Guest Author Interview: Sabrina York Spills The Beans by Cassiel Knight
Posted by SeeJanePublish
Today, we have a dynamo of an author who, like me, tends to fill her days with her authorly world and an obsessive need to volunteer. Through the various things we’ve worked on together, I’ve gotten to know Sabrina and she is one heck of a terrific lady. And her stories are hot, hot, hot! Please join me in welcoming Sabrina York to See Jane Publish.
Sabrina adds: If you would like to check out covers and excerpts for my new releases and coming books, or want to enter my summer contest to win a pair of rhinestone handcuffs, pop by my website http://www.sabrinayork.com/. I hope you have a wonderful summer filled with sexy, spicy books.
Keep it hot, baby.
Tell us about your publishing journey
The worst thing that can happen to a 12 year-old girl with voices in her head, an active imagination and a loose grasp on reality, is to win a writing contest. Sadly, that’s what happened to me and, just as easily as that, I was hooked on the mental and emotional crack that is writing.
It didn’t help that my family moved every year (yes, I was a military brat—with the emphasis on brat), or that the only consistent thing in my life (besides inexorable change) was the fact that there was a library on every base. I became a book addict. And, like most book addicts, I decided, at some point, that I could do it better.
I’ve called myself a writer for most of my adult life. This does not mean, however, that I actually wrote. I went to college and got my degree (in a non-writing field) and then got a job (that had nothing to do with writing). I would come home from work and glance at my computer and think, “Hey. I’m a writer. Maybe I should write,” and then something good (or something good enough) would come on TV.
Which is not to say I never wrote. I just did not do it diligently. I was a dilettante. A piddler. A civilian. While I wrote bits and pieces here and there, scenes and vignettes, I never finished a manuscript. I certainly never submitted one.
Still, I was surprised that I never sold.
Did I mention I have a loose grasp on reality?
In 1999 I finished my Masters program. I found myself with time on my hands and a sudden desire to write again. I finished my first full manuscript (a 175,000-word epic fantasy inspired by George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, but not executed nearly so well.) Excited by this coup, I wrote a 90,000-word medieval romance which I massaged for years. I entered this piece to numerous contests and I was delighted to win most of them. At the same time, I was dejected that none of the final judges liked my story enough to throw a million dollar contract in my direction.
Still, my word count was coming down. That was something.
By 2011 I had made some significant shifts in my mental approach to writing. First and foremost, I had come to realize that while I was talented, I was not flawless. There was room for improvement in my work. Lots of room. I joined GSRWA and RCRW and started taking classes and attending conferences. I had two critique groups combing through my work and—shocker!—I actually listened to their suggestions. I was writing regularly and submitting and polishing my work to enter contests.
I released my stranglehold on my one manuscript (that lovely medieval romance) and began trying other things. A regency. A contemporary. A paranormal. An erotica.
Lo and behold, these won contests too.
Okay, I thought. There might be something to this.
I especially enjoyed writing erotica. For one thing, the stories were shorter than 175,000-words, which meant I could write faster. And the subject matter was always thrilling. They were even fun to edit. What a pity they were too short to enter in most RWA contests!
Then a critique partner told me about a contest just for shorter pieces. The Celtic Hearts Novellas Need Love Too contest. Yippee! (Did I mention I am something of a contest whore?) I had three manuscripts done and decided to enter all three. I was floored to learn they all finaled, and even more floored to hear from the final judge, Kelli Collins at Ellora’s Cave that she wanted to see a full of all three.
I had just been complaining to a friend that final judges NEVER ask for a full. Kelli proved me oh-so-wrong.
Long story short, Ellora’s Cave bought all three manuscripts, and three more to boot.
I have not, however, given up on my medieval romance.
What’s the funniest thing to happen to you along your road to publication and what was the most exciting?
The most exciting moment was, of course, the e-mail from Carrie Jackson asking (ever-so-politely) if she could please publish Adam’s Obsession.
The funniest thing was probably telling my son that his mother had finally sold a book—and it was an erotic romance. The look on his face was priceless.
“Are you okay with that honey?” I asked.
He cringed. “Yeah. But mom, please don’t make me read it.”
What has been the most challenging thing related to publishing you’ve had to deal with on your journey?
They say that authors should have a thick skin. I wish I did. But I don’t. The hardest thing for me was knowing—in my heart of hearts—that my writing was good, but I just wasn’t getting any traction. I hated that each rejection made me doubt my talent a little more. It was only the support of my writerly friends that kept me trying.
It takes a great deal of bravery to stand there on the moors in the biting cold and face down the whipping wind. It’s a lot easier with friends by your side.
While I always believed that the Universe knew what it was doing, knew that I would be published when the time was right, that every dog does eventually have his day—it was still very hard to receive a rejection and go back to eating kibble when I was really hoping for bacon (for more on my obsession with bacon, see my Pintrest page).
My favorite author of all time is Johanna Lindsey because I loved that she wrote romance, sure, but also wrote cross-genre romance when everyone said it wasn’t possible. I itched to do the same. Now, thanks to Destiny and the good folks at Ellora’s Cave, I can indulge my eclectic tastes for any genre—as long as it’s erotic. (Which, by the way, does not pose a problem). I have written contemporary, fantasy, historical, heck, even horror erotica. And my editor asked me to consider writing a sexy space opera—kind of a Firefly meets Game of Thrones with lots of sex. You know I am all over that like a duck on a June bug!
Because I am writing and editing during my every spare moment away from the job that pays the bills, I don’t have time for luxury reading. I made it a point to buy and read my editor’s authors (so I can complain that she let them get away with things I could not) and books written by my friends Anna Alexander and Olivia Waite (we all sold around the same time, so I consider them my EC sisters). I also make time to read and comment on the work of my dear critique partners who have always supported me.
What’s coming up next for you?
It’s going to be a busy summer for me because, in addition to my day job and my exploding writing career, I am conference chair for the Emerald City Writer’s Conference (which will be awesome, by the way!). Check out all the deets at http://www.gsrwa.org/conference.php. Registration begins June 1st.
Right now I am busy editing the pieces I have sold. Adam’s Obsession is currently available and its sequel, Tristan’s Temptation comes out May 25. Pushing her Buttons, named the Celtic Hearts Distinguished Novella of 2011 is coming this summer along with Rising Green—that erotic horror I mentioned. Please note, as a horror-erotica, it has lots of ‘happy endings’ but don’t expect a happily ever after. Trickery, a story of a naughty witch and her warlock, twined in a battle for sexual dominance is coming out this fall. We are also working on Folly, my Regency erotica.
In the meantime I am plotting out Indigo, a series of stories for my sexy space opera and working on about a hundred other submissions. Another author asked me if I expect to run out of ideas any time soon and I laughed in her face. I have a little black book crammed with characters and plots for erotic romance—time is my only limit.
But, as busy as I am, I am still always excited to connect with readers. You can find me on Twitter at @sabrina_york, on Facebook and on Pintrest. If you feel brave, check out my Inspiration for the Hotness board which is filled with exquisite sexy visions that set my blood afire! For a peek at that sexy space opera I mentioned, take a gander at my Final Frontier board. And yes, I am a little obsessed with Pintrest!
Posted on May 22, 2012, in General and tagged Adam's Obsession, Cassiel Knight, ECWC, GSRA, guest author, journey, RCRW, romance writer, Sabrina York, the journey, Tristan's Temptation, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.