Monday, April 16, 2012

Guest Starring: Sarah Ballance

I cannot tell you what a treat it is to have author Sarah Ballance here on my blog today! She is without a doubt one of my favorite new authors and I know she'll be one of yours too. So without further ado, I bring you the ridiculously talented Sarah Ballance.

YAY! I'm excited to be here. Thank you for not blocking the door! *grin*

Never! You have a standing invitation in the hopes that some of your awesomeness rubs off on me. What is a typical 'writing' day in the life of Sarah Ballance like?

Oh, if only I had a "typical" LOL! But therein lies the beauty. (That passes for optimism, right? LOL!) Okay, in theory I work on interviews, promo, and admin stuff in the morning until about 10am, which is when I gather the troops (my brood of six kids) to start homeschooling. I check in throughout the day to hang out with readers, but don't dig in to my WIP most days until after dinner, at which point my husband takes over the kids so I can work. Most of my "real" writing takes place between 8pm and midnight.

SIX kids??? And you home school them? I don't think I can ever complain about time management again. What inspired your current release?

TIDE OF LIES is actually a byproduct of the last Noble Romance Authors blog tour. Each of the tour authors were to write a 10k novella with the "Timeless Desire" theme. My story, FAMILIAR LIGHT, refused to be contained to just 10k words, and the spillover became TIDE OF LIES. Although a continuation, TIDE OF LIES also stands alone. However, if readers want to the catch the beginning, FAMILIAR LIGHT is just $1.50 from Noble Romance. *grin*

I can totally relate to stories running away from you! What was the first book your ever wrote, and has it seen the light of day?

My first piece of fiction has, in fact, seen the light of day. I wrote a romance after I heard myself say I couldn't write fiction (so, basically on a quest to prove myself wrong). I finished it in six months and submitted it *only* to get my crit partner to stop asking if I'd sent it off yet. Imagine my surprise when that lone query turned into a contract on the first try and was released a few months later. Yep, that's right—my first piece, DOWN IN FLAMES, is out there for *all* the world to see. Eeep! (In fact, excluding new ideas and my WIP, everything I've written has been published.)

You're lucky I like you, or I'd be totally hating your guts right now. (laughs) Describe your perfect writing place.

I've come across two I love. The first is our truck. I discovered while my two oldest kids were at horseback riding lessons (and my mom had the other four) I could gain some serious wordage sitting there alone with the windows down and mood music playing. Now, even when I'm at home I love the chance to go outside and sit in the truck! LOL. My other favorite spot is on our boat. I can lounge inside at the dinette in total comfort with a fresh sea breeze blowing through (or if it's hot, I can shut the windows and turn on the a/c, lol) and listen to the gulls call and the moorings creak. Even without leaving the marina, it's another world on the water and I can't imagine a more perfect place to write.

A truck? That has got to be the most original place I've ever heard. The boat. Le sigh. Sounds blissful. As long as it's docked. You can't get me on a boat while it's moving. (shudders) What advice would you give to newbies?

Find a crit partner who can respect your voice but isn't afraid to give you honest feedback, then learn from those critiques. Stick to your guns when it counts—don't compromise your story—but don't be afraid to take suggestions that will improve your work. Too many authors don't want to hear criticism, but it's through criticism we learn and grow.

You definitely need to develop a thick skin in this business and be open to constructive criticism! What are you working on now?

I'm finishing up LAST CALL, a romantic suspense coming soon to For the Muse Publishing. Once I send that off for edits, I'm going to simultaneously tackle NEXT OF KIN (a longer romantic suspense of about 60k) and STAY THE NIGHT (a paranormal romance I'm releasing as a free read). I also need to find time to write the sequel to HAWTHORNE—I have readers asking for that one!

I have this one in my TBR pile! Cannot wait to read it!

Thank you so much for allowing me to visit today. I'd like to let your readers know I have weekly gift card giveaways at my blog, and all you have to do to enter is subscribe by email. You are automatically eligible every week for as long as you remain a subscriber—it doesn't get any easier than that! I hope you all have a fantastic day, and I thank you for allowing me to be a small part of it. ;c)

The gift card contest is the coolest thing! Loved having you visit my humble abode and we need to do this again soon!

TIDE OF LIES | blurb

A devastating secret. A shocking betrayal. A deadly obsession.

Haunted by three unsolved murders, Detective Holden Whitlow is stunned when his cold case takes a heated turn. Julia Cohen, his ex-lover, is back in town, and in the face of a brutal attack she's ready to run. No matter how tightly she holds her secrets, for Holden, turning away from the woman he's spent a decade trying to forget isn't any more an option than walking away from his job . . .even when it threatens to cost Julia her life.

Julia is still reeling from a past she can't bear to face. When she becomes the target of a killer, fate throws her back into Holden's arms, but she's yet to recover from a truth that has stripped her of everything—and everyone—she loves. Will she tell him the secret that will destroy him, or will her lie destroy them both?

AMAZON (author link)
BARNES & NOBLE (author link)

Sarah and her husband of almost fifteen what he calls "long, long" years live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when they're asleep. She often jokes that she writes to be around people who will listen to her, but her characters aren't much better than her kids. Fortunately, her husband is quite supportive, having generously offered to help her research "the good parts" . . . and she's never had to ask twice.


Sarah Ballance said...

Aw, I had a blast with you! Thanks for such a great interview, and it looks *fantastic* on "paper." I'm thrilled to be here today, and I sure hope I don't scare away your regulars, LOL. (I'm not naked or anything. We should be fine!)

Karen C said...

Enjoyed the interview - thanks. As I have enjoyed all of your books to date, I am eagerly anticipating Last Call, Next of Kin and Stay the Night. Oh, and a sequel to Hawthorne? YES - fist pump!!

Sarah, you mention a 'crit partner' - is this person also a writer?

Sarah Ballance said...

Hi, Karen! OMG, I'm terrified people will hate H2, lol. It's going to be hard to live up to the first one, but I have some rather delicious twists in store. *grin*

I've used a handful of crit partners and all have been authors. Right now, however, I'm just working with my editor. She's amazing!