We love brand new authors here at The Book Pushers! Fresh new voices in our favorite genres gives us another person to cyber-stalk and glom onto! We figured since there are always new authors getting published through both the big New York publishers as well as the smaller digital first publishers, we should take the time and hunt them down and introduce them to you!
Today we’ve got Sarah M. Anderson to talk about what it’s like being a brand new author!
Explain to us your journey to publication:
Sarah: I started writing when my son was 2 ½. He’s 6 ½ now. I wrote three books that will never leave my hard drive, but the fourth landed me an agent. However, this isn’t a Hollywood story. Neither that book nor the next five sold, and we parted ways. However, my first category novel, A Man of His Word, did sell. If you’re doing the math at home, you’ve probably figured out that means I wrote ten books in three years before selling. The key to my success was to keep writing!
What’s your first published book about (start of a series, a stand alone, we want details!):
Sarah: My debut novel, A Man of His Word, goes a little something like this: Attorney Rosebud Donnelly has a case to win. And she never lets anyone see her sweat. But her first meeting with Dan Armstrong doesn’t go according to script. No one warned her that the COO of the company she’s fighting would be so…manly.
From his storm-colored eyes to his well-worn boots, Dan is an honest-to-goodness cowboy. But is he honest? Her yearning for the Texas tycoon goes against reason, against family loyalty, against everything she thought she believed in. And yet, in Dan’s strong arms, Rosebud feels she might be ready to risk everything for one more kiss….
While not a formal series, I like to think of this as the first book in the Lawyers in Love series. There will be two more connected books in 2012: Rosebud’s friend James Carlson will meet his match in a potential witness in July, and then in September, Nick Longhair, a member of Rosebud’s tribe, comes back to the reservation for a lawsuit and runs into his old girlfriend—and her young son, who may or may not be Nick’s.
Do you have anything in the works? (contracted or not?)
Sarah: I have several of those ten earlier books that I’m working on finding a home for, including Mystic Cowboy, which has the potentially hottest not-sex scene I’ve ever written! I keep trying to outdo myself, though. In 2013, I’ll have a book in Desire’s Rich, Rugged Rancher series, as well as a new series about three brothers who own and operate a motorcycle company. That series is less cowboys and Indians and more bikers and Indians. There’s so much going on that some days, I have to double check on what my character’s names are!
What are your overall dreams, goals and expectations for your future as an author? (want to stick with specific genre, try multiples, different pen names, etc.)
Sarah: I’ll settle for nothing less than world domination, mwuahahahahaha! Just kidding. Seriously, I like writing and I like being paid for doing it. I hope to be able to put out 3 to 5 books a year. I love that thrilling feeling of seeing my name on a cover, and my cover on a shelf.
Beyond that, however, I want people to come away from reading my books feeling that they’ve invested their time wisely in my stories. My other goal is to shine a brighter light on the real-life living conditions on Indian reservations. If someone reads one of my stories and is motivated to make a clothing or monetary donation to an organization that works on the reservations, then I consider that a win for everyone. I believe that books can make the world a better place, one story at a time. Don’t let me down, readers!
What’s your writing process like? Has it changed from when you first started writing?
Sarah: When I first started writing, I wrote out of chronological order. I wrote whatever scene was most interesting to me (ahem!) and then spend a lot of time trying to go back through and connect these different scenes to a larger story. While that process isn’t something I can do on a long-term basis, it did go a long way toward teaching me how a story actually works. Now I write in order. It usually takes me 3 to 5 months to produce a finished book.
When did you start writing? What was your very first story about?
Sarah: I started writing in 2007, after my son had started sleeping through the night for long stretches. Once my brain got some solid sleep, I couldn’t shut it off! My first story was the first novel in a sprawling family saga set, more or less, on my in-laws farmland during the Great Depression. It spawned two more books for the daughter of the original hero and heroine, but the granddaughter left the family farm and wound up out west, where she met a cowboy who was also the Indian. I’ve mentally been out west ever since!
Who were some of your inspirations for becoming an author?
Sarah: Three names jump out: Stephen King, Dave Barry, and Jane Austen. You can’t get much more random than that, but I learned pacing and timing, as well as complicated plots—from King, humor from Barry, and everything else from Austen.
Give us the story about when you got “The Call”
Sarah: I was on my way home with my son after school when my agent called. I essentially hung up on her because I was so excited I couldn’t talk and drive at the same time, and I didn’t want to kill my son in a flaming car accident! After I got home, I got him a snack and threatened him within an inch of his life not to make a sound while I was on the phone, kicked both dogs outside, and changed my shoes, because I have to pace while I talk on the phone and doing that in cowboy boots seemed like a bad idea. When I got the Second Call, my brain shut down and all I could say was, ‘O…kay. O…kay.’ Trust me, only saying one word is highly unusual for me!
Who is the author you would most like to meet living or deceased and why?
Sarah: Keeping in mind that I have two degrees in the British novel, I’d go back to talk to Laurence Stern, who wrote a hugely complicated, post-modern novel called Tristram Shandy in 1759 and ask him what the heck he was thinking. The scholar in me is fascinated with where ‘the novel’ came from and how it evolved into the form of literature we know and love today. Totally geeky answer, huh? I know, but the novel has only been around for 3-400 years. Novels are still babies in the literature world!
I’m giving away one signed copy of A Man of His Word to one person who also answers that last question: Which author would you most like to meet and why? Your answer does not have to be as geeky as mine. All commentators will also be entered to win a custom-made book locket. Visit www.sarahmanderson.com for more details.
This post is brought to you as part of the A Man of His Word Blog Tour. For a complete tour schedule visit www.sarahmanderson.com. All blog comments are added to the Jewelry Grand Prize list. Jewelry Grand Prize announced on January 1st, 2012 to one randomly drawn name on the list.
Next tour stop is Romance at Random from November 27th to November 30th.
Thanks so much Sarah for being here today! The book contest is open for US/Canada residents and ends November 24th. Only US residents will be eligible to win the locket. Please specify if you live in the US or Canada in your comment. The locket winner will be announced by Sarah. Good Luck!