Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Sweetie Belle and Dreams Come True

“Your name is Sweetie Belle.”

Four years ago when I was working as a senior associate at one of the biggest law firms in the world, I would never have imagined having the time to play ponies with my middle daughter “Princess Celestia”. Nor would I have ever imagined I would be living a lifelong dream of becoming an author. But life has a funny way of making your dreams come true at the time you are least expecting it. And that's what happened to me.

Although I have always been a writer, from haunted house stories in First Grade to existentialist shorts in University, I never seriously considered pursuing writing as a career, simply because I enjoyed it too much. Writing was a hobby. Law was a career.

Curiously, my imagination did not thrive under the stress of billable hours, long days, and the pressure of climbing the law firm equivalent of the corporate ladder. Nor did Sweetie Belle and Princess Celestia. Our ponies gathered dust in a box under the shelf and longed for the day they could be free.

And then everything changed. I was 38 weeks pregnant when I caught H1N1 at the peak of the outbreak in 2009. I was in a coma for two months and my littlest daughter was born by emergency C-section. I never got to meet her until she was over two months old, and by then my middle daughter had already given her a name: Twilight Sparkle.

The near fatal illness gave me the opportunity to revaluate my goals. During the year it took me to recover, I rediscovered my writing journals and I rediscovered my sparkle. I took a few writing courses, read a few writing books, and let all the information settle over me like blanket. Then I pulled out the laptop and began to write.

My first book, Legal Heat, combined my legal experience with my love of romance novels and thrillers. It won ten Romance Writers of America Chapter Contests awards and gave me the boost I needed to keep going. My dream was becoming a reality. With the assistance of a patient family and my not so patient Princess Celestia, it all came together. My second book, MMA fighter romance, Against the Ropes, combined my love of martial arts with my naughty side and became the #1 Erotic Romance Bestseller on Amazon, knocking out Fifty Shades of Grey.

I decided to leave my briefcase on the shelf just a little bit longer.

When I am not writing, I am Sweetie Belle. Sometimes I am Rainbow Moonlight. On bad days I am Cranky Pants Black Midnight, the evil witch who makes her children eat vegetables. My girls used play dress up with my suits and heels. Now they want to be writers. We lie in the sunshine together, make up stories and play ponies until its time for bed. One day, I might go back to the legal profession. But right now, I’m living the dream. Although at night when the kids are in bed, and I’m sitting at the computer, Sweetie Belle has a very naughty side.

Sarah xx

Twitter (@sarah_castille): http://www.twitter/sarah_castille.com

And if you're feeling naughty, Against the Ropes is available on Kindle or Nook or iTunes


  1. Sarah, my daughter was also born in 2009, so I know all about the H1N1 scare. I remember being afraid to go out. What a scary thing to happen to you. Your post is just one more reminder to me that kids are only little once and we have to put aside all our adult stuff and focus on them while we have them.

  2. My God, Sarah, what an amazing story. I am so glad you're writing! And I know your girls love having you around for ponies and veggies both. :)

  3. Thanks Shana and Christy! It's been wonderful having the time to spend with them and doing what I love to do!

  4. An experience like that does make you look at your priorities in a different light. Congrats on being a survivor!

  5. Thanks Cheryl. It does really change your priorities!