Oh, to have been me one year ago. Talk about upheaval! I'd just given birth to my sixth child—one who came as quite a surprise to the H and myself, as I'd had a nifty surgical sterilization which was rumored (ha!) to render me reproductively useless—when IT happened. On June 7, 2010 Noble Romance Publishing released my debut novel, DOWN IN FLAMES.
Yeah, I know. Not exactly earth shattering, but it's not something I saw coming. Oh, sure, I had the signed contract and I'd drooled over the cover enough to fear for the lifespan of my keyboard. I'd even survived "the edits"—something of great myth and lore to us first-timers. But I still didn't believe they'd actually go through with it. This was, after all, my book. My first book at that, and my first shot of fiction since grade school. I can honestly say there were approximately ZERO points in the writing process I ever expected the story to see the light of day…let alone with a buy link attached.
It was quite a moment—one to be followed by many more such moments of disbelief.
You see, I never meant to do this author thing for real. I wrote DOWN IN FLAMES because I told someone there was no way, no how, ya-can't-make-me-because-I-ain't gonna write fiction. It took less than a day for my own words to hit me, and from that point I became determined to write "a" book—more specifically, a manuscript—and not because I held any great aspirations toward being published. I just wanted to prove myself wrong. Suffice to say I succeeded—and loved it—but my own refusal to believe the success left me scrambling at the last minute to put something on my website—and by "something" I mean "anything"—and to do the same kind of "something" with my blog. (The latter I didn't truly accomplish until the first weeks of 2011). But even that was nothing compared to conquering my greatest fear.
I am quite possibly the most introverted person you've ever met. Put me in a crowded room—and by "crowded" I mean at least two other people, give or take—and I'd be content to hide under a table if it wouldn't serve only to draw more attention to my quaking self. I'm terrified people will look at me. I have NO IDEA how I managed to get married with a captive audience in attendance, other than to say whoever came up with the idea for the veil is pretty cool in my book. I can tell you all, with zero exaggeration, that the idea of getting my name and myself out there PETRIFIED me. You'd think I had to deliver a speech naked on live TV for all the trauma the mere thought of an interview caused. And if not for fellow Noble author Nichelle Gregory reaching out and inviting me to her blog, I'd probably still be cowering; for her kindness, I'll be long-grateful.
That first interview was nearly a year ago. Since then, I've made fifty-six guest appearances over the internet and have amassed eleven reviews from bloggers and review sites—two for DOWN IN FLAMES and nine for my second release, the romantic suspense RUN TO YOU. (To see the full list of reviews and interviews, click here.) That might not sound like much, but I still feel that pull in my gut when I think about that first interview and how frightened I was to take that step. And now, with my first whirlwind year behind me, I'm about to take another one.
To celebrate my first anniversary among the ranks of published authors, I'm going to do something absolutely crazy.
I'm going to take a step back and write.
Sarah's work-in-progress UNFORGIVEN is the first of a series of at least four romantic suspense titles she plans to finish in the next few months. If you'd like to see the status of her WIPs, click here.