Now Sam has the mic...
If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
If I couldn’t be a writer I’d probably do something with animals. Maybe become a dog trainer or a vet tech. My husband and I rescue dogs and we have 13 of them! They are our fur-babies, our hobby, and our own private little money drain. LOL We love every minute of the time we have with them.
Besides writing, what other things do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Hubby and I love to go out to eat. I go to the movies with my daughters on the weekends; take shopping trips with my mom, sisters and girls; and walk my dogs through the woods. I also try to do power yoga whenever I can. It’s good for my body and soul!
Are you an early bird or night owl?
Definitely an early bird. I’m often in my office by 4 am and generally tuck myself into bed with a good book or a favorite TV show by 8 pm. I fill every minute of the time in between with work and family. It’s a good life…if a little exhausting. LOL
Which TV show(s) can you absolutely not miss every week?
Right now it’s The Walking Dead. I also love Revolution. When there’s a new season I absolutely adore the BBC’s Sherlock, with Benjamin Cumberbatch too but it looks like it will be 2 years before the next season releases. (waa!)
What’s your writing process/schedule like?
I'm a slogger rather than a sprinter. I don't write a full rough draft of a book in a week and then go back and do extensive rewrites as some authors do. I write approximately a scene a day and when that scene is done it's fairly clean. I set a daily writing goal for myself of around a thousand words. Most days I'll write more than that, some days less. I generally write 6 days a week — 7 when I'm on deadline. On non-writing days I do administrative and promotional work. (I manage two blogs and two websites)
As far as the actual process, when I start writing a book I usually have a very broad idea of what I'd like the story to be about. I sit down and write a quick, high level premise for where the story needs to go. Then I just start writing. About halfway through I hit a wall because I need to get more specific about where I'm taking the storyline. Once I figure that out, the second half of the book usually flows pretty smoothly. Most years this process culminates in 6 to 8 novella to full length novels.
What other genre would you like to venture into in your writing?
Someday I’d like to do historical romance fiction based in early America. The majority of real historical fiction is European based. American history isn’t taught well in our schools. It’s too date and fact based (boring) and much of our history has been rewritten for political correctness. As a result many people have no clue about how we got where we are. I’d like to make history more interesting and accessible by putting real people into it. It’s a dream I hope to accomplish over the next 5 years or so.
What do you want readers to takeaway/experience after they’ve read your book?
I want readers to feel the story and the characters long after they finish the last page. A good romance book sticks with the reader, holding her in a warm and fuzzy embrace well beyond the actual reading experience. I’m not looking to change the world with my stories…just temporarily brighten the mood of one reader at a time.
What advice would you offer to aspiring writers or writers in general?
1. Keep writing, because you will improve with practice. No matter how good you are when you start out, you can always learn something that will improve your writing.
2. Start creating an online presence for yourself early, well before the first book comes out.
3. Always be yourself. Don’t try to manufacture a persona you think will appeal. People will know if you’re not being genuine. I would add to this advice that you should never lie to your readers. You might get away with the lie for a while, but if your readers eventually find out they’ll never trust you again. Trust is a key element of the relationship between an author and a reader.
4. Ultimately people buy from people they like. It won’t matter how talented you are if you’re cranky and unfriendly. The karma monster is always waiting around the corner to take you down if you treat other people badly.
What can readers expect from you next?
I have a very full writing plan for 2014 and beyond. I’m currently working on Book 7 of my Honeybun Heat series. Honeybun on the Run will be available in the June/July timeframe this year. I’m also working on Book 2 of the m/m paranormal City of Lights series I write as Declan Sands. Next on the plan is completion of a couple of Young Adult books I write under s.i. decker. And beyond that is the next installment in my popular Honeybun Fever series. I also need to write the next book in my Declan Sands Hoale Construction series. Then I’ll take a deep breath and see what I can write to celebrate the holidays! Busy, busy. #:0)
Tell us one silly fact about yourself.
When I get a good review or my sales numbers are good I do a special little dance in my chair. Yeah, it’s pretty weird and involves shoulder shaking and chugging arms. LOL
Respond in a comment to the following question for a chance to win a copy of The Biggest Poser. I’ll pick the winner on April 20th. International participants welcome!
What is your favorite type/genre of interracial/multicultural romance and why?
Sam's published work includes 50+ books of romantic suspense and fantasy/paranormal. Her books have won the Dream Realm Award for fantasy and The Swirl (interracial romance) Award. They've been nominated for and/or won several CAPAs, have been nominated multiple years for “Best of” with LRC and The Romance Reviews, and have won eCataromance’s Reviewer’s Choice award. Sam is published with Musa Publishing, Changeling Press; and Ellora’s Cave. She also publishes as Declan Sands, writing m/m fiction, and under her own imprint, Electric Prose Publications.
In real life, Sam lives in a cabin in the woods with 13 dogs and one husband. A self-proclaimed dog-aholic, Sam insists she's holding at 13...probably...
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Personal trainer for the ever popular, Lose it! reality show, Jillie Maxwell is up for the most important award of her career. And she’s competing against the biggest b-eye-itch she’s ever met. Fortunately for her, she has the sexiest man alive in her corner. Problem is, each and every one of them has a dirty little secret that could tank a career.
For the contestants, the race is on to lose the most weight and win everything. For the staff of the popular weight loss show, the clock is ticking to the culmination of their lies and the possibility of losing it all.
Will the Biggest Poser win? Or will the lies just grow and grow until they sink the whole show? Only one thing is certain. Whatever happens, it’s gonna be an entertaining ride!
Book page with BUY links
Thanks Sam for dropping by and sharing yourself and work with us!