Cheers ETS

 

sandi's picHow did I get my start?  Glad you asked.  It all started in January of ’07 when I was laid off from the real estate industry.  Replacement jobs were tough to come by and my wonderful hubby suggested I work on my writing and see if I could get something published.

 

What?  Be serious about writing?  It’d always been a dream and the prospect of putting my work out there and myself on the line for public derision was daunting.  So, since it was the dead of winter and I had two completed full length books, I decided to enter them in some RWA-sponsored contests with a heart full of hope.  Time after time they came back marked up with suggestions of how to improve, why they weren’t good enough, but they like my voice.

 Not having a clue that writing was more than, well writing, I took some classes, read books, looked up articles about the craft online.  And I learned.  That’s the key.  But after more than a year of striking out, the thought of being a dismal failure crept in to get intimately acquainted with depression.

 I switched gears and decided to write a short story.  My thinking regarding this was that maybe if I could write a really good short and get it published, I’d have a glimmer of credibility behind my name and maybe THAT would open previously closed doors.  I wrote like there was no tomorrow—, which wasn’t far from the truth.  If I couldn’t succeed in writing, I’d have to go back to work, and we all know how hard it is to maintain a writing schedule with a full time job.

 So, I wrote the first short.  I wrote what I know.  Food and how the kitchen is the heart of a home, but I also added a magical element to that storyline.  After a fortuitous visit to a spice shop, the rest of the tale was born.  I was so excited about that story, that while it was being mauled over by a critique group, I wrote a second one.  Much different.  Dual plot lines about a modern day woman who’s haunted by a ghost and her estranged husband on Halloween.

 Armed with two interesting stories, fresh out of the critters hands, I searched for a potential publisher.  Throughout the journey, I made tentative peace with the fact that getting to a print publisher in the current economy was just not possible, especially with no track record.  E-pubs were the way to go.  I submitted and I stressed.

 And then I heard back from one publisher.  They loved the story but wanted a few things revised on the ghost story.  Would I please resubmit?  Of course!  Those edits were tough, but I worked through.  I sent it back.  It would be weeks before I heard.  Then, a few days before Thanksgiving ’08, another publisher offered me my first contract on what is now FOODIE’S GUIDE TO KITCHEN MAGIC, which released from Lyrical Press on November 18th, 2009.  The other short THE HAUNTING OF AMELIA PRITCHART, was accepted a few weeks later and will release from The Wild Rose Press on September 30, 2009.

 Moral of the story?  Never give up.  It only takes one yes to start the ball rolling.  Consider the pre-published time as a learning bubble.  Make yourself the best writer you can be to that point.  Everything else will come.  I can’t wait to see what else will happen in my career. 

Visit Sandra Sookoo at her website to learn more about her books:  http://www.sandrasookoo.com

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Love Fang (2) I was struggling to get through my time travel novel when I spotted a “Call for Submissions” from Samhain for “funny stories about creatures that go bump in the night.”  It was March 2008, and the submissions were due by the end of May.  I didn’t give it much thought until I woke up one morning with a splitting headache and the idea of a vampire with a toothache.  With the hard deadline staring me down, I got to work.  I was taking a critique class at the time, so I had some terrific input through the process.  By the time I said a prayer and  sent my submission, it was polished to within an inch of its life.  Two weeks later, I received a lovely rejection letter.  The editor emphasized how much she liked my voice, but they’d decided to head in a different direction.  Crestfallen, I moped for a few days and then picked myself up and began researching other publishers.  I sent it to 12 e-publishers and got 4 positive nods.  I decided to go with DCL Publications because I liked their authors’ loop and felt I’d be supported there.  I haven’t been disappointed for one day.  They’ve been great, and Love Fang, my labor of love, has attained “Top 5” status at DCL for the third quarter in a row.  I followed Love Fang with Fang Shui, and the third book in the series, Real Men Have Fangs, will debut (hopefully) next month.  The fourth story, Mistletoe Fangs, will be included in DCL’s Christmas anthology, Season of Love, and I just heard last week from my publisher that the four fang novellas will be bundled for print in the next print run.  I’m over the top about that.

Anyway, that’s my story, and along the way, I’ve met some great writers who’ve kept me going, among whom is Embrace the Shadows’ own Dawn McClure.  She got in touch with me after reading Love Fang, and we now have a mutual admiration thing going.  I loved her book, Asmodeus.

Keep doing all you do for paranormal writers everywhere.  I loved the information about blogging, and I always enjoy the author interviews.  Embrace the Shadows is a fabulous resource.

Visit Susan Blexrud to learn more about her books at her website or her publisher’s website:  www.susanblexrud.com        www.thedarkcastlelords.com

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kc-p-2 I’d like to celebrate with EtS my first sale and debut novel, PERFECTION: Eternally Three at Siren Publishing.

I’m a nut for paranormal romance. Big fan of JR Ward,Sherrilyn Kenyon, and more. I had an idea that I ran by a friend of mine about a new paranormal erotic romance: What if immortals needed humans for life energy? Like electricity needs positive, negative and conduit. She loved it. Thus, the world of Eternally Three came into existence, a world of angels, demons, jinn and ifrit locked in invisible war where their power comes from their human lovers. So fun to write. I placed in some writing contests along the way. Shayla Black, great author and my mentor, helped me get the thing polished.

Siren Publishing contracted it in May, and it just came out Sept. 7th. Already, I’ve made Bookstrand’s internal best seller lists. On their 14-day list PERFECTION is at #10. Woot!

Comes out in print in March 2010.

If any EtSers want to view the Book Vid for it, just let me know. There is a Post on the Siren Readers Blog that has it up already, too.

PERFECTION is available at Bookstrand:  http://www.bookstrand.com/product-perfection-15508-200.html

Visit Kris Cook at his website to learn more:  www.KrisCook.net

CheersETS

We’re happy to share in the excitement of our featured author’s First Sales.  A toast to perseverance, creativity and much continued success!  If you’d like Embrace the Shadows to feature your First Sale story, whether your first sale was last week or last year, e-mail barbara@barbarajhancock.com  …and we’ll bring the cyber-champagne;)

Cheers…from Barbara, Suzanne and Dawn!

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Comments
10 Responses to “”
  1. I love these stories! It’s so inspiring to learn about the steps that lead to publication. Thank you so much for sharing. And congratulations!

  2. Dawn McClure says:

    Wonderful story, Sandra!

    Susan…to this day the opening line of your book cracks me up. That has to be the best first line ever! LOL! I’m so glad you found that novella a home, because it truly is a wonderful read. 🙂

    That’s wondereful news, Kris! I remember when you were telling me about your premise, and our mutual love of demons and angels. 🙂

    Congrats everyone. 🙂

  3. Kris Cook says:

    Dawn – Gotta love the immortals!
    Thanks for the congrats! Love your website!

    -Kris-

  4. Bonnie H says:

    Congrats everyone! And thank so much for sharing – its always an encouragement to hear a fellow writer’s story of their journey to publication – cheers!!

  5. The ups and downs of being a writer are like no other profession, but it must be in our genes ’cause I wouldn’t trade it for anything. As long as writers support each other through the crazy process of publication, there’s a reason to hang in there. You gotta have talent, but I’ve seen many talented writers give up. Tenacity is the key.

  6. Suzanne Rock says:

    Wow – what great stories! Like Susan said, this is a crazy business. It’s stories like these that keep the writer in me motivated.

    Thanks so much for sharing your first sales, ladies. And here’s to many more! *lifts cyber champagne* 🙂

  7. Bonnie H says:

    …and gentleman *winks*

  8. Pam Seres says:

    Congrats Everyone!
    Susan we are so happy to have you part of the DCL family. Your LOVE FANG series is for sure must reads. The readers love them!

    xo’s

  9. Sandi says:

    Thanks for posting my story 🙂

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