Friday, January 14, 2011

Guest Post: author Sarah Ballance

I'm excited to welcome author Sarah Ballance. I have so many questions to ask her--so let's begin.

How/why did you start to write?

After the birth of my fifth child, I started with nonfiction for the extra income. I wrote one piece for the heck of it and submitted it to a paying market. Imagine my surprise a few weeks later when a check arrived in the mail! Two months after the payment, the magazine with my story in it arrived and I was hooked. I've since moved on to fiction--while the pay isn't as good, the creative process is a fabulous outlet to cope with being "MOOOM!" all day to five (now six) young children.

How did you become an author?

A few short months into my impromptu nonfiction career, a friend suggested I write a novel. My immediate reply was to say I couldn't do it, and the more I thought about it the more it grated on me that I said I couldn't do something. So...I took a deep breath and took the plunge. The first chapter I ever wrote was horrid. I still shudder to think about it, but my critique partner rocks. I'm surprised she's still speaking to me after that, LOL.

What was your first published piece?

DOWN IN FLAMES holds the honor as my first piece of fiction and my first published work. It's a contemporary romance with a bit of a twist at the end.

Where was it published?

Noble Romance Publishing showed me the love. I can't say enough about the Nobel family. They're just incredible.

How long ago?

DOWN IN FLAMES was released on June 7, 2010. My romantic suspense
RUN TO YOU followed on December 13, 2010.

RUN TO YOU blurb
Mattie James can't pinpoint exactly when she lost control of her life, but the moment she decided to take it back made the front page of the local paper. Desperate to dodge the fallout--and the tabloids--she jumps at the chance to spend an off-season week in a tiny resort community by the sea. Maing the trip with her ex-lover is a complication she can live with; coming face to face with a dead woman is not.
What did you do before embarking on your writing career? Was it an asset to your writing? How?

I doubled majored in biology and biochemistry in college, but never did anything with it because I married at the age of 19 and my husband and I decided we'd homeschool our babies. The first was born almost on our first anniversary, and now--13.5 years later--we have six of them. Being a mom is the only "real" job I've ever had. I have to say, staying home with six kids all day requires patience and a sense of humor and that's a DEFINITE plus when it comes to dealing with my characters.

What inspires you?

I love music when I'm writing. I think I've listened to Miranda Lambert's "Kerosene" CD a thousand times over the course of writing my two novels. One note, and I've found my groove--it's bliss!

Please share one of your successful marketing techniques?

One reader at a time. I've never approached someone I didn't know (online or otherwise) with the expectation of selling them my work, but I've been blessed time and time again with a reader contacting me after the shortest of exchanges to tell me they've bought one of my books. I may be a writer, but there are just no words for how great that makes me feel. Readers, your words of kindness mean the WORLD to your favorite authors!

Parting words

Thank you so much for having me here today. It's been a pleasure, and I'll be around to answer any reader questions or comments. Ya'll can ask me anything--even personal questions (they are the most fun, aren't they?)