My Path to Publication

Painting by Henriette Brown.

Painting by Henriette Brown.

I thought I’d share a bit about my path to publication, how I went from first deciding I wanted to be a writer to getting a book published.

Although I always enjoyed creative writing, it wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties that I decided I wanted to pursue writing in a serious way. At that time I envisioned myself as a television writer. I had written several original tv scripts and had done a bit of spec script writing too. However, I had no clue how to break into the television industry and one day I decided to turn one of my pilot scripts into a novel. Once I’d written one novel, I wanted to write another one. By the time I’d written my second novel, I knew I wanted to pursue publication. My vision for my writing future had shifted, and not for the last time.

The first novel I queried was a sci-fi book and the second was an urban fantasy story. At that point in my life I was hoping I could one day have a career as a sci-fi/fantasy writer. I wasn’t having much luck with querying, however, and after a while my mind was tugging me in a different direction.

I’ve loved mysteries for as long as I can remember. Mysteries are my favourite books to read (especially cozy mysteries) and I wanted to write one of my own for a long time. When I finally decided to give it a try, I wrote my cozy mystery, Dead Ringer. By the time I’d finished the first draft, I knew that what I really wanted to be was a mystery writer. I felt differently about Dead Ringer than I had about any of my previous manuscripts. I knew it was of better quality than my other books and that gave me a sense of confidence that I didn’t have before.

Dead RingerAfter getting feedback from my critique partners and editing the manuscript several times, I started querying. I had a dream agent in mind and, luckily, I ended up signing with her in June 2014. Within two or three weeks, she started submitting Dead Ringer to publishers and a few months later I signed a three book deal with HarperCollins/Witness Impulse. Dead Ringer: A Music Lover’s Mystery was released in June 2015 and the second book in the series will follow in January 2016.

So that’s my story of how I became a published writer. I’m loving every minute of where I am right now and I’m hoping my writing path will stretch a long way into the future. 🙂

Next week I’ll share some things I learned along the way to publication.



  1. August 6, 2015 at 2:25 am

    I had no idea you’d tried your hand at so many different styles and genres of writing, although I do seem to recall when you were working on the urban fantasy. It wasn’t so very long ago. Wasn’t one of the characters named ‘Hadrian’? I can’t imagine even trying to write a cozy mystery. You’re a very talented lady!

    • Sarah Fox said,

      August 6, 2015 at 8:38 am

      Thank you, Abby! Yes, there was a Hadrian in my urban fantasy! 🙂 I was never completely happy with that story but I love the characters so I’m hoping to one day give them a new/better story.

  2. August 10, 2015 at 8:02 am

    […] week I wrote a post about my path to publication. (You can find it here). This week I wanted to touch on a few things I learned during my […]

  3. August 25, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Congrats again, Sarah! Glad your tenacity finally paid of!

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