Let’s Chat! Author Janell B. Wojtowicz

Let’s Chat with Author Janell B. Wojtowicz!

Welcome, Janell Wojtowicz and Readers. I’m so glad you could join us. This week we’re visiting with author Janell B. Wojtowicz (For those of us without a clue as to how to pronounce Janell’s Polish name, it’s Why-tow-vitch). Grab a cup and a spot in our circle. Don’t forget to join the conversation below for a chance to win an ebook copy of Janell’s novel, Embracing Hope.

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Janell Wojtowicz: Life Before Writing

Born and raised on an Iowa farm, I’m an introverted farmer’s daughter who ended up in the extroverted big city. My dad farmed 360 acres and raised cattle and hogs. Mom was the stereotypical homemaker. My brother is pastor in a small Iowa town. I’m the exception to the family’s rural tradition.

My first venture into city life was to Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota, where I earned a B.S. in written communication/journalism emphasis. Returning to my Iowa roots, I worked the next 10 years as a reporter/editor in three rural community newspapers.

I married Frank, a Minneapolis guy (friend of the family), in 1993, and officially became a city slicker—a married version of Mary Tyler Moore. I worked in Northwestern’s PR department for 12 years, 16 months at a Christian inner-city nonprofit, and four years in public information for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. Since 2010, I’ve worked as a freelance writer and now an author.

How Janell Wojtowicz Began as an Author

Embracing Hope is my debut novel. It launched in November 2016. I never set out to write it. The idea and compulsion began in 2007 when I watched a BBC version of Jane Eyre. That night, I dreamed the beginning, pivotal middle scene and ending of my story, and began writing it the next day.

It took nine years of stops and starts before Embracing Hope was published. Life interrupted: job loss/search, family health issues and loss, downsizing and moving, and apathy when the publishing world was turned upside down by ebooks and Amazon. I pitched my novel to and was rejected by 10 agents before I stopped in 2010 when I lost my full-time job. Looking for a job and pitching a novel are too similar and I could tolerate only so much rejection. During those years, I worked on the manuscript and the sequels for pure enjoyment without the pressure of pitching.

Pivotal Moments for Janell Wojtowicz

n 2015, one of my best friends and writing mentor died of a massive heart attack. A few months later it was as if he whispered from heaven, “Janell, it’s time.” I got serious and decided to try again in his memory. I pursued small publishers because the competition for agents was stiff and I was an unknown first-timer. I pitched to three small publishers in early 2016: one was a flat out rejection. The second offered me a contract, which I signed in April 2016. I withdrew my pitch from a third one as a result. In August, the publisher closed its doors. My novel hadn’t progressed beyond the contract, so I wasn’t surprised. I gave up on traditional publishing and considered self-publishing—for about a week.

I posted a question on the LinkedIn Authors, Editors, Publishers and Bloggers group about resubmitting to the third publisher. All respondents said I had nothing to lose, so I did. A few days later I got an email from a group member offering his advice. A Christian entrepreneurial businessman, he had published a few books. Over the next weeks, we discussed the state of publishing and our goals. He and his wife read my manuscript, then he asked if he could publish it since he was starting a traditional Christian publishing company, Discern Products. Embracing Hope is the first fiction venture.

Lesson learned: Never underestimate LinkedIn connections!

A Debut for Janell

By the way, the third publisher contacted me a few days after I signed the contract asking to see my full manuscript. I felt so bad withdrawing it again, but she was understanding.

What’s been odd about my “dream come true” is I’ve never done the cartwheel, cheering, or bawling that I had looked forward to for years. I’ve had heart palpations, tummy trembles, and occasional utterances of “Weeeee!” My hands shook as I held the proof. (Tweet That!) When the first box of books arrived, I gasped then sighed in satisfaction and relief

And panic at the next hurdle: marketing the beast. Right now my publisher and I are focusing on getting Embracing Hope out to the masses.

What’s Next for Janell

There are two sequels in development. The story of the bad boy in Embracing Hope is 90 percent done. The second is 50 percent done. A fourth and fifth are twinkles in my eyes.

Some Insight From Janell

When I look back on it, I see God’s hand at work. Losing my full-time job and fruitless searching for a job disheartened me. However,  managing the family issues and publishing a book would have been impossible if I had a full-time job. And while I had asked God why I had to go through the pain of losing the first publisher, I see it was how God directed me to Discern Products.

As often as Romans 8:28 is tossed around, I’ve learned that “God works all things for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

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Readers, thank you for joining us. You can find Janell at the following:

Goodreads – http://bit.ly/2p7bsMw

Twitter – @janellwoj

Blog – http://janellwoj.wordpress.com

Author Facebook – www.Facebook.com/janellbwoj

And you can purchase her book at the following:

Amazon – http://amzn.to/2q4UXjf

Smashwords – http://bit.ly/2p77JP4

Barnes Noble Nook – http://bit.ly/2oBYm8g

Kobo – http://bit.ly/2pU5aQq

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Thank you, Janell Wojtowicz, for being the center of attention this week. Your journey and persistence are examples to us. God bless your every effort for Him. 

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Lord, You’re so kind to use faulty vessels like us to accomplish Your purposes. Bless Janell as she labors to convey Your Truth through story. ~ For Jesus’ sake

6 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Janell B. Wojtowicz

  1. I love it when Christians give it another try when the Holy Spirit nudges us. Congratulations, Janelle! So glad you followed through. Sounds like a great concept for a story, too.

    1. Janell Wojtowicz

      Clarice, sometimes I wish the Holy Spirit would give me a shove not just a tap on the shoulder!

  2. Quantrilla Ard

    Janell, I loved learning more about your journey! So glad that you pursued this yearning placed in your heart from long before. It seems as if the book title is more than just that, it describes your faith walk and success! Hugs!

    1. Janell Wojtowicz

      Thanks Quantrilla, it’s great to hear from you again. Yes, the book’s title reflects a lot of emotions.

  3. Jane Theriot

    God always has our best interest at heart. Glad you pursued your dreams and followed the plan He had for you.

    1. Janell Wojtowicz

      Thanks, Jane. It’s been a comfort to know He’s got things under control because this entire experience has been challenging. But that’s the nature of the publishing beast.


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Join Our Author Chat With Caryl McAdoo

15216001_10211688175467834_1791175952_oWelcome, readers! As we say in Texas, I knew the first moment I laid eyes on Caryl McAdoo I wanted her as a friend.

How right I was! 

Gather ’round as we chat with Caryl Lawrence McAdoo. I think you’ll want her as a friend too.

~ ~ ~

Before Caryl McAdoo, the Author 

What a great opportunity! Though born in Long Beach, California, my parents got me back to Dallas, Texas at six months old, so being a TEXAN is all I know! An only child for eight years might have made me think I was special, at least that’s what all my cousins accused me of.

I went to Letot Elementary in Dallas from the first through the seventh grade. Then we moved to Irving, a suburb and my home for more than fifty years.

Love Shows Up

mcadoo_caryl-and-ronIn my sixteenth summer, I met Ron McAdoo and from our first date on, he and I were together, marrying as soon as we graduated at eighteen!

Well, together except for two of the six months we were divorced…we remarried on our sixth wedding anniversary. Added my only born daughter that next year; she had two big brothers. Then when she was seven and the boys teens, God surprised me with another blessing, a third son who just married his beloved October 29.

mcadoo-familyWriting with my husband began in earnest in the mid-’80s, then first published in ’99 after being mentored by some awesome folks at the DFW Writers’ Workshop.

I LOVE being an author and pray my story gives God glory! 

A Debut for Caryl McAdoo

Back in ’98, Ron and I were asked to write a antique guide book for a local, regional press. The best part was seeing McAdoo on the spine!

15224810_10211688175947846_1413082226_oThough I had nine titles when Simon and Schuster bought VOW UNBROKEN, they counted me a “new” author, and THAT release was exceptionally exciting…the entire process…all the different editors and seeing the cover, holding that book for the first time.

I’d love to give a couple commenters a print copy of VOW as a giveaway. *[Readers, Marilyn R. is the winner of Caryl’s Vow Unbroken!)

Writing, a Journey 

Writing is mostly all about sitting at your computer and doing it! (Tweet That!) Keep at it! Keep getting new books out, and you must keep the buzz gong by posting and having contests and attending parties. 

15215916_10211688233189277_1401570473_oWhen Simon and Schuster elected not to exercise their option on book two in the series, many writing friends offered their condolences, but I said, “No, no! I’m not upset at all! This only means God has a different plan!” (Tweet That!)

One day after my contractual release, I independently published book two, HEARTS STOLEN. That was in September 2014. 

In 2015, wholly with God’s help and blessings and favor, I released eleven new titles and marketed successfully enough to get over 250,000 copies of my stories into the hands of readers all over the world.

15153011_10211688226349106_1426731975_oWhen 2016 rolled around, God told me to SLOW DOWN. I want to obey Him since that’s how we show Him we love Him. 

But it was like I didn’t know how. It seemed very hard. So I landed up in the hospital three times in the first few months.

Then He sent me on a month long all-expenses paid vacation on a yacht, island hopping in the San Juan and Canada’s Gulf Islands. I did cut back to three releases in 2016 and many, many more new readers—still learning how to slow down!

Author-ly Advice from Caryl McAdoo

mcadoo-familyMy advice? Study your craft. The elements of creative writing can be learned, but it is different from most every other type of writing. I don’t think you can learn storytelling. It’s a gift.

If God has called you to write, study to show yourself approved. 

Do not rush any step and put out an inferior product. It will only hurt your reputation and writing career. It is HARD to be patient, but those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength and mount up with wings as eagles! Woo hoo!

15152922_10211688221868994_37908920_oI LOVE being up high! I want to soar in the Kingdom and accomplish every plan He had for me the day He created me in my mother’s womb.

 (Tweet That!

Blessings to you and thank you for stopping by and reading my guest post. Thank you, Linda, for inviting me to come. It’s been a lovely visit because I love you! Linda and I met at ACFW in 2013, that year before VOW UNBROKEN debuted in March. The bonding was instantaneous!

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Caryl is absolutely right. Our bond was instantaneous! My head has been spinning the past three years as Caryl has released title after title after title. This girl’s on God’s mission, ya’ll!

You can find Caryl on Twitter at https://twitter.com/CarylMcAdoo

On Facebook at http://bit.ly/2gWgBFW

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the-delugeDear Lord, only You are AWEsome. We are filled with wonder in Your presence! Whether reader or writer, knowing we’re on mission with the God of Heaven is beyond every dream or desire. Bless Caryl as she spreads the Good News of Jesus Christ in her stories. Touch the hearts of readers and give us writers more and more of You each day. ~ For Jesus’ sake.

17 thoughts on “Join Our Author Chat With Caryl McAdoo

  1. Milly Grason

    I love learning more about my new friend, Caryl. I’ve read 7 or 8 of her books already and am reading another now. Caryl, your stories never fail to draw me in, inspire me to better myself, and most importantly, draw me closer to my heavenly Daddy. Thank you for putting Him first so that we know you are writing what He gives you.

    1. Thanks so much for joining our chat, Milly. We’ve enlarged our circle of friends, haven’t we?

  2. Karen

    I am a Texan as well but at this time we live in Oklahoma. I was born and raised in a town about an hour north east of Dallas.

    I am just starting to read Caryl’s Texas Romance series. I have read so many good reviews on all the books in the series.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

    1. Caryl’s books are entertaining and inspiring, aren’t they? Thanks for joining the chat! Linda

      1. Thank you, Linda! As are yours! Is there a sequel in the works for sweet Ella McFarland?

        I wanted to let everyone know that book two HEARTS STOLEN is free through tomorrow!

        1. Yes, Caryl, I’m working on Book 2 as we speak.

    2. Howdy, Karen. I;m sorry you’ve been temporarily displaced form the great Lone Star State! 🙂 But I have relatives in Oklahoma and visited Eufaula often as a child…before the lake was even there! I live in far NE Texas now, only about 30 minute south of Idabel.

      Kaufman? Greenville? Rowlett? What little town did you live in?

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the stories. You’ll like the contemporary romances, too, and the Biblical fiction I think! One grandma read The King’s Highway twice in one day because she didn’t want it to end! Isn’t THAT a compliment? 🙂
      Blessings to you!

  3. Phyllis

    Good to read about Caryl’s successes and of her dedication to God and family. I want to read more of her books.

    1. Isn’t Caryl an inspiration, Phyllis? Thanks for joining the chat! Linda

      1. My friend, you are too kind 🙂 Thank you so much for your prayer and for inviting me for a chat. I’m so blessed to come! 🙂

    2. Hello Phyllis! I’m glad you enjoyed the visit with Linda as I surely did! I’m glad that reading my stories causes you to want to read more. I pray each one give God glory and draws my readers closer to Him. Blessings!

  4. Marilyn R

    Always nice to learn more about my dear sister in Christ, Caryl McAdoo. I’m looking forward to reading the complete saga for her Texas Romance series. God bless. Thank you for featuring Caryl.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Marilyn. You’re name’s in the drawing for one of Caryl’s books!

    2. Hello there, Marilyn! I so appreciate you coming by and hope you enjoy every story! I pray God’s blessings on you! Love and hugs!

  5. Debra Duncan

    I loved reading this. Its always interesting learning about our favorite authors. I have 6 of Caryl’s books on my kindle. Love, love them.
    Yes we definitely need to listen when God tells us to slow down. I didnt and I had a stroke. Now i pay attention. God bless both of you. Linda, thank you for this!

    1. So glad you stopped by, Debra. Sometimes we need spiritual hearing aids, don’t we?

    2. Hey Debra! Glad you enjoyed our chat this morning! Slowing down is just difficult for me. Whatever would I stop? But…while I wont say I was ‘stressed’ about everything on my plate, I have figured out the world will not stop spinning if something didn’t get done today! God’s timing is always so perfect!


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