The Nine-Year-Long Rollercoaster Ride

Over here at Kiss and Thrill, it’s no secret that we loooove romantic suspense. We began this blog in 2011 specifically to share other authors, books and plots with you. Back then, only three of our members were under contract. Now, due to the myriad of publishing options, we’re all carving out a path that’s right for us. And after nine years of writing, I too will achieve that coveted title: published author. My debut, LOCKED, LOADED and LYING will be available on JUNE 16th!

Most authors will tell you: the whole writing-publishing experience is like a rollercoaster ride. The highs are true adrenalin rushes, the kind where you throw your arms in the air and shriek until you’re hoarse. Could be over winning writing awards or having a literary agent call and gush for twenty minutes about your novel before offering to represent you. There’s no other job or achievement (for me) that surpasses the thrill of creating characters and conflict, and sharing ‘my baby’ with the world. 

Along with the rush of those highs come the lows, which are just as powerful. Harsh judge comments on a contest entry, reading all those agent/editor rejections sure do emulate the G-forces of a rollercoaster. As in: it sucks the breath right out of you, leaves you stunned and glued in place (usually a fetal position on the floor.)

Nine-whole-years of crazy ups and downs, folks. 🙂snowy river

But the rollercoaster has click-clacked back to the loading platform, I’ve gotten off, and am shakily standing in line for a whole new ride. When I had absolutely NO topic for today’s blog, Sharon Wray suggested I write about the ‘standing in line’ part. The transition between signing a contract and actually selling a book on Amazon, B&N, etc.

It began with a phone call from my agent. “Entangled Publishing just sent over a contract for your book.” (See rollercoaster high symptoms above.) Then came months of pins and needles waiting while she negotiated my terms, and I suffered the torture of keeping this secret to myself. Which, of course, I didn’t. 😉

When I finally did sign the contract, oh boy, did I blurt the news! Unfortunately, the editor who’d loved my story, and initially sent over the contract to work with me was no longer there, so I was assigned to another editor. Yikes! I’d heard horror stories of writers changing editors and the new one did not like the plot, the voice or the writing.

Youth Olympic Games 2012Wasted energy! My new editor, Anya Kagan, was insightful, patient and saw the big picture–whereas I obsessed on a word or scene level. It became a team effort to spit-shine that manuscript. There were 1st edits (major revisions that instantly drew the reader’s sympathy to my hero’s plight, and upped the stakes he faced.) I returned those in a month and within 10 days 2nd edits were in my Inbox. Less changes, but a suggestion to delete an entire chapter that ‘explained’ my heroine, and wasn’t very interesting. Why not feed snippets of her secrets within the first 100 pages? Brilliant!cabin

3rd edits consisted of changing one sentence. (Yay me!) Then on to Copy Edits, where another editor, who specializes in fact-checking, read through the story and made suggestions. Could my hero (a US Olympic Alpine Skier) have competed in the 2006 Torino games? (Sure that was a long time ago, but Torino is also a major subplot. And don’t forget, I’d written the story back then!) Turns out, Bode Miller competed there, and he’s already competed this year, with a DNF (did not finish.) Case closed, I got to keep the Torino Olympics in the book. Whew!

Hooded man hiding gun behind his backOff the story went to be formatted into a book, and then we were Proofreading the Advanced Reader Copy (ARC.) Any changes here meant catching spelling errors, a word that was supposed to be italicized, etc., not to revise. I seriously had to reign in my inner editor (who’s still criticizing each paragraph, even after all these years!) By this time, if you’ve kept count, I’d reread this entire novel 5 times in 3 months. So to proofread it that slowly and with such care, made me honest-to-God hate the plot, the characters, every $@&# word on every page, and OMG-why did I ever think I could write?!  🙂 I hear that’s normal…

Next was creating my dedication and acknowledgements pages. After nine years I had a lot of people to acknowledge, because in the publishing industry it DOES take a village! Thanking all these people who’d done so much for me, in a page the whole world could read, warmed my heart. AND it was one more step toward authenticity…what a rush! Interestingly, I put much more time into it than I expected. I wanted to get the words absolutely right, the tone perfect. ASPEN road sign

I have one more step to look forward to: seeing what the Entangled graphic artist creates for a cover, which will happen in early May. Once I have the cover I can decorate my Facebook and Twitter pages, set up an Amazon Author page , update my website and invest in ‘swag.’ (Fun giveaways.)

You’ll notice I didn’t tell you much about LOCKED, LOADED and LYING. Why? Because there’s plenty of time and many blogs where my cover, official back-cover blurb, and plot points will be broadcast.

Love coupleFor now I leave you with 2 clues 1) these pictures are all broad hints: An heiress is murdered in Aspen and all evidence points to her boyfriend, my insanely hot hero, Lock Roane. He was too drunk to remember anything that night, but given his past history of blackout violence, it’s not a big leap for him to believe he did kill her.

On the eve of his felony murder trial he saves the life of a young woman in a blizzard, not knowing she’s his biggest media nemesis. And when Jordan Sinclair regains consciousness she will lie through her teeth to keep it that way (you’ll find out why.) As she recuperates she gets to know the personality he doesn’t show the camera and begins falling for him, but her tangled lies hamper their growing attraction. And sizzling sexual tension wreaks havoc in their frantic attempts to uncover the grisly events of what exactly happened on that fateful night.

And 2) “An impressive debut! This book has everything readers crave: believable, endearing characters, an intriguing conflict and plenty of heart. Don’t miss LOCKED, LOADED & LYING.” Brenda Novak

So that’s my standing-in-line story. Off to buckle up for the next ride!

WHAT WERE YOU DOING NINE YEARS AGO? COMMENT FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD! WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED NEXT TUESDAY.

 The winner of a $10 gift card and e-copy of BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO WEEP  goes to Julie Oest!

About Sarah Andre

Romantic Suspense That Keeps You Up All Night! I live in sunny FL, love daydreaming, reading and chocolate. I write in the wee hours of the morning before my helpless hubby and 2 male Pomeranian pups awaken with their demands. :) My debut LOCKED, LOADED and LYING is available now.

Posted on April 21, 2015, in Author Spotlight, Sarah Andre, Tuesday's Winners, Winners and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 53 Comments.

  1. Sarah I’m so proud of you and so happy for you! You are awesome and now the rest of the world gets to see some of that awesomeness! And a cover quote by Queen Novak??? OMG! You go girl!

    • Thanks Lena. There are authors I want to emulate (and I’ve had a LOOOOONG time to look around and meet them) and I have to say, besides Brenda Novak’s grace and generosity, I want to be prolific like you are. 7 books in a year? Boggles my mind! Appreciate the compliments!

  2. I am so happy for you and so proud of you. And what a fabulous cover quote!!!! You must be so excited!!!!
    I am so glad everyone else will discover what I’ve already known–what a great person and fabulous writer you are!!!!!

    And nine years ago? I was just starting my very first manuscript. 🙂

    • Oooh! Beat you by one year. I began 10 years ago. And THAT manuscript will NEVER see the light of day, LOL!

  3. Congratulations Sarah on surviving the rollercoaster! I look forward to many more “rides”.
    Nine years ago I met my now best friend, learned how to zipline and celebrated my one year anniversary at my job (still here).

    • And congratulations to you, WINNER!

      Have always wanted to zipline. I was on a waiting list to do it at a resort once, and by the time they hurried over saying ‘the bus is leaving and they have a space available’ I was in a bathing suit, on a lounge chair, reading a great novel. So… 😦 once again my lazy side won out. I DO regret it. 😉

      • Thank you! I’m so taking the book and GC on vacation with me in a couple of weeks. I LOVED zip lining! Well, after I slammed off the first tower because I was too nervous to understand the instructions before we started. I’ll tell you…. once you’ve damn near broken your leg you learn how to stop before jumping off the next tower. LOL. Next vacation I’m doing deep sea shark fishing one day and airboat swamp tour another. YOLO

  4. Congratulations Sarah! The book sounds amazing.
    Life is a rollercoaster ride and a fast one that sometimes seems out of control. Nine years ago I was still trying to settle into the roll of being my husbands full time caregiver and trying to come to grips with my grandsons diagnosis of a fatal disease.
    Somehow most of us manage to survive the crazy and come out bigger, better and stronger. And if we’re lucky, a little smarter too.
    Again, congrats! So happy for you Sarah.

    • Gosh, Kim, in one paragraph you pre-empted my long, complaining blog of suffering. What an amazingly strong woman you must be to have pushed through all that. My heart and respect go out to you! Thank you for commenting today-

  5. Sarah! This is a great recounting of accomplishing a life goal. Hang on, though. I think life is about to get even bumpier! Congratulations on all that is sure to come.

    • Uh oh, Jacie…I was sure it was accolades and confetti from here on out! 😉
      PS: Topic this weekend is bringing 5 pages to be critiqued (if you want.)

  6. Wow! I love the skiing aspect of the story! Absolutely can’t wait, Sarah!!! So happy for you!
    As far as nine years ago…I was a SAHM taking care of my toddler son, my daughter was a twinkle in my husband’s eye, and writing as a career hadn’t even crossed my mind. Amazing how life can throw us curve balls! We just have to be there to catch them.

    • Yes, but we’re both HERE now, and that’s what counts, Laura. JUST LOVED your debut, BTW! Can hardly wait for Book 2. Thanks for stopping by-

  7. What a great story. Good for you for not giving up on your dream. Nine years is a long time and requires a lot of patience. So worth it, right?

    Nine years ago, my twin girls were almost one and I was in survival mode.

    Lynnette Labelle
    http://www.lynnettelabelle.com

  8. Love this, Sarah! I recently went through the same process, but even still, it’s interesting to hear about it from another perspective. And your book sounds amazing! I love that the hero isn’t perfect.

    • Thanks Jessica. Can hardly wait for your debut in May!

      Yeah, Lock’s got a lot of work ahead in those pages to grow into a hero. I did not make it easy for him! 😉

  9. Sarah, I’m so excited to hear about your release! And isn’t it neat to have Brenda Novak’s comment out there to trumpet your story’s birth? The many-yeared journey you talk about is familiar to me…in fact the statistics show it takes 8 books and/or 8 years before publication. True for me. So glad you and I hung in there! I can’t wait to read your book, and if you want reviews before the release, I’m ready to help! Send me an ARC and I’m on it. Yippee, you’re pubbed!

    • ROLYNN! I just love it when you visit us!
      I have 13 ARCs out (yikes) so I should be good, thank you.

      Yes, I recall Desert Dreams in 2006 (?) waiting in line to pitch to agents (knees knocking) and you were behind me…it’s how we first met.

      Thank you for stopping by and reading about my laaast stage in the 9 year process. 😉

  10. So happy for you! We’ve been on this ride together for so long, I almost feel your labor pains as the book is finally “born!”

    • Yes, if anyone was holding my hand through the painful screaming I would say it definitely was you, Lark! (Who gets to read it onnnnne more time.) 😉

  11. So excited for your debut, Sarah!!! Can’t wait to read it!!!!!!

    LOL – I have the dubious honor of having started my first book 13 years ago – and it was published 11 years later (Grave Danger). Nine years ago my daughter was in 1/2 day kindergarten and son wasn’t yet in preschool. I’d started my 2nd book (Concrete Evidence), and I was working for Jill Barnett as her part-time assistant. She mentored me with incredible critiques on Grave Danger that helped shape me as an author.

    • Oh my gosh- you totally beat me! I had no idea you’d started writing 13 years ago (jeez, were you in Junior High or something?!) 😉

  12. Congrats on your debut! Had to laugh at you hating every word by the end of edits. Yes, totally normal LOL 9 years ago I was polishing up my first novel for querying. Entangled picked it up seven years later 😀 Can’t wait to read your book! Sounds amazing 😀

    • Hi Michelle, sounds like you too have had the rollercoaster-blues. Simply love Entangled, it was worth the wait. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  13. mandacollinsauthor

    Congratulations, Sarah! I am so thrilled for you and cannot wait to see you take your place among the published! It’s been an honor to be here for part of the ride!

    Nine years ago, I was recovering from ankle surgery, and getting ready to start a new job at my alma mater as an academic librarian. Little did I know that fall I’d become involved in a contest that would literally change my life: The Avon Fanlit competition, which got me interested in writing again after a long hiatus and the rest, as they say, is history! I can’t believe it’s been so long. In some ways it feels like yesterday, and in others like years and years.

    xo

    • Yes, I completely agree with you. It doesn’t seem like 9 years. But then, yesterday the news did a segment on the BP oil spill in the Gulf, 5 years ago and I was like, ‘no way. That HAD to have been 3 years tops!’

      I remember the first chapter Christmas party I attended in NW Houston in ’05 and they gave out debut awards. I clearly recall pressing my lips together and thinking “I am SO getting this next year” Ah, ego!

  14. What a fun (and thrilling!) ride, Sarah. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.
    I wish I could remember what I was doing 9 years ago. I think I was still hoping chick lit was only mostly dead, not completely dead and was polishing up my chick lit novel.

    • Hi Carrie, great to see you here again! I think chick-lit was still a chart topper and a new word came whispering about: erotica. I literally had to go up to someone and ask what that meant, because most romance novels have sex in them. She answered with a straight face, but boy, she must have been thinking: ‘what a ditzy newbie!’

  15. So, so happy for you! Next comes the part when you watch Amazon ratings like stock prices….also a roller coaster!

  16. Congrats!!! LLL IS an amazing story. I LOVE it. Nine years ago I was having a good time with a little writing contest called Avon FanLIt. I got bitten by the writing bug, and now here I am! In line. Somewhere.

    • Wow, is that where you met Manda? I never knew that you both entered that contest.

      Thank you for the steady diet of compliments as you read the ARC. I’m delighted the story intrigues you.

  17. I was learning how to drive my handicapped accessible van.

  18. Deborah!
    Is it me or have we not ‘seen’ you in awhile?

    Wow, 9 years ago must have been a very difficult time for you. Thank you for sharing.

  19. Congratulations Sarah! I can’t wait to read your book. It sounds amazing and worth the nine years of ups and downs.

    Nine years ago I found out I had stage two breast cancer. After all the torture they put you through, I have been cancer free since. And of course reading, reading, reading.

    • WOW, Patti! What a horror show that must have been. Good for you for beating it! Thanks for commenting- I appreciate your enthusiasm. 😉

  20. Congratulations Sarah! The book sounds awesome – can’t wait to read it! I’m on deck with an Entangled Select book myself. It’s in second pass edits and should be out within the next few months. Thanks for telling your story and letting me know what I’m in for. It’s all so exciting! Best of luck!

    • YAY DAWN! Congratulations right back! I am meeting so many neat Entangled ‘sisters’, and the entire staff is so supportive. I have had a GREAT experience. Hope we all can meet up in Vegas soon!

  21. Congratulations Sarah my super talented friend! Can’t wait for the release in June. Thanks for sharing all of your insight with us!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Shae (also an Entangled super-author!) I appreciate all YOUR insight as YOU went through the edits.

  22. Chiming in a little late this afternoon, but I wanted to say congratulations, Sarah! And such a great post. Definitely a roller coaster ride. Can’t wait to see the cover, and read the book!

  23. Sarah, I’m so glad that you stayed true to your dream! Your talent, grace, and grit are so inspiring! Congrats on the Novak cover quote. I know I’m going to love reading LLL! Can’t wait to see what the cover is going to look like too 🙂

    Let’s see, nine years ago I was writing a story about a flower farmer who gets caught in a political scandal. It was my first manuscript to final in the Golden Heart a year later.

    Enjoy the ride!

    • HEY! You were way ahead of me then! Thanks for the compliments, I’m off to bed with a smile on my face.

      It’s been a fun day with all of you.

  24. mirandaliasson

    Sarah, I loved hearing your story and I can’t wait for your book! Congrats for having the persistence it took to succeed. Nine years ago I was cluelessly struggling though my first book, and didn’t join RWA until 2007. Seems like a long time ago! Eagerly anticipating your release!

  25. Yay, Sarah!! I’m so excited for you. Can’t wait to read this one. And what a fabulous quote from Brenda Novak.

    Nine years ago I had just started my first job out of grad school as a manufacturing engineer. I loved it, but as a writer/instructor I’ve found my calling. 😉 Congrats again!

  26. So glad I found this, Sarah in going through emails. I love your story. You captured well the feelings we all go through. I especially loved your comments about the last, last edits because I too at that point want to change this and change that and go through the “Why did I write it that way?” crazies. LOL I’ve had to accept that after all the excellent work of many people looking over the ms carefully, there will probably be a few things that slip by.
    But the joy of holding that book in your hand beats at all the downside of the ride. Congrats on sticking with the trip, Sarah. You’re book sounds amazing!

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