Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sarah Ballance: Down in Flames - Hot new release!

Sarah Ballance lives a charmed life as the mother of six incredible homeschooled children, all of whom are completely adorable when they're asleep. Her husband of many years (long, long years, he calls them) is the kind of guy who could teach those heroes from the books a thing or two about romance, not that he'd readily admit it. Completely supportive of her newfound love of writing fiction, he's generously offered to help with any necessary research for "the good parts." She's never had to ask twice.

The whole boisterous lot of them live within boating distance of the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina, suspiciously close to the setting of Sarah’s second novel – a romantic suspense which gives a whole new meaning to the idea of escaping to the beach.

She joins us today to announce the exciting news of her new release, Down in Flames!

What inspired you to start writing fiction?

After writing little more than a grocery list throughout my entire adult life, I jumped into freelancing on a blind whim. I ended up making quite a bit of money through contract clients and scored a couple of national print credits to boot. One of my friends then suggested I write a novel, to which I replied “I can’t do that.” It’s one thing to write nonfiction … it can be impersonal. Fiction dives into the heart and mind of the writer and leaves pieces of the author’s soul on the page. As THE introvert, just the thought of putting myself out there like that scared me. But at the same time, I don’t like being told I can’t do anything – not even by ME – so I gave it a shot. Almost exactly a year after I typed the first words of Down in Flames, Noble Romance Publishing released it. I’m still an introvert, but I’m hooked!

As a homeschooling mom of 6, how do you find time to write? Have you created a schedule or do you work better when life is flexible?

In theory, I get up around five in the morning and spend four blissful, uninterrupted hours writing. In reality, 7:00 a.m. hits me like a boulder to the forehead and I wake up feeling totally behind and frazzled, which is a lousy way to start the day. I do my best writing in the morning, though, so it’s my goal to write early. The kids sleep in and begin their day around nine or ten and from there I’m in mom mode. I usually don’t get another chance to write until after dinner. I think overall our schedule IS “flexible,” LOL!

How did you decide on Noble for a publisher?

I did my research on a few publishers and found the buzz on Noble to be fantastic. No one had anything negative to say about them, I noticed many of their authors repeated, and the covers are stunning. You may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but covers do sell books! I didn’t think for a moment they’d accept my story, but they were definitely my top choice. And my experience has far exceeded any expectations I managed to form through the shock of the contract offer. The Noble team is friendly, professional, and both supportive of and available to their authors. I’m so blessed to have wandered through their front door with my homeless manuscript!

Promotion is such a big part of being an author. What are you doing to advertise Down in Flames?

This is something I’m still experimenting with. I’ve been fortunate with the number of blog interviews I’ve been offered, and eventually I worked up enough nerve to do a couple of guest blogs (to a fantastic response!). My focus now, aside of writing more books, is to get my name out there. Pretending to be an extrovert is tough at times, LOL, but the friends and connections I’ve made are amazing. And I’ve been told my book cover has been seen “all over the place” by more than one of these friends and readers, so I feel as if my small steps are good ones. The biggest response thus far has been in site hits originating from my paid ad, but it’s too soon to know if those hits will translate to sales.

Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?

Thanks so much for hanging out and reading through to the end! To check out the latest news, read my favorite excerpt from Down in Flames, or take a peek at my news archives – including two guest blogs readers loved – please visit my website at All of my contact info is on the home page, so if you’d like to connect that’s the place to go to make it happen!

Sarah, thank you for visiting us at Writers in Business. We wish you all the best with your new book, Down in Flames.

Sarah can be reached at Down in Flames @ Noble Romance, Blog and Facebook.


  1. Thank you for inviting me to join you here at Writers In Business! I had a blast with this interview - it offers a sneak peek at a side I don't often talk about. I hope you all enjoy your visit as much as I have!

  2. As a major Sarah Ballance fan, I can attest to her "covers sell books" statements!! I love hers, and I look forward to many more Sarah Ballance covers. She's a funny, witty author with an immense talent for portraying pictures through words.
    I also think the woman is my hero. I can't find time to write the grocery list with my own 4 kids, and 2 of them go to school!! She's amazing to be dedicated enough to get up early and write, then run herd over a group of 6 children, then write some more. Inspiring!
    Adrienne S.

  3. A great interview Sarah - thanks for sharing! I'm so glad that you are going to print soon. Can you say "gift-giving"?

  4. I really like the way you write and look forward to buying your book.

  5. I write science fiction and agree about researching publishers. There are so many vanity presses out there that will put anything into print. Looks like you did your homework and found a real publisher.

  6. Wonderful interview, Sarah. It's nice to learn more about you. I'll never complain about my homeschooled grandson again. Six children - really???

  7. Enjoyed your interview, and enjoyed Down if Flames!
    Looking forward to more Sarah Ballance!

  8. Great interview! It's always nice to learn about the person behind the book.

  9. @Adrienne S, Thanks so much for stopping by and making me BLUSH! Your support ROCKS!

  10. @Pick Pack - Yes, my friend, let's DO say gift-giving, shall we? LOL! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  11. @Celeste W - How very kind of you to say! Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you enjoy Down in Flames!

  12. @Mindy M - Thank you, and thanks for the visit!

  13. @Tom W. - You're so right! It's amazing how many publishers are willing to take advantage of authors for a buck. I am SO fortunate to have found Noble. (Whew! LOL.) Thanks for stopping by!

  14. @Brita A. - Awesome about your homeschooled grandson! The H and I always planned five kids (then we had a tubal and #6 invited HERSELF to the party, but we're thrilled with her) and we always wanted to homeschool. We have our days - do we ever - but it's got to be the most rewarding experience in the world to have that time with your kids and to KNOW them as people. Wouldn't trade it for anything! Thank you for swinging by and sharing the love. ;c)

  15. @C. Zampa - I'm thrilled you enjoyed Down in Flames! Thanks for coming by with your comment. ;c)

  16. @Jason C. - Thanks for coming by for a visit and commenting! I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. ;c)



Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.