(Joelle) Why did you get into writing? (AKA – what the heck were you thinking?)
Sarah - I love this question, because it implies there was actual ‘thought’ involved. I had always wanted to be an author, but had never had any idea how to do it and hadn’t even thought about it for some years. Then, when my son was 2 ½ and my Gram was 92 ½ we took a weekend trip. Everyone was worn out on the way home, and I desperately wanted both of them to sleep the whole way home. I didn’t even turn on the radio. But I had to do something to keep from falling asleep, so I let my imagination run wild and saw this scene of two people fighting in the rain and then kissing. The whole thing intrigued me—who were they, why were they fighting, and what was up with that kiss? This sort of thing had happened before—I’ve been accused of having an overactive imagination—but this time, instead of the scene slipping off into the void of my faulty short-term memory, those people stayed with me. I finally had to write down what they were saying just to get them out of my head!
What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing/researching a book?
That writing the book wasn’t the hardest part. Oh, it was hard, but that first book, with the kissing in the rain? I loved writing it. Something inside me had been released, and it felt good. Then, after I typed ‘The End,’ I started looking around the Internet and saw how much work it would take to learn the business, to get published, to be a professional author. That was a terrifyingly daunting prospect. I almost didn’t do it, it was so overwhelming.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Unwind? Relax? What are these words? Seriously, I watch a lot of kid’s movies with my son, play solitaire, and, if I have the time, read a book. If I get really wild, I knit. I’ve been working on the same scarf all year!
Tea or coffee?
Tea. Lots and lots of tea. Black, green, white, oolong—anything but mate. And, in the summer, water and lemonade. But tea.
Chocolate or potato chips?
No contest—chocolate. I’m really enjoying the chocolate with the hint of chili in it—that edge of spice is wonderful!
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
When writer’s block hits, I take a calm, reasoned step back and freak the heck out. Then I force myself to remember all the other times I’ve drawn a blank—after I had the flu, when I wasn’t sleeping, etc. Sleep is the first step, getting back into my routine is second, and third is reading a book or two. I might as well enjoy the writer’s block, right? By then, usually my Muse has had a nice little vacation and she’s raring to go again!
What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?
As I said, I always thought I’d be an author. My mom had me in a creative writing summer course for kids back as far as third grade. I’d taken a couple of cracks at stories in college, but never could get back my Dreaded Backstory Problem. (Trust me, it was a dreadful problem!). I’d basically given up on achieving that goal, but through a caffeine-fueled road trip, I found that spark I’d been missing. It took a hell of a lot of hard work, but it’s really wonderful to say that, all those years ago, I knew I was going to be an author and now I am.
I write best with music—with lyrics. Part of my brain needs to be distracted so the rest of it can focus on the words I want. I know a lot of writers who cannot write with music or with music that has words, but humming along with Toby Keith or Motley Cru keeps me from worrying about laundry or dinner or whatever so all that’s left is the story.
Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?
I do. I know I’m not ‘supposed to’ because I’m leaving myself open to the slings and arrows of outrageous reviews, but I do. So far, they haven’t overtly influenced my writing, but I gotta tell you, reading a positive review makes me smile for days. I know that one day I’ll hit the negative review that rips my heart out, but I just can’t quit those reviews!
Which of your characters would you like to invite to Thanksgiving dinner and why?
Well, which one can cook the best? Probably Maggie in A Man of Privilege. She’s been baking cookies and carrot cake for about nine years!
What is the best thing about being a published author?
Ooh, it’s a toss-up between being paid to do something I really like and having a reader tell me how much they loved something I wrote. Both are pretty awesome!
What’s next for you?
It’s more a case of what’s not next for me! In addition to having A Man of Privilege out on July 3rd, my next book, A Man of Distinction, will be out on September 4th. All three of the A Man of books are loosely related—Rosebud, the heroine from A Man of His Word, shows up in all three. After that, I have my very first release from Samhain due on January 1st called Mystic Cowboy, a Valentine story from Desire called The Real Cowboy on February 5th, and then a series called the Bolton Biker Boys from Desire out later next year. Whew! I got tired just typing that!
I love my dogs. We have always rescued dogs. For almost a decade, we had a three-legged wiener dog named Jake. Sadly, he went to Dog Heaven last year. Right now, we have a beagle-terrier mix—a teagle!—named Gater, as in Al E. Gater (say it out loud!). He doesn’t look like a beagle, but boy, he sure barks like one. And a few months ago, we got Fifi, a ‘shepard thing.’ She’s supposed to be Australian Cattle Shepard and Border Collie, but I highly doubt the collie part. She’s mostly just a smallish shepard dog with a whole lot of energy!
Readers, is there anything you want to know that I forgot? I’m giving away a copy of A Man of Privilege to one lucky commentator! Plus—bonus—every week I’m giving away one of these handcrafted (by me!) book necklaces from everyone who commented throughout the week! Check the Authorial Moms blog every Sunday to see if you were the winner!
Blue-blood lawyer James Carlson is working on the case of his life. After winning this trial, his career will be set. He won’t let anything...or anyone... alter his course. Then he meets his witness.
Maggie Eagle Heart makes him question everything--his family, his goals, his future. Because she’s the one woman he wants, and she’s the one woman who is completely off limits. Yet even as he struggles to keep their relationship all about business, he can’t deny the attraction is mutual--and irresistible. James has always done what is expected of him…until now.
Bio: Award-winning author Sarah M. Anderson may live east of the Mississippi River, but her heart lies out west on the Great Plains. With a lifelong love of horses and two history teachers for parents, it wasn’t long before her characters found themselves out in South Dakota among the Lakota Sioux. She loves to put people from two different worlds into new situations and to see how their backgrounds and cultures take them someplace they never thought they’d go.
When not helping out at school or walking her rescue dogs, Sarah spends her days having conversations with imaginary cowboys and American Indians, all of which is surprisingly well-tolerated by her wonderful husband and son.
This post is brought to you as part of the A Man of Privilege/Distinction Blog Tour. For a complete tour schedule and rules, visit www.sarahmanderson.com. Comments on this blog will be entered to win a signed copy of A Man of Privilege.
Next tour stop is July 3: Video Interview at Happy Ever After