April 25, 2012

Made It Moment II: Sasscer Hill

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 8:09 am

Racing From Death

Please welcome Sasscer Hill back to the blog with a second Made It Moment that may even top her first! One thing all writers hope for is that a wider slice of the world takes notice of their books, and media coverage is one way to make that happen. But we have so little control over it. This Moment reads like a blueprint for how–given a great book and some luck–a writer can bring her novel to the attention of someone who can get it even more.

Sasscer Hill

On April 15, I sat in the Annapolis Barnes & Noble cafe with fellow Sisters in Crime member, Becky Hutchinson, pouring over the arts and entertainment section of the Baltimore Sun newspaper. For a few frustrating and disappointing moments I can’t find the promised review. Anywhere. Wait, there it is — on page five, next to the best-sellers list. My God!

I’d been after the Sun for a mention of some sort for two years. I knew they wanted a new book and an event to tie it to before they would write anything.

In 2012, my second book came out. I called my contact at Pimlico racetrack and happily, she arranged for a grandstand book signing on Black Eyed Susan’s Day. I sent an email to the Sun’s sports beat-writer Sandra McKee. She said maybe the features editor would let her write something. Then she said it looked like it might happen. She interviewed me on my cell phone while my husband was driving us south on 95 somewhere in North Carolina.

McKee was delightful. A kindred spirit — as little kids we both had fathers who wouldn’t let us have a pony. While I snuck rides on our Maryland farm’s Belgian plow horses, she was riding a cow on her father’s place in West Virginia. We both devoured everything Walter Farley ever wrote about horses. Let’s face it, I got lucky to have her as my interviewer. It’s all about serendipity.

In the Barnes and Noble book store, I stare at the newspaper article. The review is long and positive. Years of work and revision acknowledged right there on page five. I feel validated. I feel wonderful. I am experiencing the Milchman-made-it-moment.

In addition to Agatha and Macavity Best First Mystery Novel Finalist, FULL MORTALITY, Sasscer Hill has several published mystery/suspense short stories and a number of articles in publications like the “Mid-Atantic Thoroughbred.”


  1. Thanks, Jenny, for bringing this author and her series to my attention. I love Dick Francis’ mystery and horse racing. Sassacer’s books are right up my alley and I will order the first one today. My husband and I visited all the Triple Crown Racetracks during our “big” trip and the folks at Pimlico were the nicest. We asked for a personal, unscheduled tour and were given the red-carpet treatment, complete with a bag of goodies to take with us. I have fond memories of the place so Sassacer’s books will be extra special. And what a wonderful Made-it-Moment.

    Comment by Kathleen Kaska — April 25, 2012 @ 8:46 am

  2. “It’s all about serendipity.” <– That couldn't be more true. In almost every moment I read, there is a point in which luck gets involved and swings things in the right direction. And this shows me one wonderful thing: If we keep working at this, eventually luck will smile on us too. I'm sure Jenny knows this all too well. :)

    Thanks for this. Today feels like a good day. :)

    Comment by Thomas A. Knight — April 25, 2012 @ 8:56 am

  3. “It’s all about serendipity.”

    Truer words were never written. I think this is especially true when we work with a positive approach and goals in mind. I’m so glad serendipity has favored you, Sasscer. :)

    Comment by Debbi — April 25, 2012 @ 10:45 am

  4. Great moment! “It’s all about Serendipity” – I couldn’t have said it better. Congrats on the review and good luck with everything.

    Comment by Kellie — April 25, 2012 @ 11:10 am

  5. Yes, lady luck has to shine on you, I don’t care how good you are! Thank you guys so much for your comments.

    If you would like to see the review it is linked here. http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/arts/bs-ae-book-review-sasscer-20120412,0,6080030.story

    Comment by Sasscer Hill (@SasscerHill) — April 25, 2012 @ 11:30 am

  6. Kathaleen, I’m so glad you made it to Pimlico. I won my first race there back in the nineties. I’ve been to Louisville, but never to Belmont. Great you visited all three!

    Thank you so much for your interest in the Nikki Latrelle series. Best to all and bye for now, Sasscer

    Comment by Sasscer Hill (@SasscerHill) — April 25, 2012 @ 11:33 am

  7. A great “Moment”! Sounds like Lady Luck has been pretty good to you so far, Sasscar, and I hope she continues!

    Comment by mountainmama — April 25, 2012 @ 11:39 am

  8. Mountain Mama, I could give you my whiny list, but will restrain myself from doing so. Sasscer, grinning in Maryland.

    Comment by Sasscer Hill (@SasscerHill) — April 25, 2012 @ 12:23 pm

  9. Don’t “they” say, all good things come to those who wait? In the scheme of things, publishing-wise, I’d say you did good, friend.

    Comment by Polly Iyer — April 25, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

  10. Thank you, Polly. But then what do “they” know. Now, I know that you have been pretty sharp in the fiction world yourself!

    Comment by Sasscer Hill (@SasscerHill) — April 25, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

  11. Sometimes you have to make your own luck! Good job, Sasscer!

    Comment by Leslie Budewitz — April 25, 2012 @ 8:18 pm

  12. Serendipity, yes, but perserverance too. Good for you!

    Comment by Anita Page — April 26, 2012 @ 5:32 pm

  13. Way to go, Sasscer! I applaud your efforts and recognition. But nothing would be coming to you if you hadn’t earned it. Both your books were great reads. As a reader, I’m loving it. As a writer, I wish…. I’m looking forward to your third of the series. See you at Malice!

    Comment by E. B. Davis — April 26, 2012 @ 7:01 pm

  14. E.B., nice to see you at Malice, and Leslie too!
    Thank you guys for your kind, wonderful comments! Sasscer, recovering from Malice.

    Comment by Sasscer Hill (@SasscerHill) — April 29, 2012 @ 7:07 pm

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