When you think the unthinkable, where do you turn?
Sugar & Spice is the groundbreaking debut novel from Saffina Desforges.
Yet to be published on paper, Sugar & Spice has swept up the Amazon UK Kindle charts with sales of more than 18,000 a month despite having neither an agent nor a publishing house behind it.
Inspired by a news story of a man who begged a Judge to give him a longer sentence because he knew he would harm another child if released without treatment, Sugar & Spice is meticulously researched, asking questions society prefers not to have answered.
At once disquieting and challenging, this is car-crash reading.
It’s every parent’s worst nightmare: A child fails to return home. Some children never come back.
“An unsettling read with echoes of Mo Hayder.”
“A disturbing and cleverly-woven story. Powerful first novel.”
“Compelling! A very tough subject handled exceptionally well.”
SD: I have always known. As a child, I would spend hours scribbling in an exercise book and making up stories in my head. In fact, most would say, I have spent my whole life living in a fantasy world!
CW: Tell us about Sugar & Spice.
SD: As the louder half of a writing team, I cannot personally take credit for the concept for Sugar & Spice, that was Mark’s. (There is a full guest post on the subject here if anyone is interested.)
CW: Do you have any formal training in writing?
SD: I don’t, only a couple of on-line courses, but (co-author) Mark Williams has written before as a journalist, a teacher and for stage and television.
CW: How did you arrive at the decision to self-publish?
SD: We took the decision to self-publish rather quickly with Sugar & Spice. Agents liked the book, but were uncomfortable with the subject matter. With the growing popularity in the UK with e-readers, it was a no-brainer. We have sold 40,000 plus copies since Christmas and are currently selling just under 20,000 a month in the UK alone. The book is currently out with an agent who has requested to read it fully. We would have to think long and hard about any deal (with traditional publishing.)
CW: What was the biggest disappointment you experienced through this book?
SD: The biggest disappointment for us with Sugar & Spice is how no one (thus far) has had the balls to see the book for what it is, a great story, and convince a publisher to do the same, but hey, that may change. Another disappointment is how some readers have misread the messages within the book and suggested that we are being sympathetic to criminals, when that certainly isn’t the case.
CW: What was the hardest part of the publishing process? What did you most enjoy?
SD: Self-publishing is relatively easy these days. Getting people to buy your book is the hard part.
CW: What advice would you give unpublished writers?
SD: Forget being a writer, you have to be the complete business person. No matter which route you take, writing is a very small part of the process.
CW: Have changes in the book industry forced you to change how you published or marketed your work?
SD: Yes, and will influence any future decisions we make. We are confident that if time allowed, we could have at least 3, if not 4 books a year published as ebooks and be making money from them. Traditional publishing will not allow that, nor will we have any control over what we write.
CW: What’s your next book project and what can you tell us about it?
SD: We have several projects on the go, but the most imminent, is the first book of The Rose Red Crime Series, Snow White. This is a series of fast-paced, commercial crime thrillers, set in modern day but based on fairy tales. Snow White will be available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for the end of July 2011.
In October, we will release the first of a dark, urban (adult) fantasy series – Equilibrium: First Blood. At some point before the end of the year, we might even share our experiences in a ‘how to’ book!
For details of how to purchase Sugar & Spice – the UK bestseller and the recently released US edition, please visit here : www.sugarandspicethenovel.com
- Sugar & Spice finally makes number one in thrillers (saffinadesforges.wordpress.com)
- The Amanda Hocking Effect: She didn’t sell out. Trad publishing bought in. (chazzwrites.wordpress.com)
- Publishers: What do I need you for? (chazzwrites.wordpress.com)
- Author Profile: JE Knowles on her book Arusha (chazzwrites.wordpress.com)
- Author Profile: India Drummond’s Ordinary Angels (chazzwrites.wordpress.com)
- Obscurity is a greater threat to writers than piracy (teleread.com)