The Steamy Trunk

open trunk, secrets, mystery, romanceEven Janine is surprised when the trunk’s contents move with a big thump, but then she supposes that too many of them were placed rather haphazardly.  After all,  she practically threw them in, racing to her first destination. (see What’s in the Trunk).

The smoke has dissipated. The policeman looks as baffled as a man working on a 1,000 piece puzzle. A puzzle in the shape of books – dozens of books – piled together as if they’ve been kidnapped, or as if they have some nefarious reason for hiding in the trunk of Janine’s car. Continue reading

You Asked for It!

You asked for it.

I finally delivered.

The highly-reviewed book, The Right Wrong Man, is now available in paperback.

I’ve interviewed the person most affected by our book’s evolution, Meredith, a more interesting character than I, so to speak, who plays a pivotal role in the journey from e-book to paper.

First, as an introduction for those who have never met you, are you a hot person, or a cold one?

Oh, what a trick question! My boyfriend says I’m very hot (giggle), but if you’re talking about the weather and are familiar with my recent escapades to the Caribbean, I admit that despite the soft sultry warmth of those islands, I prefer the four wild unpredictable seasons of New England.

New England weather

Wild and unpredictable New England weather.

Speaking of wild and unpredictable, how’s your story been received by the critics, as well as your friends and family?

Wow, that was quite a segue. My story, developed by PS Wight as The Right Wrong Man, ended up being researched, studied, and then D.E.A., novel, The Right Wrong Mancommittee-ed by the F.B.I, the C.I.A., and the D.E.A. since its publication in January, 2013. I’m amazed that my actions regarding my kidnapping and ultimate discovery of illegal drug running have caused so much reaction.

Really? Surprised? Your role in the case was pivotal in…

Excuse me, I mean I’m amazed at the readers’ reaction to the book. So many people who don’t know me (or my author) bought the e-book in droves, and the reviews of my story have been rewarding, to say it mildly. My family hasn’t exactly liked the way some of their secrets have been revealed, and my boyfriend is a bit worried about how the authorities have reacted, but overall, it’s been rewardingly successful.

Speaking of “your author,” as you have several times, what’s your take on her latest big news about your book?

The Kindle Edition.

The Kindle Edition.

bad computer, self-publishing, indie publishingOMG, PS Wight is just not technologically proficient, know what I mean? I wanted to jump out of the pages and help the poor woman. But I give her credit. So many of her friends and blog followers have begged her to publish The Right Wrong Man as a paperback for those who are not into e-reading. Personally, I agree with them (though I never share my thoughts with Wight– she has spent too many hours formatting and screaming obscenities – for a sweet woman, I was shocked at some of the words she used) and praying that she wouldn’t succeed when she attempted to throw her computer out of her window into the nearby waters of the SF Bay. What passion!

Are you happy to be in paper now ?

Ecstatic! I felt a bit ethereal, you know, with my story squished into the Kindle. Now I’m a white and black character full of print and potency. I can sit on your desk and be visible day and night!  Although I’m certain some departments of the D.E. A. will try to confiscate any paperback editions hanging around their offices, I think this book will sell even faster than the e-book did. The story is a nail-biter (I’ve read it five times, and even though it’s about ME, I still hold my breath during every chapter).

Now available in softback!

Thanks for stopping by at Roughwighting, Meredith.

Oh, thanks for having me. Here is my question to your readers. Can you guess what TRMFY means?

To get the answer, and to enjoy Meredith’s wild and unpredictable adventure from Boston to the Caribbean, from one wrong man to the next, while helping discover a dangerous drug ring, hit the link here and visit The Right Wrong Man‘s Amazon page. Available now in softback, as well as e-book.

LETTER TO THE AGENT from My Major Character

literary agent, novel, self-publishing, rejection, major characterTO: Ms. Rosie, Agent, Publishers Row, NY, NY

Dear Ms. Rosie

I understand from my author that you wouldn’t pick up her book because the synopsis didn’t sound “interesting” to you, and that if you’re not interested in it, it would be difficult for you to sell the book to a publishing company.

Well, I must admit, I find your admission cold and thought-provoking. Co-authors Pamela Wight and Ashley Brandt worked many long, arduous hours to bring my character to life. They were both raising families and working at challenging jobs, but telling my story became their passion. I can’t tell you how gratifying it was for me at 5 p.m. every afternoon, the witching hour for the Wight and Brandt family, to see them working hard on my plot and characterization while ignoring the whines of husbands and children droning on in the background: “When are you going to fix dinner? There’s nothing in the house!!”

But these authors were true to their calling. They worked at fleshing me out, telling my story of a motherless upbringing and a depressed father who drank to forget his loss. For you to carelessly send a one-paragraph page stating that you found my story “uninteresting” was about as cold and uncompassionate as anyone can be, whether she is a heartless murderer, a bratty 16-year-old bully, or a clueless agent.

I found your remarks thought-provoking because they made me wonder, what kind of agent are you anyway, and what kind of book are you looking for? In riveting detail, Wight and Brandt tell the tale of me surviving my difficult childhood, excelling in school, and scoring a high-prestige job in a San Francisco investment firm. Beautiful but unsure of myself, I tackle my job with everything I have, unaware of the thicket of trouble I get in when the boss’ twin tries to destroy his brother and pin the blame of the bomb on me. This is uninteresting?

book reviews, self-publishing

Then the handsome boss, Blake Sinclair, a man I despise because he seems arrogant and too wealthy to even notice a low-level employee like me, basically kidnaps me  and keeps me locked up in a gorgeous Stinson Beach cottage. Against all odds, we discover we like each other, and yes, soon in the dark of night, love each other, and our hearts bloom with happiness. This is uninteresting?

And finally, Blake’s cruel, twisted brother tries to murder me during a wintry California storm. Can Black arrive in time to rescue me? And this is all uninteresting to you?

agent, sel-publishing, reviews

Fortunately for my two authors, the people who have read our book have found it a fun, fascinating romantic suspense. In fact, many readers have claimedbook review, romantic suspense that they were unable to put it down, and stayed up late at night to find out how/if Blake and I survive a sibling gone wild. These people all found Twin Desires extraordinarily interesting. I’m sorry you never gave my story the chance it deserves. When it’s picked up by a major publishing house, I’ll be sure Wight and Brandt send you a signed copy.

Til then,

Sandra Eastman

Twin Desires, romantic suspense, self-publishing

Sandra Eastman invites you to read about her romantic suspense. Click on the cover to visit her Amazon page.

Do Writers Have Big Egos?

writer, egoThat’s the question I suddenly ask myself after I’ve been on hold for 13 minutes. Thirteen minutes with a faceless woman who spells my name wrong, three times. Who can’t find my order for 6 minutes (see above re misspelling), and who does not make me feel confident that the order, once placed, will be correct.

And what am I ordering?

website, bookmarks, publishing, authors

Faceless woman.

Bookmarks. Customized bookmarks that feature my book and links to my book as well as my blog.Now, see where I’m leading?

Who wastes their time on faceless people after creating a bookmark for hours (oh yes, it took me a total of over 8 hours in front of the computer cursing, screaming, pulling out my hair and scaring the dog) while the ‘easy to use’ website crashed, burped, blinked, and generally made my life hell as I chose colors, downloaded my book cover, and then added text.

dog, writer, frustration, ego, authors

Scared dog – see him rolling his eyes at me?

Self-involved people, that’s who waste their time on these frustrating tasks. I never ever considered myself one of those people who think only of themselves – those kind of self-important people who are clueless about the world around them.

But. Gulp. Have I just described writers?

We sit in a room by ourselves and make up people, imaginary people with whom we use up (some would say waste) a lot of our time and energy.

We join our friends at a café but our eyes glaze over during the intense conversations about….life…. while in our heads we plot the next chapter in our imaginary characters’ lives.

We create blogs that talk about ourselves, and our writing, and our characters, so that everyone will know about our work when we publish. (Thank you, Karen Elliott for featuring my “A Brave New World” post on your Word Shark blog today!)


We go on Facebook and post ‘Buy my book!” or “Like me and my blog and my newest publication.”

We spend our time marketing our books and stories, creating bookmarks and accepting invitations to women’s groups and book clubs, and library workshops to talk about ourselves, and our writing and our books and…

Oh dear.

writers, ego, publishing, authorsWriters must have big egos!

I sit back in my chair as the faceless lady takes my credit card number, and I realize I’m a self-involved, heartless soul, despite my years of parent-ing and wife-ing and attempting to be a good sister and daughter and meditating peace and good will to all.

But perhaps those of us with a passion, those of us who believe in what we do, whether it be writing fiction or skiing down a mountain or collecting antique cars or hitting a small ball on a long stretch of hilly grass, perhaps we all stroke our egos to allow ourselves to believe (and to encourage others to believe) in what we do.

And what, exactly, do we do?

We make up people – but in doing so, we help ourselves and our readers to understand life just a fraction better. To understand what makes us humans work (or not work) in the scheme of this confusing universe.

So really (my big ego says) we writers are quite important.

Perhaps I should have ordered 200, instead of 100, bookmarks… 🙂

Scarlett Fever

gone with the wind, self-publishing, writing  I woke up early this morning thinking about contests. Writing contests, beauty contests, spelling contests, I even wondered if there’s such a thing as sleeping contests, like who can best shut off their mind at 4 a.m. and NOT think about things like…contests.

Suddenly I realize why contest are on my (sleeping) mind. One of my blog supporters (we read each other’s blogs and learn about our writing pursuits, our love of shoo fly pie, and our propensity to be pranksters) suggested that now that I’ve published a book, I should do a “reading.”

The nightmares began. For heaven’s sake, I wrote the book, I edited the book, I published the book, I (briefly) promoted the book. Now I have to stand up in front of a group of strangers (or worse, friends), and read sections of my book to them?

I’m generally fearless when given a challenge, but my past races back to me, causing shivers and shakes.

Reading out loud.

Beauty contests.


beauty contests, self-publishing, writing, e-book, junior miss pagaent

I was in the Miss Junior Miss pageant way back when (and for reasons of vanity, I will not mention when the ‘when’ was). My high school compatriots voted me in, despite my pleas to not, in any way, even consider writing my name in their little slot of who should represent Pitman High. Unfortunately the tally had come down to Mary (the prettiest), Diane (the wittiest), or me (the dark horse), and next thing I knew, I was galloping along to practice my ‘talent’ for the county’s Miss Junior Miss Pageant. (Yup, that’s me, top row center.)

TALENT? Reading was the only talent I possessed at age 17.

Gone with the Wind, Melanie or Scarlett? self-publishing

Melanie? or Scarlett?

My favorite book back then was Gone with the Wind. I wished I was Scarlett, but I was worried that I was really Melanie. So, the light bulb flickered in my 17-year-old brain. Yes! I would be Scarlett, up on that stage. That would be my talent – acting out the ‘hunger’ scene in plantation clothes and with a lilting Southern accent (note to self: if born and raised in NJ, no way, no how will you perfect a lilting Southern accent within one month).

But I was young back then, as we are wont to be when we’re 17 (yes, wont is a real word), and I borrowed an old 1800s (tattered) dress and I practiced in front of the drama teacher and I found myself in front of hundreds of smirking teens and their parents (they were all rooting for the girl at their high school) stumbling along in Scarlett’s words:“As God is my witness, as God is my witness they’re not going to lick me….If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.”

Gone with the Wind, self-publishing, I memorized the entire scene. I scraped the old wooden auditorium floor as if it was a dried-up garden, and I shed real tears. I don’t think I humiliated myself, but I may have. I do know that afterwards, I swore that as God was my witness, I would never ever be part of a contest, or a beauty pageant, again.

But now, I’m a published writer, and we writers are supposed to ‘do readings,’ and offer contests of free books to grow our sales. Otherwise, our books will just blow like the wind, far afield and unfound by readers.

We’re supposed to promote, promote, promote, giving up our writing so others will buy our books.

Well, yes, that makes sense. How else will readers know our work is out there?

But you know what? For now, I’m going to hunker down at my computer and just write.

Sales of my book? I’ll worry about that later.

As Scarlett so famously says, “After all, tomorrow is another day.”

What about you? Do you have what I call “Scarlett Fever”? Fear of contests… fear of promoting yourself?

Or do you have a trick to make it all easy and…fearless.