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My First Sale by Sasha White, Bartender by Night. . ....

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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 risquà© magazine for a young lady to be writing for.–?

Hehehe.

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

TroubleI 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.

BoundShortly 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!

Read Something White Hot
http://www.sashawhite.net

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

36 Comments

  1. Rhonda Stapleton
    Jun 22, 2007 @ 05:44:28

    HOORAY! *waves hi* What a fun post…thanks for sharing your story! Yeah, it’s funny how you can achieve stuff when you don’t realize how hard it’s “supposed” to be, isn’t it?

  2. Lars
    Jun 22, 2007 @ 05:55:58

    your stories sound exciting, i think i will definitely check them out! i have a question though, since you worked in a bar at night and wrote during the day, when did you find time to sleep?!? :)
    i used to work nights and well, all i ever did outside work was eat and sleep :)

  3. Lori G. Armstrong
    Jun 22, 2007 @ 06:45:25

    Great interview with Sasha. I loved BOUND and can’t wait for Karl’s story :)

    Still hate her for mostly skipping the rejection process, though — kidding!

  4. Crystal B.
    Jun 22, 2007 @ 06:57:04

    Great interview Sasha. I love hearing about an author’s road to publication.

  5. Lucinda Betts
    Jun 22, 2007 @ 07:01:25

    Great story Sasha! Your LUSH cover is beautiful, btw. Congrats!

  6. Stacy S
    Jun 22, 2007 @ 07:37:18

    Great interview. Do you still work in the bar?

  7. Jill Dunlop
    Jun 22, 2007 @ 07:44:09

    Hi Sasha!

    It’s so nice to get to know a little bit about you. I am intriqued by Gypsy Heart expecially since it has such a personal meaning to you. I love knowing those little nuances when reading a story.

  8. Julie Leto
    Jun 22, 2007 @ 07:44:39

    One of my favorite people! I love hearing your story, Sasha…and reading your books, of course!

  9. Larissa Ione
    Jun 22, 2007 @ 08:21:31

    Awesome, story, Sasha! And I’ve told you this before…I loved Bound, and I love how I wasn’t a fan of first-person stories before you came along. Because of you, I’m willing to read more first-person novels…but you definitely remain my favorite. :)

  10. Bonnie Edwards
    Jun 22, 2007 @ 09:45:41

    Sasha! So great to read this. You’re a natural, no doubt about it. I was blown away by your novella in Pure Sex, but you already know that. (g)

    You are one of the bravest writers I know.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    Bonnie

  11. Sasha
    Jun 22, 2007 @ 10:45:43

    Hey Rhonda!.. I honestly wonder if I knew how hard it was supposed to be if I would’ve still chased the career. *blush* I think I would’ve let my lack of formal education might’ve been intimidate me. Lucky I didn;t becasue as it turns out, imagination and voice are just as important as grammar. ANd my grammar has gotten a lot better! LOL

    Lars, I guess I’m lucky that I only need 5 or 6 hours of sleep. I’d write mostly when I came home form the bar – sometimes until 9 or ten in the morning before going to bed. And I could often bang out a short story on my days off. I thinkit’s a matter of what you really want to do with yout time. And while I love bartending (And still do it part time) I was tired of having to depend on other people’s graciousness (tips) to live. I was determined to build a career, so I went after it.

    Lori! Yes, I was very lucky. But again, I didn’t know a lot about the industry, so when I receieved an R that said, your “style” doesn’t fit in our line…I beleived it. Id didn;t keep trying to re-write that book, or write another for the same line. I took what was My STyle, and founf a place it fit. I think that’s important for a writer who’s looking for a long term career. Stay true to your own style, and find a home for it – don’t try to change your style to fit a home.

  12. Sasha
    Jun 22, 2007 @ 10:49:17

    Thanks Crystal. I’ve alwasyu loved being ont he road, I hope it never ends. :)

    Hey Lucinda! Thank You. I admit, I’ve got good cover Karma. :)

    Stacy, yes, I do. LOL I quit for a year, to write a whole whack of stories. But I became too much of a hermit. As a single girl who lives alone, when I concetrated on my writing, it was all I did. So, when I caught up with my contracts, I went back to bartending and waitressing part time. I work two shifts a week now, and it helps me stay sane, plus gives me inspiration. *grin*

  13. Sasha
    Jun 22, 2007 @ 10:53:01

    Hi Jill!

    Gypsy Heart is definitely a special story for me. I think it alaways will be too. Sable and I have a lot in common, and someday I hope I’ll also find a man who can see past the flirt behind the bar (or the erotica writer) and want to actually get to know me. I have to also admit, that I’m not easy to get to know because after 20 years behind bars and in restaurants, I tend to be a bit cynical abotu romance and relationships. Yet, my heart still hold the hope, which is why I think I write the stories I do.

  14. Sasha
    Jun 22, 2007 @ 10:54:50

    JULIE!!
    You’re my hero ! The inspiration to stay true to my own voice, style and play to my natural strengths! Some day I WILL get to buy you a few drinks!!

  15. Sasha
    Jun 22, 2007 @ 10:57:25

    Thanks, Larissa, that is an amazing compliment. *hug*

    Hi Bonnie! Thank You very much. I’ve never thought of myself as Brave, but I like it! *grin*

  16. Maureen
    Jun 22, 2007 @ 11:49:47

    What a great story. I love your confidence.

  17. raine
    Jun 22, 2007 @ 12:08:37

    Great first sale story, Sasha! :-)

  18. maura anderson
    Jun 22, 2007 @ 12:31:02

    Great story, Sasha!!!

    I love to read other people’s first sale stories.

    - Maura

  19. Beth Williamson
    Jun 22, 2007 @ 14:02:25

    And we will always be grateful you stayed with your true voice. It’s what grabs your readers and gives them the ride of their lives. Keep on truckin’!

  20. Sue A.
    Jun 22, 2007 @ 14:06:32

    I love that you’re so open and willing to share so much as yourself with us in both your books and at your blog (or other blogs).

  21. Susan
    Jun 22, 2007 @ 14:31:31

    Sasha, awesome post! I enjoy getting to know you more and more by going to your daily blog and following you to others. It is great to hear from the person behind some of my favorite books!

  22. Sasha
    Jun 22, 2007 @ 14:50:51

    Thanks, everyone. There are times I worry I’m going to chase readers away by letting too much of myself out there, especially on my own blog, where I tend to really tell all – well, almost all. *wink* It’s fantastic to discover that I’m wrong.

  23. May
    Jun 22, 2007 @ 16:04:31

    Nah, not going to happen, Sasha. You’re too sweet and nice to chase us all away. ;)

    Especially when you have us dangling for more!

  24. Stacia Helpman
    Jun 22, 2007 @ 16:34:29

    What a wonderful post, Sasha. It’s nice to hear about someone’s first time.

  25. tasha
    Jun 22, 2007 @ 16:52:43

    ive been reading your books since i found your site and read ‘gypsy heart”
    thank you for many enjoyment!

  26. Tonni
    Jun 22, 2007 @ 17:28:34

    Sasha, I like your post. And your for cover for Lush is lovely
    and I have a couple of your books on my TBR list

  27. Amy S.
    Jun 22, 2007 @ 18:02:46

    Hi Sasha! I love your books and I can’t wait to read Trouble.

  28. Christy H.
    Jun 22, 2007 @ 19:18:44

    Fun story.

    Congrats on your upcoming release

  29. D
    Jun 22, 2007 @ 20:58:02

    I’ve found in my quest for books that Harlequin has rejected many authors that I have come to love. Pity for them they couldn’t predict the future and all of your success! LOL!

  30. Sasha
    Jun 23, 2007 @ 00:25:01

    *hugs May*

    Thanks, Stacia. :)

    You’re very welcome, Tasha. I hope you enjoyu the new releases as much as you did the others.

    Tonnie, the Lush cover is perfect for the book too! As if it were right out of the third story in the book.

    Hey Amy! Trouble is coming soon! I can’t wait!

    Thanks Christy!

    D, I think it wasn’t a bad thing at all. I’m very happy with the editors I have, they let me write my stories they way I want to, and I’m not sure I’d have stuck with writing it they didn’t. I also honestly believe that it’s important to have an editor/publisher behind you who believes in your work…so I’m happy for the rejection. It helped me find the place that was right for me

  31. Teresa W.
    Jun 23, 2007 @ 00:50:26

    Congrats on the release it sounds like a winner! I also enjoyed the post.

  32. sula
    Jun 23, 2007 @ 12:27:37

    Coming out of lurkdom to say that I was tickled to read this entry. I picked up Bound at my local Borders the other day on a total whim. Mainly because the cover looked sexy, the blurb promising and a flip-through revealed that the author’s voice seemed really interesting. I think I read it in one sitting. *g* I’d never even heard of Sasha White (and I read a lot of romance and visit a lot of romance-related websites) but I felt very lucky to have gotten such a good book without any outside recommendation. One thing that I enjoyed so much about the book was that it was set in Canada. *g* I grew up with a bunch of Canucks and have even been mistaken for one occasionally. And I have friends in BC and Kelowna and Vancouver, etc. So yeah, great to read about a location that’s not set in the States. Oh, and Joe was definitely drool-worthy. woot!

    You’re on my to-look-for author list now. Keep up the good writing! :)

  33. Sasha
    Jun 23, 2007 @ 14:56:39

    Thanks Teresa!

    Sula! YAY! I’m so glad you enjoyed BOUND! Chadwick is a fictional town, based sort of Nelson BC. I have a post I wrote about it before, I should get my web designer to put it up on my site. I love that my editors never made me change it to a US place, it was just so real in my head as it was. The setting for Sexy Devil, my Nove 27 release from Aphrodisia, is loosely based on Kelowna. ( I Lived there for 8 years) so if you like Canadian settings, you’re sure to enjoy that one too!

    Trouble is set in Vancouver. :)

    What can I say? I’m a BC girl at heart!

  34. Karen Erickson
    Jun 23, 2007 @ 22:22:14

    Hi Sasha! I love your first sale story, I find you to be an inspiration to other writers because you stay true to who you are and your writing. I’m also a big fan of your books. ;)

    Thanks for sharing your story and can’t wait for Trouble to come out!

  35. Elaine Moreau
    Jun 28, 2007 @ 19:37:25

    Great story… thanks for sharing.

    I find writing even a short paragraph daunting, so I’m in awe of anyone who can not only write with a passion, but write so well!

  36. tasha
    Jul 01, 2007 @ 18:58:35

    very nice! I love your books!

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