Campus News - April 23, 2001

Steinsiek's time has come
Lifelong book lover publishes first novel

By Veronica Valencia

Sabra Steinsiek, Library Specialist, Law LibraryIn the corner of the UNM Law Library amidst piles of thick law books, Library Specialist Sabra Steinsiek feels at home. From a very early age, she’s always considered the library a quiet retreat, a place where she feels secure.

“I got my first library card when I was promoted to the fourth grade, and I can remember how terribly important it was to me,” she said. “The library was always a comforting place.”

As a kid, she frequented the Carlsbad Public Library and was often the top reader in the library’s summer reading programs. She even won a library essay contest on the topic “If I Ran the Library.” Ten years later, she got the chance to “run the library” when she became the children’s librarian in Carlsbad.

After some of life’s little detours, Steinsiek and her family found their way back to Albuquerque, where she has been working as head of serials at the UNM Law Library for the past 11 years.

While she enjoys the day-to-day activities of checking in books, updating the on-line card catalog and supervising work-study students, she thinks the art of being a librarian is changing.

“I miss the thunk of the books when you’re checking them out by hand and the old card catalog,” Steinsiek said.

When she’s not checking in books, she’s reading them. She loves anything written by Nora Roberts or James Patterson. If her nose isn’t in a book, she’s thinking about Taylor, Laura, Cary and Annie – the main characters in a book she has written.

“I think about these people all the time,” she laughs. “They enter my mind at 3 in the morning or in the middle of the workday.”

“Timing is Everything,” Steinsiek’s first novel, was published in September 2000. She’s always loved to write, but found that marriage, motherhood and career didn’t leave a lot of spare time. Her passion for writing was rekindled after she spent time writing short stories over the internet with a group of friends.

“Even though I finished the book in January, 1998, I re-wrote it three times before I would even let a few friends read it,” she said. “The response was so positive, and I began the long road to publication.”

After spending more than year in the “traditional” publishing arena trying to find an agent and get her book read, she discovered the new world of Publish on Demand and choose that route to publish her book.

The novel, which she describes as an old-fashioned love story with a twist of cyberspace, tells the story of four lives bound together by fate. Set in locales as diverse as Tampa, Fla., Catalina Island and Italy, Steinsiek found that working on the sections set in New Mexico was the most personally satisfying giving her a chance to introduce her readers to the Land of Enchantment.

She’s currently working on the sequel, tentatively titled, “When That Time Comes.”

She’ll be signing books on Saturday, May 12, from 2-4 p.m. at Hastings Entertainment Superstore. Steinsiek can be reached through her website

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