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The S.A. Bayne Story

Here’s the truth: S.A. Bayne has a history of crashing and burning, lying prostrate on the floor, and sobbing for a while waiting for her bones to reset, and then saying “f*ck this, I’m finding a way.” That, my friends, is how SAB was born.

See, it all started back in the day, when SAB was working for a company that was pretty cool and fun, with good peeps, and a commute that didn’t make her head explode. But because SAB has enviably awesome ideas of how fantastic life should be, it wasn’t enough for her. She got a copy of What Color Is Your Parachute (an ass-kicking book that helps you figure out what lights your fire so you can ignite your life), and then she worked her butt off trying to figure out what would make her life rock.

As it turns out, SAB has a ton of interests and passions, but turning them into an actual job was tricky. Some of the “must haves” that made her list were:

*Never having to dress up for work.

*Never having to be anywhere at any time, unless she wanted to.

*Having no boss to, ya know, boss her around.

*Being able to be awesomely successful.

*Dogs.

*Never having to work with people who made her want to shove ice picks into her eyes.

*Being super pumped about getting to do it (whatever “it” is) every day.

Surprisingly, it’s not easy to find a career that fits all those criteria. It wasn’t until she saw an alum magazine from her alma mater that the idea was lit. The cover story was about two grads who’d written a thriller and had it turned into a major motion picture. Immediately, visions of fame, fortune, endless bliss, and going to work in sweatpants began flooding SAB’s mind. She was like, “hey, I’ve read at least fifty million books in my life time, written at least sixty million pages of stuff, and I used to make up extensive, riveting stories on the spot to entertain the kids when I was a camp counselor. I can so do this.”

So, she started writing. And by writing, I mean, getting up at 2am, and writing until work, then writing at lunch, and then going to bed at 7pm every night. For the next four years, she gave up all social activities, abandoned her friends, became pale and wan from being indoors all the time, and forgot what the concept of weekends was for. But on the plus side, she wrote 18 books, sent them to every agent and publisher alive, and had the joy of receiving over 150 rejections. Some of the rejections even told her that she sucked so badly that she needed to stop sending them stuff because she was never going to improve enough to become worthy of their time. 

She tried to give up. She really did. Because, you know, when people stomp all over your dreams and tell you that you can’t do it, they must be right. Her mantra became “this is the LAST time I’m getting up early. Tomorrow, I’m done.” But then, the next day, because she was too stubborn to accept that IT AIN’T EVAH GONNA HAPPEN, she’d get up again and write like a maniac. 

Eventually she sold a book. To an actual publisher. For money. How about them apples, eh?

Then she sold a lot more. Like eight in eight weeks. And she thought “Hah! F*ck you, doubters! I did it!” and quit her decently cool day job to write.

Then she had lots of fails. Fun, uplifting fails. Like, being ditched by her agent because she wasn’t earning enough money. And being fired by her publisher because they decided that her books sucked AFTER they’d already published them and told her they were great (she actually got abandoned by more than publisher, but who can count to four?). Lots of feel-good, confidence-inducing, but oh-so-motivating things like that. Then SAB got to do fun stuff like stare at her bank account and freak out that she was going to have to move into a cardboard box in an alley, which wasn’t exactly how she wanted to raise her kid. 

At long last, the dream-crushers won, and she decided to give up and get a day job. 

She didn’t get the first day job she applied to. And she thought of another way to make it as a novelist. So, being the stubborn, high-aspiring, determined dreamer that she was, she tried again. 

Then she sold more. Like way more. Squeaked onto the New York Times list. Got prizes and awards. Over a million copies of her books in the hands of readers.  High five, right?

Then more fails. Well, maybe not complete fails. They were more like valleys. Not pretty valleys with lots of wild flowers, butterflies, and bunnies. They were more like long stretches of exile in an arid desert canyon, dying of thirst, alive, but being crushed under the weight of heat, sun, and cracked, parched earth. Because even the ups weren’t what she’d dreamed of, and the downs were kind of soul-sucking. It was just not there. Not enough. Not her fire. She was living a life of meh, and she had not fought this hard and this long for a life of meh. 

But it was not that easy to figure out what was missing.

It went like that for a wicked long time, until one day, while she was lying on floor of her shower sobbing, she said, “WTF? Why is this not happening the way I want it to?”

And after her back started to hurt and the cold water gave her hypothermia (too much time on a shower floor isn’t always a good thing), she realized that although she wrote great novels…they were just novels. Stories that were a little bit too safe, too ordinary, too regular. They played by the rules. They delivered according to expectation. They didn’t break rules. They didn’t ignite. They didn’t surprise. Most importantly, they didn’t tap into the magic that was inside her. They weren’t the kind of firestorm that happens when you unleash your authentic self onto the world like a freaking hurricane.

She realized she had to change that, because she wanted…no, she needed…to be a hurricane. Not just any hurricane. She needed to be that hurricane, the one that was pure, untamed, magical her. 

So, she set about on a mission to tap into her authentic, creative, insane self, and write the book that no one else would dare to write, or would be able to write, even if they were brave enough to try. She broke the rules. She said “f*ck it” a lot. She looked for inspiration everywhere. She dug deep, and kept on going even when the judgmental little f*cker in her head was screaming, “You can’t do this! You suck! Go back inside your tiny little cave! Retreat! Retreat!” 

It was an epic battle, but guess who won? She did. Damn right, she did. She wrote the shit out of that book. And she changed her name because the book was too awesome, too authentic, and too alive to write under her old, play-by-the-rules pen name. So, she named herself S.A. Bayne, which is actually her name (kinda) anyway. And guess what? 

Seriously. GUESS. WHAT.  

Fine. I’ll tell you that what. The “what” is that YOU are the lucky bastard who gets to slap your eyeballs onto her words and discover what genius, authenticity, and blow-your-mind entertainment actually looks like. 

How about that, huh?

So, check it. You could spend $12 on a movie for not even three hours of entertainment, including the previews. You’d do that, wouldn’t you? Spend $12 for a couple hours of predictable and the usual? Or $20 on beer, pizza, and a digital rental? You’d so do that, and we both know it. You might even spend $25 on the hardcover of your favorite author because you are so jonesin’ for one damned night of guaranteed feel-betterness, right? 

-OR-

You could lay down a fraction of that cash on a book that is so cutting edge and so new that it’s barely even a thing yet. You get book that is pretty freaking long, insanely brilliant, and so intense that you’ll reread it a bunch of times, and then tell everyone about it. Then, you become the popular badass that everyone looks to for the inside scoop on the latest and greatest. See, it’s so new that, for once, YOU get to be the one who finds out about the Next Great Thing, and YOU get to be the one to tell everyone about it, so then YOU become the one In-The-Know who everyone wants to be and to hang with. 

You’re in, aren’t you? I know you are, because who doesn’t want a better, lit-up kind of life? Unless maybe you don’t, which is your totally your prerogative. So if you’re sitting there, thinking, “hey, I hate laughing, being in a better mood than I’m currently in, and I really hate finding out about cool things that I can impress my friends with,” then definitely, go lie down on the shower floor, cry, get cold, wet, and achy, and stay there for like a month. 

It’s fun. Really. It is. 

And whatever you do, do not, and I really mean it, do not click <<on this text that is all about honoring yourself with a helluva awesome time>>.  Seriously. Do. Not. Do. It.

You’ve been warned. After this, it’s all on you. 

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