SARAH VANCE-TOMPKINS—Contemporary Romance Author at its finest!!

September 2, 2022 by in category Jann says . . . tagged as , with 0 and 0
Home > Columns > Jann says . . . > SARAH VANCE-TOMPKINS—Contemporary Romance Author at its finest!!

Sarah Vance-Tompkins was born in a small town in northern Michigan. She earned an MFA in Film Production from the University of Southern California before working in feature film development for ten years. Prior to film school, she began her career in media as an on-air radio personality. She has worked as a staff reporter for a weekly entertainment trade publication, a fashion copy writer, and for a brief time was the social media maven for a personal lubricant manufacturer.

She has published two YA books with Inkspell Publishing. Her first adult romance with Tule Publishing, ON CHRISTMAS TREE COVE, was released in October 2021. The second book in the small town series, WISHING FOR MR. RIGHT will be published on September 29, 2022.  She and her husband live in Southern California with a glaring of unruly cats.

I’m so excited to be doing this Q&A with Sarah Vance-Tompkins. She a wonderful woman and fantastic author. Let’s see what she has to say!!

 Jann: Tell us about your path to publication.

Sarah: I went to USC for film school, so my background is in screenwriting.  I made all the rookie mistakes in my first romance manuscript. Filter words. Telling, not showing. Head hopping. Dialogue tags for days. I did it all. Gah! I had so much to learn. I’d come back from conferences after taking every craft class offered, eager to apply my new-found knowledge. After several false starts I finished a manuscript I loved. Even better I sent out queries and got full requests. Finally, it attracted an agent’s attention. I got the call! I was joyful. I’d made it. I was on my way – next stop a five publishing house bidding war! Then the agent ghosted me. I was devastated and unable to write for a long time. But like the Energizer Bunny, I kept submitting stuff. I published a couple of short stories with Inkspell, then sent my manuscript off to Tule Publishing. They gave me the nicest rejection ever. They said it wasn’t for them but asked if I had any interest in writing a Christmas romance. I love Christmas! And romance. I came up with several different ideas. One of their editors gave me helpful feedback on my synopsis and first chapter. I was thrilled when I found a contract in my email box one morning. But I can’t emphasize it enough my success is a direct result of rejection.  

Jann: Setting, Theme, Plot—these are questions authors are faced with every day. How important are they to you for your stories? 

Sarah: I started out writing as an unabashed and deeply committed Pantser, but with each manuscript I became more and more of a Plotser. Now, I’m really leaning into being a full-on Plotter. It really seems to be best, especially when you’re trying to communicate with an editor. But it’s been long evolution. Not gonna lie, after I turned in my last project, I made color-coded Excel spread sheets to plot my current WIP. We’ll see how it goes…

As far as setting, theme and plot are concerned, it’s always setting and theme, then plot. They’re all equally important in my mind, but the setting and theme always need to be settled first. It’s the plot I wrestle with every day from beginning to end.

Jann: What inspires or excites you to write?

Sarah: I became a K-drama addict during the pandemic. One of my favorite authors (Kate Clayborn) mentioned something on Twitter about her undying love and devotion to a series called “Crash Landing On You.” I watched one episode and was completely hooked. The stories are always filled with my favorite romance tropes: Fake Dating. Forbidden Love. Celebrity Dating. Enemies to Lovers. Soul Mates. And the actors are gorgeous and dressed in the most beautiful designer clothes.

Jann: September 29th, Dacey Adair and Luke La Fontaine, make their debut in Wishing for Mr. Right. What would you like the readers to know about them. What major conflicts do they have to work through on their way to HEA?

Sarah: Dacey is a perfectionist working her way up the corporate ladder to world domination. When she’s knocked down a rung or two, she falls far and hard. has to always be right. Even if she’s wrong. Luke is local heartthrob who is so far from perfect, he’s developed a bit of bad boy reputation. He totally owns it. They are complete opposites, but secretly they’ve both been craving love with a special someone. But neither one would admit it. Until they fall for hard for each other.

Jann: Which character did you develop first, Dacey or Luke?

Sarah: Dacey was the no-nonsense sister of Morgan Adair in On Christmas Tree Cove. I totally identified with her. She was a workaholic who didn’t take any time for herself until time off was forced on her when she was fired with cause. She always tried to be perfect, so I knew she’d have to have an imperfect hero. And I think Luke LaFontaine is the perfect imperfect man for her. He a total hottie with a reputation for being the “town tomcat.” You can read the blurb on the Tule Publishing website:

https://tulepublishing.com/books/wishing-for-mr-right/

Jann: What preparations have you made for the launch for Wishing for Mr. Right?

Sarah: It’s funny how much promotion changes in a year. I find myself doing things very differently than I did for On Christmas Tree Cove. I’m sending out packages of books and swag to bookstagrammers and book bloggers. I’m hired someone to help with a social media push. And then I need to get a push on to get reviews and do some giveaways. Next week I’ll probably book a small plane to do skywriting. I’m kidding but I’m open to suggestion and it seems like my to-do list is never-ending.

Jann: How do you come up with name for your characters? On Christmas Tree Cove, you have main characters, Morgan Adair and Jesse Taylor, I put a Spell on You, a romantic comedy, Aviana Willowbrook and Nash Nolan, Kisses on a Paper Airplane, Hannah Evans and Theo Callahan and What’s Better Than A Book Boyfriend, Charlie Bishop and Hank Carter. Do character names have importance to you?

Sarah: I carry a teeny tiny notebook around in my purse. When I hear a name I love, I jot it down on what is has now become a very long list filling almost all of the pages. When I’m working on a new story I go back and forth over it. I’m not really able to see and hear my characters until I settle on the name that brings them to life. I’ll write a few at the top of the manuscript, but I can’t usually decide on my characters’ names until I’ve been working on the synopsis and the first few chapters.

Jann: What are you working on now? Can you tell us about your next project?

Sarah: I joined a writing collective called SMUT U in 2020. The group includes writers of all genres from around the world. Every day at 7am PT we gather on a Zoom call and use the Pomodoro Method to get words down on the page. One morning I decided I wanted to write a story about a woman who falls in love in her forties – since I was a first-time 48 year-old bride. She makes a lot of mistakes. It truly is my passion project. It’s been an absolute blast to write.

Jann: What’s your all-time favorite book?

Sarah: Underfoot in Show Business by Helene Hanff

Jann: What‘s on your To-Be-Read pile?

Sarah: To Catch a Raven by Beverly Jenkins

Nora Goes Off Script by Anabel Monaghan

Circling Back To You by Julie Tieu

Heartbreaker by Sarah MacLean

Jann: What’s your favorite song?

Sarah: A Song For You by Leon Russell

Jann: What’s your favorite movie?

Sarah: Now, Voyager

You can find out more about her latest release by following on BookBub. https://tulepublishing.com/books/wishing-for-mr-right/

She also hangs out on Twitter. A lot. Follow @sarahvtompkins

Sarah, thank you, thank you for sharing with us today. Can’t wait for the debut of Wishing for Mr. Right. Best of luck!!

Author bio
Author bio
Jann Ryan grew up with the smell of orange blossoms in Orange County in sunny Southern California, where she has lived her entire life and dreamed up stories since she was a young girl. Never an avid reader, she was in her thirties when she picked up her first romance quite by accident. She fell in love with happily ever after and has been reading romances ever since. Wanting to put pen to paper, Jann joined Romance Writers of America. Currently, she is working on a romantic suspense series set in Stellar Bay, a fictitious town along the California central coast to fulfill her publishing dream.
  • SARAH VANCE-TOMPKINS—Contemporary Romance Author at its finest!!

    Sarah Vance-Tompkins was born in a small town in northern Michigan. She earned an MFA in Film Production from the University of Southern California before working in feature film development for ten years.

  • Kathleen Kaska—Mystery Author!!

    Kathleen Kaska is the awarding-winning author of the Sydney Lockhart Mystery Series set in the 1950s and the Kate Caraway Animal-Rights Mystery Series.

  • Linda O. Johnston–Mysteries, Romantic Suspense and so much more!
    Sarah Vance-Tompkins was born in a small town in northern Michigan. She earned an MFA in Film Production from the University of Southern California before working in feature film development for ten years. Prior to film school, she began her career in media as an on-air radio personality. She has worked as a staff reporter […]
  • Author Laura Drake releases The Road to Me

    Laura Drake is a New York and self-published and author of Women’s Fiction and Romance. Her debut, The Sweet Spot, was a double-finalist, then won the 2014 Romance Writers of America® RITA® award.

  • Hiatus

    Jann will be back with a new column March 2nd.

    Nothing Found

    ×
    Jann Ryan grew up with the smell of orange blossoms in Orange County in sunny Southern California, where she has lived her entire life and dreamed up stories since she was a young girl. Never an avid reader, she was in her thirties when she picked up her first romance quite by accident. She fell in love with happily ever after and has been reading romances ever since. Wanting to put pen to paper, Jann joined Romance Writers of America. Currently, she is working on a romantic suspense series set in Stellar Bay, a fictitious town along the California central coast to fulfill her publishing dream.

    Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM

    >