Monday, August 7, 2017

Jean Fullerton: Changing Partners

It is with great pleasure that we welcome Jean Fullerton to the Romantic Novelists’ Association blog today. Jean is a friend to many members of the RNA and her journey to publication is one that has thrilled many NWS members who still dreamt of their first publishing deal. Here, in the week that Jean’s latest book is published, she tells of the latest turn in her extraordinary life as an award-winning author.

Now let me tell you being a writer is just the greatest job in the world and there’s nothing better than
when you’ve sweated blood to bring a story together someone emails you to say how much they love your book. However, before you can receive such an email your book needs to get into the hands of the reader.

Now I know today you can be independently published and many good friends have decided to follow that pathway. I applaud them for their bold decision for me however, I decided to take the traditional route to publication and I have been fortunate that for the past ten years Orion have been my publisher.  

The publishing industry are always working a year in advance so this time last year when Wedding Bells for Nurse Connie was released my agent and I were deep in negotiation for the next contract. Over the summer as the discussion went back and forth it became increasingly clear I was not working out so after a couple of lengthy discussions with my lovely agent Laura Longrigg at MBA Literary Agents I told her to say thanks but no thanks on my behalf. Now, I won’t pretend that being without a publisher for the first time in eleven years I didn’t wake up in the wee small hours in a cold sweat on a few occasions but in the cold light of day I knew I’d made the right decision.

Over the past few years other publishers had approached my agent but as I was already under contract at the time we couldn’t pursue their offers. However, within a week or two of Laura putting out feelers she had a phone call from my original editor at Orion, Sara O’Keefe, who is now Editorial Director at Atlantic. The rest, as they say, is history.  I am now under contract with them and just finishing my second East London WW2 book for them and am hopeful of many more to come.    
Turning down a publishing contract is a leap into an uncertain future but sometimes you just have to hold on tight to your self-belief and say no.  

About Jean:
A Londoner who worked as a district nurse in East London for over twenty-five years and is now a full-time author.  She has won multiple awards and all her books are set in her native East London.  Her first series was set in the early 1800s but her most recently four books about nurses Millie and Connie have jumped forward a century and are set at the end of WW2. Her latest book, POCKETFUL OF DREAMS, is the first of her East London WW2 series featuring sisters Mattie, Jo and Cathy Brogan and their extended family.

Twitter:  @JeanFullerton_
Pocketful of Dreams
It's 1939, and the Brogan family of London's East End are ready to show Hitler what for. But things don't seem so rosy when rationing, evacuation and air raids start to put this larger-than-life family to the test.
When a mysterious young man arrives at the Brogans' local parish church, he provides just the dazzling distraction they need - and for eldest daughter Mattie, the promise of more than she'd ever wished for. But as the pair fall deeper in love, they are drawn into secret dangers, rife on the very London streets they call home.
As the young couple race to protect the East End, as they know it, can their dreams survive the darkening backdrop of wartime...?

Thank you, Jean, and good luck with Pocketful of Dreams.

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June Kearns said...

Congratulations Jean!! Lovely story! x

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