Paths to Publishing: The Magical Publishing Path by Sydney St. Claire #amwriting

Paths to publishing

My path to published author is a strange one but probably not uncommon. Why? Because I never set out to be published, let alone write a full length novel. Heck, I didn’t even set out to write a short story. I only wanted to write one, single, stingy scene.

Before we get into the how and why, let me tell you a couple things about me back in the day that led to my downfall.

  • I was always an avid reader of romance. This point makes it easy to see how it relates to writing because writers are often told to write what you know. So a romance reader might very well become a romance writer.
  • For as long as I can remember, I’ve been an incurable daydreamer. I can still recall stories I created as a child, a teen, and even a young adult. However, they were not written on paper or told to others. They were in my mind and I lived them. I created them, rewrote them, went back to scenes and rewrote them. Once a “story” was perfected, I went on to a new story. Sometimes, I went back to revisit favorite past “stories”. Sounds like a storyteller, right? Or, if those same stories were written on paper, a writer.
  • I hated writing in school, did not excel at English and resented being told what I had to read. If anyone had told me I’d become a writer, published or otherwise, I’d have laughed.

So from my points above it’s easy to see that I had two things going for me that led to my current writing career. First and foremost, I’m an avid reader and second, I am a natural storyteller.

So let’s look at my path to publishing. This little story starts when I was married with two young children in the late 80’s. My current passion during that time was Native American Historical genre. I consumed these books about strong heroines and handsome warriors like an ocean swallowing a beach! One day, in my typical “daydreaming” or “story creation mode”, I came up with a heroine who meets a young, virile hero at stream. Hero was Native American and this “story” kept intruding on my thoughts–more so than normal.

I could see these two characters so clearly: she was running away from an evil uncle, and my hero was a troubled young warrior. Before I knew it I had a nice little scene going of these two people so in love and so right for each other. And so insistent that I do something I’d never done before: take them out of my head and give them life on paper (good thing I had a computer by this time as I absolutely cannot create by writing by hand).

Okay, I thought. I’ll write a nice, steamy love scene. I could see it, feel it, so no problem, right? Wrong! Before I could write about these two people, I had to know more about them.

  • Why was my heroine alone in the wilderness?
  • Why was she fleeing her uncle? What did he want and how bad did he want it?
  • What troubled my warrior and why was he in the same vicinity as my heroine?
  • Why was he drawn to my heroine aside from her blonde hair? Why her and only her?
  • Was he willing to risk it all for her?

Before I knew it, I had back story, and four chapters! Several people read it and told me I had to finish the story. The rest they say is history! The writer within was born! I was in my 40’s before I learned that many writers are day dreamers, or as I think of myself back then, a closet writer.

Now, the published part of this story was a long time in coming. Like any other career, there are are many things to learn and you gotta put in the time. Except I didn’t go to college, I learned by trial and error and by reading books on the subject and by just plain writing and learning from my mistakes. I started writing well before internet or even email and didn’t even have RWA or other writing groups for support. I suspect this part of being a writer is true for many—it is a self taught career.

It took me seven years of writing and rewriting and learning the craft of writing and submitting and rejections before an editor asked for a full manuscript. Add another year before I had my first offer, then yet another year before that first book, White Wind was on the bookshelves in 1996. Nine years total! Just think I could have become a doctor in that time!

The world has changed dramatically since I first put words to paper in the 80’s. Internet, blogs, email, online classes, critique groups, websites, etc. are a real assest to a new writer. And even now, I’m seeing more changes with E-books. Trust me, the entire process is different than putting out a print book. Even the submission path has changed. No more huge boxes of manuscripts, sweating the cost of postage, and that SASE to get back that ream of rejected paper. Nowadays, most publishers take electronic submissions. With the push of a little button, your creation shoots out into the cyber world to that awaiting agent or editor. Like Magic!

Writing is hard work. It requires dedication, a stubborn nature, a love of writing, a willingness to learn and yes, a pinch or two of luck to carry you away on the magical, publishing path.

So, when did you discover that you were a storyteller? If you are not a writer, have you ever wanted to try telling your own story?


SnowAndHerHuntsman_w9159_300Title: Snow & Her Huntsman, Avail Jan 23rd

Series Name: Once Upon A Dom

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press     

Theme(s): Fairy Tales, Fairy Tales You Mother Never Read You

Genre: Romance, Erotica, BDSM

Rating: (R)

Keywords: Fairytales, Erotica, BDSM, Romance

Page Count: 117, Word Count: Approx 32k


Buy Links

Wild Rose      KINDLE    


Rylee Kincaid’s business is about to go under. Lucky for her, she’s found an investor. Ready to sign papers, she learns her knight in shining armor is Hunter Finnegan, the man who once gave her multiple orgasms then crushed her young, tender heart. Her world comes crashing down as it becomes clear the rich businessman intends a hostile takeover and to cast her out. Then he agrees to discuss a new deal, but only if Rylee will play Snow to his Huntsman at a BDSM fairy tale event.

Hunter has never forgotten the weekend of kinky sex he shared with Rylee in college. Unfortunately, he had to let her go to keep peace in his family. Now he’s back to claim the only woman he’s ever loved. He’ll stop at nothing to make the black-haired, fair-skinned beauty hear the truth of what happened so long ago, even if he has to tie her up. And that’s exactly what he does. But as the Huntsman reawakens the submissive in Snow, Hunter isn’t so sure he can do the same to Rylee’s heart.



Contest—Check out for the newest contest starting Jan. 23rd.


Excerpt R

Rylee couldn’t believe what she’d done. She’d totally lost control, something she’d never done with another man but Hunter. Sex between her and her husband had never come close to the heat level between her and Hunter. Her hands dropped from his shoulders to his chest. Palms flat, she wasn’t sure if she wanted to push him away or bunch her fingers in his shirt and draw him even closer. God, what must he think of her? One kiss, and she’d gone up in flames, like a desperate and hungry woman.

Which was true. But to show it and behave in such a manner horrified her. “I…” She didn’t know what to say.

Hunter stepped away, she assumed to give her time to adjust her clothing. He picked up the invitation from the gray carpet. “My limo will pick you up at two on Thursday.”

“Thursday?” Damn, her mind and body felt as though she were swimming through a thick gel.

Handing her the invite, along with a large envelope he snagged off his desk, he held her gaze. “I’ll see you at Pleasure Manor. Your costumes will be delivered to your office this afternoon.”

He tapped the envelope. “Instructions and rules. I suggest you go get your bloodwork done this afternoon. You’ll need to bring the results with you.” Hunter handed her the briefcase and her purse and hustled her to the door.

Rylee blinked in confusion. Damn the man for being in complete control while she was a quivering mass of need. But she hated being manipulated, and he was a master. He’d lured her in with hopes and dreams of saving her business and probably used Glorie to make her mad enough that she’d confront him. Now, he’d had the nerve to use her own body against her. “Dammit, Hunter, I never said—”

Hunter halted her with the single lift of his brow. “Your body spoke for you.” He lowered his head and kissed her hard, swallowing her protests. “Thursday. And don’t bother wearing panties.”



susanpicSydney St. Claire is the pseudonym of Susan Edwards, author of 14 Historical Native American/Western/Paranormal romances and the author of the popular “White” Series.

Sydney loves writing and sharing stories of love, happiness and dreams come true with her readers. She credits her mother for her writing success. Encouraged to read as a child, she always preferred happy endings which meant romances were her favorite genre. Sydney takes her readers into the world of erotica romance where her characters come together in explosive passion as they solve life’s problems and find true love along with the best sex our hero and heroine have ever experienced.

Sydney’s office is quite crowded with three dogs at her feet and five cats to keep her company while she writes. Three cats always insist on beds on her desk, barely leaving enough room for her monitor and keyboard. Life gets fun when all five insist on supervising…

When not writing, she enjoys crafts of all sorts including quilting, sewing, cross-stitch and knitting. She and her husband of 30 + years are avid gardeners. He takes care of the veggies, and Susan is in charge of the ‘pretties’. Her medicine wheel garden is in a contact state of war: flowers vs. weeds. Sadly, right now the weeds are wining…

While writing, she listens to a wide variety of music. Her current favorites are Blackmore’s Night and David Lanz.


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12 thoughts on “Paths to Publishing: The Magical Publishing Path by Sydney St. Claire #amwriting

  1. Hi Sydney!
    Welcome to the Snarkology. Thank you for participating. I enjoyed your story and I think it’s a great example of perseverance paying off. 🙂

  2. Loved your path to publishing, Sydney – well done for getting those words written down in the end!

  3. Great post, Sydney. “Writing IS hard work.” I love that phrase. I go mentally bonkers when someone I just met says, “Oh, you’re a writer. I’m going to write a book some day, too.”

    • I swear that writing is the most exhausting job I’ve ever had. 4 hrs of writing makes me more tired than a 10 hour day in an office! People truly don’t know that it is hard work or that there is more to writing than typing a bunch of words. I just smile and nod when someone says that to me. And chuckle inside because they don’t know what they’re in for

  4. Writing is easy…too easy. Writing well–that’s another story! Glad your hard work paid off.

    • Well said, Jennifer! Well said. Thanks for taking the time to visit and comment

  5. Loved your story, Sydney. Sounds a lot like mine, although I did major in journalism in college and do other writing before I started writing fiction. But the daydreamer/making up stories part–I was exactly the same. When I speak to groups about writing, I often tell them that most children create stories and fantasies but society (teachers and parents) tends to discourage “daydreaming”, so most people lose that ability. The difference with writers is we can’t seem to give it up and finally give in and make it a part of our lives. And if we’re lucky, get published and get to share our stories.

    • Very well said, Mary. I admit that i disliked writing in school becausethe emphasis was on being correct and nothing given to the ability to create. When I had children, it was the love of writing and creating and less attention to being correct when they were younger. That allowed them to develope a love of writing. Thanks for coming by.

  6. Sydney, I enjoyed reading about your path. I have this little snippet I cut out of Writer’s Digest years ago: “Want-to-be writers admit defeat easily. Successful writers never give up.” There’s definitely something to be said for the power of persistence. You go girl!

    • Thank you, Barbara. I think writers are a very stubborn and determined breed! Glad you stopped by

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