Today’s interview is with Jacqueline Floyd, author of Everybody Knows…, a finalist in the Contemporary Single Title category of Romance Writers of America’s 2013 Golden Heart contest for unpublished manuscripts. This is the premier contest (worldwide) for writers of the romance genre. Welcome, Jacqueline!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve lived my entire life in the mid-west (previously in Indiana, Missouri, and Iowa), currently, in southern Ohio. I’ve been married to the man of my dreams for 40+ years. My two fabulous, grown children each live within an easy 2 hour drive–close enough to visit whenever we like, but not close enough for drop-in meals. I love to travel, cook, read and write. I admit to having mild addictions for playing Word games online, shoe-buying, and Diet Dr. Pepper.
Tell us about your manuscript, Everybody Knows…, that just finalled in RWA’s Golden Heart contest!
Everybody Knows…is the first book in a trilogy set in a small-town in the midwest. Harper, the heroine, is a young woman who lived a sort of elegant, yet vagabond childhood. Now, she’s a librarian who leaves Chicago to work in Sunnyside, Illinois, hoping to put down roots and be accepted as part of a community. Zach, the hero is the doctor in the small town. The town has idolized and embraced him his whole life, even going so far as to send him to medical school in exchange for his services. Now that his contract is almost up, he wants nothing more than to go to faraway places where no one expects anything from him and where everyone in the community isn’t constantly monitoring his every move.
As it turns out, the small-town isn’t very welcoming to Harper when she arrives, Except for Zach, of course. Despite his initial attraction to her, he tries to keep her at arm’s length because he knows he’ll be leaving soon. Eventually, he proposes a secret affair to protect Harper from gossip while they get to know one another. When she finds out he’ll be leaving soon, her old insecurities return and she feels like she’s being used by someone who doesn’t think she’s good enough for him. They each have to come to terms with the shadows in their pasts and the emotional obstacles in the present, before they can commit to a future together.
Tell us about the Golden Heart experience!
This is my sixth nomination, and even though each time is different, making the finals of the Golden Heart is always exciting! The best part of being named a GH finalist is the major infusion of confidence. It’s a reminder that maybe, just maybe, I really do have a chance at publication someday.
Getting to know the other finalists is another pleasure of the GH experience. It’s inspiring to witness the creative-energy and enthusiasm generated by this talented group.
Where do you get the ideas for your stories? And/or for this story, in particular?
I’m most often compelled to write stories about ordinary people who perform extraordinary feats of courage, support, or love. I constantly mull the psychological motivations of any news story or personal narrative by thinking, what incident in their past or present pushed them into acting or reacting in just this way? A story will always grow from that.
Everybody Knows… is loosely based on a situation when my daughter moved to a small town and experienced some resistance from the community about accepting an outsider.
What has your writing journey been like?
My writing journey has been long and erratic, filled with your standard high points and low. I love the writing/creative process, and I sometimes find it difficult to set a manuscript aside when I get to The End. In my heart, I always know I can make them just a little bit better if I work on them just a little bit longer. It helps to have a new project ready to tug me away from the last one. Although publication has always been my goal, I will admit to being less than enthusiastic about the submission process.
In addition to the solitary creative process, I am a member of Ohio Valley Romance Writers of America, and appreciate the support and camaraderie of other writers.
What’s your ideal writing environment?
Ideally, it would be fabulous to have a secluded island get-away dedicated to my writing activities, but alas, that’s someone else’s life, not mine. To make any headway on a manuscript, I prefer to sit at my computer, in my office, with silence all around.
Is there anything you’d like to add?
I’d like to thank you for inviting me contribute to your blog. It’s been a pleasure to share this Golden Heart experience with you.
Thank you, Jacqueline, for visiting Leslie Lynch Writes – and we wish you the very best in your publishing future!