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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Interview with Romantic Suspense Author, Sandra K. Marshall

Please welcome, Sandra K. Marshall, romantic suspense author, at Eirelander Publishing.

Thank you for inviting me to be interviewed on your blog, Romance Books 4 Us. It's a pleasure to be here, but before I forget there is a giveaway listed below.  Good luck everyone!

Giveaway Alert: Someone who leaves a comment will receive a RB4U T-shirt, size XL:) Be sure to leave your email address with your comment. Note: We only ship to US or Canada.

BIO: Sandra has always been the adventurous type. To satisfy her adventurous spirit, she went to work for a major airline, so she could travel.  She spent thirty-six years working in the airline industry, and did extensive travel during that period. It was a lovely time in her life working for a wonderful company.  She started writing in 1988, and in 1999 she retired to write full time and worked seriously toward publication, but didn't get published until 2008. 

She's published with Eirelander Publishing, and she's on a different type of journey.  It's a fun ride.  She believes in living life and not letting anyone deter you from doing it.

1. How did you celebrate publishing your first book?
I emailed everyone I knew, published the news on all the Yahoo sites I belonged to, called friends and family and hubby took me out to dinner. 

2. Your novel is being made into a TV series/movie. Who’s in your dream cast?
Jimmy Kimmel looks like the image of Mike Mercer, but Jimmy isn't an actor he's a comedian, and Mike Mercer is a serious guy.  Melanie could be a young Gwyneth Paltro.

3. What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?
I try, but it's impossible.  Some days I can't write anything because I'm needed elsewhere. 

4. What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
I have a blog, website and I do a lot of promoting on social media. 

5. How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
I think there's something of me in almost every character even Melanie, who has been a real pain in the butt for her mother. 

6. Of all your characters, who’s your favorite, and why?
This is really tough.  I like all the characters in my Riverboat Mysteries trilogy.  It might be the villain in Addiction because I made him so despicable.  It was really fun to write him.

7. If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?
My first book in the Riverboat Mysteries trilogy was The Catalyst.  I loved this book because I used my mother as a role model for the heroine, although my mother was stronger.  I listened to too many people about this story, and it was so over edited.  I think I would have made Carolyn stronger.

8. Do you eat comfort food/listen to music when writing?
Usually, I don't eat and I need absolute quiet when writing.

9. How do you choose names for your characters?
I wish I could say I was as creative as some authors are, but I use a baby book and the telephone book. 

10. Covers. Ever get one you wish you could change?
OMG, yes.  It was one I made.  Horrible!

11. Give one advice tip to an aspiring author.
Learn everything you can, ask questions about what other authors tell you if you don't understand and never quit.  I was very dumb, I listened, but I didn't understand half of what I was told.  I should've asked what people meant by what they told me.

12. If you could give a younger version of yourself advice, what would it be?
Nothing!  I lived my life the way I wanted to, and I loved every minute of it.  If I had started writing sooner as some authors say, I wouldn't have traveled as much, nor had the experiences I had. 

13. What genre would you like to try writing that you haven’t yet tried?
I wouldn't mind trying a political or espionage thriller, but I think it's beyond my scope. 

14. Have you ever used an incident from your real life into one of your books?
Yes, I have, but I'm not telling which ones. 

15. Any part of a book that drives you crazy as you write: beginning, middle, or end?
The beginning is usually easy because the idea for the story is fresh in my mind and the words flow.  After that it gets tougher because, although, you know where the story is suppose to go it's tough to write it on paper.

16. Out of your entire backlist, which book has the best opening line? What's the line?
The Catalyst - Where is the devil?  There are others, but this one is my first book.

17. 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?
I'm constantly coming up with ideas.  I used to write them down and put them in my recipe box, but now I have a computer file. 

Fun Stuff:
1. What is your favorite holiday and why?

All holidays are wonderful, but one of my favorites is the 4th of July.  It's warm and there are carnivals with rides and all kinds of food.  Its fun and you can get outdoors.  lol I'm so ready for winter to go away. 
2. What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?

I spent nine months working at a riverboat casino doing research, I'll be seventy this year and I ride on the back of my seventy-eight year old husband's motor scooter.  Okay, that's three.  lol
3. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? 

I wanted to be a spy.  That is until I read some books about real spies.  The idea of having my eyelids removed, lashes plucked, finger and toenails being pulled from my hands and feet nixed that idea.  lol   Later, I wanted to be an architect, a lawyer and many other things. 
4. Favorite food.  Chinese (American style) and deluxe nuts. 

5. Favorite happy memory.  I loved going to grandma's house after church on Christmas Eve.  The Christmas tree was lit up in the picture window and it was beautiful. 
6. Favorite drink.  Margaritas

7. Hot summer days or chilly winter nights?  Both, if I'm not uncomfortable.  There are good things about both. 
8. What is the top thing on your bucket list?  There are always more things I want to do.  Everything!  Smile!

9. If you could have a super power, what would it be?  It would be great to use my mind to make people well, to have peace and to transport myself anywhere I wanted to go.

Blurb for The Deceived: 
The games they play can lead them to love or ruin.

Melanie Dubois detests her family’s casino business. The way this addiction destroys people has her on a tear of magnificent proportions. Then again, this young lady has been put through a train wreck of her own design. She distrusts everybody except for the people who are determined to use Melanie as a poster-child for zealots.
 Mike Mercer has spent nearly a year in a deep cover mission for the FBI. The one fly in the ointment of completing his objective to take down a group of dangerous anti-gambling zealots is a fiery-tempered, blonde-haired woman named Melanie DuBois. Worse than that, she’s got a passion brewing just beneath the surface that’s an even deadlier attraction.

 Fighting for your life is never easy when the odds are stacked against you.

      Mike Mercer stood to the side watching Melanie Dubois talk to the news media. She was a piece of work, but he had to admit she had a hot body. He sighed crossing his arms over his chest as he leaned against his dark blue sedan, trying to blend in with the crowd. He wasn’t here to seduce her; even though her feistiness appealed to him, making him wonder what kind of lover she’d be. He was here to get her away from these people.
     He would have to question her motives in front of the picketers and the media, so if she decided to go with The Opposition Group, Janet Batten and her followers, she wouldn’t be suspected of collusion with him. The confrontation might be fun, but more than likely he was going to get a tongue lashing. His lips curled up at the thought.

      Hopefully, his cover hadn’t been discovered. He didn’t need these fanatics knowing he was FBI. A sloppily dressed journalist glanced toward Mike. Here was his opening.

     Mike heaved himself away from the fender and strode into the center of the crowd. Once he reached Melanie, he grasped her shoulder, saying, "What the hell are you doing here? This is no place for you."

     Mel whirled around, jerking away from his touch. "Just who are you telling me what I can or can not do?"

     He grinned down at the spitting feline image of tawny blonde hair swirling around her face. "Well, it sure looks like someone should take control of you," he said. Pausing, his gaze roamed down her body, before he added, "But for your information I’m not telling you how to behave, I’m asking a question." What he needed was an excuse to get her away from this bunch, but there wasn’t one.   

     "What I’m doing here is none of your business."

     "What is your connection to Melanie Dubois?" the journalist asked, sticking the microphone in front of Mike’s face.

     "The only link between us is that I’m on the board of the Odyssey casino." He glanced at Melanie. "There’s no way your family would want you here."

     "Why would I care about someone who doesn't love me?"

     "I doubt that’s true." What made her think that? Surely, she didn’t believe all the crap her father told her about her mother having an affair and that she was the result of that fling. "Don’t you even want to know what’s happening with your sister?"

     "It’s all over the news, how can I miss it?"

     Janet moved up beside them, putting her arm protectively around the young girl. "Stop harassing her, or I’ll call the police."

     Melanie didn’t know everything that was going on because the FBI told the media only what they wanted them to know. What would the younger woman think if she knew the FBI had used her sister as bait to catch the serial killer terrorizing the area? Her hostility would be nothing compared to what it would be if she learned that detail.

     There was nothing he could do right now, Batten would use Melanie for her own ends until the older woman had no further use for her. He glanced behind him, noticing people closing in on him. Even though he saw Dan Travis, the light brown-haired ATF agent, there wouldn’t be any help there. He’d never break his cover either.

     Hell, he’d better get out of here.

     "You’re a big girl; you can make your own decisions." He gazed into large blue eyes filled with distrust and shaded by long black mascara covered lashes. It saddened him to see her wasting her womanhood on their cause because they weren’t after the same thing she was. She wanted to save people, and they wanted to destroy them. "‚I just hope you don’t regret those decisions later."

     With a nod at the journalist and one more glance at Melanie, he turned and leisurely walked toward his car. He kept an eye on the man with the scar. That guy was a bad ass, and he had a record as long as his arm to prove it. Al Slavery was the dangerous one in the bunch. The others were nothing but drones.
Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!

Anything else you’d like to add?
The Deceived is the final book in the Riverboat Mysteries trilogy.  I started this series with The Catalyst; the intention was it would only be one book, but it multiplied.  Smile! 

Thank you for having me here today. 



Marianne Stephens said...

What cover did you do that you don't like? I didn't know that!
4th of July? Hmm. Right now as we shiver in COLD weather...and snow coming?..that sounds good to me!
Sandy, you never gave up, and encouraged me to continue when I was wondering if I should continue writing. You've been a great, supportive friend and I celebrate with you on your writing career.

Tina Donahue said...

I'm like you, Sandy, I need everything to be quiet when I'm writing. Don't want to be distracted.

Good for you for hanging in there and getting pubbed. So many newbies are under the mistaken belief that they write one book, send it out and the world falls at their feet.

We all know how true that is, right? ;)

Melissa Keir said...

It's wonderful to get to know you better Sandy. I love learning about different authors. You have many things in common with me. I like the quiet when I'm writing and I also start like gangbusters at the beginning.

I am envious of your travel experiences but I know I wouldn't have had the guts to do it.

Nicole Morgan said...

What a great interview, Sandy! Loved hearing that you wanted to be a spy when you grew up! :) I'm a lot like you, I can't have any noise or distractions when I'm writing.

Shared all over ;)

Sandy said...

Thank you, Marianne. You're such a wonderful author; it would have been a shame if you'd given up.

Remember the cover for The Catalyst when I first put it in print? It was black with cards, chips and money. The title and my name was in lime green. Horrible! lol I made that cover and didn't have the slightest idea what I was doing.

Sandy said...

Tina, thanks for coming by. Yes, I know one newbie who has that belief, and if he doesn't write something soon he'll fall by the wayside. Smile!

Oh, Melissa, you would have the guts to travel. The only time I traveled by myself was to Las Vegas, California and New York. Those are stories all by themselves. lol

Sandy said...

Thanks for sharing, Nicole. I saw you on LinkedIn. Yep, being a spy sounded exciting to me. lol

Paris said...


The 4th of July sounds like so much fun right now, lol! I'm so ready for some warm weather and picnic food. Loved getting to know you a little better and finding out about your adventurous spirit. Riding on the back of hubby's motor scooter. You go, girl!

Sandy said...

Thank you, Paris. I'm ready for scooter weather. Grin!

jean hart stewart said...

Thanks for letting us get to know you better!

The Comeback Kid said...

Great interview Sandy. I was disappointed you didn't tell all:) Maybe you are saving that for a memoir?

Cara Marsi said...

Hi, Sandy, nice to get to know you. I have The Catalyst, The Deceived and Addiction in my Kindle. I can't wait to dive into them. I love that your heroine's name in The Catalyst is Carolyn (my real name). How fascinating that you worked for the airlines and did all that traveling. I'm so envious.

I love your covers. The books sound exciting. Best of luck.

Sandy said...

Thank you for coming by, Jean.

Now, Tom, you don't know all either. lol

Sandy said...

Thank you, Cara, for getting my books.

I had a grade school friend with the name Carolyn, and I loved her name.

My publisher did a better job on the covers without input from me. All I did was give them descriptions of the characters. Before, I told them what I wanted and they did it; the covers weren't bad, but not nearly as good as these.

I loved working for the airlines, Cara. Prior to that, I had only traveled through the stories I read.

Rose Anderson said...

Loved the interview, Sandy. It's nice to get to know you better. I'm not a summer person, but oh the 4th of July sounds really good about now. Best luck with everything in the coming year.

Sandy said...

Thank you for stopping by, Rose.

carol marshall said...

Sandy, so proud of you and all you have accomplished!!! Great interview, your daightet in law carol

Evil Tammy said...

What an awesome interview! Loved finding out all those things but especially loved the motorcycle part! I wish I had lived my life like you. I feel like I've missed out on so much! I just turned 48 and my goal is to throw caution to the wind and get some of those items on my bucket list crossed off! :)


Linda LaRoque said...

I'm with you, Sandy. I like things quiet, no music and no tv—no distractions though my little dog Molly is always wanting something.

Interesting interview.

Gemma Juliana said...

What a hot book cover! So nice to find out more about you, Sandy. I love that you did "research" on a riverboat casino and ride on your hubby's motorbike. Spunky! Thanks for sharing.

Sandy said...

Thank you, Carol.

Tammy, you're young and have lots of time to accomplish the things you want to do.

Sandy said...

lol Linda, Dory, my tortie cat comes in and gets in front of my monitor when she wants attention.

Thanks, Gemma. We can't wait for warm weather, so we can get on the scooter again. I had never been on a riverboat casino, so I had to get a feel for it. By the second book, the riverboats were grounded and by the third book they'd built the casino on ground and moved the riverboat down the river.

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