Wednesday, August 4, 2010
BITS & PIECES: SANDY SULLIVAN
Sandy Sullivan is so cool. I discovered this sitting in a cafe with my MacBook chatting with her online. She's funny, smart and motivated--exactly what it takes to be a good writer. Talking to her motivates and makes you want to be better at whatever you do. Working in the dual role of nurse and author, she still finds time to be on Yahoo loops, such as the Let Me Get You Hot & Bothered Yahoo loop, where she encourages and supports other authors. She's amazing--I felt invigorated just getting to know her. You will get to know her and love her as you read her bits below and you can get to know her even better at her website: http://www.romancestorytime.com/. After all the "Happily Ever After" that she gives her readers is the one she seems to be living for herself.
Trying to get something published initially was my goal. Lessons I learned through self-publishing: You have to be diligent and market, market, market. You don't have a regular publisher behind you when you self-publish so it's all on you. I did mine through CreateSpace so I had to do everything from editing, to cover to getting my piece out there. It can be overwhelming, but I think it's a step in the right direction if you're new. It's hard to break into the business, but once you're in, you're in.
I didn't know about all the e-publishers then so I figured it was the easiest place to start with. With all the e-publishers, you have to do a lot of the work yourself, as in promoting. They all have their editors and cover artists to take care of that part and they all vary as to how much editing they do.
It's not really that hard and I'm not a marketer by any means. I've been trying to condense some of my promo stuff on the Yahoo loops I'm on, like putting out a promo with all of my Wilder Series so if Editors want to look, they get a piece of all of them. There are too many people who just delete promos. And I've been extremely fortunate that people seem to like what I write.
Cowboys. I don't know. I love them all. There's just something about the save-the-day kind of a man. I love guys in tight jeans, pointed toe boots and cowboy hats. I'm a huge country music fan and there's just something about a cowboy. I don't remember watching a ton of them as a kid. A nice butt in Wranglers is a huge turn on. I love to ride horses too. I have two of them at home. Nothing sexier than a guy riding a horse. My favorite country artist is Clay Walker. I've been following that man for fifteen years. Hubby knew Clay came with me.
Love story? Hubby and I met online actually. We started emailing on Christmas Day, met for the first time on New Year’s Eve and he asked me to marry him two weeks later. We will be married 11 years this August.
To me erotica is a book where sex is the main focus and not necessarily a HEA (happily ever after). In erotic romance, romance is the main focus, usually has a HEA and lots of hot steamy sex.
Everything inspires me. I can get ideas for a conversation, a song...whatever.
My house is in Tennessee, but I'm currently doing a travel nursing assignment in Arizona until at least September. I've been a nurse since 2002; Went back to school after hubby and I got married. Many of my pieces have some kind of medical stuff in them --from car accidents to spinal cord injuries. My beta reader tells me I need to write something that doesn't have any of those in it.
I try to stay involved and help others out. I was where most of them are now, just last year. People encouraged me so I'm trying to encourage others, too.
Erotica sells a heck of a lot better than mainstream does these days. I love erotic romance myself. I read everyone who catches my attention: several sister authors with Siren, like Tonya Ramagos, Lily Grayson and Regina Carlisle. In fact, now, if I picked up a mainstream, it's almost boring to me.
Dialogue is huge for me. I hate run on descriptions in a book. I write mostly dialogue in mine. I think it makes the book more interesting and keeps the storyline moving. Currently on the piece I'm working on, my two characters are in the middle of sex using handcuffs. The series is called Want Ads and it will be out with Passion In Print. The title of the piece is GOTTA LOVE A COWBOY.
I like to read and ride my horses, but I don't seem to really unwind because there are always things running through my brain. New story ideas and my characters love to talk to me at the most inopportune times; At work usually; when I don't have a minute to sit down and write something out.
I like mint chocolate chip ice cream. I love Ghost Hunters. I've seen ghosts a couple of times during my life.
I can't write a love scene with music on. I need absolute quiet so I can concentrate on the feelings and moods of my characters. I'll usually type it with my eyes closed. If they are regular scenes of the story, then I usually have music on, but if it's a love scene, I need quiet so I can 'feel' what my characters are feeling.
WILD WYOMING NIGHTS started when a picture of Abby sitting on a window seat crying while the snow fell outside her window, popped into my head. Then I had to figure out who her hero was--poof--Chase Wilder was born.
I seem to keep having these ideas and I just keep writing them down. Somehow they end up in a story somewhere. Actually, I'm totally bored if I'm not writing I've come to find out. I drives me nuts not be writing something. There are days though where I get stuck and I have to put something aside until the characters tell me where they are going with it.
It's almost like an addiction once you get going. You can't seem to stop. My daughters write too, but not like me. My youngest is working towards an editor job. I love it. My oldest has like a YA type thing she's working on, but it's hard to get her motivated to finish it.
I think women now are more open minded and willing to explore their needs. I know I am. I love exploration of the feelings between a man and a woman. I think what we write these days helps women think of themselves more and maybe even ask their partner to explore some of the things we write about and that they read.
I believe in taking life by the balls and making it want you want it to be. I've usually got twelve things going at once and if I don't, I'm not happy. I have like seven pieces in progress.
There are too many people out there that think there's not a redeeming thing about romance.
Keep writing and develop yourself into whatever you want to make your stories to be. Write what you like. It shows in your writing if you are trying to force a story. It's the main reason I write cowboys. Each story is something I would want to read myself. Don't worry about making the story into what a publisher might want. You'll find the right home when the time comes.
I don't think of it that way. For me, writing is fun. When it's not fun anymore, when it becomes a job, then I don't want to do it. The money is nice, but it doesn't pay the bills. I just want to write something people like to read. It still astounds me to think people actually pay to read what I've written.
I think e-books are going to be the way of the future, although many people still like to hold the prints. E-book publishing has exploded in the last two years. I read both, although I don't have an e-book reader. I read on my computer. I doesn't really matter to me if it's in print or not; although you can take print into the bathroom with you. I guess you could take an e-book reader too. I'm going to buy my mom one for Christmas this year. She loves to read.
I've never written poetry, but I do believe writing is the way we see the world, and it also depends on what's going on in our own lives at the time. If we are in the middle of a bad time, our writing tends to be darker and more moody. I think being happy keeps me unblocked. I'm in a very happy marriage and it shows in my writing. If I get blocked, I usually put the piece aside for a day or two and then come back to it. I think if we get into a place where it's very dark and very lonely, we have to do something to make it better. Otherwise, you do lose your ability to entertain and that's what writing is all about, entertaining the reader. Taking them away from that dark place they are in at the time. There's nothing wrong with dark. Everything has its place and everyone writes what they are feeling. For me, it's the HEA. I know my readers want to believe there is a HEA for everyone in this life and that's what I try to deliver.♥