I won’t tell you I’ve been writing since I was knee high to a grasshopper, though I have probably been reading that long. I started writing when my husband and our family moved to Minnesota. I don’t mean to insult anyone out there from Minnesota, but the winters were TOO cold and the summers TOO humid (without an ocean nearby). So, while my boys were in school I started writing. As to why romance? My boys would tell you it’s because I need a happy ending. They’re wrong. I need an ending that makes sense. The real reason is I prefer stories with strong relationships not cardboard characters. I’ve yet to read any type of book where characters jump off the page for me better than in a romance. Even the antagonists in romances are well developed. Well, I hope mine are well developed. I will let the readers decide on that.
What inspired your characters in your new series, the Masters Men?
I’ll be honest. I haven’t a clue what inspired them. And, no, I don’t have twins or triplets. I started writing what is now the 2nd book in the series a long time ago, and the idea of triplets with names that screamed triplets wouldn’t let go of me. Heck, who wouldn’t love having three tall, dark, and handsome guys to drive crazy?
Of the three brothers, who is your favorite and why?
This is a difficult question. Each brother has become very dear to me. Tres (2nd book) started the whole thing, though his story is second. He is also the youngest in a family of five children, which is something I relate to being the same. Dos (1st book) is so tortured by his past my heart goes out to him. Ace is the ultimate caretaker: annoying, loving, and unquestionably devoted. He’s also as blind as the other two when it comes to seeing flaws in his reasoning.
To answer your question, I would have to say all of them. No, I’m not trying to cop out here, but they are all essential to each story in such a way that I can’t really separate them.
What types of books do you like to read when you’re not writing? Who are your favorite authors?
I knew you would ask this darned question. The first part isn’t too bad. Obviously, I like romantic suspense the best. Next would probably be paranormal romance like your new book, Deadly Chaos. I’m not a vampire or werewolf kind of gal, but I like weird almost unexplainable things in stories. Then I would have to say short contemporaries or short mysteries for when I really need a reading fix, but don’t have a lot of time to give into my reading addiction. My last choice would be action/adventure like the Bourne Series type of books. I am definitely a shoot ‘em up, knock a few heads together person.
Favorite authors? Other than yourself? Hmmm, Linda Castillo, Lisa Jackson, L.A. Sartor, Melissa Mayhue, Susan Wiggs, Iris Johansen. See what you’ve done? I can’t stop once I start. Favorites obviously don’t work for me. I enjoy reading too much!
Have you read 50 Shades of Grey?! (Why or why not?)
Nope. Why not? I don’t have a good reason. People have recommended it to me, but from what I hear it isn’t a quick read, and I have been busy getting my current series (and a couple other books) ready for publication. Will I read it? I don’t know. From what I have read and heard about it, it is unlikely. I just don’t get into books where the physical relationship is center stage.
What’s your favorite aspect of being a romance writer?
My favorite aspect is watching my characters take off in different directions than where I planned for them to go. It usually teaches me something about myself as well as them. I also enjoy the generosity of other romance authors. It is amazing how giving many romance authors are to others, especially newer writers.
Do you have any advice for writers who are just starting out?
1) Write. Even if it is drivel appearing on your screen or paper, keep writing. The old saying, writers write, is an old saying for a reason. It’s true. If you aren’t writing, you can’t complain that you aren’t published.
2) Grow a thick skin – Rejection is hard, but it is part of the business. Even if you publish yourself, you are going to get some negative reviews. You CANNOT please everyone even some of the time. Read the rejections, digest them, have a huge bowl of your favorite ice cream, then sit back down and start writing again.
3) Listen to advice from other writers, BUT take what works for you and let the rest go. Most of the time, if you ask another writer to analyze something for you they are going to give you praise for the good and well-intentioned criticism of the ‘not working for them,’ parts. Writing is a subjective endeavor. Always remember it is your story and should stay your story.
4) Enjoy yourself. I write because I love it. Characters jump in my head and won’t shut up until I put them down on the page. Writing is a fun way to do a lot of things or go places I can’t reasonably do myself. It is also too much work to do if you don’t enjoy it.
What’s on tap from you next? What are you working on?
Jeepers, you really like tough questions! I’m always working on more than one story. I know, sounds crazy, but I guess my brain enjoys figuring out what all the characters should do next.
At this moment, I am finishing the 3rd book in the Masters Men Series – Her Master of Hearts (Ace’s story). I also have edits going for Her Master Detective. There are two others (not part of this series) in the hands of my editor for review. I also have another with my agents, Marisa Corvisiero and Michelle Johnson at the Corvisiero Literary Agency. And then there is the one that is simmering in the back of my head waiting for its first appearance on my computer. Never a dull moment 🙂
Check out Sandra’s new book, Her Master Defender.
Major Dos Masters deployed on counter drug operations more than he is on base or home in Colorado, prefers his no relationships, no broken hearts lifestyle. Then a mission went horribly wrong. Dos spent months in captivity and more in the hospital after his rescue. He has finally returned home to Colorado for some R&R. His time is spent getting back in shape, fighting attacks from a virus his captors pumped into him, and watching the redhead across the street from his brother’s security office. Not that he plans to do more than watch. Between his vow not to marry, and his now questionable life expectancy, a relationship is the last thing he wants or needs.
Copper Kerrigan, ex-Navy nurse turned massage therapist, likes her quiet life in the Colorado Rockies. Living in the house she inherited from her grandparents is a nice change from the horror of Iraq. Coming home to watch her mother’s decline from cancer, confirmed her decision to leave nursing. With massage, she is still able to help people heal without all the red tape of hospitals. Her life is full with work and friends. Growing up an Army brat and watching her mother’s heartbreak every time her father deployed, she knows love is not for her, especially not with a military man. At least, she did until someone breaks into her place of business and a wounded soldier comes to her rescue.
When Dos receives a call from his commanding officer, who turns out to be the redhead’s father, his mission becomes making certain Copper remains safe. His plan is to do it from a distance, but when later that night someone tries to break into her house, Dos finds himself with a very pretty, very tempting houseguest.
Copper wishes she could argue the command that she spend the night at his house, but since he was injured trying to protect her it seems a bit childish. Besides, her father asked her to help with his rehab. A stay at his house for the night will give her a clearer view into the severity of his condition. What she sees instead are shadows of guilt in his eyes. She fears she won’t be able to resist the pull of his wounded heart.