Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Beginnings and Back-Ups with Guest Blogger: Julie Shelton

Meet author Julie Shelton  
& learn about her debut release 
today at the Book Boost!

Loving Sarah is my first published novel, but it is not the first one I’ve written.  Nor is it the first one I’ve actually submitted to a publisher.  No, that one was a romantic suspense novel and a total rip-off of anything ever written by Mary Stewart, the Queen of romantic suspense.  I wrote it in longhand on lined notebook paper then typed it on my brand new Smith Corona electric typewriter, which I got with S & H green stamps.

Five hundred double-spaced pages, which I proudly sent off to Doubleday because a friend knew a friend who knew someone who worked at Doubleday.  Needless to say, it was sent back, but not with the standard form rejection letter.  Instead, I got a personal letter from the person who’d read it, saying it was the neatest manuscript he’d ever seen.  No strikeovers, no x’d out words or sentences, no notes in the margins, etc.  I have no idea what happened to it.

But I was encouraged.  And with encouragement like that, how could I not keep writing?  Since then, I’ve written seven more novels—two medieval historical romances, one Regency romance, one contemporary romance, one Gothic romance, and Loving Sarah (notice a theme here?).  Loving Sarah is the only one I’ve actually finished, and Siren-Bookstrand was the only publisher I submitted it to.

The fact that it exists at all is a true miracle, because at one point, being the total novice on the computer that I am, I managed to erase the entire manuscript!

I was devastated.  I’d been working on it for two years and it was the first one I truly felt was actually good enough to be published.  I moped around for months, totally dreading the thought of starting over from scratch, when, one day, I needed to print something and when I turned on the printer, lo and behold, Loving Sarah started printing.

The entire novel, minus the last 85 pages, was still in the print queue!  I hadn’t lost it after all.  So, after learning how to back up everything I was working on, I managed to finish it and send it off.  I am now working on the sequel, titled Owning Sarah.  It will conclude the plot I began in the first book, and will contain several key scenes that I had to cut out of the original in order to keep the word count under two hundred and fifty thousand words.

It took me over four years to write Loving Sarah.  I’m giving myself six months tops to write the sequel.  Wish me luck.

As I said at the beginning, Loving Sarah is my first published novel.  But I have had other things published.  From 1981-83 I wrote all the original material for Kidstuff, a monthly language arts newsletter for early childhood educators.  Each issue was on a theme (i.e., Farms, Things in a Garden, Things in the Ocean, etc.) and contained a wide variety of original stories, flannel board stories and patterns, puppet stories and patterns, songs, activities, finger plays, poems and a bibliography of picture books for reading aloud to preschoolers and early elementary age children.  Kidstuff and I won the prestigious EDPRESS Award, given by the Educational Press Association of America, for the best educational newsletter of 1982.

In 1991, Fearon Teacher Aids published Puppets, Poems and Songs, my 288-page book of how to make and use a variety of simple puppets in preschool and early elementary classrooms (sort of a super Kidstuff), each chapter on a different theme.

But Loving Sarah is a long way from the days of Kidstuff and I hope you'll enjoy the story.

A Note from the Book Boost:  Welcome to the blog, Julie and I wish you luck with your debut romance novel.  Sounds like you've hung in there and I know it will all pay off in the end.


Eight years ago Jesse Colter fled his small town, leaving behind eighteen-year-old Sarah Marshall.  Now a retired Navy SEAL, he’s back and he wants only one thing—Sarah Marshall—preferably bound, naked and kneeling before him.

Sarah has never forgotten Jesse.  He’s been the object of all her sexual fantasies since she was fifteen, as well as the star of nightly dreams that have become increasingly erotic over the years.  So when he suddenly reappears in her life, she warily agrees to let him introduce her to his world—the world of BDSM.  When he also introduces her to his best friend, Adam Sinclair, Sarah faces the challenge of submitting to two powerful, Dominant men.

But Sarah has an even bigger problem.  A stalker.  Someone from her past who is determined to destroy any chance she has at happiness.  Can Adam and Jesse love and protect her?  Or will her world explode in betrayal and violence that will destroy them all?

Want More Julie?

Pick up a copy of her book today! Click here.

And she'd love to hear from readers.  Click here to contact.

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