Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Terrific Tuesday with Sandy Nicks:)

Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest release.

Hello, Everyone! I’m Sandy Nicks and I write romantic comedy and time travel romance. I live near the Jersey Shore with my family and nine spoiled pets. My latest release is Circle of Eternity, and Crazy Days of Summer, book 2 in the Sisters for All Seasons series will be out in November.

Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?

Not necessarily scared, but there are many times when I bang my head on the keyboard and wonder what to do when I go blank and have no clue where the story is going next.

Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?

I may have to plead the fifth on this one, but will say in Falling for Autumn, I did work for a man similar to Autumn’s boss ; -) I have used actual locations in my stories such as the beautiful Manasquan Reservoir.

How much research do you do? Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?

For Circle of Eternity I had to research twelfth century England in depth. I like to do some research before I start, but there’s always something that comes up while I’m writing that needs to be clarified. I definitely go online a lot while I’m working on a story.

Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?

I really want my readers to laugh and enjoy the adventures my characters take them on. If they find something in the story they can relate to that makes them feel better and have hope, then that’s a great thing as well.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?

I’m definitely a panster!

At some point, I think every story I write takes on a life of its own. I have a t-shirt that says “I hear voices…character voices” and when they tell me they don’t like something, I usually listen!

How long did it take for you to be published?

I sold a short story to an anthology about twelve years ago, but didn’t sell my first novel until last year. So, it took about fifteen years. You just have to keep believing and keep writing!

If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?

Be disciplined and don’t allow long stretches of time to go by without writing. The years do fly by quickly. Even when you have small children, you need to make time to write because they’re just as needy when they’re teenagers and young adults – LOL

Laptop or pen and ink? What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?

I do the majority of my writing on my laptop, but love to write longhand as well. My must-haves are coffee, music, sticky notes and access to Google if I need a quick answer.

Who are your favorite authors? Who would you say influenced you the most?

The list is long so I’ll just name a few: Debra Mullins, Stephen King, Alice Sebold, Janet Evanovich, Jude Deveraux, Anne Lamott, Chelsea Handler & Dr. Seuss (seriously) and many more!

They’ve all influenced and inspired me in some way and I thank them for that!

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?

That I sat here for over an hour going over this question and still don’t have an answer

For Fun:

Favorite drink? Dunkin Donuts coffee

Do you have any special Labor Day traditions? BBQ with family and friends.

McDonald’s or Burger King?

Burger King, but McDonald’s is just around the corner so we usually get that instead.

Thank you for being here today! Please tell us where we can find your books.

Thank you so much for having me, Molly! I had a great time!

My books are available in print and e-book and can be found on my publisher’s web site http://www.vanillaheartbooksandauthors.com/, as well as on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Smashwords and my web site: www.sandynicks.com

The e-book editions are available in multiple formats such as Kindle, Nook, iPad, Sony, etc.

Blurb for Circle of Eternity:

When her husband dies in the arms of another woman, Samantha Brooks travels to England where the Earl of Brindlemoor has opened both his manor house and the ruins of Brindlemoor Castle to tourists. A mystery ensues when Samantha encounters Greyson Pierce, hell bent on protecting Brindlemoor, and they are transported back into the twelfth century – a time of danger and intrigue somehow linked to the present. The quest to right old wrongs becomes a personal journey for the hero and heroine to overcome past betrayals and renew their capacity to trust – each other, and in the future…

Excerpt from Circle of Eternity:

The door creaked open. Samantha darted away from the tower window. Hiding her hand behind her back, she faced the condemnation in Greyson’s stare.

“What in bloody hell are you doing in here?”

Taken aback by his display of hostility, she eyed his rigid stance with caution before responding. “I…I was looking around.”

“Get out! Now!”

Samantha shifted uncomfortably. “I’m sorry. I know I was wrong to leave the group, but I heard someone calling out. I came to see if they needed help.”

His face glowed red. “Didn’t I make myself clear that parts of the castle are unsafe? You know you’re not to wander off on your own.” He folded his arms across his chest and glared at her. “Couldn’t you control your curiosity?”

“Yes, but…”

“You do know what happened to the cat,” he interrupted, “don’t you?”

Picking up her duffle bag with her free hand, she tightened her hold on the object she held in the other. “If you’ll excuse me,” she said, adjusting the bag over her shoulder, “I’d like to join the others.”

He didn’t budge. His large frame filled the small doorway. “I’ll let you go, but first let me see what you’ve got hidden behind your back.”

“You told me to leave, and I’d like to go now,” she repeated. “So would you please step aside?”

He held his ground. “Why is it that American women are so cheeky?”

Samantha’s adrenaline surged. Great. He had a personal problem with Americans, or maybe just with women. “I don’t think the earl would appreciate your rudeness. I am a guest here.”

“Tourist,” he grumbled.

“Excuse me?”

“I said tourist. You did pay to come here, didn’t you?

“How dare you!” With all the strength she could muster, she tried to push past him. He didn’t move. She tried again to shove him out of the way. Suddenly he stepped aside. She tripped over his boot and flew forward. Her arms flailed as she tumbled down. When she hit the floor, her hand opened.

The Celtic cross skidded down the hallway, its emerald and sapphire center glistening in the sunlight.

She glanced up at Greyson. Seeing his shocked expression, she immediately thought of the desperation in the voice of the girl who had told her where to find the cross.

She had to help her.

Determined not to fail, she scrambled across the floor.

Greyson dove after her and grabbed her ankle. “Where did you find that?” he demanded.

“By the window,” she replied, closing in on the cross. He tugged harder on her ankle. She kicked at him with her free leg. “Let go of me!”

“It doesn’t belong to you,” he said, yanking on her leg. “It belongs to Brindlemoor!”

“You don’t understand,” she cried. “I was told to look for it!”

They battled for the jewel encrusted relic like two children fighting over a toy.

Samantha snatched up the cross.

Greyson gripped its fine silver chain.

Neither would yield possession.

“Who told you to look for it?”

“The…” An electrical sensation seized her body. Her airways closed. She couldn’t answer. Everything before her blended into a hazy pinwheel of blue and green light. Greyson faded from view.

The downpour of colors enveloped her. Closing her eyes, Samantha surrendered.


Amber Skyze said...

Great interview and excerpt. :)

Sandy Nicks said...

Thank you, Amber. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

And thank you, Molly, for having me :-)

charmainegordon author said...

Hi Sandy,
Terrific interview and what fun learning about you.Molly asks the perfect questions-just enough. Circle of Eternity sounds intriguing! Good luck.
Charmaine Gordon

Sun Singer said...

Hey, Sandy,

Fun interview.


Anonymous said...

Great interview, Sandy. I love doing research myself...I get so annoyed at writers who write about an era or place who clearly haven't studied it!

Celtic Chick said...

I enjoyed the interview and excerpt.
The Internet is such a wonderful tool for authors to do research.

Sandy Nicks said...

Thank you, Charmaine, Malcolm, Celtic Chick & Smoky for your nice comments!

Molly does ask great questions :-) Although I still don't have an answer for "What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?" LOL

Molly Daniels said...

Hi Sandy:) Thanks for being with me today! So no deep dark secret lingering in your closet, eh? LOL!

Marianne Stephens said...

I like your advice about not letting long periods of time go by without writing. I was so unhappy when we first moved to CA that I let 2 years go by without writing a word...bad idea!

And...9 pets???
Nice interview.

Sandy Nicks said...

Hi Molly - it was really fun being here! Maybe with 9 animals I can qualify as being an animal hoarder? LOL

Sandy Nicks said...

Hi Marianne,

I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed the interview. How is the writing going now? I hope you're writing more!

As for the pets - I have 4 dogs and 5 cats :-)

I wish you all the best with your writing!

Thank you for stopping by!


Molly Daniels said...

The most pets we ever had at one time was six; three dogs and three cats.

JL Walters said...

Nice interview. Research is fun but sometimes one gets lost in the searches.