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!