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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Interview of Author Declan Sands

Today I'm pleased to present an interview of romance author Declan Sands.

Latest Book: Discordant Lights
Buy Link:

Declan Sands writes romantic paranormal/fantasy and mystery/suspense, creating stories that celebrate the joy of love in all its forms. Known for writing great characters, snappy dialogue, and unique and exhilarating stories, Declan is the award-winning author of 40+ books and has been writing for over a decade under several noms de plume.

Q: How did you celebrate publishing your first book?
A: First, I re-read the email because I didn’t believe it. LOL Then I did my desk chair happy dance, which I reserve for only the best reviews and happy news like new contracts.

Q: What’s your writing schedule like?
A: Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?
I set a daily writing goal for myself of around a thousand words. Most days I'll write more than that, some days less. I generally write 6 days a week--7 when I'm on deadline. That's pretty much it in a nutshell. There's no magic to my process, it's just sitting down and doing the work. A lot of days that's easier said than done! LOL

Q: What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
A: I spend a lot more time with my publisher hat on now. I’m indie-publishing a lot of original work, as well as books I've gotten back from publishers. Since I went out on my own I've learned so much about promoting and marketing my work and I've really enjoyed the artistic freedom being my own publisher has given me. I don't have anything at all against the traditional publishers. They brought me into the writing world and taught me a lot. And I'll continue to release books with these wonderful houses. But they're necessarily constricted by the need to deal with hundreds of authors and thousands of books. They aren't always the most flexible about new ideas. As the owner of Electric Prose Publications, I can be as creative as I want in where I place my books, how I market and package them, and how they're priced. I love the challenge and certainly can't argue with the results!

Q: How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
A: Oh lots. All of my characters are a little bit snarky. #:0) They share my values, my weaknesses, my strengths. And physically, they’re what I’d love to be.

Q: If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?
A: It has a very different, edgy/snarky tone. It’s probably a good thing I can’t change it because I think the things that make me cringe just a little bit about the book are really its strengths in the marketplace. The book isn’t for everyone. People tend to either love it or hate it. But it is what it’s supposed to be and I’ve built a whole, popular series on its foundation.

Q: Do you eat comfort food/listen to music when writing?
A: I listen to Pandora and try to match the music to the type of book I’m writing. Amazingly, because I’m a total chow hound, I don’t really eat a lot when I write. I eat breakfast and lunch at my desk but don’t really snack.

Q: How do you choose names for your characters?
A: I have a well-used baby name book. I love using the book because it gives origins of the names as well as the meanings. So, for example, if I have a hero who’s a warrior I pick a warrior-based name. My readers might never realize how I’ve matched the name to the man, but I know, and it’s part of what brings the character to life for me.

Q: Covers. Ever get one you wish you could change?
A: Oh god, yes! But not as much now that I’m pubbing a lot of my books myself. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I began to pub my own books. One of my publishers in particular has the world’s worst covers and I know it hurts my sales. Covers are just too important to settle for bad if you can help it.

Q: Give one advice tip to an aspiring author.
A: Don’t write in a certain genre just because you think it will sell. Be true to your passion and readers will respond favorably. Readers know if you don’t love what you’re writing and book acceptance will suffer for it.

Q: Out of your entire backlist, which book has the best opening line? What's the line?
A: That’s a toss-up. Here’s the first line of Oh! Hoaley Night! my 2013 Christmas novella for the Hoale Construction mystery series:
“That’s crazy talk, Ads. Visiting your family is not like being castrated with a rusty can opener.”

Then there’s the first line from Blood-Hound 4: SIZZLED:
“We need a zero-gravity chamber in your house.”
:0) I think they’re both interesting. LOL

Fun Stuff:
Q: What is your favorite holiday and why?
A: Halloween. I love the idea of supernatural magic. I’ve written a lot of Halloween-based books.

Q: What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
A: I rescue dogs and have 13 of them.

I’m an A-type personality, driven, perfectionist, competitive to a fault.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A:I have no idea. When I hit my teens I knew I wanted to write. But the only things I remember from being a kid are the bad things. I remember cracking my head open, sewing through my thumb with the sewing machine, my sister slicing my chin trying to shave me. Being chased by a bull across a field. LOL Good times!

Q: Favorite food.
A: Fried potatoes in any form.

Q: Favorite happy memory.
A: Having my babies. They looked like little, pink aliens. So cute.

Q: Favorite drink.
A: I drink a LOT of water. But when I veer from the water I drink Coke Zero or wine.

Q: Hot summer days or chilly winter nights?
A: Chilly winter nights. I’m not big on excessive heat.

Q: What is the top thing on your bucket list?
A: Making the USA and New York Times bestseller lists.

Q: If you could have a super power, what would it be?
A: Space shifting. I could visit family across the state with just a thought. It would be awesome. I’d never be late again!

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!!/Declan_Sands

When Chaos rules, only the fiercest love survives.

Bright City is growing increasingly discordant. Something dark and treacherous is stalking Rabb and Brant, creating havoc in both of their worlds. The Vampire Council is putting pressure on Brant to become an elder, using Rabb as bait to force him to comply. All the while, Rabb battles deadly fractures in pack alliances and fights his own personal vampire skirmish.

Will the packs fight an internal war to replace Rabb? Will the vampires force Brant to choose sides? War is on the horizon, and it might not only ravage the supes in Bright City, but also devastate the human population living ignorant and helpless among them.

EXCERPT: WARNING: Adult Language
Undeath wears a fine suit, and smells like expensive cologne.

Staring across the bar at the two cold-eyed men, Rabb almost smiled at the thought as his wolf scratched for release beneath his skin.

The bigger one, who imagined he knew Rabb well, tilted his head and spread his thin lips in an ugly smile. “No response, Rabb?” Magnus Olaf was nearly eight feet tall, with light brown hair that curled slightly against the back of his thick neck. It was longer than usual at the moment, and he’d tied it in a tidy tail. With a broad, slightly crooked nose, and a mouth that seemed too small for his wide face, he often looked petulant. As usual, Magnus was clean shaven except for a neat goatee.

The Norseman had lived during the Viking age and still had a Viking’s attitude. The elder vamp was beyond intimidating. In fact, since walking into the Bright City Lights bar a moment earlier, Magnus had managed to unsettle employees and patrons alike, earning him a nearly constant rotation of stares and glares as he stood sizing Rabb up in his own place.

Rabb shrugged. “I’ve already told you I won’t try to influence Brant’s decision, nothing’s changed.”

The vamp with Magnus was actually a fairly normal six foot tall but appeared small next to the Viking. His wide mouth and full lips were overly sensual and he had a nasty habit of giving Rabb hot eyes while running his tongue over his lower lip as if tasting him from afar. The guy made Rabb’s skin crawl.

“You won’t like the consequences if you don’t cooperate, mate.” The man’s English accent was refined and snooty, like he’d gone to Oxford before Oxford was Oxford and was convinced he was better than everybody else. Brie versus Velveeta better. The snotty accent didn’t go well with the lecherous demeanor.

Stepping closer, Rabb let his wolf bleed just a tiny bit into his gaze. The European vamp sucked in a breath and color flooded his cheeks. Bile rose in Rabb’s gut when he realized the flush wasn’t from fear. A warning growl throbbed in his throat. “I’ll say it one more time. This is my place. My territory. You don’t come into my place and threaten me or mine. If you suck factories want a war with us you can have it. Anytime. Anyplace. But for now, get the fuck out of my place.”

Tension throbbed on the air as the two vampires spilled angry energy into the room. Rabb’s magic didn’t need to climb any higher, he was already a growl away from going full wolf. His fingertips ached with the claws brimming just beneath the surface of his skin and he hungered to release his fangs.

Magnus’s eyes turned silver, a sure sign he was about to vamp out. But his companion reached over and grasped Magnus’s massive forearm, silently reminding him they had witnesses.

With an obvious effort, Magnus reigned back his vamp, his eyes darkening back to gray. A moment later the energy in the air thinned and Magnus smiled, inclining his head toward Rabb. “We’ll be in touch, canine. Very soon.”

“I can’t fucking wait.” Rabb watched the two vamps glide out of the bar and then turned to look at his new security guy, Mychael Broc. Standing a mere two feet away, the big man opened his brown eyes wide and shook his head, obviously relieved their guests had gone.

Rabb couldn’t find relief to draw on at the moment. The vamps were never really gone. They slithered away briefly every once and a while. But like an alcoholic living above a bar, they always came slinking back.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks so much for letting me crash your blog! It was tons of fun.


Melissa Keir said...

Happy Easter. Thank you for stopping by. I love learning about new to me authors. Do you think that the hat of indie-publisher is worth the extra work? I wear both.

Declan Sands said...

Hey Melissa!

I absolutely do think it's worth it, at least for me. I'm a bit of a control freak and I love being able to control everything about each book from conception to launch and ongoing marketing. I've been much more financially successful managing my own stuff too. This isn't a slap at traditional publishing, it's just the harsh reality. Nobody is going to care more about my books than I am. And, since I'm limited to dealing only with my books, I can put a lot more time and energy into them than a publisher with hundreds of authors and thousands of books can. Thanks so much for the great question!

Sandy said...

Declan, I don't read your genre, but I liked the excerpt.

Rose Gorham said...

I enjoyed reading your post and the excerpt caught my interest.

jean hart stewart said...

Love vamp stories. Got hooked on them with Anne Rice a long time ago. Great excerpt

Declan Sands said...

Hey Sandy!

Thanks so much for taking the time to read the excerpt! If you prefer mainstream romance and you like my style you might want to check out the books I write as Sam Cheever.

Happy reading!

Declan Sands said...

Hiya, Rose!

I'm so glad you enjoyed the excerpt and post! Thanks so much for stopping by.

Declan Sands said...

Hey Jean!

Thanks so much. I started out with Ann Rice too! Funny. My favorite of hers...and I have a terrible memory for titles...but it was set in New Orleans (of course) and there was a ghostly lover who visited successive generations of women in a particular family. Loved that story. Great atmosphere and a very unique and sexy storyline. A very talented writer.

Sandy said...

Declan, it's nice to know you and Sam Cheever are the same person. I love mainstream romance, especially if it has some mystery with it.

Declan Sands said...

Oh Sandy! You and I are soul mates. LOL, I tend to put a little mystery in everything I write because it just makes the stories so much more fun! I finally gave up and started writing mysteries. LOL Why fight the inevitable!

Do you have a favorite mystery series you'd like to recommend? I'm always on the lookout for a good one.

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