I had the privilege of interviewing award-winning author Sara Reinke. Her debut fantasy, BOOK OF DAYS, from Double Dragon Publishing, which was named one of the Top 10 Science Fiction/Fantasy Novels of 2005 in the annual Preditors & Editors Readers poll and a Finalist in the 2005 Dream Realm Awards competition. Other available or upcoming titles include BOOK OF THIEVES, the sequel to the award-winning BOOK OF DAYS; TETHERS, a science-fiction thriller; the historical romance, AN UNEXPECTED ENGAGEMENT and the paranormal romance, DARK THIRST. She is a member of the Louisville Romance Writers chapter of Romance Writers of America.
Have you always wanted to be a writer, has it always been a present passion in your life?
I've wanted to be a writer since I was very, very young. I remember writing stories and illustrating them myself when I was in pre-school and kindergarten. My mom tells me that before I even knew how to write, they'd give me a notebook and pen, and I could keep myself busy pretending to write on the pages. While I was growing up, as most kids my age were working their way through Barbies and bicycles, I worked my way through a series of typewriters and then, in high school and college, word processors and computers, always pecking out my stories. I can't remember -- or imagine -- wanting to do anything else with my life besides write.
Can you recall the very moment you decided to write a book?
As I said, I was very young when I began writing stories. I remember as a young girl, probably in second grade, my uncle gave me a set of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, and when I read them, I understood that what I wanted to do was write novels, not just short stories. I wanted to invent fantastic worlds and creatures of my own. That was about the time I wrote my first "series" of "books," each one in its own notebook, a trilogy about three unicorns. As I grew older, I tried my hand again at novel writing, this time in junior high school, when I was inspired by Anne McCaffrey, so I wrote another fantasy novel. In high school, I wrote a lot of short stories and plays and didn't explore novel-writing again until out of college, when I completed the original draft for what's become my sci-fi thriller, "Tethers," available now in ebook and trade paperback from Samhain Publishing. After college, I decided to pursue a more "grown up" career in journalism and all but abandoned fiction for awhile. In 2001, my uncle died of cancer -- the same one who'd given me the "Lord of the Rings" books -- and it really made me rethink the direction in which my life was heading. I decided to write fiction again, and to really aim for publishing and building a solid career at it. Thus, I began writing novels again.
Do you have a "dayjob" that you go to when you're not writing?
Yes. I work for AAA locally, in their public affairs department. My primary responsibilities are the writing, editing and coordination of content for their member magazine. I only recently returned to the position after a two-and-a-half year hiatus. I'd worked there for almost seven years prior to the birth of my son, and had left in order to stay home and care for him.
Can you explain The Romance Galleria and what it is you do for their promotions?
The Romance Galleria is a virtual venue offering chats, events, exhibits and storefront services to romance authors, publishers and related industry professionals. Like your local hotel or convention center, The Romance Galleria offers a variety of services and amenities for all of your promotional event needs. From public author chats to paid workshop events to private staff meetings, the Galleria has the flexibility to offer professionals a virtual environment available anytime, anywhere. It's the only truly interactive, real-time 3D world in the industry. Guests to the Galleria simply download a free, easy-to-use, completely safe software program that allows them to enter 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
I help coordinate their weekly marketing, including the preparation and distribution of press releases highlighting the week's events and promotional opportunities. It's a terrific position, because I'm really excited about the potential of the Galleria. It's already grown by so many leaps and bounds since its launch in February, it's amazing. And it's growing all the time. It's really rewarding and exciting to be a part of it.
Do you have a publisher? An agent?
At the moment, I have books available with several publishers. My fantasy series, The Chronicles of Tiralainn, are available in ebooks and trade paperback through Double Dragon Publishing. "Tethers," a sci-fi thriller is available in ebook and trade paperback from Samhain Publishing. My historical romance, "An Unexpected Engagement" is out in mass-market paperback through bookstores nationwide and leading online book retailers from Medallion Press. As of July 3, the first in a paranormal/vampire romance series, "Dark Thirst" hits bookstores shelves in mass market paperback from Kensington Publishing's Zebra imprint.
I've been very fortunate in that I've had the opportunity to work with such a wide variety of publishing companies, and have enjoyed positive experiences with all of them. Each one is different, but has been terrific for me in terms of my continued growth and development as an author, in their own way, and I'm grateful to each of them.
Any advice to aspiring romance writers?
Never give up. Make time in your life whenever you can to write. Don't let rejections discourage you, or keep you from submitting again. I think building a career as an author takes 10-20 percent talent, and 80-90 percent luck. It's all about presenting the best possible manuscript you can, and getting it in front of the right person at just the right moment. Putting together a top-notch manuscript is something you control completely. Getting your manuscript out there is something within your power, too. And while you can't control whether or not you get it in front of the right person at the right time, the only way that's ever going to happen is if you keep trying despite rejections.
Thank you for taking the time to visit us, Sara!
Visit Sara at her home on the web! http://www.sarareinke.com/
Stay Tuned for a look at Sara's novel, DARK THIRST......