Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Julie Benson: THE CALL

New Harlequin American author Julie Benson joins the Pink Heart Society with her CALL STORY

I’m definitely what you’d call a slow learner, who can eventually be taught. I started writing when my oldest two sons were toddlers. They’re now in college, and I have a third son who’s fourteen. I’m a great example of how persistence is key in this business, because I did eventually get “the call” for my first sale, BIG CITY COWBOY.

When I came home from writing at Starbucks (that’s a blog in itself) on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th, I found a message from Kathleen Scheibling at Harlequin American saying she wanted to talk about my book. The book she’d had on her desk for only two months. I screamed. Variations of “I can’t believe it,” and “Oh, my Lord.” For how long, I have no idea. All I know is I screamed long enough and loud enough, I scared my sons to death, all of whom were home for spring break. Two of which I woke up on the opposite side of the house.

That was one of the best things about when I got the call. I got to share the joy of my first sale with my sons. They’ve always been so supportive, proudly declaring their mom a writer over the long years it took me to reach this goal. Having raised my kids right, they knew what it meant at this stage of the process to have an editor call to talk about the book. Call, very good. Possible sale. In fact, they asked that very question. “Did you sell your book?”

Once I calmed down, I returned Kathleen’s call, but had to leave a message. Then I spent the next couple of hours pacing. Later when she and I talked about the changes I needed to make, Kathleen floored me by saying she was willing to do revisions under contract. Then she asked about the brother in BIG CITY COWBOY, and said she thought readers would be interested in him. I told her I was working on his story, and asked if she wanted to hear about it. After my explanation and a few questions from Kathleen, she offered me a two book contract. Talk about stunned. It’s a good thing I was sitting down at the time because I’d have hit my head heart when I fell otherwise.

When I started writing all those years ago to save my sanity, I hoped I’d sell book. Having reached that goal now, I have to admit it’s even better than I imagined.

Big City Cowboy~Coming from Harlequin American~December 2011

Bet on a Cowboy~Coming from Harlequin American~June 2012

A Cowboy Out Of Options

That's how Rory McAlister feels when he leaves Colorado for the concrete jungle of New York City. He needs this money for a very good reason—only somebody should have warned him donning designer duds meant butting heads with Elizabeth Harrington-Smyth. The bossy ad exec is determined to turn Rory into the original Rhinestone Cowboy. Over his dead body!

With her job hanging by a thread, Elizabeth's got to deliver the goods for Devlin Designs—or else. She asked Rory because of his rugged, authentic—and, frankly, gorgeous—looks. But could she have chosen an ornerier model? At least Rory will be heading back to his ranch and out of Elizabeth's life soon. Because New York is no place for a cowboy...and a Colorado ranch is no place for a big-city girl. Even if these two opposites are falling for each other!


  1. Hi Julie ~ Congratulations on a two book deal. Great call story.

  2. Great call story Julie. Massive congratultations on your success. Your book sounds fab BTW. Caroline x

  3. Kaelee and Caroline,
    Thanks for the congratulations. I still can't believe it's real. Yesterday I went into the Barnes and Noble by my house and my book was there! Definitely a highlight. I have to say persistence was the key for me reaching this dream.

  4. Did you take a picture of it on the shelf? I would be going around taking photos of it.

  5. I have to admit I did. Selling my first book has been an incredible experience, and I've enjoyed every minute of it.

  6. How awesome!