Today I’m excited to feature fellow Astraea Press author, Rachel Jones.
Without further ado, here’s Rachel…
I have always sought out new challenges, especially creative endeavors. I’ve had a decades-long love affair with music as a musician. I love to sew and to create counted cross stitch works. I have always loved to read, so in March 2012 it was no surprise to my family when I announced that I had decided to write a novel.
Five months into my writing, I realized this would take some education if I was going to do it correctly. Have I mentioned that I strive for perfection? I joined Romance Writers of America hoping to figure out the proper way to get the stories in my head onto paper. In January of 2013 I joined Georgia Romance Writers and my education took off full speed. I had found the place I needed to be. Surrounded by others working toward the same goal, I found the encouragement to persevere and finish my novel. Opportunities for growth as a writer kept coming my way as well as frustration when I couldn’t take advantage of some of those opportunities. My hours at work made it impossible to commit to a critique group, which I felt would have been very beneficial, so I looked for other avenues to provide that service. I entered three contests which allowed my work to be critiqued. It was not as ideal as belonging to a group, but it was definitely helpful.
In October 2013 I attended my first writer’s conference. I pitched my novel to an agent and an editor. The agent requested a partial submission and I later received my first rejection. The editor asked for my full manuscript and two months later offered a contract. My education continues through reading blogs or books on craft or spending time with other authors. It has taken two years and three months to see the fruit of my labor staring back at me from my Kindle, but so worth the struggle.
For those of you seeking publication I encourage you to persevere, set goals, and seek out new opportunities that might very well hold that last piece of the puzzle to make your journey complete.
In 2012 when I started this new creative endeavor, I was looking for something that would fill my time after I retire from healthcare in a few years. I have actually found my next career.
At age thirty-two, Jillian Russell has endured a life time of heartache. Alone in the world, she has also suffered the loss of her dance career. Redirecting her life, she opens the North Carolina Ballet Company. Intent on making it the go-to company for serious performers, she shuts down her personal life while she struggles to build her company into the success she envisions.
As far back as he can remember, trauma surgeon, Alan Armstrong has had a penchant for fixing things. Since his father’s death, the ambition to open a community clinic in a rural area on the eastern coast has directed his actions. Hopeful to prevent future deaths due to lack of medical care, he has made the clinic his top priority.
When Alan’s life intersects with Jillian’s, the connection they both feel is undeniable. As a new board member to her ballet company, Alan is eager to help solve the financial damage of lost federal funding. But he doesn’t stop there. He wants to help her build new relationships to chase the loneliness from her life. As they grow closer, secrets from their pasts cause them to be pulled apart. Will they be able to overcome their pasts to have a future together?
About the Author:
In 1977 Rachel earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education and taught music for ten years. After the birth of her second child, she returned to school and in 1991 earned her Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing and passed the state boards for registered nurses. She has been a labor & delivery and antepartum nurse since that time.
Anticipating her retirement from healthcare, Rachel decided to write her first novel at age fifty-seven. For years she had experienced scenes of heroes and heroines rambling about in her thoughts and spilling into her dreams. So it was a no-brainer that she should attempt to capture these thoughts on paper.
Rachel resides in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia with her husband of thirty-seven years. She has three adult children, who help spoil their Labrador retriever. She is a member of Georgia Romance Writers, Southeastern Writers Association and is a PRO member of Romance Writers of America.
Connect with Rachel: