Today I am pleased to introduce Sara Daniels, one of Musa’s army of authors. She writes romance, whether that be contemporary, paranormal, or any other brand of romance you can imagine, and currently has one book out with Musa and another one on the way. It’s a joy to have her here and I hope you’ll enjoy hearing the perspective of an author who works in such a different genre from my own.
1. Can you tell us a bit about your book, Mr. Forever?
I loved the idea of a marriage therapist who was so sure of his theories coming face-to-face with the woman who believed those theories destroyed her dreams of happily ever after. It was so much fun to watch him try to convert her while she’s trying to bring down his empire. Here’s the blurb:
Marriage therapist Caleb Paden has just found out he has a son from a one-night stand, making a mockery of his core belief of stable relationships–“friendship above all physical encounters.” On his way to take the child for a paternity test, a snowstorm leaves him stranded with single mom Olivia Wells, who blames his advice for breaking up her marriage. Caleb finds himself fighting the urge for the most basic of physical encounters. Olivia would like nothing more than to destroy the career he spent a lifetime building, but her maternal instincts draw her to help Caleb bond with his child. Soon, she finds herself falling for both of them. Nowhere in any of his advice does Caleb have an answer for how to make a relationship work if he loses his heart to love.
2. When did you first realize you wanted to pursue writing as more than a hobby?
I’d been writing romance as a hobby since I was in middle school. Ten years ago, I realized it was silly to spend all my free time writing and show the finished product to no one. Doing what I love with the flexibility to set my own hours based on my family’s needs is a dream job that I am so lucky to be able to pursue.
3. Who are some of the authors that inspired you to continue on your own writing journey?
Nora Roberts was an inspiration to me when I was starting out. I had no idea she was an icon in the romance industry. At the time, I thought I could be just like her! After I joined RWA, the authors in my local chapter guided me through the craft of writing and the business of publishing. Blythe Gifford, Jennifer Stevenson, Pat White, Simone Elkeles, and Marilyn Brant are some of the authors I am particularly grateful to for sharing their knowledge and advice.
4. Your next story, A Man Worth Fighting For, is part of Musa’s Wiccan Haus series. How is writing a story intended to be part of a multi-author series different from writing one that’s entirely your own?
I am so excited to write for the Wiccan Haus series. This is my first foray into a paranormal world, and I am loving it. All the world building has been figured out for me. The cast of continuing characters are quirky and well-loved, and I get to re-visit them when I read Wiccan Haus books by other authors. Writing a multi-author series has been the best of both worlds for me. I have a great author community that’s as invested in this world as much as I am, and I get to focus on what I do best–writing romance and emotion and bringing my characters to the happily ever after they so desperately need.
5. How do you usually plan your novels?
I’m a “what-if” girl. What if an uptight marriage therapist is told on live TV that he has a child from a one-night stand? What if the heroine, who loves and cares for this child, had followed his theories and divorced because of it? What if they are stranded together and are forced to depend on each other?
This brainstorming is where my characters really come alive for me. I then make a spreadsheet highlighting the turning points for the story and the characters and try to write from that. But it never goes as a planned, so I have to go back and reassess where the book is going and imagine some more “what-ifs.” After a few more back-and-forths, it come eventually comes together.
6. What is the hardest part of the writing process for you, and how do you make it easier for yourself?
The hardest part for me is getting all the logical points lined up to make the plot believable. Again, I go back to my what-if scenarios and make sure my characters have good motivations to make their actions believable. Working in a continuing world, like the Wiccan Haus, made this part of the process easier because I was able to play off elements that were already established.
7. Have you ever considered writing outside the romance genre? Why or why not?
I have. I had an idea for a children’s series starring a cast of brave squirrels, which I’ve begun self-publishing under the pen name Sara Shafer http://www.sarashafer.com. I also have a couple middle grade manuscripts centered around boys and auto racing. It’s been a fun diversion for me. My kids love to read these manuscripts and give me feedback. When I return to the romance genre, I look at my manuscripts with fresh ideas and new excitement.
8. What do you think is the most important piece of advice for aspiring writers to remember?
Write, write, write. Before you can have a best-selling novel, you have to finish writing it. And don’t forget to keep reading while you’re writing.
9. What are you reading right now?
I’ve read several category romances this month. Helen Hardt’s Ivy League Cowboy is on my Kindle. I’ve devoured Dominique Eastwick’s Shifting Hearts and Sherman Series. I dropped everything to read Loretta Ellsworth’s YA novel In a Heartbeat, and it was so worth it! Bobbie Pyron’s middle grade novel A Dog’s Way Home is on my to-be-read pile, and I can’t wait to get started.
10. What are you working on right now?
I just turned in A Man Worth Fighting For (Wiccan Haus series). This story of a wounded hero and the woman determined to fight for him will be released by Musa Publishing on March 23, 2012. I have several more contemporary romance novels and short stories that I’m itching to write, so I’m looking forward to an exciting year with more books to entertain my readers. For future releases, please check my website http://www.saradaniel.com.
Bio: Sara Daniel writes what she loves to read — irresistible romance and captivating family drama. She strives to go beyond entertaining, to give people hope and a belief that everything can and will turn out happily ever after. On the personal side, she’s a frazzled maid, chef, chauffeur, tutor, and personal assistant (aka mom). She tried a stint as a landlord of two uninvited squirrels. She’s crazy about country music and the drama of NASCAR. And she’s delighted to have her very own happily-ever-after romance with her hero husband.
If you would like to purchase a copy of Mr. Forever, you can do so here.