We love the RT convention for many reasons — one of which is all the new people we get to meet! We were lucky enough to share a ride from the airport with debut author Sara Richardson, whose contemporary romance, No Better Man, is out this week. We wanted to know more, of course.
Name: Sara Richardson
Book: No Better Man
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Heart of the Rockies
Current Home: Littleton, CO
Author Icon: Jane Austen, Madeleine L’Engle, Flannery O’Connor, Nicholas Sparks, Debbie Macomber … I could go on.
Favorite Word: Adventure. That’s how I try to approach life.
Was this the first full-length novel you ever wrote? Not quite. 🙂 I wrote about five practice novels before I wrote No Better Man. They were all different genres and each one helped me grow as a writer and discover my voice. As I wrote No Better Man, I knew it was different. For the first time, I got completely lost in the story and in the characters. That was when everything clicked in my writer’s brain. The other four novels are now securely hidden away and will never be discovered.
Tell us about your day job. After earning a master’s degree in journalism, I decided I never wanted to be a journalist. Instead, I went into public relations and copywriting, holding various positions in the field for about ten years before making the decision to follow through on my lifelong dream to actually publish a book.
How did you start writing? I’ve been writing since I was old enough to hold a pencil, so it’s always just been a part of my life. When I was eight, I submitted my first short story to a magazine and got my first rejection. After that, I didn’t send out my writing for years. When I graduated from college I knew I wanted to be a writer, so I worked up the courage to send out more of my work. Eventually I got some nonfiction articles published and built my confidence by writing ad copy and press releases. When I decided to make the switch to fiction, it was a huge learning curve. I’d been trained as a journalist so I had to put aside the objectivity and really embrace the emotional side of a story. That was much more difficult than I thought it would be.
What was it like when you got “The Call”? Instead of an actual call, I got an email. I was sitting at my dining room table with a good writer friend and we were brainstorming. A couple months before that I had submitted my manuscript to an editor at Grand Central. When I saw an email from her come in, I automatically assumed it was a rejection. (You get used to them after a while!) My friend was in the middle of saying something when I worked up the courage to open the email. It wasn’t a rejection! When I saw that they wanted to offer me a three-book deal, I screamed. I couldn’t believe it. My friend thought something terrible had happened. I couldn’t talk so I simply pushed the computer over to her and we both started screaming. After all of the screaming, I called my husband and screamed some more.
What’s your favorite paragraph in No Better Man?
I love this paragraph because it’s the first time Bryce starts to let go of the things that hold him back. He’s definitely a tortured hero, but in this scene he starts to see that glimpse of hope and decides love is worth fighting for. It’s really the first step toward their happily ever after.
Avery crept closer, her gaze never leaving his, and damn it, he couldn’t stand that look in her eyes. He didn’t want her pity. He only wanted her.
“Bryce…” She reached for him.
Flinching, he stepped back. No. Not a good idea for her to touch him. Emptiness and need thundered through him, shaking the grounds of his rationality.
“It’s okay.” Her open hands raised to his face and cupped his cheeks. Her soft skin, the warmth of her palms, soothed that deepening ache.
His eyes closed, his jaw locked. He couldn’t take what he wanted so badly, not like this, not when memories crammed his thoughts…
“I’m fine,” she whispered gently. Her thumbs stroked his skin and loosened his knees. His jaw worked, but he couldn’t form words. She was too close. The memories were too close. Everything jumbled together.
“Look at me.” The blend of authority and empathy in her tone forced his eyes open. He stared into the blue depths of her eyes, concentrating on the silvery flecks that seemed to make them shimmer.
She guided his face closer to hers and stole his ability to swallow.
“I’m okay. Everything’s okay.”
No Better Man is out now, in stores and online. Congrats, Sara! For more debut authors, check out our previous spotlights here.