I’d like to welcome Sarah Tormey for the next installment on In PRO-suit of Publication. In addition to being a Beau Monde PRO, Sarah also served the chapter as last year’s Royal Ascot co-coordinator.
Sarah spent several years as a mass merchandise sales representative for a NY publishing house before leaving to pursue her dream to become a published writer. She’s an avid reader, a tireless Beau Monde volunteer and a loyal advocate for the Romance industry, especially for the Regency romances which hold a special place in her heart.
She loves horseback riding and she and her husband have explored such romantic locals as Costa Rica and the French Pyrenees on horseback. It isn’t surprising that after penning several Regencies, her latest stories explore the 21st century world of Army Rangers. Sarah lives in Brooklyn NY with her husband and family and is represented by Jill Marsal of the Marsal Lyon Agency.
Thanks so much for being here Sarah! I’m so excited to hear about your all-new Army Ranger series. What’s the twitter-pitch (approx. 140 characters)?
When Major Cole arrives at Sam’s animal rescue farm for an Army-sanctioned vacation, Sam comes face-to-face with the man who has haunted her fantasies for the past decade.
A reunion story with horses and an Army Ranger–I’m hooked. Can you tell me what to you love most about that story and, perhaps, a little bit about your switch from Regency England to 21st century New York?
This pitch is for Rough Riding Ranger, my first series contemporary. After completing two Regency manuscripts and receiving oodles of rejections, I decided to follow an idea I’d had for a contemporary when reading a non-fiction book, Horse Soldiers, about a team of Army Rangers who were sent to Afghanistan and instead of trucks they were given horses. Only one of them knew how to ride. I thought what if the Army sent them to an upstate horse rescue farm for training? While I love the initial idea, my favorite part of the story is the heroine. Sam, short for Samantha, doesn’t need the Army Ranger hero to rescue her. She just needs him in her life—and in her bed.
Oh that’s fantastic. And I love that the story was inspired by a true event!
As you were spinning worlds in with Rakes and Rangers, I’m sure you learned a thing or two about your writing process. Could you describe an ah-ha writing moment and its trigger…
After about a year of submitting my first completed Regency manuscript, I received an amazing rejection from an editor who had read the full. It was full of details about what I needed to improve and work on. I read it over and over for a month and then I completely rewrote the project—featuring a heroine with epilepsy. I’m still not sure it will ever sell, but the process and in particular that one rejection, made me a much better writer. I firmly believe a good, detailed rejection can inspire and push an aspiring writer to take their work to the next level.
Wow! I’d love to read about a heroine with epilepsy. My favorite romance is Flowers from the Storm, where the hero suffers an aneurysm, but since the medical community had little information about such things, he’s assumed to be insane–a gripping and sometimes heart-breaking read. What’s your favorite Romance and why?
Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooter series (I can’t pick just one). Her characters come alive on the page, leap off, and follow you around. And when I was selling romance, she was my favorite author to sell. I would get so excited I would literally be bouncing up and down in my seat. I think it really helped me get a bigger buy and top row endcap placement :).
Of course, I also have a favorite Regency. Julia Quinn’s The Duke and I. No particular reason other than I love the series and would happily reread this one over and over.
I haven’t read any Suzanne Brockmann (and I think I may be the only one), but will definitely pick up books from the Troubleshooter series. Julia Quinn is, of course, a master. Any other thoughts/advice on pursuing publication?
Keep writing. My favorite project is always the one I’m working on and that helps when the rejections come in. I think ok agent/editor didn’t like that one, but I’ll blow her away with my next manuscript. This helps me keep going.
I know I’m inspired! Can you tell us a bit about what’s next for you?
Right now I’m working on In the Ranger’s Bed, another contemporary intended for the Harlequin Blaze line and another historical. Someday My Duke Will Comeis a Regency era battle of the sexes, in which an exchange of favors leads to a house party that ends in a false engagement, which leads to a scandal, and eventually, love.
I love the sound of that Regency! Thanks so much for being here, Sarah.
If you have any questions or comments for Sarah, please post! One lucky poster will be chosen at random and will win a copy of Be My Bride by the Beau Monde’s president, Regina Scott. Be My Bride features Three Regency Novellas: Sweeter Than Candy, A Place by the Fire, and The June Bride Conspiracy.