Jan Schliesman: Selling Your First Book NEVER Stops Being Fun!

A year ago, I was a Top Ten Finalist in Harlequin's So You Think You Can Write Contest. What a great experience, and even though I didn't win, I still got a request for revisions. Cool, huh?

Well let me set the stage for how many YEARS I've been writing...Fifteen.  And how many contests I've entered...too many to count.  How many Romance Writers of America conventions I've attended...six.  How many miles I've logged driving to monthly writers meetings back in Iowa...hmmm...120 miles round trip, average of about six per year, times ten years...7,200.

Are you getting the idea that this didn't happen overnight and that more than one person got tired of reading about my writing escapades in the annual Christmas letter. (The next best thing to being a published author is embarrassing your children and spouse:)

So...back to the revision letter from Harlequin.  I got to rewrite a lot of the story.  Truthfully, there was some stalling involved. But I finally finished and sent it back on March 30th, because I wanted to say it was done in March.  A couple of weeks later, I got an email from my editor, Allison Carroll, saying that she liked the revisions and could I pull together a biography, my social media (Twitter, Facebook, website), a listing of other projects I had in the works, and if I planned to use a pen name?

I had toyed with a couple of pen names over the years, but nothing really felt like me.  For the record, it's pronounced Sh-LEASE-man, but I will answer to anything that starts with 'S' and ends in 'man'. I scurried to put together all the requested information and then waited, and waited, and waited.  THE CALL came on May 21st!! (You can check out my Jan Schliesman-Author page on Facebook to see all the details:) https://www.facebook.com/janschliesmanauthor

Jan Schliesman's photo.I got a contract...which was so cool.  I got to read it and sign it.  And then I went to the post office and did the overnight mail thing, while chatting with the gal behind the counter that yes, I sold my first book. And yes, it was really cool. And no, it wouldn't be available the following month:)

So I mentioned earlier that I'd attended a few RWA National Conventions. This years convention was in San Antonio and because I was contracted, I got invited to a Harlequin luncheon with Senior Editor, Patience Bloom, and about a dozen ladies whose books I had read over the years.  Here's a pic of a group of us headed to the restaurant. 

Robin Perini, Me and BJ Daniels
I also got invited to the HARLEQUIN PARTY!  I cannot tell you how much fun it was to meet all the authors I'd admired for so many years.  And by years, I mean decades:)

Karen Whiddon & Me

Me with Karen Whiddon. Me with Robin Perini and BJ Daniels. GLIAS member Lara Lacombe and I serenading GH Winner Sarah Cannon (w/a Lauren Canan).

Me, Lara Lacombe and Lauren Canan
Andfinally, Allison DeLaine, Angi Morgan, Lara Lacombe and I, tempted to take home souveniors:)

I have to add that at one point when Lara and I were on the dance floor, she turned to me and yelled, "This is like prom!"  I nodded my head and said, "Probably, but I never went."  Lara replied, "Me neither!" Which we both thought was hysterically funny!

Back in the writing world, I needed to come up with a new title for my story. Something with the words: bride, secret baby, cowboy, kidnapping, protecting or hiding.  My original title was Kira's Keeper. The new title is Protecting His Brother's Bride and it will be released in May.

A couple of days ago I went on  Amazon and typed in my name, and the coolest thing happened.
The had a listing available for pre-order titled: Protecting His Brother's Bride, by Jan Schliesman.
There's no cover shown yet, but it definitely has my name and May 2015 as the release date! http://www.amazon.com/Protecting-Brothers-Harlequin-Romantic-Suspense/dp/0373279205/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415947692&sr=8-1&keywords=jan+schliesman

Thanks to everyone who made the journey a little less bumpy. And wherever you are right now, I beg you to NEVER give up on your dreams:)


  1. I love that I'm going to get the chance to read an 'enhanced' version of Kira's Keeper, which was one of my SYTYCW favourites last year! Can't wait, Jan!

    1. Thanks, Avril! May will be here before we know it;)

  2. Congratulations Jan! It's an amazing feeling. Enjoy! Can't wait to read it. Xx

    1. Thanks Rachael! SYTYCW has gotten at lot of new authors on the shelf!

  3. What a fabulous story. It never stops being fun. congratulations, it was a great story in the competition xx

    1. Thanks Elisabeth! What a difference a year can make:)

  4. Congrats, Jan! There is nothing finer. All the years of slogging through made you a good writer with a great payoff. It took ten before my book was pubbed. Have some good fun.

    1. Thanks Vicki! It's a little sweeter victory when your dream finally comes true:)