I’ve written and rewritten this post about 18x over the last two weeks as I contemplated how to announce to everyone this life-changing milestone for me. I decided that before I do, I want to tell you a story.
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who read a book called The Cay by Theodore Taylor in elementary school and found herself so moved by the story, by the words, and by the writing style that she dreamed of being able to do the same thing. The book was published by Random House, LLC– one of the top publishing houses in the world since it’s start in 1925.
So that little girl idealized and fantasized about one day being a writer for Random House, just like the book she had read.
Her dream wasn’t just to write, it wasn’t to sell 1,000,000 copies, it wasn’t to be famous.
Her dream was to touch someone’s heart so profoundly that they would feel things they hadn’t felt in a long time, or that they had forgotten they once felt. Just like Theodore Taylor was able to do in her heart.
That’s it. That was her dream.
But the little girl grew up and tragedy after tragedy struck, forcing herself to throw away any dreams she once had and just figure out how to make it to tomorrow. Dreams of being an author were forgotten.
The new dream wasn’t a dream it all. It was a nightmare, and all it asked was can I make it to tomorrow?
Will I be alive next week?
The little girl left her home when she was just 13 years old, tossed around from place to place until she finally graduated high school. At this point, she had moved over 14 times in her life, and couldn’t even remember what home felt like. Or what home was. Dreams were on the back burner.
Actually, dreams weren’t even on the back burner. They were out of reach. They were gone.
So, she graduated high school and loaded everything she owned into a ratty old Ford Taurus that only worked when it wanted to work, duct tape holding doors closed, and actual bandaids holding paint down so it wouldn’t fly up and hit the windshield. She went to college and she spiraled down,
so far down.
She tried everything. She experienced everything. She experienced nothing.
She was lost.
She put her heart into her school work, getting straight A’s and making it to graduate school. Studied criminal psychology and worked in jails. She loved it, everyone was as broken as she was.
She connected with criminals on a level of understanding that others couldn’t, because she believed the best in everyone. She believed that they could grow and be better, get out of jail, and become productive members of society.
Some of them did. Most of them didn’t.
Yet, she still believed. She believed for everyone else, except for her. Because she believed everyone deserved their dreams, deserved the best.
Everyone but her.
She told herself she didn’t deserve anything.
The girl was still floating. She was in dead end relationships with the wrong men. She didn’t find the same joy in her job that she used to.
And she still didn’t have a home.
Until one day, the girl had a date planned and the guy backed out last minute. Ugh, annoyance. Well, she was going out with several friends and she wasn’t the type of girl to pay for her own drinks.
So, she called up another boy, one she had been talking to on and off that she met online. She asked him to join her that night and he was instantly game.
When she first saw him, her first thought was “This kid is so goofy and nervous.”
She found out later that his first thought had been “Jackpot!”. True story.
Well, that night the girl met her husband. And from that evening on, they didn’t spend a day apart.
The boy fell in love right away, she followed about three days later. Two weeks later they moved in together. Six months later, they were engaged. A few months after that, they eloped.
Her home was never in a place, it wasn’t in a house, it wasn’t in a state or city.
No matter how many times she looked, hoping to find a home, it wasn’t until she looked into his goofy, nervous eyes that she finally found it. Her home was with him.
And it was better than any home she ever could of dreamed up.
But everything in love isn’t always easy, life doesn’t suddenly become paved in gold streets with skittles raining down on you. Come on, everyone loves skittles and we have all seen that commercial.
Except the sour kind, gross.
The girl was laid off her job, the boy got accepted into the police academy. She graduated with her masters, he dropped out of graduate school to support them.
She couldn’t find a job for quite some time so she began writing, and he supported her.
He gave up everything to help her make her dream come true.
So, she wrote.
And she wrote.
And it was hard.
Days were long. Eighteen hours worth of writing and marketing, then a few hours of tossing and turning in sleep. She practiced and studied writing, writing styles, techniques, etc. She read like crazy. She studied marketing and self promotion.
He watched as she stared at a computer screen and neglected to give him the attention he deserved.
Then, she got a call.
Random House liked her book, they wanted to see it.
The girl fainted.
RANDOM HOUSE LIKED HER BOOK!
Her dream publishing house contacted her, out of the blue, and liked her book. So, she dove in headfirst and talked with them about it. Her excitement was through the roof.
But they passed on her book. It wasn’t for them.
Her heart broke.
But wait! They loved her writing style and wanted to see a proposal for a new book.
So, she wrote and she wrote and she wrote.
Pitch time came, they loved it! They wanted five chapters immediately.
She signed with an amazing agent, Nicole from The Seymour Agency, who helped her and loved her story too. She was the first person to make the girl believe that her dreams were possible.
Everything was looking up, things were happening, her world was changing! So, she wrote and she wrote and she sent Random House five chapters.
But they passed on it. It wasn’t for them.
And her heart broke.
But she refused to let them go. Not a chance. This entire process had been nine months long so far, and this was her baby.
She was going to make Random House love her.
So, she pitched another idea. Completely off the top of her head, made up an entire world and series in under an hour and shot it to them.
And they loved it! They wanted five chapters immediately.
So, she wrote and she wrote. Her agent edited. She wrote some more and edited more. Then, she sent it to Random House, crossed her fingers, and prayed to baby Jesus that the third time would be the charm.
And guess what?
They loved it and they sent her a contract.
For THREE BOOKS in the series.
The girl fainted.
It was real this time. No more waiting and hoping. No more crossing her fingers.
It was happening.
She had signed on the dotted line.
It was official.
As you probably figured out by now, that girl is me and I get to announce to you all this exciting news.
I’ve signed a three-book deal with Random House Penguin’s LoveSwept imprint for an upcoming series called Kavanagh Legends, about an Irish family of alpha male, Mixed Martial Arts fighters living in the Bronx, NYC.
You can check out the announcement below from Publisher’s Marketplace!
I can’t wait to bring you guys more details about my Kavanagh boys as time goes on! And I just want to say thank you so much to every single reader and fan who brought me to this place. If it wasn’t for you guys, none of this ever would have happened. If it wasn’t for your encouragement and love, I wouldn’t have kept writing.
Most of all, I want to say to all the authors out there who felt as hopeless as I did over the past two years about my writing, keep trying.
Don’t take no for an answer.
Reach out to authors and people who you don’t think would ever give you the time of day, because maybe one of them will. Put yourself out there.
Get your heart broken. Then pick up the pieces and do it again. And again.
Hearts are not irreparable and if you are willing to go through the pain, then you will eventually find your dreams. This has been my dream since I was a child, and it’s come true. I can’t even believe it’s happening because I still struggle to believe I deserve this. All I can do is live in the moment and enjoy what is happening in the here and now, and thank the Lord that He has given me so many blessings.
Regarding my current books, they are all staying the same. Untainted will still come out November 10th, although it is available for pre-order now once Amazon fixes their current glitch (see links at bottom). I will probably still self-publish in the future as well, being a hybrid author. I also have other projects in the works that I can’t wait to bring to you guys in the future!
My books will still be available mainstream, and I will still be accessible on social media as I always have been.
This is a new chapter in the book of my life and I recently went back to re-read the old chapters, and saw how far I have come.
I just finished re-reading The Photographer Trilogy from start to finish, including Tainted Bodies, Tainted Pictures, and the upcoming Untainted. Someone asked me if I was going to go back and fix some of the errors in Tainted Bodies. My answer? No.
I started writing Tainted Bodies two years ago, and as you read through the trilogy, you get to watch the progression of my writing. You get to see me grow and change. This trilogy is my coming-of-age story as an author, and I wouldn’t change the flaws for a million dollars.
I love each and every mistake, because it reminds me of how far I’ve come.
Life is about the journey, right? Well, I can tell you right now that this has been one hell of a beautiful, ugly, happy, painful, yet absolutely perfect journey.
I don’t have all the answers. In fact, I might not have any of the answers.
I still put my foot in my mouth more often than I should. I still struggle with believing in myself. I make mistakes, I hurt people, I hurt myself.
I’m human and flawed and figuring it out as I go.
But you know what?
If I could go back to the beginning, I wouldn’t change a single thing.
And most importantly than any of this is just this one thank you from the girl to the boy …
I love you, Justin Robinson. You are the love that keeps my heart beating and it will always beat only for you.
✯ Sarah’s Books on Amazon ✯
✯ The Photographer Trilogy✯
✔Tainted Bodies ➜ http://amzn.to/1w8BriJ (EBOOK ONLY $0.99!!)
✔Tainted Pictures ➜ http://amzn.to/1sR6a6a
✔Untainted (Preorder) ➜ http://amzn.to/1szl76X (EBOOK ONLY $0.99 FOR PREORDER SPECIAL)
✔Box Set ➜ Coming Jan 1, 2015
✯ Anthologies ✯
✔Playing With Fire Anthology (includes Tainted Bodies) ➜http://amzn.to/ZZSXvP
**Also on Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Nobles, and other retailers.