Sabrina Jeffries: Quit Your Day Job (Eventually)

windsweptWe love to celebrate pub days, whether it’s an author’s very first book, or in the case of Sabrina Jeffries, her gazillionth (it’s a technical publishing term, we swear!). To mark the occasion of her newest release, which is a revised and updated version of one of her classic novels, we asked Sabrina to tell us a little bit about how she got started. And she generously threw in not only a great story, but also your chance at a free book!

Twenty-five years ago to the day, my first book was published, under the name of Deborah Martin. (Yes, I’ve been around a LONG time.) It was set in 19th-century Siam and the cover was awful, but it was my first published book and I was proud. I got an advance of $1500 for it, and in the five or so years it was in print, it made a total of $8000. It took me a year to write, so, an annual salary of $8000, before taxes and expenses. The first time my coworkers at my day job asked if I was planning to quit my 30K-a-year job as a technical editor to write full time, I laughed hysterically. Still, I hung in there because writing fiction was what I loved best. Eventually, I was able to quit my day job.

Fortunately, I make quite a bit more money as a novelist now, but I did work hard to get to this point and it took me a quarter of a century (what can I say? I’m a slow learner). But I’ve never regretted deciding to make this writing gig a full-time thing, and I consider myself very lucky to have twenty-five years of doing what I love. It’s the only job I’ve managed to hold for that long!

Today, what goes around will come around when Pocket republishes another of my early Deborah Martins (Windswept, which is NOT set stormsweptin Siam, but in 19th-century Wales). Hard to believe!

So, what was your favorite career, if you’ve had more than one? And what were YOU doing 25 years ago? One lucky commenter will win a copy of the prequel to Windswept—appropriately titled Stormswept—which came out last year! (Comment by Friday, March 10th to enter for your chance to win. For rules, click here.)

This is the cover of Sabrina's very first book from 25 years ago!

This is the cover of Sabrina’s very first book from 25 years ago!

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Sabrina Jeffries

Is this beautiful widow really under the spell of a death curse? Or is she really a black widow with a taste for vengeance?



Sabrina Jeffries

After one magical night, her husband disappears--eventually, he's declared dead in a shipwreck. But six years later, a man returns to her doorstep--could this dangerous, devastating man really be her long-lost husband?



10 comments so far

  1. mezzopiano

    25 years ago I was being born, haha. And I am SO much happier in my second, current career in financial operations versus trying to make it in academia (even worse, humanities academia).

  2. momof3boysj

    25 years ago, I was planning a wedding–still married–and working a job I hated at a bank. Favorite “job” is being a mom.

  3. Pam.McLeod75

    25 years ago, I was a junior in high school thinking I was ready to take on the world! And my second career choice of teacher is not working out so well at this moment…

    • Sabrina Jeffries

      If it makes you feel better, I had two careers (and some side jobs) before I ever became a writer. So hang in there!

  4. 25 years ago I was working at a job I loved, a major airline. Being single and able to travel anywhere at any given moment was awesome! It was around this time that I met my now husband so I’d say 25 years ago I was busy having fun! (Now I’m a mom. Per my children, I’m not supposed to have that kind of fun now that I’m old, LOL!)

  5. You are one of my go-to authors! Thank you for the wonderful 25 years of amazing adventures!


    I was working in the same job I hold now in the accounting field. I’ve actually worked in the accounting field for almost half a century. I love making the numbers work! Thanks for the giveaway!

  7. Suszet78

    Ms Jeffries I love your books, so glad that after 25 years you’re doing what you love. My favorite job was teaching high school History and Geography but 20 yrs later I’m sad to say my career is retail

    • Sabrina Jeffries

      Sorry that you had to leave teaching. One of my careers was teaching and although I liked the teaching part, I always hated the grading papers/lesson planning part. I much prefer being a writer!

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