Meet brand-new Desire author, Sandra Hyatt

The buzz in the Down Under Camp at Nationals in July was, of course, Sandra Hyatt, who got The Call during conference and became another of our Down Under Desire authors.  After the excitement abated (a little) I managed to pin Sandra down to ask some burning questions we all wanted answers to…

Tell us about The Call
My call came as a result of the Diamonds Down Under blog – through which I won a manuscript critique by Desire editor, Melissa Jeglinski. Four weeks after sending the manuscript off for the critique I was at the RWA National Conference in San Francisco when Tessa Radley, my roommate (who had been emailing Diana Ventimiglia about something else) burst into the room to tell me Diana wanted to phone me.  More used to waiting months to hear back on submissions, and not actually having anything officially under consideration with Desire, it took me a while to figure out that it must be to do with the manuscript critique. And far more used to ‘declines’ than acceptances it was an anxious couple of minutes till the call came through. But Diana did ring, and she really did want to buy my book.

By the end of the phone call my other two critique partners Abby Gaines and Karina Bliss, who were rooming next door, were in my room and you can imagine the noise levels. The rest of the day was spent in a weird combination of shock and euphoria. It was fantastic to be at the San Francisco conference and able to share my news with so many writing friends, all of whom completely ‘got’ it, and none of whom expected me to cook dinner at the end of the day.

When did you start writing?
As for me, I started writing when my two children were young (and my youngest has now just turned twelve) thinking not only that it would be fun but that it would be a quick and easy way to make some money working from home. At least I was right about the fun part 🙂

What’s your first book about and when can we see it in the stores?
My book is about two very independent people who get far more than they bargained for after sharing one night together. As it was my latest effort I hadn’t yet entered it in a lot of contests. However, an earlier version finalled in this year’s RWNZ Clendon award. My title for it is In The Arms of a Stranger, though I understand books generally get re-titled. It should be on the shelves in September ’09.

Have you special plans for that advance?
I haven’t planned how I’m going to spend the advance – in fact I’m waiting to lay eyes on the cheque (and to show it to my husband) before I truly believe that this is finally happening. I’m going to get paid to do something I love.

What’s next on the books (sorry, pun intended) for Sandra Hyatt?
I have a variety of books in various stages of completion, so the next step is to talk with my editor (and you can imagine how I just love saying those two words) and see which she wants me to work on.

As I’m sure you can imagine, Sandra’s still floating on Cloud Nine!  And you can celebrate too – just post a comment and you could win a special book prize direct from the RWA Nationals.


39 Responses to “Meet brand-new Desire author, Sandra Hyatt”

  1. 1 Avi J
    September 9, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    Congrats Sandra, What an exciting time for you. All the best in the future.

  2. 2 ruth
    September 9, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    Congratulations and best of luck for your future success. Enjoyed reading about your road to writing.

  3. 3 LJ
    September 9, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    WTG Sandra, best wishes to you.

  4. September 9, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Yay, Sandra!! I’m still grinning for you 🙂

  5. 5 sandrahyatt
    September 9, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    Thanks for congratulations Avi, Ruth, LJ, and Nalini. I’m still grinning myself. I think at Nationals I was actually in shock! The feeling has just got better and better since coming home and getting stuck back into my work – all the while thinking WOW someone’s actually going to read this one day (though that’s a tiny bit scary as well).

  6. 6 Willa
    September 9, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    Congratulations!! That is such a great story to read – to get The Call at the Conference!

    How would you describe your style of writing – straight contemporary romance or do you throw in a little suspense? Yeh – I’m nosy! 😀

  7. September 9, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    Sandra, what a magical call story!! Congratulations again. I’m so looking forward to reading your book 🙂


  8. 8 Teresa W.
    September 10, 2008 at 12:24 am

    Congrats and all the best of luck for you!

  9. 9 christa
    September 10, 2008 at 1:05 am

    Congrats. Looking forward to the book.
    I have this mental picture of you guys jumping up and down on the bed, screaming. LOL

  10. 10 azteclady
    September 10, 2008 at 2:38 am

    (Of course Avi is first)

    Just want to offer huge congrats to Sandra on reaching such a milestone, and wish her success with each new book. Keep looking forward!

  11. 11 Susan
    September 10, 2008 at 4:50 am

    Congratulations, Sandra! Best of luck with each book. Terrific interview, too!

  12. September 10, 2008 at 6:19 am

    Hi Sandra!! I’m still so excited for you!! Can’t wait to hear about the next sale and the next one…

  13. 13 Jane
    September 10, 2008 at 6:58 am

    Congrats on getting the call, Sandra.

  14. 14 Nathalie
    September 10, 2008 at 7:27 am


    It was great that you won that critique and than they accepted your book! I have to say we will be waiting for your release soon 🙂

  15. 15 Maureen
    September 10, 2008 at 7:33 am

    Congratulations Sandra! I look forward to seeing your book on the shelves next year.

  16. September 10, 2008 at 8:07 am

    Hey, Sandra! I smile everytime I read your call story. So so so SOOOOO absolutely fantastic that you’ve made it. All the very best for a long, happy and fulfilling career as AN AUTHOR! 😀

  17. 17 Mia
    September 10, 2008 at 8:14 am

    Congrats Sandra, wonderful news. Abby I love your NASCAR books, great stuff.

  18. 18 Dina
    September 10, 2008 at 8:17 am

    Congratulations Sandra, thanks for sharing the details with us.

  19. 19 sandrahyatt
    September 10, 2008 at 8:20 am

    Thanks so much for your congratulations everyone (Willa, Robyn, Teresa, Christa, Azteclady, Susan, Abby, Nathalie, and Maureen). This is like a really cool continuation of the conference joy – with such a good feeling from everybody.

    Willa, I write straight contemporary (I love reading books with a little suspense in them but the one time I tried to write it was enough of a signal that it wasn’t where my strengths lie).

    Christa – there was definitely plenty of jumping around, though I think it was more my critique parners – I was the one standing in the middle of the room with her mouth hanging open.

  20. 20 lisa lee
    September 10, 2008 at 9:11 am

    WTG Sandra, the sky’s the limit now 😀

  21. 21 RobynL
    September 10, 2008 at 10:24 am

    a big congrats Sandra and all the best; I’m happy for you.

  22. 22 sandrahyatt
    September 10, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Thanks Yvonne, for your congratulations and your part in my sale through being one of the wonderful Diamonds Down Under. (Funny that yours, Mia’s and Dina’s messages appear above my last one, but I swear when I posted Maureen;s was the last – at least on my computer).

    So thanks also Mia-I second your sentiments on Abby’s books, Dina, I never get tired of sharing the details, Lisa Lee, I’m looking at that sky and RobynL.

  23. 23 limecello
    September 10, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    Congratulations, Sandra! Great post – and I can’t wait for your book to come out 😀

  24. 24 sandrahyatt
    September 10, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    I can’t wait either. But given that it won’t be out till September ’09 I guess I’d better get used to the idea (and get writing more in the meantime).

  25. 25 kh
    September 10, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    congrats sandra, who do u like to read,

  26. 26 sandrahyatt
    September 10, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    kh, where do I start? I read widely – non romance as well as romance. And within romance I read single titles and categories, and within categories I’ll read pretty much all the lines, all I need is a story that grabs me. Having said that Desire is definitely my favourite and one of the first lines I found when I was trying to figure out where I’d fit. So within Desire all the Aus/NZ authors – guess that style and voice resonates with me Emilie Rose, Maureen Child, Brenda Jackson the list goes on and on. And sadly, the other thing is, I’m shocking with remembering authors and titles, i can remember the stories though – it was about this really sexy millionaire and this feisty heroine who was trying to hide the fact that …

  27. September 10, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    Hi Sandra, it is so cool to welcome you here and to say congratulations all over again. I reckon getting the call while at conference surrounded by yr CP’s must have been the best moment. I’m also picturing much jumping on beds. And squealing. And hugging. And champagne.


  28. 28 Rachel
    September 10, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    Sandra, congratulations! So excited for you and like everyone else, can’t wait to read your book!

  29. 29 azteclady
    September 11, 2008 at 2:15 am

    I have this image of Sandra in the eye of the storm while everyone else exploded in a whirlwind of joy around her…

  30. September 11, 2008 at 6:04 am

    Nice visual, Azteclady. Yep, I can see that too.

    Sandra, I think there’s a bit of a time lag on some of the messages (certainly all of mine 😦 ) so that might explain how we ended up where we did.

  31. September 11, 2008 at 6:04 am

    Oooh, I popped up straight away! It’s going to be a gooood day! 🙂

  32. 32 sandrahyatt
    September 11, 2008 at 11:47 am

    People say it all the time – but there’s a reason for that – the romance community really does have to be the most wonderfully supportive one there is. And it’s an incredible feeling to be on the receiving end of that warmth. Thank you.

  33. September 11, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Sandra, I’d like to add my congratulations again on your first sale. I’m so thrilled for you. It’ll be many, many months before you stop pinching yourself.


  34. 34 Lizzy
    September 12, 2008 at 4:14 am

    Congrats Sandra on your first book sale 😀

  35. 35 sandrahyatt
    September 12, 2008 at 7:59 am

    Hi Maxine – I’m thrilled to be joing such good company. You’re right about the pinching myelf – I should be black and blue.

    Lizzy – thanks for your congratulations. It’s a wonderful feeling.

  36. 36 RobynL
    September 12, 2008 at 10:50 am

    congrats on the first sale; way to go Sandra.

  37. 37 sandrahyatt
    September 13, 2008 at 7:13 am

    Thanks RobynL.

  38. September 17, 2008 at 7:39 am

    ooo err… too much celebrating and I forgot to draw the prize! The winner is Rachel – email me with your addy and I’ll send your goodies off asap!

  39. 39 azteclady
    September 17, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    *chuckling* That’s okay, Paula… we’ll just have some more champagne.

    Congrats, Rachel!

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