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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Guest Post: Cassandra Carr, author of Should've Known Better

Should've Known Better
Cassandra Carr

Sara Jenkins, a math geek and hockey fanatic, is thrilled when the NHL hires her as an advisor for the Buffalo Storm. She gets to marry her two loves in this perfect job.

Sebastian St. Amant is a young hockey player looking to make the jump from the minors to the big leagues. His lifelong dream is within reach, but he needs to convince the Storm's management and coaches he's ready.

When Sara and Sebastian meet, sparks immediately fly. Both want to succeed, but neither can ignore the growing attraction and a relationship is out of the question—Sara’s an influential staff member and Sebastian’s a player, not to mention over ten years her junior.

But the impossible becomes the necessary when they can no longer fight their attraction. As everything crashes around them, the strength of their relationship is tested. Will it weather the storm, or should they have known better?

Today I have a guest post by Cassandra Carr!  I have this book to review, coming up soon, but I'm really very excited to have a guest post spot on the tour.  The story behind the story is very interesting, and I always love getting an extra peak into what goes on with getting a book out there to us!

Rewriting, and why even New York publishers aren't always right
by Cassandra Carr

My newest release, Should've Known Better, has been around a LONG time compared to other manuscripts of mine. Most of my books are written, sent to a publisher, acquired, edited and released all within six to eight months. But not Should've Known Better. Oh no...Should've Known Better stuck around for almost five years and wouldn't leave me alone.

The original iteration of Should've Known Better was pitched to agents and editors in 2009 and 2010. It was very well received considering I was an unpublished author. More than one NY house took a lonnnnnnngggggggg (you authors know what I mean) look before either issuing a "revise and resubmit" letter or a rejection letter. But in the end, it was rejected - many times. Hey, it was my first book, and now I can see the problems it had.

In the meantime, I wrote and submitted Talk to Me to publishers. Loose Id bought Talk to Me and I was on my way!

But wait, what about Should've Known Better? I re-wrote Should've Known Better after both critique partner feedback and publisher feedback. And it still got rejected. Should've Known Better isnot an erotic romance. I'd say it's steamy, but not erotic, at least by my standards. If you read my erotic works you know I like the smex. A lot. Why am I bringing this up? Well, Loose Id appeared to like me. After they acquired Talk to Me they also bought a holiday-themed BDSM novella, Caught. Yes, BDSM goes with the holidays. Seriously, it does. Unfortunately, since Loose Id only publishes erotic romance, I couldn't sell Should've Known Better to them. At the time, Loose Id was the only publisher I had an "in" with, and they didn't publish the type of work Should've Known Better is.

Even when my brain/my friends/my fellow authors were telling me to move on, I couldn't let it go. I have a kind of a battle cry about hating to write words I don't sell. It's a waste of time, and I already had a lot of time invested in Should've Known Better. I was going to sell the darn thing!

So I rewrote Should've Known Better. Again. And submitted it to publishers. And got rejected.

Would this book ever sell? I got busy with other projects and Should've Known Better sat on a shelf while I tried to figure out if I wanted to rewrite it YET AGAIN or just put it under the bed. I'm aware that most writer's first books, and sometimes their second/third/fourth never get published because that's when authors are learning their craft.

Remember my battle cry? No matter that it was my first book. I couldn't let it go!

Fortunately for me, my editor at Twenty or Less Press, a boutique publisher I have released short stories and anthologies through, saw the potential in Should've Known Better. But the iteration she read beared little resemblence to the one the NY publishers exhibited interest in years ago. And you know what? It's not a bad thing they didn't acquire the book the way it was. I mean, sure, everyone loves selling to the Penguins and Berkleys of the world (both of whom showed interest back then), but when the book isn't the best it can be, it shouldn't be let out into the world. This third (or thirteenth, who's counting) rewrite of Should've Known Better made it a book I can be proud of. NY is not always right. And you shouldn't let a manuscript go if you really believe in it.

Previous Reviews on Cassandra's Books

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  1. Liz @ Fictional CandyApril 9, 2013 at 8:35 AM

    My pleasure, Cassandra:) thanks for the post!

  2. Great post! And I applaud you for not giving up. I have recently begun the change from erotic to contemporary and I agree. They are much harder to sell and get pubs to take a chance on. I hope you have many happy sales!

  3. I just hate being pigeonholed. Some might say I'm not focused and I don't agree at all. My readers tell me they love that I can write both erotic and non-erotic, and menage, BDSM, m/m...

    Good luck with your foray into contemporary! I'm sure you'll do well. :-)

  4. LOL Good for you sticking with it Cassandra. That's awesome. Congrats on getting your first one out there :) It's on my tbr list so hopefully soon I'll get to give it a read :)

  5. Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy it!

  6. Good guest post! Words on a page are hard to come by and if you don't mind putting in the extra effort to sell it - I say go for it - regardless of how many rewrites you have to do...Congrats Cassandra!

  7. Thanks Maria! I wanted this story told so badly. I'm just glad my publisher felt the same way.

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  9. Great guest blog! It's true it takes times and rejection and sometimes your own hand to get things right. Good job!


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