Today we're going to be talking about her newest title, A WOLFISH SCANDAL (Whoo boy, can you say gorgeous cover?) And she also has a...
But first, let's meet Sandra and learn a bit about the author, herself.
So, Sandra, briefly take us on the journey with you – when did you start writing, did you start in the genre you’re published in now, what hurdles did you have to overcome, etc.
SS: I’ve been writing since I could hold a pen. In high school I wrote my first “romance” stories. But it wasn’t until I got laid off from my job in 2007 that I started getting “serious” about the writing. And yes, it was always romance. I’m a sucker for a happy ending. The only hurdles were the usual Catch 22 of publishing: can’t get published without experience, can’t gain experience without being published.
Obviously, you write in a multitude of genres, do you have a particular favorite? What about secondary pen names, and what's your favorite genre to read?
SS: My favorite genre to read is cozy mysteries. I really like reading outside my genre because I know I’ll never be able to pen one of those. I don’t use a pen name, but I do write across many sub-genres of romance, from sweet to heat.
Of the books you have published, do you have a favorite? If so, which one and why?
SS: Oh wow, that’s like asking if I have a favorite cookie or funny movie! I did have a lot of fun writing Wedgie Tales and Panty Lines, Dragons at Dawn or even an action-packed sci-fi Ricochet. Why? All of these characters are larger than life, and quite frankly, I wouldn’t mind meeting them in real life—if that were possible.
What are your published titles and please tell us about anything coming down the pipe next.
SS: At the current time I think I have almost 40 published pieces. You can find them on my website (www.sandrasookoo.com). It seems like I’m always busy though. At the time I filled out these interview questions, I’m currently finishing up the sequel to A Wolfish Scandal as well as a short bridge story within that same series for Christmas. After that will be a fast-paced sci-fi romance and more historical pieces.
Okie dokie, since you mentioned it, lets talk about A Wolfish Scandal!
I'm enchanted with the cover, Sandra. Very much so.
Tell me about your plot development? How did the idea spur, did you have to do much research, any interesting tidbits that we should know?
SS: Well, in A Wolfish Scandal, I did outline the book as I went, chapter by chapter. It started out as a Regency idea but when I fell in love with the Civil War era, I switched time periods. And yes, I did a ton of research regarding this time period, also because I set it in my home state of Indiana. There are a lot of great resources around here.
Let's talk heroes for a bit. What’s one thing about Grey that we wouldn’t necessarily learn in the book? A secret dream, an embarrassing habit, an episode from childhood.
SS: Grey has a tendency to expect everyone around him will fall into step with his ideas. He assumes a lot. I can easily imagine him as a little tyrant as a child LOL
Laugh. Sounds like my adorable demi-demons. But that's another story. All heroes are unforgettable in one way or another. What’s one thing about Grey that makes your heart go pitter-pat?
SS: When he finds a woman he’s interested in, he’ll move heaven and earth to make her happy, even if it’s just for a few days.
Aww! If Grey doesn’t have a pet in your novel, what kind of pet would best suit his personality?
SS: Most likely a dog—a big dog that’ll hold his own in a fight.
No discussion about heroes is complete without their counterpart--heroines. Let's talk about Lyndal.
Everybody has flaws. Sometimes they are endearing, other times they are annoying. What is Lyndal's greatest fault?
SS: Being a pushover or doormat where her family is concerned. She has trouble of standing up for herself.
Without giving away details that might spoil the story for those who have not read it, could you tell us the one strength Lyndal provides to Grey?
SS: The ability to meet his boorish behavior and give it right back to him. After all, she has nothing to lose so why not?
If Lyndal was your daughter – what advice would you give her upon meeting Grey?
SS: Be very careful. Men don’t necessarily tell the truth, but not because they’re lying to be mean. Sometimes they’ve just gotten in over their heads.
Oooh. If that isn't a teaser, I don't know what is.
If we peek in on your hero and heroine’s lives ten years from now, can you give us a glimpse of what we’d see?
SS: Oh, this is a nice question! I can easily see Grey and Lyndal having three or four kids, a couple of dogs, all running amuck through the apple orchards on the property. They’d have a nice, tight family life.
Well let's take a peek at them now. As I understand it, this is an excerpt related to the scandal that started it all.
With a tiny sigh, Lyndal proceeded on her journey. She clutched the strings of her reticule in one hand. Feeling a tad parched from the hot May sun and dust, she ducked into a café on the corner of Washington Street. After being led to a table near one of the windows and placing her order for a pot of Earl Grey and a plate of tea cakes, she arranged her full skirts over her crinoline and gazed again at the street traffic.
Somehow, she needed to affect a change in her life. If I want to matter to someone, if I want to make a difference—leave a memory behind—I need to stop waiting around for excitement and find it myself.
Perhaps it was interference from Providence; perhaps fate had one more trick up her sleeve, or perhaps it was merely a careless gust of wind when the front door opened, but a page from the Indianapolis Journal on an empty table nearby fluttered and took flight. It came to rest against her skirts. Lyndal bent slightly and plucked the errant paper from the floor then gaped as a headline from a personal advertisement caught her eye.
Wealthy land owner in Noblesville, Indiana hosting a house party—including Independence Day festivities—for the express purpose of finding a mate. Marriage could be an eventuality but the certainty of that outcome is not a definite. Companionship is the more immediate necessity. Experience in sensual bedroom arts is preferred but not required.
Inquires collected through the 30th of the month. Please indicate physical characteristics, flaws and any special talents. Also include a brief history and a short essay of why you would like to be considered.
Responses should be addressed to Mr. Franklin Garrett care of Rutledge Estates, Route 5. If you are chosen as one of the twelve candidates, further instructions will be sent no later than June 15th. As a footnote, ladies' maids or attendants will not be needed and are definitely not desired. Rutledge Estates boasts more than enough staff.
Shock ricocheted through her insides at the audacity of a man blatantly asking self-respecting women to reply to such an inquiry. Just think of the scandal! What kind of gentleman would proposition one woman let alone ask for a dozen to reside in his house without a proper chaperone? She crumpled the paper in her fists. A man who was not a gentleman. A man who cared not for conventions or rules. A man who wished to live life on his own terms. Her skin prickled. He must be quite powerful to thwart the proprieties and make it a public spectacle—or very daring.
"Is there a problem, miss?" A young woman in a black dress and white frilled apron asked as she set out the items for tea.
"Oh, no, but thank you. This looks lovely." Only when the woman moved on to attend to other diners did Lyndal smooth the paper out on her lap once more.
Experience in the bedroom arts? Surely the person who wrote this missive didn't mean to take the women he selected into his bed. Her cheeks heated at the thought. She swallowed around the lump in her throat. Was it a lark, a practical joke played on the newspaper office to take readers' minds off the war, a political stunt, a personal statement? What arrogance was at play to even pen such a request, what bold confidence that anyone would respond. Searching through the society section, her gaze landed on a grainy black-and-white photograph of the man in question.
Too blurry to do him justice, the one feature that seemed to jump off the page was his eyes. Intense, dark and focused, as if he watched her from the paper, they demanded her attention and subsequent submission. Her heart beat a little faster. Dark hair, heavy brows and a strong jaw that spoke of determination and an unwavering will. Yet her focus returned to his eyes. In her imagination, she could easily invent a tale of wounded vulnerability or maybe basic human need. Would his lips be firm or supple against hers? Was he a man of gentle caresses or did he demand women yield fully to him in the bedroom?
A blush heated her whole body and again, her heart raced with excitement or fear. Nonsense, Lyndal. You would never succumb to such temptation for the express reason you will not respond to this advertisement. Yet she couldn't look away from his eyes. As a whole, the picture portrayed a man of power, a man of magnetism. What would he be like? Was he as terrible as she thought based solely on his advertisement? Would she want to be judged on so little?
YOU HAVE JUST READ AN EXCERPT FROM A WOLFISH SCANDAL
Do you have goals you have yet to meet?
SS: Oh yes. I think if we stop having and meeting goals, we stagnate and that’s never good. I’d love to catch an agent’s eye with one of my pieces. I’d love to see my books in a wider distribution, available to more people, like at the grocery stores. I want to know what it’s like to have people rush to the store to buy my books the second they come out.
What do you find most difficult about your job as an author?
SS: For me, it’s having to stop writing and deal with admin stuff and promo. That stuff takes so much time and it’s often boring and exhausting. In times like those, I wish I had an assistant.
Oh my gosh -- I am so with you there!
If you write in multiple genres, do you find it challenging to shift? Or is it a natural process?
SS: At times it is a challenge to shift gears. I need to go back in and re-read a manuscript to get the “feel” of the new genre. At other times, it’s easy. It just depends on the book I think.
I concur as well.
Okie dokie, readers:
Sandra is giving to one randomly drawn commentor book swag plus a free download of a backlisted book (2012 excluded). So get to commenting!!
Meanwhile, you can find A WOLFISH SCANDAL at the following places:
All Romance E-Books Amazon Liquid Silver Books
To learn more about Sandra and her other books check out these links:
Website Believing Is Seeing Blog Twitter Facebook
Or send her an email ( sandra @ sandrasookoo.com ) and let her know where you'd like to receive a monthly newsletter!
Thanks, Sandra, for stopping by today!