window?

      Hugs,
      Julie

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    2. Julie, I sure did! I've read, I own, and I love every single book in that series! Thank you for that!

      Delete
  166. An editor with a husband who's an Irish historian. Now I just need to find an editor with a spouse that's a Japanese historian.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, WALT ... great response! Personally, I was a little frustrated at the time because I mean, really -- what are the odds??? But I can see now that it was God watching over me, so now I am very grateful. :)

      Hugs!
      Julie

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  167. Replies
    1. LOL ... nothing's impossible with God, right???

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  168. VERY interesting interview, Lonnie and Julie! I've a background in editing myself, and do some freelance editing these days. I can totally relate to Lonnie's story about accidentally causing hurt feelings with my feedback because I didn't realize how curt it sounded, and the author took it as my commentary on her writing :( I was thankful that she was bold enough to point it out to me, and it really made me realize how important it was to communicate both clearly and graciously when I provide comments to authors!

    What a blessing it is to have a good editor/writer relationship!

    Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, FEDORA! And as a freelance editor yourself, I'm sure Lonnie's interview resonated quite well.

      You said: I can totally relate to Lonnie's story about accidentally causing hurt feelings with my feedback because I didn't realize how curt it sounded, and the author took it as my commentary on her writing :( I was thankful that she was bold enough to point it out to me, and it really made me realize how important it was to communicate both clearly and graciously when I provide comments to authors!"

      I admire you for listening to this person right off the bat, Fedora, because that's impressive.

      You also said: "What a blessing it is to have a good editor/writer relationship!"

      OH MY, YES!! Believe it or not, after getting published, that was the desire of my heart -- to have a close friendship with my editor like I saw some of my other author friends have. Frankly, as much grief as I gave Lonnie in the beginning, I'm surprised we ended up being friends at all, but God is faithful, and I never stopped praying about it, so now I am blessed! :)

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
    2. Oh, and FEDORA ... forgot to ask you to leave your freelance website URL. Joleen above is also a freelance editor and I asked her to leave hers, so I'd like you to leave yours too if you like.

      Hugs,
      Julie

      Delete
  169. I loved this interview, Julie! What interesting insights into the life of an editor/writer. A lot goes into stories before we get the finished product. I'm pretty good at proofreading for typos and punctuation, but as far as the big changes go, I'm glad to leave it to the experts. LOL You've certainly been busy today replying to all these comments. I do hope your back gets feeling better. Hugs and prayers to you, sweet friend! (And yes, it's me again here pestering you)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WINNIE!!! You made it, girlfriend -- I'm glad! And, NO, you are NOT "pestering" me, silly -- this is what comments are all about -- going for the prize, so I hope you win, my friend.

      Winners have not yet been announced on the blog tour yet, so you still could win one of the 13 giveaways there, so GOOD LUCK!!

      Hugs and more hugs!
      Julie

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  170. Julie, thanks for introducing Lonnie to us and for such a great interview. It's always good to get editors' insights and Lonnie's was most helpful!

    Blessings to you both!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it is, EDWINA, and it was my absolute pleasure to do so!

      Blessings right back at you, my friend, and here's to a win!

      HUGS!!
      Julie

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  171. This was a lovely interview to read...the kissing he he! ;) Thank you for the giveaway! Love and hugs Julie!

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    Replies
    1. Hey, RACHEL, thanks for coming by, sweetie, and ah yes -- the kissing!! My favorite part, of course. ;)

      Hugs!
      Julie

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  172. Editing has been a fear of mine, but I like what she said about all books need editing. I'll be looking forward to good editing! This was a fun article!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, KELLI ... I appreciate you coming by, my friend, and here's hoping it nets you a win!

      HUGS!!
      Julie

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  173. In truth Kelli, editing is my favorite part because I know my book will get better.

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    Replies
    1. Agreed, Tina! And the more books you get published Kelli, the more that is confirmed.

      Hugs!
      Julie

      Delete
  174. I really enjoyed the editing perspective. I hope to one day be writing as well.

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    Replies
    1. JESSICA, good for you, girlfriend, and when you do, Seekerville will be right behind you with prayer, encouragement, and good advice, so GOOD LUCK!! Both in your writing career AND in this contest!

      Hugs,
      Julie

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  175. I'm interested in the memoir/short story cat book. I have a love-hate relationship with a cat who came to stay and sometimes bite my feet at night. It's hard to explain why she's still here. :)

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    Replies
    1. LOL, DANA ... seriously??? You must love her and she must love or she WOULDN'T still be there, right?

      And, yes, I think you would LOVE Lonnie's story, so here's hoping I can send you a winning copy!

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

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  176. Cat lover alert here! :) Haha! Count me in! Thanks a lot for the interview, I always love to read behind-the-scenes details about the publishing industry/ writing dos and don'ts.:)

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    Replies
    1. YAY, ROSE ... then you for sure would LOVE Lonnie's book, so fingers crossed for a win, my friend!

      Hugs and GOOD LUCK!
      Julie

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  177. I so enjoyed this Q&A with Lonnie. Thank you, thank you! I grew up in downstate Michigan and my family relocated (when I was in 11th grade) to the boonies of Michigan's U.P. I can so relate! And now, I can't wait to read "Kit Kat and Lucy". I never owned (or even liked) cats, until years later when my husband and I owned an alpaca farm in Wisconsin...yes, God does have a sense of humor. My "barn cats" took hold of my heart and taught me so much. Much of this is incorporated into my WIP (romantic suspense) and I'm loving the fun of writing. What a blessing to have God's joyful purpose in my heart. Thank you so much for making me smile.

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