Please help me welcome Sarah Ballance to Storm Goddess Book Reviews! I am interviewing Sarah today.
First off, tell me about yourself, and your writing.
Hi, and thanks so much for having me! I'm 34, and a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom to six children, three boys and three girls ages 13 and under. That said, I don't have a *real job* (ahem) so I get to say I'm a full time author. My husband of almost 15 years doesn't read romance, but he's the best at coming up with suspense plots and, um, for "researching" the romance. ;c)
How long have you been writing? How many published books do you have, and what genres?
I didn't start writing until I was 31. I had picked up a few freelance jobs in nonfiction when a friend suggested I write a novel. I immediately said no way, but then I wrote one anyway, LOL. I wrote the first novel, DOWN IN FLAMES, in about six months and submitted it to a publisher just so my crit partner would quit staring at me. Imagine my surprise when it was picked up on the first try! My releases now number five, with another one due out April 2. After writing that first one, a romance, I was introduced to romantic suspense and I adore it. All of my other books are romantic suspense except HAWTHORNE, a former Amazon best seller in the paranormal romance (ghost) genre.
Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?
Most of what I write will be romantic suspense—I just love it too much to stray far. ;c) But paranormal (ghost) elements will show up from time to time, and I'm flirting with the idea of writing horror. I also have one historical romance in the works. I'm still in the stare-down phase, but it'll get written. ;c)
Are you a plotter or do you write from the seat of your pants?
Mostly a panster. I do have a basic idea and a few plotlines upon which I build my stories, but so many things happen I just couldn't have planned. I trust my characters to take over, and they've done a great job of it so far. (By giving them permission, that means I haven't lost control of them, right? LOL.)
What is a typical writing day like for you?
I wish I had a typical one! LOL. For the most part, I tend to my own blog and any promotions (including interviews and guest blogs I need to write or pimping my blog guest for the day) in the morning before the kids and I start school. I monitor my blog and email periodically throughout the day, and if I'm lucky I'll have some more time before dinner to make sure I'm caught up in that regard. After dinner my husband takes over the house and kids, which gives me a good four hours of writing time before I call it a night. It works great in theory, but it seems like there's always something coming up to skew things.
Who do you love to read? Favorite authors, favorite books?
I live and breathe the Harlequin Intrigue line of romantic suspense. At any given time, I have 50 or more of them by my bed, and no matter how tired I am at night I almost always read a chapter or two before I go to sleep. They inspire me and make me long to write, and after all day with a half-dozen kids, I FEED on that inspiration. It's like someone bottled it in a paperback. ;c)
What is something you'd like to accomplish in your writing career next year?
I have a trio of goals. I want to finish the sequel to my best-selling paranormal romance HAWTHORNE, write my historical romance CAPTIVE, and complete STAY THE NIGHT, which is a free read I can't wait to gift my readers.
If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?
I'd love to communicate with spirits. I think it would be more than I bargained for, but the whole idea just fascinates me.
If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?
I don't know a lot about mythical or paranormal creatures, so I'm just going to go with a unicorn. I've had horses half my life—I think I could handle the leap to unicorn. ;c)
Tell us a little about your latest release.
UNFORGIVEN is a romantic suspense in which my heroine, Riley, finds herself in an unlikely alliance with Gage, the ex who tore her world apart. His brother was murdered, but it was Gage who was the intended victim and Riley who was framed for the crime. When the two meet in the story, Gage has a revolver pointed at her head and revenge on his mind. Then the killer strikes again, and a split-second decision leaves them on the run from the law, alone with their broken past. In spite of what the title implies, LOL, it's a story about forgiveness … for some. ;c)
What is something that you absolutely can't live without? (Other than family members).
I guess I'd have to say my computer and internet since I make a living with it! LOL. But in terms of the more optional, I have to say our cabin cruiser. Being out on the water relaxes me like nothing else, and as long as my husband doesn't expect me to use the kitchen (uh, galley) on that thing, I'm in heaven!
Could you ever co author a book with someone? If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?
At this point, I'd say no. Mostly because I'd drive my unfortunate co-author nuts with my inconsistent writing schedule, and I really don't want a partnership to turn into a debacle on my part.
If you could spend a day with anyone from history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you do? What would you ask them?
Oh, tough question! You know, I think I'd either talk to one of my own ancestors just to find out what life was like, or, in my capacity of a suspense author, I'd want to talk to a serial killer or career criminal. (And hopefully they're not one and the same, LOL.)
What are some of your other hobbies outside of writing?
I bake and decorate cakes, and I used to do a lot of horseback riding until I started having babies. When I wasn't pregnant, I always had a baby or toddler which made it hard to ride often. Now most of our leisure time is spent boating.
If you were on the staff to have a book adapted to movie, what would you pick?
I'm going to selfishly pick one of my own, LOL. I'd love to see HAWTHORNE: UPRISING, the sequel to my paranormal romance, made into a movie. It's not even written yet, but just thinking of the secrets and discoveries therein makes my heart race.
What is a talent you wish you had, but don't?
I wish I could sing. Not because I want to be a singer, but because I like to sing along to the radio, and I'd love to do so without clearing the room. ;c)
Weather: Hot or cold?
Hot. Boating weather, LOL.
Favorite place to read?
My husband's steaks grilled over charcoal and served with loaded oven-baked potatoes, mushrooms and onions sautéed in margarine, and fresh homemade rolls slathered in butter.
Favorite non-alcoholic drink.
It's a tossup depending on my mood. I love iced coffee, Coke, and sweet iced tea. I try not to drink calories, though, so when it comes to quantity-rules, it's water.
If you could travel anywhere and do anything, no limits or money holding you back, where would you go?
Before that Italian cruise ship tipped over, I would have said I wanted to go on a European cruise. Now I think I'll just go to Italy. I'd love to spend a few weeks touring the country.
Thank you very much for your hospitality. I'm so grateful to be here!
It's my pleasure, Sarah. Glad you could stop by! :)
Until next time,