Sandra Brown has been writing romance and romantic suspense novels has been writing for over thirty years and is a fan favorite. I've enjoyed several of her books and jumped at the chance to interview her when asked if I wanted to be part of the tour.
Sandra Brown is the author of more than sixty New York Times bestsellers, including DEADLINE (2013), LOW PRESSURE (2012), LETHAL (2011), TOUGH CUSTOMER (2010), SMASH CUT (2009), SMOKE SCREEN (2008), PLAY DIRTY (2007), RICOCHET (2006), and CHILL FACTOR, all of which have jumped onto the Times bestseller list in the number one to five spot.
Brown began her writing career in 1981 and since then has published over seventy novels, bringing the number of copies of her books in print worldwide to upwards of eighty million. Her work has been translated into thirty-four languages.
Brown holds an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Texas Christian University. She served as the president of the Mystery Writers of American in 2012 and was named ITW's Thriller Master for 2008, the top award given by the International Thriller Writer’s Association. Other awards and commendations include the 2007 Texas Medal of Arts Award for Literature and the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
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Bea: Can you please tell me a bit about yourself?
Sandra: I’ve been married to the same man for a long, long time. I have a daughter and a son, both of whom are married to wonderful people. I have four grandsons, ranging in age from ten to three.
I’m a native Texan, who grew up in Fort Worth, and I spend a lot of time in the Deep South, which is probably evident in my writing. This area of the country lends itself to tall tales and storytelling – we have a lot of crazy people on which to base interesting characters! Down here our truth is must stranger than most fiction.
Bea: Please tell us a little about your new release?
Sandra: MEAN STREAK came to me one night out of the clear blue. I envisioned a distance runner who’s training for a marathon by running in the mountains of western North Carolina. She sets out for her run. . .then regains consciousness in the cabin – and bed – of a mysterious stranger. I was hooked by the idea and couldn’t wait to know more. I hope readers will feel the same!
Bea: What’s coming up next for you with your writing? Are you working on your next book? Can you tell us a little about it?
Sandra: I’m taking a few weeks downtime to do all the projects that have been put on hold while finishing MEAN STREAK -- like doing this blog tour! I’ve got several speaking engagements coming up. I’ll do some promotion for MEAN STREAK at BEA in New York in late May. THEN I’ll start thinking about the next book.
Bea: In over thirty years, you’ve written over seventy books. How do you do that? What’s a typical day of writing for you? Are you a planner or do you wing it?
Sandra: I have a roadmap, a loose synopsis, but side trips are always allowed. Those side trips are where the really good stuff happens, the plot twists even I didn’t see coming. How do you write over seventy books in thirty years? Discipline, discipline, discipline. Books don't get written on Twitter (Or Facebook). If there’s a shortcut to putting words on paper, I’ve yet to discover it.
When I go to the office in the morning, I give an hour to answering emails and doing social media , then shut everything down, except for my word processing program. I write. That's my job, and it’s the best job in the world. I protect it by not letting too much interfere with it. Late in the day, I check in with my assistant and answer emails again, then usually do a bit of Pinterest in the evenings while I watch TV.
Bea: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Sandra: I try to build into each book something I’ve never tried/done before. In DEADLINE I used a deceased character’s diary entries to convey background information in a way that was much more entertaining than paragraphs of exposition. In MEAN STREAK the reader doesn’t learn the hero’s name until 4/5 of the way through. That was kind of fun! As well as a writing challenge. That’s the point. Doing something for the first time in each book help keeps me fresh, stimulated. Hopefully it keeps readers wanting to see what I’m going to do next.
Bea: What prompted you to start writing? Would you continue to write if you were no longer published?
Sandra: I got fired from my job, and my husband dared me to give a try to something I’d always said I wanted to do – write fiction. I can’t imagine going cold turkey. I will write for as long as I’m able.
Bea: While romance as a whole has gotten more explicit and more steamy with sex scenes, yours have not. Do you see yourself spicing them up in the future or keeping the spice level where it is?
Sandra: I've never been one to 'write to trends' because I’ve seen so many come and go, and I’m still here doing my thing! I like HOT when it gets there, but the “getting there,” the tension, the build-up, is the best part. (Recently, I had an actor who reads my books on audio tell me that by the time the hero and heroine get to the nitty gritty, everybody in the record booth is SO turned on!) But that tension is also the most difficult to write, because it’s desire vs. forbidden. Interestingly enough, I occasionally get a censorious email from a reader who takes offense at the heat levels in MY books!
Bea: What do you think of the many changes to romance books over the years? What do you think, or hope, will happen next?
Sandra: Whatever their comfort level, I hope people will keep buying and reading books!
Bea: What is your favorite part of writing? What is your least favorite part?
Sandra: The thing I love most is the storytelling. The thing I like least is that it’s up to me to make it good storytelling.
Bea: Do you think you’ll go back to writing westerns?
Sandra: Oh, I loved the historicals! I love to read them and would love to write more. We’ll see. I never say never.
Bea: What genres do you enjoy reading? Do you have any favorite authors?
Sandra: I read everything! Every genre. Too many favorites to name. My only criteria – tell me a story.
Bea: Do you think that social media is important for an author to be involved in?
Sandra: I do. It’s a kick to have such instantaneous contact with readers and fans from all over the world. But it’s essential to keep focused on the writing! My first editor told me: “If you get the world’s attention you’d better have something worthwhile to say.” Good advice. A writer should never shift time, energy and creativity away from what is vital – writing a good book. No matter how much publicity you give a bad book, it’s still bad.
Bea: Does your family read your books? What do they think?
Sandra: Yes they do, and they think I’m fabulous! God bless them!
Bea: Do you prefer to read paper books or ebooks? Why?
Sandra: I’m bipolar. I love the feel of a book in my hands, but I also love the convenience of being able to buy and read a book anywhere, anytime!
Bea: If you could be a character in a book, which one would it be, and what part would you play?
Sandra: LOL. A better way to phrase it would be which hero would you most want to be with? Well, let’s see: Cash Boudreaux in SLOW HEAT IN HEAVEN. Chase and Lucky Tyler in the TEXAS!TRILOGY. (Just not at the same time!) Parker in ENVY. Ross Coleman in SUNSET EMBRACE. Coburn in LETHAL. Dent Carter in LOW PRESSURE. Definitely the hero in MEAN STREAK who shall remain nameless until page 315. Readers can discover his name on August 19!
Thank you Sandra for taking the time to answer my questions.
In one reckless night, Camille Jameson's life was changed forever: a tall, handsome stranger, an evening of romance -- and enough regrets to last a lifetime. Two years later, Camille is a successful interior decorator with the opportunity to restore one of Mississippi's proudest plantations. She arrives excited and eager to face her greatest professional challenge to date -- until Zack Prescott saunters through the mansion's front door and back into her life. He is exactly as she remembers, except for the knowing look in his eyes that reminds her of what they once shared. Now, forced to live in unbearably close quarters, Camille and Zack will discover if they have the courage to face the past -- and, perhaps, build a future together . . .
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Format: Hardcover, paperback, ebook, audio
Release Date: May 6, 2014 (re-release)
The prizes -
· Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Cover, 10 eBooks from Sandra’s Backlist (US/Canada shipping ONLY) &
· 10 eBook copies of Love’s Encore and Eloquent Silence
a Rafflecopter giveaway