Thursday, May 5, 2011

First Book Stories: The Blood that Binds by Rie Sheridan

The debut week of First Book Stories continues with our special guest Rie Sheridan. Her most popular stories to date are the Adventures of Bruce and Roxanne, humorous horror shorts several of which have been collected into two print chapbooks by Yard Dog Press.

My first book was entitled The Blood that Binds. The roots of the idea are buried so far back in antiquity I am not sure exactly what spurred it initially. All I know is that I still have a few handwritten pages from when I was twelve. It was originally the story of a young prince and his servant who turns out to be his brother. They are captured by elves and have many adventures. I started the story of Prince Roland and his page Stefan before I read The Lord of the Rings. After I read LOTR, my elves went from the shoemaker variety to tall and willowy (without pointed ears!) Other aspects of the story morphed into their current forms along the way. The boys are no longer brothers, for one thing. When I finally had a finished manuscript -- some twenty-five years later -- I didn't really know what to do with it. I submitted to most of the big publishers in the fantasy genre and got rejected. Then I submitted a partial to a mid-range house that asked for a full, and I was over the moon. It got rejected, but I got a nice piece of advice from the editor that I should look for someone to help with the pacing. I hired a professional editor to go through it with me, and we tightened it up a lot. Then, I sat on it. I wasn't sure where to go next. Chatting with a friend at Writer's Village University ( I was told I should submit it to her publisher. So I did, and NovelBooks, Inc (now defunct) contracted the book. It was one of the most exciting days of my life! We went through an extensive edit, and the book was published in 2001. One of the things I learned is that publication is only the beginning, then you have to market, publicize and sell the darn thing! When the house folded several years later, I decided not to try and find it a new home, because I felt it could be better. After I found a writing partner, I worked with him to revise it. Retitled The Luckless Prince, polished to a bright, shiny finish, I submitted it to Zumaya Publications, and now -- after yet another extensive edit, it will be finding a new life this summer with new plot twists, new characters, and all the insight that ten years as a writer could add to it. So, this is both my first and latest book story.

Rie Sheridan Rose ( has been writing professionally for the last ten years or so — though she has just added the “Rose” on the end. After putting up with her for the last eight years, she figured her husband deserved the recognition. Prior to last year, her work appeared under “Rie Sheridan.”

In that decade, she has published 4 novels, 1 short story collection, 2 chapbooks of collected stories, and five poetry collections as well as contributing to several anthologies.

Join us on Saturday, when our guest is Chelle Cordero.


Anonymous said...

Wow! You put a lot of work into following your dream with this book. Nicely done. These kind of success stories inspire me to keep typing away at my own MS. Thanks for sharing.

Cheryl said...

Thrilled to read the story and learn how it all turned out. Best of luck.

Pat McDermott said...

A good lesson here - authors shouldn't be afraid to change their stories. Yes, we love those first drafts, our first babies, but as your success shows, Rie, all that polishing produces diamonds. Congrats and best of luck!