Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Interview of Author Sabrina York
Latest Book: Making Over Maris
Buy Link: Amazon
Sabrina York is an award winning author of hot, humorous stories for smart and sexy readers, her titles range from sweet & sexy erotic romance to BDSM to erotic horror. Visit her webpage at http://www.sabrinayork.com/ to check out her books, excerpts and contests. Don’t forget to enter to http://sabrinayork.com/sabrinas-contest-and-newsletter/
Q: How did you celebrate publishing your first book?
A: My friend Anna Alexander and I had the great fortune of having our virgin releases on the same day. April 4, 2012. I would have stayed home and celebrated with a jar of peanut butter and a spoon, but she has a life… so she dragged me out to a local bar. We ogled a very cute waiter and enjoyed a lovely dinner and, because she does stuff like this, we posted pictures of our food on twitter. I am so very glad I didn’t stay home and make love to my peanut butter spoon, because now I have a wonderful memory of my virgin release, shared with a wonderful friend!
Q: What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
A: When I started writing, my business plan called for expanding my backlist. My goal was to put out a title a month…if I could do it well. I now have 22 titles out, or coming soon and so now my focus needs to shift. Now I need to work on expanding my platform and reaching new readers. I am delighted that the people who read my books love them, based on the reviews. I just need to work on reaching more of them. To that end, I blog, hold contests, offer a free copy of my teaser book to anyone who wants it and ask people to share my work with their friends.
My philosophy of life is that it is all about the relationships. Success is nice, but it’s nothing if you’re in it all alone. I am enjoying the ride in that respect. I have met some of the most amazing woman (and men!) on this journey. And I am thankful for it.
Q: How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
A: I’ve never been good at hiding things. To some extent, there are huge chunks of me in all my characters. I fold in other personality traits, as needed by the story, but I see myself there all the time.
So if my characters curse or fart (or eat bacon), you can be pretty sure that was me.
Q: Do you eat comfort food/listen to music when writing?
A: No. For me writing is a pretty Spartan undertaking because I need to focus. I drink water, and coffee and will stop if I get too hungry too focus…but I do not eat while I am writing because I will look down and find an empty plate. Nothing is more depressing than realizing you ate a pastry and missed all the fun.
Q: How do you choose names for your characters?
A: Usually, they choose their own. I will have a feeling for the story, or know some of the critical points and I will be thinking about it, composting in my head, and all of a sudden she has a name or he has a quirk. It is very organic that way.
When I was planning my Tryst Island Series I had a mini-panic attack because there are 10 books in the series, which meant I had to come up with 20+ names. I spent a week or so thinking up jobs and personality traits and story ideas, jotting them all in a little notebook. Then I decided to “steal” my friend’s names and mishmash them until I liked the way they fit. For example, Holt Lamm comes from my buddies Desiree Holt and Gina Lamm. As a side note, I don’t like using friend’s first names—at least not in my composition phase. Because I write about sex. It’s weird.
A little known fact about my books is that almost every title has changed from the first draft. And with that title change, sometimes the character names have changed as well. In my first draft of Tristan’s Temptation, the oldest Trillo brother was actually named Kyle. Doesn’t have the same ring, does it? It took me months to remember not to mention Kyle in the promo.
Now, of course, I need to write Kyle’s story. ;)
Q: Give one advice tip to an aspiring author.
A: Be willing to accept criticism from other authors…but be careful from whom you request it. Critiques are difficult enough to take when you are certain your partner knows their stiff. It can be devastating if the advice is wrong. You can battle this by developing relationships in the industry before you publish, and get guidance from several people—not just one. Then you can balance the answers with what really works for you.
Q: If you could give a younger version of yourself advice, what would it be?
A: Sweet baby! It is possible. I know it seems like a pipe dream right now, something you can never achieve, but you can. And you will. And you will be awesome. Don’t give up. Never give up. Fight for your dreams. Fight.
Q: Have you ever used an incident from your real life into one of your books?
A: I do this all the time, but it is more like a mining expedition than a jewelry robbery. By that I mean I will take a core or a nugget from an experience and built a plot point around it. For example, yes, I did have a boss who ate his hair when he was nervous. He would pluck it out if his head in a staff meeting and just start chewing away. Not kidding.
Q: Out of your entire backlist, which book has the best opening line? What's the line?
A: Oh wow. This was the hardest question yet. Probably not wise to ask an author to pick a favorite book or a favorite line or a favorite word. I went back and looked at all my books, collecting the first lines that excited me the most. The ones I chose were my favorites because they were not scene descriptive, they were immediate, and they made me want to continue reading.
Here are the top five ones I found (and no, I couldn’t choose between them). I will let you decided which first line is best!
Dark Fancy (Book 2 in the Noble Passions series): James Tully, Earl of Darlington, ignored the blaze of panic in his gut as he scratched his name onto the document, sealing his doom.
Folly (Book 1 in the Noble Passions series): It was a tawdry affair, the attendees a far cry from the gentle society in which she had been raised. But her mission was tawdry as well, so it was fitting.
Tristan’s Temptation (Book 2 in the Wired series): Tristan Trillo burned. He leaned forward in his lush leather chair, hiding his hard-on behind the big mahogany desk as his assistant Shannon Weiss entered his office.
Making Over Maris (Book 3 in the Wired series): “You want me to what?” Soda spurted out of Sara Grant’s nose.
Fierce (A Decadent 1 Night Stand): “He never made you come?”
Q: How many stories are swirling around in your head? Do you keep a mental list, a computer file, or a spiral notebook filled with the ideas?
A: Yes. All of the above. Story ideas aren’t a problem for me. Time is. I keep notes on character names, titles, hooks, plot twists, quips and random ideas. I have computer files and notebooks I carry with me (I transcribe the ideas into the files when the notebooks get full).
Sometimes a story idea will come and I will have to stop what I am doing and get the core of it down. Sometimes for pages and pages. If I don’t allow the story to flow through me, I lose the idea. Forever.
If I hit a wall, I go back and read some of these notes and the muse almost always kicks into gear!
Q: What is your favorite holiday and why?
A: I love Christmas. Probably because all the best foods of my childhood seem to be wrapped around this holiday, from the candy my mother made to the cookies we kids decorated to hang on the tree. We got to eat them if they broke. A lot of them broke. There was a lot of excitement on Christmas morning, waiting for mom and dad to wake up and then finally bounding into the room and jumping on their bed when they slept in too long. I loved everything from the stockings to the reindeer paw prints on the carpet to opening the presents.
I still love it now, but because it’s the one time of year when the whole family can get together. And I miss them.
Q: What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
A: When I was a child, they told my mother I would never learn to read. I am very dyslexic. Fortunately, my mother was stubborn, and studying child development, and taught me how to use this challenge as a tool to tap into my creative brain.
The other thing that might be surprising is that I never intended to be an erotic author. I had written many mainstream romances—contemporary and historical—but they never sold. Adam’s Obsession won a contest and the final judge was Kelli Collins of Ellora’s Cave. She bought it, and two other erotic romances I had, and that was it. I suppose someday I will re-visit the non-erotic romances I have in the bottom drawer. But for the time being, I am having fun!
Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: Believe it or not, I wanted to be a writer. Probably because they told me I couldn’t. (I am difficult like that)
Q: Favorite food.
A: If you’ve read my books, you know I have to say bacon. But chocolate isn’t running far behind. Although I would never combine the two.
Q: Favorite drink.
A: I. Love. Coffee. Although I have to drink decaf. With no sugar. And no milk. And no fun.
Q: Hot summer days or chilly winter nights?
A: I love to snuggle in the covers, so it has to be chilly winter nights. Snuggling on hot summer days is not pleasant.
Q: What is the top thing on your bucket list?
A: Travel. England and Scotland would be at the top of the list, but wouldn’t turn up my nose at a cruise of the Mediterranean.
Q: If you could have a super power, what would it be?
A: Teleportation. How awesome would it be to visit people I love…no matter where they were?
Tell us where to find you:
Like my Facebook Fan Page
Follow me on twitter @sabrina_york
Amazon Author Page
Barnes & Noble Author page
Ellora’s Cage Author Page
BLURB: Making Over Maris Wired, Book Three
When über-nerd Jack asks Sara to make him more attractive to women, she can’t say no—even though it’s an impossible task. He’s shaggy and doughy and hopelessly inappropriate. He has no style or emotional intelligence but he’s a good person. And a great friend. What Sara never expects? Beneath all that fur and geekiness is a steamy hunk just waiting to emerge.
Jack takes Sara’s regimen very seriously, working out and losing weight until he feels like a new man. He even complies with her command to shave his beard—because Jack didn’t ask Sara to make him over so he would be attractive to other women. He only wants to be attractive to her. They go on a series of fake dates, each hotter and more sinful than the last. It’s not long before Sara discovers Jack’s secret desire to be dominated and what began as an arrangement becomes something amazing—something that could be real.
Our hero appreciates Femdom—with the right woman. Our hero doesn’t appreciate perfect strangers grabbing his junk. Ask nicely first, ladies!
A Romantica® BDSM erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave
GET IT NOW: http://www.ellorascave.com/making-over-maris.html
“So… Have you thought about it?” Jack could have kicked himself. He hadn’t intended to burst into her office and blurt it out like that. He’d meant to be suave and slick.
He should have known better.
He’d never been suave and slick.
No. He’d hovered in the vicinity of Sara’s office—after sending Kenny on a meaningless errand—and barged through the door and pounced upon her as soon as Kat left.
He plopped into the chair and, because he didn’t know what to do with his hands, laced his fingers.
Sara studied him, dissecting him in that way she had, with her head tipped to the side, wrinkling her button nose. She was so cute when she wrinkled her nose. He forced himself not to wriggle. His body didn’t listen. Something about her eyes, her lips, her scent, always stirred him.
He shouldn’t have this kind of reaction to her. In the office. Everywhere. But he couldn’t help it. He just did. Always.
When she looked at him like that, when she spoke to him in that clear, commanding voice, it was even worse.
Or better, depending on one’s perspective.
She cleared her throat. “Okay. I’ve thought about it.”
His pulse jerked. “And…?”
She dropped her attention to her blotter and meticulously rearranged several deformed paper clips. His heart pounded a painful tattoo as he waited for her response. “And…” She met his eyes—God, she was gorgeous. “If I do this, we need to have an understanding.”
Relief, or something like it, trickled through him. An understanding was awfully close to an agreement. A promise. “Okay.”
Sara sucked in a breath. “First of all, we need to agree this is an impossible task.”
“Not impossible,” he grumbled. Surely not impossible.
“Okay. Improbable then. My chances of success are…dismal.”
Dismal? Jack’s belly dropped. He fiddled with the wiry hairs on the back of his neck. He didn’t like the way this was going. It was depressing that she thought so poorly of him. “Am I that hideous?”
Her eyes widened. A flush rose on her cheeks. “Oh my God, Jack. No. I didn’t mean it that way.”
“It sounded that way.”
“Jack…” She rubbed her hands over her face. “Okay. How about this? We have a long way to go. Can we agree on that?”
“Sure.” He knew he was pouting. But he had a damn good excuse. She’d pretty much come out and said making him attractive to women—to her in particular—was a hopeless cause.
“My worry is this. I can teach you all the right things to say and coach you on how to act around women, prescribe a diet and exercise plan and even give you a makeover. But if you don’t listen to me—if you don’t follow the plan—I fail.”
“I’ll listen. I’ll follow the plan.” Hell. He’d follow her anywhere she wanted to lead. If she only knew…
Something fierce stirred in her eyes. “It’s not going to be easy, Jack. I’m gonna work you.” Why he shivered at the tone in her voice, he had no clue. Or maybe he did. “I want you to agree to honor our contract—even if you drop the ball.”
“Of course.” He always kept his promises.
He put a hand over his heart. “I swear.”
She sat back. The fire in her eyes flickered and sputtered out. “Okay. So next week I’m going back East to spend some time with my mother—”
“How long will you be gone?” Damn. He hated it when she was gone.
Pain flashed across her features; her voice dropped. “She’s…not doing well.”
His heart squeezed and he wanted to say something comforting but couldn’t find any words. Sara’s mother had been in and out of the hospital for a year. They were very close. Each time her mother had a relapse, Sara suffered.
Jack had never had a mother so he couldn’t relate but he imagined having one and losing her would be even harder than never having one at all.
“In the meantime, I’ll put together a plan for you.”
“A…plan?” His mind spun. How on earth was this going to work if she wasn’t even here?
“Yes. And you have to follow it.”
She put her hands flat on the desk and skewered him with a glower. “Religiously, Jack.”
“Okay.” He tried to not wriggle in his seat. He loved it when she got all…adamant. “So you’ll do it?”
“Yes,” she sighed. “I’ll do it.”
Relief cascaded through him. Relief and hope. It was a tiny sprig of hope, but hope was hope. “So when do we begin?”
She gazed at him. Some strange emotion he couldn’t interpret flashed over her features. “Now.”
Oh. God. Excitement and satisfaction and panic surged through him. “Now?”
“Yes. I need to do an assessment. You know. To figure out exactly where we are.”
He swallowed. “An assessment?”
“Of your game.”
“Okay.” He liked games. He scooted to the edge of his seat.
“Let’s pretend I’m a woman—”
“You are a woman.”
She wrinkled her nose. “Be serious, Jack.”
“I am being serious.” He was.
“Let’s pretend I’m a woman you see at a bar. And you’re interested.”
Oh. He was.
“What’s the first thing you do?”
Okay. He could wrap his brain around this. He shifted to the side and pulled out his wallet. Found his trusty cheat sheet and unfolded it and spread it flat on the desk.
“What the hell is that?” She gaped at the rumpled, well-worn paper.
“It’s my flowchart.” Duh.
Sara blinked. “You have a flowchart for picking up women.” Not a question.
“Naturally.” Didn’t everyone?
“Let me see that.” Before he could stop her she snatched the paper away. Scanned it. “Oh God.”
He knew what she was seeing. He’d studied this flowchart a hundred times. Still, when she read it aloud, he winced.
“Picking Up Chicks.” She grimaced. “Seriously, Jack? That’s what you named it?”
“Yes.” What else would he name it?
“‘Step One. Assess the situation’. Okay. That works. ‘Does she seem cranky?’ Cranky? Seriously, Jack? Cranky?”
He shrugged. “It’s a critical variable.” It was. It was exceedingly difficult to pick up a cranky woman. “Statistically speaking—”
But Sara ignored him. “‘If Yes: Charm her from her bad mood. If No: Proceed with caution.’” Sara sighed and glanced up at him. “Proceed with caution? We’re not wild animals, Jack.”
“You kind of are.” This he muttered. She didn’t hear. Or maybe she did. Maybe she was ignoring him again. She did that.
With a derisive snort, she crumpled up his precious template for seduction and tossed it in the trash.
With a strangled “eep” he dove in after it, dug it out, refolded it and tucked it back into his wallet. It had never worked but it was all he had. He needed it.
She glared at him. And then for some reason she softened. “Women are not an empirical science, Jack.” She gestured to his wallet. “We’re not all alike. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to winning someone’s heart.”
Yeah. He got that. “But you need to have a standard operating procedure—”
“No, ya don’t.” She blew out a breath. He loved the way it made her bangs flutter up. “Don’t you see? This kind of thing comes off as cheesy. Planned. Practiced.”
“And that’s…bad?” How could planning and practice be bad?
“Women don’t want to feel like they’re an insect being dissected or analyzed. They don’t want to be one option in a sea of possibilities. They want to be special. They want a guy who responds to them on an instinctual level. A guy who is so interested, he can’t help but be charming. Not a guy who has to be reminded to be seductive—by an SOP.”
He shook his head. This was all so…alien. “I don’t get it.”
She buried her face in her hands. “No. You don’t. That’s the point. Oh Jack, I’m going to need a couple days to think about this.”
His pulse stuttered. “But you already promised…”
“No. I’ll do it. I did promise to do it. I just need to think about how to do it.”
He relaxed. Okay. Okay. Okay. It would be okay. “Thank you, Sara.”
“Yeah.” Her cell phone buzzed and she picked it up to check the screen. Her lips tightened and she set it back down. “No prob.”
Damn. Why did she seem so dispirited? He’d seen the tears on her cheeks when he interrupted her meeting with Kat. He’d hated her tears. Hated even more that he didn’t have any right to wipe them away.
“Sara.” He waited until she met his gaze. “Thank you.”
This meant everything to him. More than she could ever know.
“Sure, Jack. Give me a couple days to think about this.”
She stared at him for a minute and then said in a very small voice, “You can go now.”
Right. He could go. But he didn’t want to. He didn’t want to go. He wanted to fold her in his arms and hold her and make whatever was making her sad disappear.
He didn’t have that right either.
And he never would.
But for the next few months, he’d have her attention.
And that would be worth a thousand trips to Paris.
Anything else you’d like to add?
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Books Coming Soon by Sabrina York:
Dark Duke (Erotic Regency, Ellora’s Cave)
Brigand (Erotic Regency, Ellora’s Cave)