My First Sale by Sasha White, Bartender by Night. . . Writer by Day
Sasha White has a secret weapon. Every night White hones this weapon in a locale that is ripe with despair, joy, lust, and love. For a writer whose success depends on the intricate character arcs as it particularly relates to the interrelationship of males and females, there is no more fertile ground than a bar. White puts her observations of human nature and the fascinating mating dance to good use in her steamy erotica novels.
Sasha White is going to give away an advanced copy of her August release, Trouble, to a random commenter. (For those who aren’t familiar with these, an advanced copy is a pre-publication copy and you would get to read it before it is even available in the bookstore).
My first sale story is a bit — .odd. Mostly because I'm never sure if by "First Sale–? I'm supposed to talk about the first time I got paid for my writing, or the first Novel I sold. So today, I'll tell you about both.
I started writing almost 5 years ago. And 6 months after I started, I sold the second story I wrote to a Men's Magazine. I'm single, and at the time the only people who knew I was giving writing a try were my parents. When I told them I'd sold a short story, and to who, my Dad's reaction was "That's a risquÃƒÆ’Ã‚ © magazine for a young lady to be writing for.–?
My Mom just smiled and said. "If they're going to pay you to write– go for it.–?
There was no big celebration or even a YAY! (This didn't bother me though, and you'll see why if you keep reading
I kept writing for the magazine, and at the same time, submitted a short story to Black Lace. So when Black Lace accepted my first submission to them, I just kept at it. For the next year I wrote short stories for men's magazines, as well as various erotica anthologies. My plan was to learn how to write, get some experience in the business. To build a resume.
You see, I think I was lucky enough to not know too much about the business, because if I knew how hard it was supposed to be to get published. To me, it was just a matter of setting my mind to it, and going after it. I wasn't intimidated by big publishers or communicating with editors.
So the next logical step was a novel, and at that time, erotica novels weren't as in demand as they seem to be now. I've always read romance, and I wanted to write a romance, not an erotica novel, so gave it a shot. I admit, Gypsy Heart is my fantasy. While I can honestly Sable is not based on me, but is a complete character on her own, I can say that having a man like Gage walk in to a bar where I work, and fall for me, to have him turn down multiple requests for an affair or a fling, and tell me he wants a serious relationship would be a dream come true. It was my first novel, and it was the story that had burned in my head.
Getting it published was a bit of a learning experience. That was the book I learned a lot on. I'd originally targeted it at Harlequin Temptation, and they rejected it because of my writing style. What exactly that meant I don't know, but I took it to mean my "voice–?. (and this is how I learned what Voice is. lol I also found out about critique partners and more when I discovered the eHarliquin Boards.) I didn't bother to do anything with the manuscript for quite a while after that. It sat on my computer for a year while I started on my next project – a novella aimed at Brava, a new line that was aiming for a steamier market, but still romance. When I stalled on that one I pulled Gypsy Heart up again, and reread it. And at the urging of my new Critique Partners, decide to try for ePublishing. The story was to short to try and sell to a bigger NY publishing house, and too long to try to sell as a novella somewhere. I chose two ePublishers I liked and submitted to both, both requested the full within a week of each other. Gypsy Heart was originally published with Liquid Silver Books.
Shortly after it was published, I wrote up the Bound proposal. That proposal got me an agent, and my first NY sale. And within a day of selling my first novel (which I hadn't written yet– and had never written a full novel before– so I was a bit nervous about that) I was also contracted for a novella with Kensington. Three weeks later I had another two NY contracts. A novella, and a single author anthology. That's how I came to write for both Kensington and Berkley. I just happened to be writing the write style of story when the market opened up.
This time when the offer came, via a phone call from my agent, not only did I know what a big deal it was, I had writing friends and family who understood as well!
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