My First Sale: Stephanie Tyler & Larissa Ione, When One Action Heroine Just Isn’t Enough
Larissa Ione and Stephanie Tyler are the writing duo named Sydney Croft. The name is part Sydney Bristol, part Lara Croft and the story is all steamy action. Their first book, Riding the Storm, is due out September 2007. This is their story of how two action heroines, disguised as writers, made their first single title sale.
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Larissa starts: Stephanie and I met online around four years ago. I don't even remember how we started critiquing, but somehow it happened. I'm pretty sure it was me who one day, out of the blue, said, "We should write something together!–? I think she thought I was nuts.
Steph continues: I thought Larissa was nuts. For the record, I still do. But sometime in February of 2006, we were both really getting impatient, both waiting to hear on individual projects that we'd submitted. So I sent her the first scene of a story I'd started back in back in September of 2006, the day that Hurricane Katrina hit and I was sitting helpless in New York, waiting to hear something about Larissa who was running from the storm. The scene featured a hero who was running from a hurricane. And she sent me an email back after she'd read the scene, the subject of which I'll never forget: T-Remy and Hurricane Trauma.
Larissa replies: Yes, my family and I had just lost everything we owned in hurricane Katrina, and she sends me a story about a hero who attracts hurricanes, and expects me to write the next scene. *rolls eyes* Of course, I did. Once the chapter was finished, I passed it back, and soon we had completed the novella, come up with ideas for two more novellas, and written a proposal for what we figured would be an erotic anthology.
Steph: We finished everything in just about two weeks, during which time we both sold individually, so we were already all pumped up. And so we sent two chapters to my agent on a Friday morning to see what she thought. By Friday afternoon, she'd emailed to say that she loved it and that she'd already put out feelers to publishing houses. By Monday morning, she had requests from about five houses. And that's when Larissa decided that she'd desert me and take a vacation to Germany.
Larissa: In my defense, the trip to visit a friend had been planned far in advance, so her cries of desertion are exaggerated.
Steph: Larissa put me in charge of making any necessary decisions regarding our joint project while she was away –" we made a joke of it –" I'll call you in Germany. And then Monday, one week from when the proposals were submitted, I got a call from my agent, who said that Bantam Dell made an offer. She said, they'd like you to turn the novellas into three single titles –" can you guys do that? I said, not a problem at all. I'd have agreed to actually sell Larissa to Bantam at that point. And then I picked up the phone and called Germany with no thought to the time difference or anything else.
Larissa: Do you see what I have to put up with? Anyway, I don't remember exactly what Stephanie said during that call, mainly because she was screaming and babbling, but the gist was that we'd sold our first single titles!
Steph: I remember being calm and collected. And despite being an ocean apart, Sydney Croft was born.