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by Julie Hood

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Shirley Kawa-Jump

January, 2003 - Shirley Jump (also known as Shirley Kawa-Jump) wrote her first published article at the age of eleven and was hired as a freelance reporter for a weekly newspaper at the age of twelve. Since that time, she has written more than 3000 articles for both national and local magazines, trade journals and newspapers, interviewing everyone from Bob Vila to Lillian Vernon, and writing on every subject from water gardens to retirement planning.  She has been successful in a multitude of areas, including books, articles, corporate writing and now, fiction.

Shirley, can you tell us about your writing projects? What's your favorite and why?
I know it's cliched, because all authors say this, but it's my current book, a proposal I'm working on for the Soulmates line at Silhouette Romance. Once I finish a book or article, I'm usually dying to get to the next one. That anticipation of the next new thing keeps me charging into my office every day :-)

The Virgin's Proposal (Silhouette Romance)
The Virgin's Proposal
 (Silhouette Romance)
Read a review!

Whew! I'm worn out already! What's your secret for juggling it all?

Prioritizing, organizing and letting go, which sound like
opposites, but they aren't. I rely a lot on my crockpot and
my coffeepot with a timer to take care of sustenance, and
then I make sure I keep the family at the top of the list.
If my kids have something to do or go to, that comes first
and the rest can wait. I also get up very early in the
morning (between 4:30 and 5:00) so I can work for a couple
of hours before the rest of the family gets up. That gives
me my quiet work time and helps me start the day off right.

Can you tell us a little about your marketing strategy for your different books?

For me, it's all about personal contact. Other writers love
it when I come and speak at a writers' group (and I'm also
adding phone-in chats to my appearances list, info is up at I like to talk to people and love to
chat online, in person, etc. with other writers. I find
that personal contact does the job much better than a press
release or postcard. Although I do some of the other
things--advertise, public relations, e-mail newsletter--the
personal touch works the best.

What are your favorite organizing tips for writers?

A. Keep on top of things. It's really easy for the pile to get out of hand. I don't go to bed without straightening up my desk. If I get up to a mess, I feel stressed before I even write a word. 

B. Recognize your weaknesses and get help. Trade with an organized friend -- have her help you with filing while you offer some babysitting or help with something else. Ask for help when you need it. 

C. Realize you don't have to be Super Woman or Man. A house doesn't have to be perfect; an office doesn't have to be pin-neat. My office is a bit scattered, like me, but I can clean up quick if the TV cameras are here or a client is meeting
here (see a photo of my office in the Photo Gallery at I try to keep up with it so cleaning up takes minutes, not hours.

How to Publish Your Articles: A Complete Guide to Making the Right Publication Say Yes
How to Publish Your Articles: A Complete Guide to Making the Right Publication Say Yes

Your writer's site, Writing Corner, is full of resources for writers. 
What do you like best about it?

I really like how we try to address writers of all types,
from young adult writers to fiction writers to article
writers. We really strive to help everyone, whether that
person wants to create a journal or launch a book career.

Do you have any other favorite writing websites?

For romance writing, the writing section at is great, as is
Both are filled with information. 

I also like The Writing, Writers and

What's your secret for juggling motherhood with a
flourishing writing career?

Erma Bombeck has this list that every once in a while comes
around on an e-mail chain. It's called "If I had My Life to
Live Over" and talks about things like "If my kids kissed
me impetuously, I would never have said, 'Later. Now go get
washed up for dinner.' " That message is taped beside my
desk as a reminder to take time out for hugs, kisses,
bedtime stories and simple games. My kids know that unless
I am on the phone or on an extremely tight deadline, they
can come in my office and play with me while I work. Last
night, my daughter was sitting on my desk, drawing a picture
and my son was sitting on the arm of my chair, playing with
Batman and Robin. It was crowded, but it was lovely :-)

Any other advice?

Write often and you will learn to write well. So many people
ask me what it takes to be a published writer and I say
it's all a matter of developing a writing habit, submitting
your work and then believing it will happen. Hang on to
your dreams and they'll take you places you never imagined.


Visit Shirley's sites at Writing, Shirley (fiction), and Shirley (non-fiction), or order her books online!

Review of The Virgin's Proposal
By Julie Hood

Donít you just love it when you get a new book, and itís practically attached to your hip because you just canít possibly wait to finish the whole story? You know the books... you read a paragraph at a stoplight, and you let the dishes wait, and the laundry piles up... just so you can find out what happens?

The Virginís Proposal by Shirley Jump is one of those books. 

The Virgin's Proposal (Silhouette Romance)
The Virgin's Proposal
 (Silhouette Romance)

The heroine, Katie Dole, had me rooting for her from the very first page. Sheís one of those women who survives a tumultuous past (is there anything worse than being left at the altar?) and a failing business only to have the man of her dreams pushing her away. The story is funny, touching, romantic, and with just enough twists to keep pages turning and the vacuum cleaner waiting.

Jump does an excellent job of hinting about Matt Webster, the rebel-turned-hero who returns home to Katieís small town just as she vows to change her life. What happened to Matt eleven years ago? What happened to his baby? Why did he leave? Will he ever quit pretending? 

Find out in The Virginís Proposal, now available from Silhouette Romance. Read the chapter that had me hooked or visit Shirley's site to enter to win a copy of the book.

You can buy the book from Amazon or

The best part? We can look forward to more fiction from Jump. Katieís brother Matt stars in the sequel to The Virginís Proposal in December 2003. Heís up against the girl next door in a race to win an RV. She doesnít play fair... and he doesnít play games. 
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