Let’s Chat! Author Crystal Joy!

Welcome, Readers! And Welcome, Author Crystal Joy!

Crystal JoyMeet Crystal Joy. This week we welcome this author whose pen name fits her photo perfectly: Crystal-clear Joy. 

I‘m excited to get to know Crystal better, and I think you will be, too. Please leave a comment in the Reply box below, and you’ll be entered in the drawing for a print copy of Crystal’s Completely Captivated.

Who Is Crystal Joy?

 

I write Contemporary Sweet Romance, but I like to refer to my writing as Deep Rooted Romance. 

First, I resigned from my teaching position as an 8th grade Language Arts teacher because I knew God was calling me to pursue a writing career. I loved my job. The students were fun and quirky, and I worked with an amazing staff. But God kept pushing me in another direction, and I knew I had to follow. It was really scary leaving a secure job to pursue a “not-so secure” career. (Click to Tweet That!)

Now I know I’m doing what I was called to do because every day when I sit down at my computer, I feel a sense of peaceful contentment wash over me. 

A Debut Experience for Crystal Joy

My first published book is titled Completely Captivated. It’s a collection of short fictionalized love stories about real-life couples.

My writing career did not start off like I thought it would. When I resigned from my teaching position, I intended to work on my sweet romance novels and publish them right away. But my novels needed a lot of revisions.

While I taught, I woke up at five in the morning to write, went to work, then lesson planned and graded at night. Writing at five in the morning did not create enticing, well-written books.

In the meantime, I wanted a way to connect with readers, so I wrote short love stories for real-life couples. Every month, I interviewed a new couple, wrote their story, and posted it on my website. The stories became such a hit that I decided to publish collections of these heartfelt stories. (Click to Tweet That!)

Right before I published Completely Captivated, a hurricane hit my publishing company, and the company didn’t think it would have my books printed in time. I had to push back the date of my book launch party, but it gave me more time to plan an amazing party.

What’s up with Crystal now?

Now I just finished my second book, Completely Yours. It’s the second collection of love stories. Although it’s a mix of love stories just like the first book (engagements, break-ups, weddings, tragic circumstances), this collection is much deeper than the first.

These couples really laid it all out there for you—questioning if their spouses still love them, if they should give up on long-distance relationships, if they should share their feelings with their childhood crushes. I love how open these couples were during their interviews because it made their stories realistic. Love isn’t easy. Relationships are hard work. (Click to Tweet That!)

Finally, I hope these heartfelt stories touch your heart as much as they did mine.

Ordering and Social Media Links for Crystal Joy:

Completely Captivated 

Completely Yours

Newsletter

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

~ ~ ~

Lord, You are Joy. Your are the eternal source of joy for us, your children. How marvelous are Your ways in all the Earth. Crystal’s joy shines clearly because it’s from You. You are Love. You’ve called Crystal to write stories about love—fictionalized stories based on true love stories. How unique and captivating! Bless Crystal’s every word that lifts up Your glorious name: Love. ~ For Jesus’ sake 

 

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12 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Crystal Joy!

  1. Stacy Simmons

    I thoroughly enjoyed your interview. I left teaching to go into another field as well. Your book sounds wonderful and I wish you the best in your new career.

     
     
    1. Thanks so much for joining in, Stacy.

       
       
    2. Thank you so much, Stacy! I hope your new profession is going well and you’ve found a job that you love!

       
       
  2. Marilyn R

    Completely Captivated and Completely Yours sound like wonderful romance stories to read. Thank you for sharing your writing journey and the leap of faith you took to pursue God’s will. Blessings as you continue to write for His glory.

     
     
    1. Great to see you in our chat circle this week, Marilyn!

       
       
    2. Thank you, Marilyn! I thank God for the opportunity to write these stories. I finished one of the stories in Completely Captivated right before the wife passed away. I drove to Mark and Rene’s house and gave them their story in person, and discovered that they were planning funeral arrangements for Rene. The story was read over and over again at Rene’s funeral, as a way to honor her life and relationship with Mark. They are one of the best couples I’ve ever met. Writing Mark and Rene’s story and finishing it right before her passing was all God’s timing. Thanks again for reaching out to me!

       
       
  3. I Love both of these books. It always amazes me how Crystal puts these stories in such a readers adventure.
    I Love the fact that all of them don’t end happy.
    CRYSTAL IS A GREAT AUTHOR!
    I encourage new or other readers to check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

     
     
    1. Thanks so much for joining our chat, Sandy! Please come back.

       
       
    2. Thanks for your kind words, Sandy! I am so blessed to have a reader like you in my life!

       
       
  4. Evangeline

    This sounds like a delightful book, and I would love to win a copy. Thanks for the chance. I am putting your books on my wish list! Blessings on your continued writing ministry.

     
     
    1. Hi Evangeline–Thank you for your kind words! Happy Reading!

       
       
    2. Great to see you in our circle this week, Evangeline!

       
       

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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.

~ ~ ~

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


I
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.”

~ ~ ~

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

~ ~ ~

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. 

~ ~ ~ 

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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