Monday, December 20, 2010
Interview of Author Sarah Ballance
Latest Book: DOWN IN FLAMES
Buy Link: http://www.nobleromance.com/ItemDisplay.aspx?i=136
Sarah Ballance 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. In support of her love of writing fiction he's generously offered to help with any necessary research for "the good parts." She's never had to ask twice.
The whole boisterous lot of them live within boating distance of the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina, suspiciously close to the setting of Sarah’s second novel – a romantic suspense which gives a whole new meaning to the idea of escaping to the beach.
Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: Talk about surreal! The news came on the heels of another big shock. Days after I submitted the manuscript, we found out we were expecting our sixth baby – a little girl who paid no heed to the tubal ligation I'd had two years prior. I won't say I didn't give the manuscript a second thought during the submission period, but when the contract offer arrived I'm not sure I could do more than blink. I was STUNNED. I don't think it really hit me until I saw the book cover, and there are times I still can't believe it.
Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: I've completed two novels, and in each one the last three chapters flew. I tend to write with a general story in mind but love the fireworks when the characters take over. The flipside is we – my characters and I – are often at odds earlier on and it can make for slow going. By the end, however, most of the decisions are made and I just need to tie everything together. (The alternative explanation is I'm just ready to be done and work faster to get it over with, LOL.)
Q: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
A: My favorite character in DOWN IN FLAMES is Jack. He's got a bad reputation and a past he can't seem to outrun, but he loves Molly with everything he's got. In spite of what happens in the story, it's hard not to love him back. As a reader, you feel the burden of the decision he faces and you know the ache in his heart, but in the end, no matter how much you like him, you've got to cheer a little when Molly gets the last word.
Q: Do all your heroes and all heroines look the same in your mind as you “head write”?
A: At the start of each manuscript I find a picture to fit the general appearance of the character. Whether it's a famous face or a random Google image, it helps me to maintain consistency throughout the story. "Brown hair and blue eyes" is just too generic. That face helps me add the third dimension, and I couldn't write without it.
Q: Do you eat comfort food when writing? If so, what food inspires your imagination?
A: I am newly addicted to the instant powdered vanilla cappuccino from Sam's Club. I've yet to manage eating and typing at once, but the one thing I'll push the computer aside for is kettle-cooked jalapeno potato chips and an ice-cold Dr. Pepper. If someone tries to take one of my jalapeno chips, they risk losing a limb.
Q: What genre would you like to try writing in but haven’t yet done so? Why?
A: I'd love to write a romantic thriller. My new release is a suspense and that's close, but the difference I see is in the action - the page-flinging, breathless kind of wordage that makes the reader's heart pound and the rest of the world blitz to nonexistence. The first time someone tells me they stayed up all night because they HAD to read every word of one of my novels, I guarantee you I will launch into some kind of happy dance (at which point you will all want to look away, because trust me – no one needs to see me dance.)
Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
Noble Romance: http://www.nobleromance.com/BrowseListing.aspx?author=97
When Jack Gellar returns to Jefferson Heights after five long years and an unforgettable betrayal, is his appearance the last thing Molly Coleman needs in her tragedy-stricken life . . . or the first?
Molly just lost her entire family, and now her home and business are both on the line. An unexpected encounter with the one man who can put the pieces back together leaves her reeling, for he can just as easily destroy what little she has left. Jack has a lot to prove to win her back, but when a lapse in judgment turns into an ultimatum he can’t refuse, will his choice bring them together or tear them apart for good?
“Molly!” From behind her, Jack called her name in a breathless way that reminded her of the sex they hadn’t had.
She willed herself to disappear. No such luck. It wasn’t as if she’d actually be able to climb into her truck and roar off before he caught her, but the irony of the thought left her with an odd sense of satisfaction.
The gravel crunched as Jack jogged past her, swinging around in her path to cut her off. Although the sun still hung low in the morning sky, the summer heat had already settled in. Jack’s shirt, dampened by the humidity, clung to every muscle, and she silently cursed the temptation of his rock hard physique.
“Hey.” Jack breathed the word, walking backward with rapid steps to stay ahead of her stampede.
Molly didn’t let up. She’d run him down if she had to. Not that she actually could, but the idea of ending up in a tangled heap with him wasn’t all bad. Properly executed, she could pin a knee in his groin, maybe an elbow. Of course, she could think of a few other parts of her body she’d like to position there as well.
“Jack, how have you been?” She kept her voice even, but on the inside she glowered. Seeing him now in the flesh, with that ridiculous pleading look in his eyes, sent wicked passion curling through her.
“I guess I owe you an apology.” He flashed a deliciously crooked grin.
Molly fought the urge to taste it. She imagined sliding her tongue into his mouth, sucking and nibbling at his lips, feeling those strong arms hold her close.
“For what?” She couldn’t let him off that easy. She was going to make him say it.
He stared at her as if she should have known, with no explanation required.
“For ditching you.
She blinked at him. Well, hell, he’d said it. Had she really waited five years for that?
“Thanks.” She stepped around him and headed for her truck.
Molly, please wait.”
Something in his voice stopped her in her tracks. She hesitated, bracing herself, before turning to face him. The emotion in his eyes poured into her, eroding the hardened edges of her soul. For a moment she saw the old Jack in front of her.
“That didn’t come out right,” he said, his voice softer. Tender, even. “What can I say? It sucked. I’ve thought about what I did to you every single day for the last five years, and in all of this time I still haven’t come up with a good way to say I’m sorry.”
Molly stared at him, speechless. Some incorrigible part of her heart caved, taking the rest of her stubborn pride down with it.
“You’ve thought of me every day for the past five years?” She angled toward him, trying to avoid the sun-drenched flecks of gold flickering in his hazel eyes, resisting the urge to coax away the flop of hair that brushed the bridge of his nose.
“Yes, Molly.” Sincerity raked his voice, unexpected and not entirely unpleasant.
Could she believe him? Did she even want to?
He took a step forward, lining his body up with hers and cocking his head ever so slightly in her direction. If she looked up to meet his eyes, his lips would be just a breath away.
It would be so easy to fall against his hard body, to press against him and let him envelop her. She tried not to imagine him burying himself inside of her, filling her in a way no man ever had before. She didn’t want to think about the way her emotions would flail and how her fingers would claw helplessly at his glistening back as he thrust into her again and again, sending her screaming over the edge. Or did she?
Molly lifted her eyes to meet his, leaning imperceptibly closer. Her heart pounded in her chest. If Jack really spent the last five years thinking of her, then she just had one thing to say.
“Good.” And with that, she turned her back on him and got in the truck.
Anything else you’d like to add?
My second novel, RUN TO YOU, released December 13 from Noble Romance. Hot romance and cold-blooded murder make interesting bedmates … if you've been dreaming of an escape to the beach, this one will have you thinking twice! Please visit my website for details.
I'd also like to thank my host for a wonderful visit and some awesome hospitality! To all of my readers, please know that every single one of you are part of making my dream come true. Feel free to contact me at any time, and thanks so much for being there!
Posted by Marianne Stephens at 12:01 AM