Born and raised in New England, Sebastian Cole joined his family’s business after graduating from Brown University in the 80s. A true romantic, his life is defined by following his heart and pursuing his dreams, which is why he has become a novelist. Sebastian writes from the heart, believing in true love, love at first sight, and finding the one person in life you’re meant to be with.
Sebastian’s debut novel, Sand Dollar: A Story of Undying Love, has won numerous awards, including being a winner in the Beverly Hills Book Awards, a finalist in the ForeWord Firsts debut literary competition for first-time authors, and a current finalist for ForeWord Reviews Book Of The Year Award. Sand Dollar was on the cover of Publishers Weekly on March 25, 2013. With a rating of 4.6 stars, the book has been getting rave reviews, many of which compare him to his favorite author, Nicholas Sparks. Whether or not Sebastian ever achieves that kind of success, touching the lives of others through his writing has been the single most gratifying thing he has ever done in his life.
What inspires you to write?
The desire to give birth to all those story concepts lingering in my head, and the desire to succeed at being a novelist.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m sure every writer works differently. For me, I start with an outline. Then I transform it into paragraphs that tell the story, adding in dialog wherever I feel it’s significant (before I forget it). Once the basic story is down on paper, it has the appearance of swiss cheese — with lots of holes. If possible, it’s helpful if you can find someone to help you fill in those holes, someone who knows what they’re doing.
Once the story is basically set, it’s back to the beginning, where I start writing the first chapter. I write anywhere and everywhere. I could be in Grand Central Station and not be distracted by the crowd. I don’t stop until I reach the finish line, that magical day when I write “The End”.
But the first draft of the manuscript is never the finished product. I liken it to a sculpture, one that needs to be wittled away at, bit by bit, until the true beauty shines through. With the help of a professional critiquing the story, I then rewrite it over and over again for as long as necessary. When I feel I’m ready, I hire and editor. Then it’s back to rewriting until the editor gives me the go ahead to publish.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t talk to my characters. That’s because we had a disagreement last week, and I’m holding out for an apology, hehe.
Seriously, though, when the scenes play out in my head, the dialog between them sometimes brings tears to my eyes.
What advice would you give other writers?
Life is a journey; and the journey of becoming a first-time author is paved with rejection, unfortunately. But yet, it’s not impossible to break in. Every successful author had to start somewhere. And more than likely, it wasn’t their first manuscript that got them in the door. But don’t let this discourage you. You can achieve anything you set your mind to, so long as you give it your all and don’t give up. And despite the odds, success is attainable. One of the biggest challenges, you’ll find, is figuring out how to market yourself once you’ve published a book. Fortunately, however, you’ve just figured out how to do it. You’ve come to the right place!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Spending two years writing and rewriting my manuscript, only to be rejected by literary agents who didn’t care for the one-page query letter I had sent them, was like bringing the ball all the way to the end zone, only to get stopped at the goal line. But I wouldn’t let obstacles stand in the way of achieving my goal, which was to become an author. So with faith in myself, I decided to self-publish. And ever since, I continue to surpass those goals.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
All indications show that traditional publishing will continue to contract, while self-publishing will continue to grow by leaps and bounds. The rules in publishing are rapidly changing. What held true only a few years ago, does not necessarily hold true today. Self-publishing is now an established, legitimate force, and traditional publishers have to figure out a way to adapt in order to survive in this ever changing landscape.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print