Indigo Skye: Ink and Art
Welcomes Sarah Ballance!
Q: If you could have a hot one-night stand with any fictional character you've created, who would you choose, and why?
A: Oh, wow. I think I'd have to go with Wyatt from RUN TO YOU, but ONLY (are you reading this, dear?) because he IS my hubby. Not in the literal sense – there are differences, of course – but everything I love about Wyatt's character came right from my H.
Q: What's the most unusual place you've ever had sex?
A: Um … I can't answer that. Second most unusual? In a national park in the middle of the day … on a sand dune. Probably in front of tourists.
Q: Tell me your sizzling secrets for turning readers on...
A: I know I'm in the minority, but I don't write graphic sex. I prefer instead to create the more sensual scenes with emotional tie-ins. That build up of sexual tension is foreplay in itself, and when it simmers to the point of explosion … YUM.
Q: I'd love to know about your writing life... Do you follow a set schedule every day, or just write when inspiration strikes?
A: In theory (ahem), I write each morning until about 9am then I start the day with the kids. (There are six of them – 12 yrs down to 9 mos – and we homeschool). I usually have an hour or two in the late afternoon, and after dinner is all mine. But in reality there are constant interruptions, so it's darn near miraculous for me to write anything. But I love the kids to pieces, interruptions and all. (Did I manage to say that last part with a straight face?)
Q: Where do you do most of your writing?
A: Most of it happens at night when I'm in bed with my little netbook (greatest writing investment EVER, by the way). The H accuses me of using it to take notes and makes threats about the webcam, but I think he likes me using him for research. ;c)
Q: Do you have any writing rituals, quirks or tricks to help you get started and stay excited about a project?
A: I use music to get in my zone. I have a few well-worn CDs, but pretty much anything to match my mood will work wonders because, truth be told, I really only need to drown out the noise from the kids. As for maintaining enthusiasm, well, I don’t always. I save my crits and look over all of the good comments or read "fan mail," and if that doesn’t take care of the doldrums I share my feelings with my crit partner. She listens graciously, then smacks me around a little. (Not literally. She probably wants to, but she's halfway across the country.)
Q: Your best strategy for beating writer's block...
A: I write ahead. I pick a scene later in the book and tap it out. When I get it out of my system, I can almost settle into the part I balked over. Then when I get the scene I wrote out of order, I get a boost from "fast progress" (LOL) over a few simple edits. Double win!
Q: Tell our readers about your sexy new release from Noble Romance...
A: After a breakup with her fiancé makes the front page of the newspaper, Mattie James allows her ex-lover and current BFF to drag her away from the fray to a remote beachfront cottage. He wants to ignite that old flame, but she's intent on drowning in the arms of a certain gray-eyed stranger. Then a woman is found murdered, then another, and suddenly Mattie's carefree vacation becomes a fight for her life.
Q: Any advice for new writers hoping to break into the business?
A: Find a crit partner who isn't afraid to tell it like it is. Seriously, if your CP doesn't find anything wrong with your work, your CP is not working. Better hear it from one person now in private than from a whole slew of readers later, so find one who will push you into bettering yourself.
Q: Upcoming projects you can't wait to dish about...
A: I am GIDDY about my new romantic suspense, UNFORGIVEN. My voice developed so much between my first and second novels, and I can see similar upgrades all over the place with this third work. The story begins with the hero holding the heroine at gunpoint, and things get interesting from there. I can't wait to see this one published!
Q: What's the interview question no one ever asks, that you'd like to answer right now for our readers?
A: I'm mulling it over, and I don't think I have one of these – especially not in terms of writing. In general, people ask me all the time if I'm crazy (for having so many kids on purpose) so I'll go ahead and say yes, absolutely, my life is nothing short of circus-like and I am SO not the ringmaster. (I think I'm the guy carrying the shovel behind the elephants). And you wonder why I write myself into other worlds? LOL.
Q: Best way to relax after a hard day hitting the page?
A: Reading! What else? LOL. But I'm always up for a ride in the boat with the family or hanging out with the H. He's my best friend, and I love every minute we have together.
Q: Your secret little guilty pleasure...
A: I don't know how much of a secret it is, but a chocolate cream pie milkshake from Sonic is the kind of guilty pleasure that'll make a girl blush. I tend to research nutritional info on any fast food I have often, but I refuse to look that one up. I'm just going to ENJOY, thank you very much.
Q: What's your favorite book to read in the bathtub?
A: I'm more of a shower person, and showers don't mesh with books at all. But I'm gonna pretend I have a big ol' hot tub Jacuzzi kind of thing and admit to anything suspenseful – the more horrifying, the better.
Readers, to follow the Noble Authors Blog Tour and be eligible for some amazing prizes, please head over to The House of Elyot to check out a hot new interview with author Gianna Simone. Thanks so much!
Sarah lives a charmed life as the mother of six incredible homeschooled children, all of whom are completely adorable when they're asleep. Her husband of many years (long, long years, he calls them) is the kind of guy who could teach those heroes from the books a thing or two about romance, not that he'd readily admit it. Completely supportive of her addiction for writing fiction, he's generously offered to help with any necessary research for "the good parts." She's never had to ask twice.