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2019 Golden Heart Sara Whitney on What She’s Learned from Doing It Scared!!

Today’s Omega guest is Sara Whitney, a 2019 Golden Heart Finalist whose manuscript TEMPTING TALK is nominated in the category of Best Contemporary Romance!

Sara Whitney writes witty, sexy contemporary romance novels packed with breezy charm, crackling dialogue, and want-to-root-for-them characters. Sara worked as a radio deejay, a newspaper reporter, and a film critic before she earned her Ph.D. and landed in academia, where she teaches courses on communication theory and media/race/gender. Under her “day job” name, she freelances as a TV writer for the Entertainment Weekly website and hosts a podcast about live-action DC TV television, so definitely hit her up with your hot takes about nerdy shows.

Sara lives in Central Illinois with her divorce attorney husband—she likes to believe that the happy endings she writes help balance their karmic scale— in a house full of books, cats, and pinball machines.

Tempting Talk is the third book in her Tempt Me series, which will be available beginning in early 2020. Here’s the blurb:

The first time Mabel Bowen takes Jake Carey’s hand, their chemistry’s so explosive that she’d bet her mother heard the gong of imminent grandchildren from two states away. But Mabel doesn’t mix work and pleasure, which is a shame since Jake’s the accountant overseeing the sale of the rock radio station where she’s one of the deejays.

Jake’s only goal for the past decade has been landing a partnership at his firm, and he was fine putting his personal relationships on hold to achieve it—until he met the glib and gorgeous Mabel. But when they finally decide to stop fighting the inevitable, a professional betrayal shatters their burgeoning relationship, leaving Mabel struggling with forgiveness and Jake questioning the toll his work-first lifestyle has taken on his heart.

You sold me on the book with the line “her mother heard the gong of imminent grandchildren from two states away”!! I’m thrilled to know this will be out soon!!

Folks, Sara’s here today to talk about facing her fears—and what finding the courage has taught her. Take it away, Sara!!

 

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WHAT I’VE LEARNED FROM DOING IT SCARED

My romance-writing journey began on an “I bet I can do that!” whim during NaNoWriMo 2013, and since then, my three constant companions have been my MacBook, my Wonder Woman coffee mug, and my fear. The first two have been nothing but helpful, while the third is daunting enough that I refer daily to the wooden sign that sits on my desk and reminds me of one thing: If you can’t beat fear, then do it scared. Yet when I think back on the things that used to frighten me, I see that over and over again, doing it scared has been just as helpful to my writing career as caffeine and my keyboard.

To wit, a partial list of fears I’ve faced and lessons I’ve learned:

Fear No. 1: Saying the words “I’m an author” out loud to another person. How pretentious, to claim I’m an author when I have no publications to my name! I demurred and deflected too many times in the early years. Thankfully, a friend at my local RWA chapter urged me to spank my inner moppet and own the fact that I take this pursuit seriously. The first time I looked another human in the face and introduced myself as an author, I realized that I’d just said something true.

Doing it scared reminded me of my goals.

Fear No. 2: Announcing my romance-writing plans to acquaintances. We’ve all been there. “Oh. Those books.” “Are you gonna have Fabio on the cover?” “Don’t you want to write a real book?” We understand our genre, and we love our genre. Unfortunately, the rest of the world does not always seek to understand or to love our genre. But I stopped worrying about the judgment of others once I embraced this opportunity to educate the uninformed. I now ask the skeptical people in my life to examine what’s behind their kneejerk mockery of a powerhouse literary genre that’s primarily written by women, for women, and that focuses on traditionally feminized concerns like emotions, relationships, and sexual satisfaction. Almost every time, it leads to an eye-opening conversation.

Doing it scared allowed me to advocate for the books we love.

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