Hi and thanks so much for having me today!
This is a topic that never gets old for me. I love to read about other author’s road to publication and I love to share my own experience.
Of course it all began with a vision and then that vision turned into a broader concept and then that turned into a dream.
Once I felt like the dream could potentially turn into reality I received a nice reality check.
Traditional publishing is HARD.
It’s funny when most people ask me this they expect the hardest part to be the actual writing process. However, for me writing the book was easy, getting it published was… tough. And I assure you, that is putting it mildly.
After completing my first novel, Black Amaranth, and having it ready for submission in early 2012, I researched the literary agent route and that’s when the rollercoaster ride began.
Like 99.9% of all authors, I received a slew of rejections. Too many to count. I learned how to deal with them. Initially it’s hard. Rejection of any form always is, right?
But the rejections that were tough to stomach were from the agents that requested partials, and then fulls, leading me to believe that finally, finally I was going to get my break only for them to ultimately reject me.
This went on for around a year. I felt pretty exhausted and jaded and ready to give up when I had a thought that sounded preposterous in my mind, but I secretly set out as a last ditch effort to research if there were actual publishers that would accept unsolicited manuscripts.
To my surprise there were actually several presses that in fact, would accept unsolicited manuscripts.
This seemed to rejuvenate my list of potential homes for my manuscript. After carefully composing a list of publishers, I sent off my baby and really had pretty low expectations. I mean the agent thing didn’t work and they are from my research, the gatekeepers. If I couldn’t make it past them, I had virtually no hope or real belief that I could actually obtain a publisher. But hope, no matter how small, seems to keep us going.
But then in the month of April 2013, things got crazy, I mean real and crazy.
I had tried for a year to obtain an agent and while I had several requests, they all led to the final rejection. But in that one month I had not only two agents request my full manuscript after reading the partial, but I had three publishers offer me a contract. As in they weren’t asking for more time to consider, as in they weren’t asking for the full manuscript, is in they weren’t passing it off for another colleague to have a gander… as in they wanted it!
I was astonished. Completely floored. When I think back to it all, I still am stunned. April 2013 was an incredible month for me. After a year of what eventually felt like desperation on my part, I found myself having to actually pick a publisher (I politely turned the agents down).
Since signing with Evernight Teen Publishing (who by the way, have to be the easiest, most author friendly pub on the planet) I have released a total of 5 titles and I have never looked back.
And to make things even more dramatic, I had a publisher offer me a contract an entire year later!
So the point to my journey is there was a girl who thought it was impossible to find a home for her book without an agent. After the agents of the cruel world of publishing rejected her, said girl felt certain her baby would forever be an orphan, that no publisher would ever want her baby. But like all happy endings that you really have to work and struggle for the reward, this girl did in fact find a home for her baby with a publisher… all by herself.
The Vulcan Legacies, 4
YA Paranormal Romance
Evernight Teen Publishing
Resurrected from the dead, Michael Blackwell is enraged and heartbroken to find Ally—the girl he loved—in the arms of the very man that killed him as a human. In Michael’s eyes, Ally’s betrayal is absolute. But there is more than meets the eye when it comes to the man who killed Michael, and even more with the girl he thought he knew.
Black Apocalypse is a journey full of heartache and redemption where the past weaves an uncertain future. Can Michael forgive Ally for her betrayal? Can Ally finally embrace who she is destined to become to save them both?
Who is the elusive Seraph, Laurel? Who was the Devourer before his colossal fall from grace? What decisions did they make together that altered the course of history? Shocking revelations, prophecies fulfilled, a war where not everyone will make it out alive…the final installment in the Vulcan Legacies will leave you breathless.
14+ due to adult situations
He glanced at her silhouette. She stood beside him quietly, a tear streaking her pale face, one silver line visible against the cold wintery night.
“Will you dance with me?” Abaddon said, turning her back to face him.
Ally spoke with her body. She shivered as she turned to him, reaching out and lacing her fingers through his.
Abaddon responded by pulling her close against him, removing his hands from hers so he could wrap them around her, holding her tight and praying for the courage to see his task through.
The Seraph told him, told him what he must do. In his broken mind, the pieces lay jagged and strewn, but he was putting them together, regaining the memories he’d lost through the blinding rage of his illusion.
But Ally was real. He was holding her in his arms, and she came to him with trust, with patience, while he tried to regain the memories from his human life, ones that would guide him on the path he was supposed to be on now.
But as he held her in his arms, she felt so fragile, so breakable. He could hear the soft thrumming of her heart. The beat was uneven, a rhythm that reminded him of the last remnants of life.
Ally was dying. She was his soulmate and the beat of her heart gave him all the courage he needed. He wasn’t going to kill her. He was going to save her.
Abaddon slowly broke away from her, keeping her at arm’s length. Her light was dimming, but there was the faintest glimmer in her eyes that held hope for him. She would be strong enough to endure what he was getting ready to do to her. She had to be.
Abaddon brought his wrist up to his mouth, extended his canines and pierced his flesh. As blood rushed up to the surface, he gazed into her eyes.
He parted his lips, ready to speak, to tell her it would be okay, but was silenced by Ally resting a single finger against his lips.
“Shh,” Ally whispered.
Her gaze told him that she knew what was happening. She wouldn’t fight him. He could see that she would trust him, blindly put all her faith in him, was truly ready to walk down an unknown path with him.
He watched in awe as she circled her cold fingers around his wrist and brought it up to her lips. She locked gazes with him and he could feel her taking his essence into him. She ended by gently kissing his wrist where the wound was. She swept her hair to one side, exposing her neck up at him.
Abaddon felt a warm tear run down his cheek.
“It’s okay, Michael,” Ally said, her voice so little. “I’m ready.”
He unfurled his wings, pulled her against him tightly, lowered his lips to hers, and in his mind he whispered the words from a song, a song from a long time ago that meant so much to him then and even more to him now.
“I’ve waited such a long time for you,” he said. He softly caressed her lips with his, savoring the feel of her against him, the kiss he’d waited a lifetime and beyond for.
He raised his gaze back to hers, brushing a wisp of hair away from her eyes, cupping her face. “A lifetime,” he said, as he brushed soft kisses along her temple, her cheek, her jawline, back to her trembling lips. Thinking back to that night long ago, he lived the words of that song, held nothing back for what he felt for her.
Abaddon could see the tears standing in her eyes. He kissed them away, their salt lingering on his lips. He drew her closer into him so that he could feel she was real, she was in his arms, her life in his hands.
And through her tears, he could see the relief, he could see the hope, he could see her love staring back at him. His heart hammered in his chest, that muscle giving way to a new life, a life that only love could give.
He brushed his lips against hers again and again, whispering those lyrics so appropriate for them, for their life, their death, their love against a world that, like her essence, was fading fast. “You’ll always be mine.”
With shaky hands, Abaddon pulled her down to the ground with him. Cradling her in his lap, he grazed his canines against her throat. “I need you,” Abaddon whispered, as Ally laced her fingers through his hair, pulling him down to her vein. She arched her back, pressed up against him, encouraged him to drink from her, to take her to where he’d been.
Abaddon exhaled against her skin. With one hand holding her head and the other pressed firmly into the small of her back, he pierced her, sunk his teeth into the soft flesh at her neck. He took her into him, her blood coursing through him, sating a hunger for far more than sustenance. In her blood was the story of their life, the answers he sought, the lyrics to their own song.
Abaddon could feel the life slowly fade from her, could hear her heartbeat slow. Removing his canines, he drew back from her. Her head lolled to the side, her pupils beginning to fix. He brought her lips back to his, kissed her gently.
As Ally’s last breath escaped her body, Abaddon clutched her tightly to his chest, a crimson tear falling against her, he whispered into her ear, “Hurry back to me.”
About the Author:
By age 5, Sasha Hibbs’ favorite movie was Gone With the Wind. By age 12, she completed her 7th grade book report on the sequel, Scarlett. By 18, she met and married her very own Mr. Rhett Butler and as it turns out, she never had to worry about going back to Tara to win the love of her life back. Fortunately, he stuck with her.
With a love of all things paranormal, the ambiance of the South with its gigantic antebellum mansions and canopies of Spanish moss, and a love for her husband’s rich storytelling of blacksmiths and the mythology surrounding their origins, it wasn’t long until the world of her debut novel, Black Amaranth, was born.
When not working her day job as a nurse, you can find Sasha dreaming of her next beach trip, reading the latest YA novel, and drinking more white chocolate mocha than she should.
Sasha lives in mountainous West Virginia with her husband, Tim, and their two daughters, Aeliza and Ava. She is currently hard at work on her next novel.