The Over 50 Writer

WELCOME AUTHOR JANELL WOJTOWICZ
Thursday, February 2, 2017 by Patti Shene

FEATURED BOOK:  Embracing Hope

AUTHOR:  Janell Butler Wojtowicz

PUBLISHER:  Discern Products

GENRE:   Christian contemporary romance

SERIES OR STAND ALONE: Stand alone with series in development

TARGET AGE: 18 and up

 

I AM EXCITED TO WELCOME AUTHOR JANELL BUTLER WOJTOWICZ TO THE OVER 50 WRITER. JANELL SHARES HER WRITING JOURNEY AND PROVES THAT IT’S NEVER TO LATE TO REALIZE OUR PUBLISHING DREAMS.

 

JANNELL IS OFFERING A GIVEAWAY! SIMPLY LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW TO ENTER THE DRAWING FOR A KINDLE COPY OF EMBRACING HOPE.

 

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE!

by

Janell Butler Wojtowicz

 

When I began my novel in 2007, George W. Bush was president, my oldest granddaughter was six years old, and Facebook was a college fad. Today, Donald Trump is president, my granddaughter is 15 with a driver’s permit, and Facebook is a billion-dollar household word among young and old.

 

In 2007, I was neck-deep in a public relations career working with the Minneapolis (Minnesota) Park and Recreation Board, one of the premier park systems in the country. But I was bored almost to tears writing about playground development, emerald ash borer, and milfoil. (Google the last two if you must know.) My creativity was stifled.

 

One night I watched a brilliant BBC version of “Jane Eyre.” A vivid dream that night depicting the beginning, pivotal scene in the middle, and the ending became Embracing Hope. My lead, Drew, is a softer younger Christian version of brooding yet passionate Mr. Rochester. (Although Drew’s insane wife isn’t hidden away in a padded castle turret—she’s just dead!) Allison, the ingénue, has the compassion and relationship inexperience of Jane Eyre, but instead of being an abused orphaned ward of the state, she’s fighting financial and academic challenges.

 

For nine years I labored over the manuscript. The first two years my quest bordered on obsessive. My goal was to publish in two years. I had it critiqued twice and professionally edited, went to a writer’s conference, joined writing clubs and online networks, and entered the manuscript in contests. I pitched to and was rejected by 12 agents/publishers, but I was not surprised or dejected.

 

Then the chaos called Life interrupted. At one point I didn’t look at the manuscript for over a year. I worked on the sequels for sheer pleasure. I didn’t make a single pitch for six years. Life settled down, but I wasn’t on fire to publish. Had I wasted all this time, energy and money on nothing? I didn’t think so. Why else would the Lord have given me the story? So I yielded my novel to God and let it sit.

 

A year ago I felt the Holy Spirit’s nudge; or perhaps it was my recently deceased writing mentor whispering in my ear from heaven, “It’s time, Janell.” After a flat-out “no” from one publisher and a broken contract from another, I found my publisher through a LinkedIn query.

 

Through God’s guidance and grace, on Nov. 14, 2016, I became a first-time published author at age 55. A friend teased that I had finally “peaked.” Many people peak in high school as the star quarterback or homecoming queen. Some peak in college with Ph.Ds. Others peak as thirty-somethings in their careers with multi-national corporations. But I have good company being a late-bloomer. Two of my just-published colleagues are past 50. Look at Laura Ingalls Wilder! She was in her 50s when she first attempted publishing. It wasn’t until age 65 that she published Little House in the Big Woods, and published the last in the series at age 76. When she died at age 90 she had enjoyed considerable success for over two decades.

 

I’ve been asked how I was able to write a story about people in their 20s and 30s. How could I relate to them? Simple: I wrote what I knew. I may not remember what I did last weekend, but I clearly remember my attitude, goals, dreams, obstacles, fears and determination at that stage of my life. I put myself into the story (We all do, right?) not just through those emotions, but through experience. In addition to graduating from a Christian college, I spent 12 years working at a Christian college, so I have substantial knowledge of the environment: daily chapel, Homecoming, academics, short-term student mission trips. The great thing about fiction was the freedom and creativity to embellish my memories and experiences and illustrate them through the lives of a younger generation.

 

I may have a few gray hairs, get AARP offers, and qualify for the senior discounts in some restaurants, but I don’t have to think like a middle-aged woman all of the time, as Embracing Hope demonstrates.

 

BLURB FOR EMBRACING HOPE:

 

University dean Drew McKinley mourns his dead wife and still wears his wedding ring. Falling in love again is the last thing on his mind. Even as grad student Allison Bennett deals with financial hardships and academic challenges, she recognizes Drew’s unresolved grief from her own loss. Student senate president Chris Whitney carries around the secret burden of a dysfunctional family and a just-below-the surface temper.

 

DON’T FORGET TO LEAVE A COMMENT TO BE PLACED IN THE DRAWING TO WIN A KINDLE COPY OF EMBRACING HOPE BETWEEN NOW AND SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12TH AT MIDNIGHT MST.

 

?Janell Butler Wojtowicz, born and raised on an Iowa farm, was one of those kids who loved to write the dreaded “What I did on summer vacation” essay. As a result, it’s no surprise that she has spent her entire 30-year career in writing, including newspaper journalism, Christian higher education and nonprofit public relations, and local government public information. She and her husband, Frank, live in New Brighton, Minnesota. She has two step-sons, a step-daughter-in-law, and three step-granddaughters.  Connect with Janell online:

Facebook 

Blog 

Linkedin
 

Amazon

 

 


Comments

Patti Shene From SE Colorado At 2/10/2017 10:50:18 AM

Carla, thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment for Janell. Interesting that you have similar names, neither of which is all that common.

Carla Ganell Moore From Savannah Georgia At 2/10/2017 9:26:29 AM

You have a beautiful cover and I would be blessed to receive your book. Your first name and my middle name are almost alike. Thank you for the giveaway!

Janell From New Brighton Minnesota At 2/5/2017 1:32:19 PM

I know where Correctionville, Cedar Rapids and Webster City are. Cleo, I lived in Hampton down the road from WC for 7 years. Gail, where in N Iowa? I''m from Allison/Bristow. My mother lives in Greene and I''m having a book signing there in April. Love to meet you if you can come.

Patti Shene From SE Colorado At 2/3/2017 11:23:31 AM

I had two good friends who lived in Iowa for many years and never got to visit. One pastored a church in a tiny town called Correctionville and the other lived in Cedar Rapids. One has passed away & the other moved. Thank you for stopping by, Cleo! Janell''s story is inspiring!

Cleo Lampos From OAK LAWN At 2/3/2017 10:49:05 AM

I lived in Webster City, Iowa for a while with an aunt!!! Good people. Janell, your bio is so intriguing, and demonstrates how God really does have a plan for our writing if we put the manuscript in His hands for His timing. Blessings on your book.

Patti Shene From SE Colorado At 2/3/2017 10:37:24 AM

Wow, Gail. That would be cool if the two of you could arrange to meet. Thank you so much for stopping by.

gail kittleson From Iowa At 2/3/2017 10:33:46 AM

Oh, my! I''m born and raised on an Iowa farm too, Janelle. We must meet. I live in N. Iowa, so here''s an invite to come down to our little town - we have a great B & B and I''ll take you out to lunch. On and off, there''s even a writing retreat at the B & B. (: enjoyed your publication story.

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WELCOME AUTHOR JOHNNIE ALEXANDER
Patti Shene
8/5/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR TERESA POLLARD
Patti Shene
7/16/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL SATTLER
Patti Shene
7/9/2015

WEIGHT LOSS DEVOTIONAL FREE ON KNDLE
Patti Shene
6/20/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR YVONNE ADERSON
Patti Shene
6/5/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR SHERRI STONE
Patti Shene
5/21/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR MARIANNE JONES
Patti Shene
5/6/2015

REVIEW OF INDEBTED BY BRAXTON DeGARMO
Patti Shene
4/29/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR DEANNA K. KLINGEL
Patti Shene
4/17/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR TERESA IVES LILLY
Patti Shene
4/2/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR PEG PHIFER
Patti Shene
3/19/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR DARLENE FRANKLIN
Patti Shene
3/4/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR MICHELLE GRIEP
Patti Shene
2/20/2015

NEGOTIATING THE LEARNING CURVE
Patti Shene
2/6/2015

WHEN ENCOURAGEMENT COMES YOUR WAY
Patti Shene
1/30/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR SANDY NADEAU
Patti Shene
1/14/2015

I AM A WRITER--OR AM I REALLY?
Patti Shene
1/1/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR GEORGE DUNCAN
Patti Shene
12/3/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR MARTHA ROGERS
Patti Shene
11/21/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR EDITH EDWARDS
Patti Shene
11/6/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL KITTLESON
Patti Shene
10/16/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR CAMILLE EIDE
Patti Shene
10/2/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR FRANCES SUSANNE BROWN
Patti Shene
9/18/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR AVA PENNINGTON
Patti Shene
9/4/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR LILLIAN DUNCAN
Patti Shene
8/21/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR CYNTHIA TONEY
Patti Shene
8/6/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR CARRIE STUART PARKS
Patti Shene
7/16/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR & PUBLISHER TRACY RUCKMAN
Patti Shene
7/3/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR JANET SKETCHLEY
Patti Shene
6/18/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR ANE MULLIGAN
Patti Shene
6/4/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR REBECCA CAREY LYLES
Patti Shene
5/15/2014

DARK BIOLOGY BY BONNIE DORAN
Patti Shene
5/1/2014

BY THE WATERS OF KADESH BY CAROLE TOWRISS
P
4/17/2014

WHERE HOPE STARTS BY ANGELA D. MEYER
Patti Shene
4/3/2014

THE CHARM BRACELET BY SUSAN PAGE DAVIS
Patti Shene
3/20/2014

Love Redeemed by Kelly Irvin
Patti Shene
3/5/2014

Shadows of the Past by Patricia Bradley
Patti Shene
2/20/2014

WELCOME WRITER DELORES LIESNER
Patti Shene
2/5/2014

The Heartbeat of the Novel by James R. Callan
Patti Shene
1/15/2014

Don't Let Bible Contradictions Rob Your Faith
Patti Shene
1/2/2014

Welcome Author Lilliann Duncan
Patti Shene
5/30/2013

Confessions of a Reluctant Reader
Patti Shene
5/9/2013

WELCOME AUTHOR LENA NELSON DOOLEY
Patti Shene
5/2/2013

WELCOME AUTHOR KATHI MACIAS
Patti Shene
4/24/2013

Review of Congo Dawn by Jeanette Windle
Patti Shene
4/18/2013

I'm back
Patti Shene
4/11/2013

Welcome Author JoAnn Durgin
Patti Shene
2/14/2013

Welcome Award-Winning Author Susan Page Davis
Patti Shene
2/7/2013

Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks
Patti Shene
1/30/2013

Introducing Jeanette Windle and Congo Dawn
Patti Shene
1/23/2013

Author Carole Johnson on Perseverance
Patti Shene
1/17/2013

The Value of Social Media
Patti Shene
1/9/2013

A Glimpse Into the Future
Patti Shene
1/2/2013

Welcome Author Jo Huddleston
Patti Shene
12/20/2012

Give Some Holiday Hope for Just $3.99
Patti Shene
12/14/2012

Great Christmas books from Lena Nelson Dooley
Patti Shene
12/7/2012

Welcome to Author Jude Urbanski
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

A Writers Journey Part IV
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Interview with Author Kelly Irvin
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Whose prophecy do you believe?
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Welcome Author Michal J. Webb
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Meet Author Sharon Shrock and the Women of Valley
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Welcome Author Lillian Duncan
Patti Shene
11/13/2012