Which books have you enjoyed with a disabled hero, or is this your first? The author will give an ecopy of Seeing the Love to one commenter drawn at random.
Four weeks to write – one hundred and thirty weeks to publish…
I’m a writer, so being impatient goes with the territory. Unfortunately, ‘impatient’ doesn’t fit with a traditional publishing model, and this is where self-publishing can work fabulously.
It started with an email from one of my publishers. They were planning to produce a themed box set to raise awareness of a debilitating genetic condition – choroideremia. Sufferers go blind as they reach adulthood. I’d never heard of it, and I’d also never read a romance with a blind hero.
The story, an office-based romance, flowed beautifully, and four weeks later I sent my draft manuscript to my beta readers. They loved it, and if I’m honest, it was already one of my favourite stories. Watching Lucas slowly fall in love with Natalie, was very satisfying, and still makes my heart flutter.
I sent it to the publisher, they loved it too. Yippee! Then came a period of waiting. The other writers that had promised submissions were unable to complete them in the timeframe, and so the project went on the back burner. I was busy with other projects, but followed it up six months later. They were still chasing other submissions. It seemed blind heroes weren’t very popular in romantic fiction.
Another year went by, and I saw a gap approaching in my publishing schedule. I checked with the publishers, and while they were still planning a box set, they were waiting for submissions, and were busy on other projects, so I took back my manuscript.
My writing style had developed over the two-year period, and so I rewrote parts of the original story before getting it edited, choosing cover art (created by the talented Sotia Lazu) and getting ready for publication.
And there it was. Seeing the Love came out mid-July, as a standalone novel. I’ve also engaged a professional narrator to create the audio version, and that will be out later this year.
And guess what – disabled heroes are popular right now in romantic fiction. My book came out at the right time, albeit many weeks later than I first planned.
Author Name: Sofia Grey
Name of series and book number in series: standalone
Genre: Contemp romance
Publisher: Acelette Press
Date of Publication: 15 July 2015
Tagline: She’s about to light up his life
Lucas Wade is losing his sight. As the darkness threatens to swamp him, the one bright spot in his day comes in the form of Natalie Fontaine. She works in the sales office, hundreds of miles away, and she alone treats him like a regular guy. She has no idea about his disability, and he doesn’t plan on telling her about it.
But if Lucas can’t be honest with her, Natalie may never see the love he has to offer.
They had a new and easy routine. Lucas phoned Natalie every evening, while on his course, and he continued when he was back at work. They talked about anything and everything. His parents, retired and living happily on the South Island. Her grandmother and various other relatives, scattered across Europe. It felt natural.
“How old are you, and what do you look like, Natalie? I have a mental image of you, and I’m curious to know how close I am.”
It was a lazy Sunday afternoon, and Natalie had been half expecting the questions that arose. I’m damaged. “I’m twenty six. Not very tall, quite slim, with dark hair and brown eyes. How about you?”
“That’s how I imagined you. Petite and dark.” He sounded pleased. “I’m twenty eight. I’m average height, I guess. I keep my hair short too.” He gave a short, self-conscious laugh. “I don’t know what else to say. I’m just me.”
Natalie was keen to steer the conversation onto safer ground. “Was Molly pleased to see you again?”
“God, yes. She was so excited. We spent about an hour at the park, playing with the Frisbee. I think it’s her favorite toy.”
“My sister looked after her. Sarah doesn’t live far away.”
“I’d love to see her when I come to Wellington. Molly, that is. You know how much I adore dogs.”
“Yes, she’ll be with me.” He hesitated. “There’s something I need to tell you, Natalie.”
Whatever it was, Lucas sounded far too serious, and Natalie’s stomach clenched. She didn’t want to hear something bad. “It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon, and I’m sitting at the window, admiring the view. I hope you’re not planning to spoil my good mood.” She kept her voice light and playful.
He cleared his throat. “No, I won’t do that. It’s nothing. It can wait. Tell me what you can see. Describe it for me?”
“Sure.” She gazed out of the window again, and this time really looked, as though seeing it for the first time. “I live north of the city, across the motorway bridge in Northcote. There are lots of trees, and everything is leafy and green at the moment. I’m on the sixth floor, so I have a great view over the harbor. It’s spread out in front of me, and I can see a dozen or more tiny boats on the water. From here they look like toys in a giant’s bathtub. Beyond that, I can see the edge of the city and the Sky Tower. It’s a grey needle sticking up into the sky by day, but at night it’s all lit up and looks magnificent. I have to commute across the harbor bridge every day, but it’s worth it, for this view.”
Lucas knew he’d missed the perfect time to tell Natalie. How hard could it be? I’m losing my sight. I will be totally blind within the next two years. Molly is training to be my guide dog. Damn it all to hell. Natalie’s simple reminder of the fundamental difference between them had stopped him in his tracks. There would be other chances. He would make the opportunity.
After hanging up with her, he walked carefully to his small balcony and sank into one of the seats. He knew it was sunny, because the heat burned his face and the bright light dazzled him to the point that he lost even the last trace of his vision. He’d loved this apartment from the day he first saw it. That had been when he was dating Alice, when his sight was still almost intact, and he could gaze for hours at his own amazing view.
Romance author Sofia Grey spends her days managing projects in the corporate world and her nights hanging out with wolf shifters and alpha males. She devours pretty much anything in the fiction line, but she prefers her romances to be hot, and her heroes to have hidden depths. When writing, she enjoys peeling back the layers to expose her characters’ flaws and always makes them work hard for their happy endings.
Music is interwoven so tightly into my writing that I can’t untangle the two. Either I’m listening to a playlist on my iPod, have music seeping from my laptop speakers, or there’s a song playing in my head – sometimes on auto-repeat.
Twitter: @SofiaGreyAuthor https://twitter.com/SofiaGreyAuthor
Amazon author profile page: https://www.amazon.com/author/sofiagrey