Meet Jacqueline Floyd, 2013 Golden Heart Finalist!

Jacqueline FloydToday’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a finalist in the Contemporary Single Title category of Romance Writers of America’s 2013 Golden Heart contest for unpublished manuscripts.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.

How can fans (and agents and editors!) reach you? 
Twitter: @Jackie_M_Floyd

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!

This entry was posted in Creative Process, Creativity, Golden Heart, Leslie Lynch, Romance Writers of America, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Advice, Writing Tips and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Meet Jacqueline Floyd, 2013 Golden Heart Finalist!

  1. Leslie Lynch says:

    Good morning, Jacqueline! Wow. Six times as a Golden Heart finalist! I can tell by reading your interview I’d love to read your books!. I hope you find a publishing path soon, so I (and many others!) CAN read them!

    I love the last line in your description of Everybody Knows…: They must come to terms with the shadows of their pasts and overcome the obstacles of the present before they can commit to a future together. What a perfect definition of the romance genre!

    Thanks for being here today, Jacqueline! I’m looking forward to a great conversation!


  2. kimmaccarron says:

    Thanks, Leslie for bringing Jacqueline aboard the blog. 🙂 It’s so interesting to see where other author’s come up with their stories. I love small-town romances! It’s true that smaller towns can be a little bit protective of their inner circle, but once you’re in, you’re in. 🙂 Good luck with your book, and here’s hoping we’ll see it on the shelves real soon.
    I hear you about the submission process. I quit submitting and started to just meet agents at my local conferences. I like that better.
    And if you ever need company at your secluded island getaway, I’m your girl!

    • Hi Kim,

      Thanks for your comments. I love this opportunity to share information about my manuscript and compare notes with other writers. I totally agree, the one on one meeting with an agent or editor through contests and conferences is certainly better than the much colder and estranged cold submit.
      I’ll get back to you on the island get-away. It can be a retreat for all of us who need a break from this rainy, gloomy morning. That may be my true calling in life–a writer’s retreat in a paradise setting. It would be for the good of all, not just me!
      Until then, thanks for stopping by and good luck with your writing.


  3. Thank you, Leslie, for inviting me. The Golden Heart contest is sure a personal motivator and has been a shot in the arm when I needed one over the years. Going to the national conference as a finalist really adds a special dimension to the event, too. and the award ceremony has so much more meaning. I look forward to meeting all of the finalists there.

    Thank you for the kind words about my book, too. Maybe because Everybody Knows… is the first book in a series, I feel like I have a bigger piece of myself invested in this story and these people than I ever have before. I’d love to see it in print and in the hands of readers someday.

    Thanks again.


    • Leslie Lynch says:

      Is Everybody Knows… your first manuscript? What manuscripts finalled the other five times? I’ve entered Hijacked in the Golden Heart that many times (I think; I’d have to dig out my spreadsheet and count!), but this is the first time I struck gold with it. 😉 Hijacked was my first manuscript; it was ‘my baby’ for a long time. It was hard to move on once I finished it – along with really scary, because I didn’t know if I had another book in me. But now that I’m on manuscript #3, I’ve found that I can count on finding more to write about. Whew! I, too, read the paper for ideas, and sometimes cut out pictures that give the seed of an idea.

    • In 2001 my third manuscript BABE IN THE WOODS won the Single Title Golden Heart. I was a double finalist that year and my fourth manuscript MEET YOUR MATE was nominated in Short Contemporary.
      In 2004, my 4th manuscript CURSED BY LOVE won the Golden Heart in the Short Contemporary category.
      In 2008, I was a finalist with the second manuscript I wrote, TOO LATE FOR LOVE.
      In 2009, MEET YOUR MATE came back and finaled in short contemporary again.
      And now, in 2013, here I am in Single Title again.EVERYBODY KNOWS… is my 8th or 9th manuscript.
      I guess that long ago very first one shouldn’t really count. It was called HEART’S TRUTH (no kidding). It was that bad, but it’s been a learning process. Everyone’s journey is different and perseverance is the key.
      My husband and son are serious sports fans and I’ve always remembered an inspiring speech by Jimmy Valvano, a basketball coach who was battling cancer. The simple advice he gave that spoke me was: Don’t Give Up. Don’t Ever Give Up.

  4. piperhuguley says:

    I love Diet Dr. Pepper too! And I am amazed that I can still get it in this Coca-Cola town. As we get on the road and travel, we will go through North Carolina and stop to pick up some Diet Cheerwine. Not the same as Diet Dr. Pepper but tasty too. And I really don’t drink soft drinks that often, but these are my exceptions. Thanks for the great interview and story blurb. Good luck to you!


    • Hi Piper!
      I’m always happy to meet other DDP fans! I’m sure we’re a very discerning group. It’s not that common everywhere. The last time the RWA conference was in NY, I had to import my own. I’m not familiar with Diet Cheerwine. Is that primarily a southern drink too? I’ll watch for it, or maybe you can save one for me to try in Atlanta, if you’ll be there in July.
      It has been so much fun to share parts of my story here today. Thanks for stopping by.


  5. Laurie says:

    Jacqueline, I admire your perseverance. With so many writers moving to e-pub and self-pub these days, I’m with you in trying for the traditional publication route. But it is wear you down. How do you stay positive?

    • Hello Laurie,
      It is hard to keep the faith sometimes. I write what I like to read, so I know there’s a market for it, and I hope one day an editor will agree. I get really good, positive feedback from editors, so that helps, and I’ve had a lot of success with contests. My family is very encouraging. Without their support, I might have given up by now. And when I see other people achieving their dreams, I know mine are a possibility too. I’m not sure I won’t try the e-pub/self-pub route in the future, but to me, that is a different, separate goal from traditional publishing. Most importantly, believe in yourself and don’t listen to the nay-sayers.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Nan Dixon says:

    Congratulations Jacqueline!
    Holy moly – six finals is awesome! I hope this one brings on the agent or editor of your dreams!!
    Glad to be a Lucky 13s with you!

  7. Jacqueline/Jackie,

    Which name to use? Whichever one you do use, I love your name 🙂 Congratulations on your six Golden Heart nominations! “Everybody Knows” sounds so compelling that I’m sure publication can’t be far off. I hear you on the submission process, though. It takes time away from writing and is an emotional roller coaster ride. Thanks for the tips on how to stay positive!


    • For gh and rwa proposes, I use Jacqueline, but it’s too much for casual usage. 🙂
      Yes, the time and feelings if rejection are the drawbacks to submitting, but such a major part if the processing. You’d think I’d be used to it by now.
      Good luck with you writing!

  8. Thanks for letting us get to know you a little better, Jacqueline! Six GH nominations? That’s incredible, and a testament to the time and energy you put into your craft. I’d love to write on a small, tropical island too, but then sand might get into the keyboard. 😉

    Can’t wait to meet you in Atlanta!

    • HI Bonnie,
      It was my pleasure to spend some time here today. While I”m very proud of my six gh nominations, they aren’t something I get to mention everyday. But you’re right, they are a reflection of my efforts to write and improve. As for the sand, that would be a small price to pay for living on a tropical island.
      Looking forward to meeting you in Atlanta too.

  9. Sharon Wray says:

    Wow, Jacqueline! Six finals is a huge accomplishment, but your perseverance is even more inspiring. I have no doubt you will meet your goals, especially with small-town romances coming back into style. I am so proud to be a fellow Lucky 13 with you!

  10. Leslie Lynch says:

    Jacqueline, it looks like things are winding down here. I hope more folks will stop by. I did get an email from Katie Graykowski, who tried to comment but WordPress was being wonky and didn’t let her. I hope that wasn’t the case for other visitors! I checked the settings, and they were correct, so hopefully it didn’t happen to anyone else! (It’s NOT okay that it happened to Katie, either!!!)

    But I want to THANK YOU for a wonderful day and a great conversation! Thank you for being my guest! It’s been fun – and I hope you find your publishing home this time around! Looking forward to meeting you in Atlanta – or maybe sooner, since we’re not that far from each other on the map. 🙂


    • Leslie,
      Thank you so much for organizing the Single Title Finalists into meeting the public–and each another–through your blog. It was a nice way to dip my toe into the ocean of social-media events that are out there and maybe the next ones will seem a little less terrifying. I’m sorry I had to go into my day job for awhile. I was having trouble posting from my iPad while I was there, so that generated a bit of a lull. And I’m sorry I missed Katie’s attempt to visit too. I’ll check in with her privately and thank her.
      As you say, I look forward to meeting you in Atlanta too–or sooner. Thank you for your patience with a total techno-wimp. It was a wonderful experience.

      • Leslie Lynch says:

        Well, Jacqueline, we were techno-wimps together!!! I’m having fun with this, and I’m glad you (and others) are enjoying it, too. 🙂 Thanks so much for coming out to play, even if the sandbox wasn’t one you were used to!


  11. Sheila Athens says:

    Most romance writers yearn for that first Golden Heart final, so your SIX must infuse you with a ton of confidence. If not, then they absolutely should! Can’t wait to read one of your books.

    • Leslie Lynch says:

      (I gotta jump in here and say, I had no idea there were people out there with multiple Golden Heart finals! I feel like the baby on this train of interviews! 😉 )

    • That first one was very special, Sheila, but the joy is not diminished by repetition. Each year when the announcements are made, hopes run high, maybe even higher than before, because expectations have been raised. I hope you’ll get to read one of my books some day soon! That makes me smile just thinking about it.
      If you can visualize it, it can happen.

  12. Kay Hudson says:

    Fun hearing your story, Leslie, and congrats on number 6 (wow!). Looking forward to seeing you in Atlanta.

  13. Nice to meet you, Jacqueline, and your story sounds lovely–I’d like to visit that town and meet your hero and heroine soon! Best of luck–may the Lucky 13’s push your luck over the edge and into print!

  14. Leslie Lynch says:

    Mea culpa! I doubt anyone is going to scroll down this far and find this note – but if anyone tried to go to Jackie’s facebook page yesterday, somehow I had erred, and the link went to Jackie Chan’s facebook page. Oops! My apologies, Jacqueline!!! It’s fixed now, both the address and the link!


    • Lol. Jackie Chan is probably more interesting than I am, but I don’t picture us having many crossover fans. Thanks for making the correction . I didn’t notice it yesterday either.

Your thoughts? Leave a comment!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.