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Rejection turned Success Interview
For four years Christine Svedson has operated her own publishing company, Sapphire Books. When her first book was rejected by two publishers Christine launched out on her own, turning what could’ve been a devastating blow into ongoing success. She does this along with her position as a community college instructor in California and amazingly still finds time to become an award winning author!
What is Sapphire Publishing?
My name is Christine Svendsen and I’m the publisher and an author at Sapphire Books Publishing. Sapphire Books is a lesbian publishing company that publishes with lesbians as the main characters. We release about 15 novels a year and are looking forward to growing as lesbian literature becomes more accepted by mainstream readers.
How did Sapphire Books get started?
I had submitted my first manuscript to two publishers and was rejected by both. One said they weren’t looking for my type of story at that time. The other company wanted me to completely rewrite the story and resubmit. I thought long and hard about rewriting it. After talking to my wife, I decided that I’d try and publish it myself.
I researched self-publishing, looked at all the options and decided to start a publishing company. Now, four years later, I have eighteen authors writing for Sapphire Books. I think the biggest obstacle I faced was being taken serious, both as a writer and as a publisher. I won an award for my first book and that started the ball rolling. When we signed Linda Kay Silva, a lot of people started to take notice. I’m proud of the authors in Sapphire who’ve won awards. It shows we’re doing something right.
Tell me about your book, Forever Faithful - how did you get the idea for it?
The idea for Always Faithful came out of part of my own life as an officer’s wife. I knew some of the women I write about in Always Faithful. Forever Faithful is the sequel to Always Faithful and is loosely based on a job a friend of my wife’s did while deployed in Afghanistan. I was also lucky enough to interview someone who has been deployed to Afghanistan and was a great resource for the gunner character in Forever Faithful, Sgt. CC Ramirez.
What is it about?
Forever Faithful is the sequel to my first award winning book, Always Faithful. Always Faithful is about a Marine officer, Nic Caldwell, who’s has the unenviable task of informing families that their loved one is either missing, or has been killed. She is assigned task of making a notification of death to the wife of a former college friend. During the process of bringing Mike Monroe home, a series of events unfold that bring Claire Monroe and Nic Caldwell closer and through those events they fall in love. Nic isn’t without her own demons, having survived a helicopter crash that killed her entire crew in Iraq and leaving her to fight for her own life. Survivor’s guilt has nothing on Nic.
Forever Faithful brings Nic and Claire back facing a deployment after Nic graduates from a military university in California. She finds herself in Afghanistan and the victim of another accident that leaves one of her peers dead and Nic fighting for her life. Nic is faced with injuries that leave her questioning whether she can be the woman she once was in Claire’s eyes. What unfolds is a story of survival, love and acceptance as both women face the journey a head.
Have you written any more books or are there any more planned?
I have a total of nine novels and am working on my tenth and eleventh. My other novels include, Broken Shield - which covers the topics of spousal abuse and how it can lay hidden in a relationship, even when the abused is a cop, and how the death of a spouse can be so overwhelming for the other spouse that she actually considers suicide to ease her pain.
In American Yakuza I and II, I have a multicultural character who tackles the male dominated world of the Japanese mafia.
The Executive series includes Executive Disclosure and Surviving Reagan, about Chad Morgan, an executive protection specialist and Reagan Reynolds, a daughter ready to take the reins of her father’s company, until her plans get derailed by her own misguided determination. Writing under the pen name, Jett Abbott, I’ve written two books in the Scarlet series – Scarlet Masquerade and Scarlet Assassin. I’m currently working on a new novel called, Time Stamped.
I’d like to leave you with these thoughts from Christine:
“Believe in yourself. Rejection isn’t the end of a story, it can be a beginning…Looking back, I didn’t think in terms of what if this doesn’t work? I only thought of the possibilities.”
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