I Sold My Book! Meet Sophia Sasson

Sophia SassonCongratulations to Sophia Sasson, our newest Harlequin Heartwarming author!

I couldn’t believe it when I finally got “the call.”

I still remember sneaking my mom’s Harlequin romances to read under the covers with a flashlight as a teenager. My mother (still an avid Harlequin reader) described my sister and I coming of age as “two Mills and Boons waiting to happen.” Becoming a Harlequin author is a dream come true.

I’ve been writing for over a decade. Three years ago, I found the Harlequin Community and, hearing the inspiring stories of other writers, decided to pursue writing as a serious career. I already have a full time job as a public health scientist. I have a doctoral degree in health policy and a Masters in Biostatistics, but I dream of spending my days writing books that make people feel, to create an escape for the reader.

The success of Love Arranged started in June of 2014 when Harlequin announced the “Write from the Heart” contest. My wonderful critique partner, Jayne Evans, encouraged me to submit, but that same day I discovered I was going to lose a much-wanted pregnancy. The life-saving surgery I needed would leave me unable to have more children. The first-page entry for the contest was due the day after the surgery. I was recovering physically but an emotional mess. I opened my laptop and began typing.

Out came Meera, a British Indian doctor who has had her entire life mapped out for her by the parents who pulled her out of a squalid orphanage. She plans to marry her childhood best friend and go into practice with him. She will be a dutiful Indian daughter, wife and mother. She comes to small town America to complete a one-month medical rotation and falls in love with a cowboy. There go her plans! She must confront who she is outside the cocoon of her parents’ and her cultural values.  Is she really willing to give up everything for her cowboy?

I was still at home recovering from surgery when I learned I was selected for the second phase of the contest. The story had been pouring out of me, and I remember Jayne telling me it was my best work yet. In July I learned I was one of the winners and received personalized editorial advice from Heartwarming Editorial Assistant Claire Caldwell.

Claire provided a lot of feedback, talking through revisions and letting me run ideas past her. We went through two versions of the manuscript before she forwarded it to Senior Editor Victoria Curran. I spent the first week constantly, irrationally, refreshing my email inbox, but then decided to start working on another manuscript so I wouldn’t be tempted to harass Claire every two minutes.

One day my cell phone rang and Claire told me Harlequin was ready to go to contract but Victoria wanted additional edits. Of course I was willing to make more edits! When Claire began talking about next steps, including contract terms, I realized this was “the call.” I’m not sure how I stopped myself from screaming!

Weeks later, I’m still pinching myself.

So, now I can read romances for “research” and write them for “work”? Yeah, sign me up!

I’ve learned so much these past few months from Claire’s mentorship. I’m grateful to Victoria for believing in me. One of the reasons I want to write for Harlequin is the tremendous editorial support. Another is the support of the Harlequin writersboth published and yet-to-bein the Harlequin community, and on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you all so much for your support.

Most of all, I have to acknowledge my real-life cowboy husband who is now so well versed in the Harlequin lines that when he was trying to get my attention one night (as I tapped away on the laptop) he said, “Honey, I’m looking for a little less heartwarming and a little more blaze.” He definitely inspires me to write from the heart.

Meet Sophia on her website, sophiasasson.com, Twitter @SophiaSasson and on Facebook. And chat with more romance writers at Harlequin Community.

 

15 replies on “I Sold My Book! Meet Sophia Sasson”

Congratulations on getting the call, Sophia! I entered Write from the Heart as well and got absolutely nowhere. I remember wondering how the editor mentoring went. So glad to see it resulted in at least one sale!

I agree with you that the editor support and the support of the Harlequin writing community is exceptional. Good on you for taking the feedback from your editor and revising to a sale-worthy story. I can’t wait to hear about what’s next for you with the Heartwarming line.

When can we expect Love Arranged to hit store shelves?

P.S. I love your husband’s way of getting your attention. There’s a man that speaks your language!

I love reading call stories and this one is particularly heartwarming. As one of the co-winners of the Write From The Heart contest, I’m also benefiting from the mentoring process. It’s been a fabulous experience no matter what the outcome. Congratulations again, Sophia!

Thanks Erica, Heather and Marcy! I appreciate your support. I hope to see all of you featured in this sold blog one day.

Congratulations, Sophie. So happy for you!

Your poignant story about facing such tremendous emotional trauma, yet pushing through it to get your story done, touched my heart. It makes the story of your eventual sale all the more sweet and exciting!

Your book sounds awesome and I cannot wait to read it. Thanks for taking the time to encourage all the rest of us!

Sophia,

Congratulations on your accomplishment! Your story is heartbreaking and inspiring. May you enjoy much success and may life present you and your husband with unparalleled happiness. God knows you both deserve it!

All the best!

Sophia,

Congratulations, Author! Caught your call story first in the Harlequin Community when Rae announced it, but it’s just as amazing and inspiring here.

Thanks for sharing your path to publication. Here’s to a fruitful career. 🙂

Loved reading about your journey to publication, Sophia! So happy for you ~ Congratulations!! xo 🙂

Congratulations, Sophia! And welcome to the Harlequin family. 🙂

Your debut novel sounds absolutely amazing—romantic, heartwarming, and completely fresh. Meera seems awesome and I know I’m not alone when I say I can’t wait to read it.

Very best wishes to you in your writing career!

-Amy

Can’t wait to read it, that sounds fascinating! And I love the Heartwarming line!

Also, my deepest sympathies on your loss. There is nothing harder.

Thank you everyone! It’s rare to find a community where everyone is working towards the same goal yet celebrating each success. Support from all of you has kept me going.

Congratulations, Sophia!! What a lovely story!! So glad you persevered through a tough time!! Can’t wait to read your book!! 🙂

Congratulations Sophia!
I was so very touched by the traumatic part of your story, I simply cannot imagine what that’s like to go through.
Your grit and subsequent success seems all the sweeter – and I have to agree that it sounds like a fantastic book which I look forward to reading. Love your husband’s quip! Congratulations again.

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