So, if you’ve read my blog before, you know that Sayde Grace is my critique partner. We finally met face to face in Orlando last year and had a ball. When you read her answers to my interview questions, make sure you throw in a mental “y’all” once in awhile since Sayde has a BIT of a southern accent.
She’s branching out into the paranormal world (I knew we’d bring her over to the dark side) and her first paranormal novel, UNTAMABLE, will be released by Siren Publishing on February 23rd!
1) So, your cowboy stories have been so succesful. What made you start writing paranormals?
Actually, I think a combination of cowboy and werewolf would be the ultimate Badass. Ive always wanted to write shifter stories but usually stuck with my cowboys since they are what know.
2) Speaking of cowboys, what is the big draw toward cowboys? You write them so well…and they’re so darn hot! What made you decide on westerns?
My first book was a western suspense. But when that didn’t go well in the agent/editor world I wrote a paranormal romance, that one didn’t go so well either. But my third book was a combination of the paranormal world and cowboys. That one was better. After that I decided to write about what I know, rodeo and the equine industry.
I’m glad you think I write them well. I don’t know if that’s the truth or you building me up so I’ll be nice. 🙂 NOT. Sayde knows I don’t build up…and she’s always nice. Even when asking if I wasn’t paying attention when I wrote a particular scene. HAHA
But for me the cowboy draw is that cowboys hold all the things that women want in a man. Sometimes those traits are things that as a proud female we might not want to admit liking, but it’s a dirty secret we keep. Some of the traits are ones that most good men have, loyalty, compassion, protectiveness, sense of humor and honor.
3) What do you like better: when you’ve just started writing a book or when you’ve just finished one, and why?
Finished!! THE END is the sweetest phrase ever!
Truthfully, I get really excited when I start a book, but then I fade out. Things get out of hand and I lose focus, so when I get to the end I’m thrilled. Each book is a huge accomplishment in my opinion and to be honest the last half of 2010 sucked for my writing. I didn’t finish two of my manuscripts that I started that year and it really drove me crazy. So I’m going to enjoy typing THE END on several manuscripts this year!
4) You have your successful cowboy series with The Wilder Rose Press and just sold a paranormal series to Siren. (Congrats, by the way!) How are you managing writing for two publishers? What is your key to time management?
It has to do with personal taste. 🙂 I don’t know much about one of my editors, but the other editor I know better. I am more excited to work with someone who I know how they operate than someone I don’t know. One is very hands on while the other is aloof, which is not to say she’s not nice, but just more withdrawn. I like the hands on style and tend to spend more time working on things for that editor.
Time management? What is that? Never heard of it.
5) What’s next for you?
This year is going to be a busy year for me. I want to wrap up my Built Cowgirl Tough Series, finish my second Moonlight Cravings book, and finish a few other manuscripts that I have at 25k or higher. And I’m organizing some ways to raise funds for my local RWA chapter.
6) How long did you submit work before being accepted by a publisher?
I started writing about a year before I got my first big bite. So maybe about a year and a few months before I got my contract for Riding Double.
7) I know you donate a lot of your time to judging contests. Based on what you’ve seen this last year, is there any advice you have for new writers?
My best advice is to get a critique partner (just not mine, she’s wonderful! Even if she tries to kill me sometimes) or participate in a critiquing group. Please don’t rely on contests to give you feedback. I know that’s a huge draw for why people participate in contests, but honestly contests should be where you showcase your work. I get so many entries that have wonderful settings, plots, or characters…yet they are rushing the plot, starting in the wrong place, or in some cases don’t hit the genre they feel they should be in.
Contest judges can be harsh, more so than a critique partner. I don’t fall into this category of judges, but I will tell you the truth. In some cases judges can say things that hurt you personally and cause many writers to stop writing for an amount of time, which is a shame. I say this because, if you are relying on critiques from a contest judge, your feelings may end up severely damaged.
I’ve read two entries in the last six months that I really, really enjoyed, more so than most of the books I’ve read lately, but they did not place well because of pacing, editing, or starting in the wrong spot. It’s not fair for me to place those entries higher than some who have perfected their pacing or editing regardless of how intrigued I am by the other story. This is where having a critique partner to help catch those things would have paid off. I always sign my judge’s sheet so that authors who have questions about comments I made on their entry can contact me. I am open to answering those questions, as are most judges who sign their sheets. Feel free to contact me if I’ve judged something of yours and you have questions.
8) Tell us something no one else knows about Sayde Grace.
I’m always scared I’ll never finish another book. 🙂 It’s my secret fear each time I start a book. And something quirky, I never drink from a container after anyone else, not my kids, my husband, my mom, NO ONE! And if I’m at a family event or party and I leave my cup for a minute, I get a new one cause I’m freaky scared that someone will have sipped out of it while I was gone. (Ah, so next time you nail me in a critique, I need to come up with a plan to mess with your drinks at the national conference next year, huh?) 🙂
Here’s an excerpt from UNTAMABLE:
Jasper nodded. “All right, tell me she’s going to wake up any second and be perfectly fine.”
Doc grimaced. “I can’t tell you that, but be prepared for her to be back in heat when she does. She needs to complete the cycle.”
Damn it, that was not what Jasper wanted to hear, although her still being in heat would definitely be a good thing. He couldn’t wait to mount her.
Sidda wanted to roll her eyes. All he thought about was “mounting” her. For fuck’s sake, she’d almost been killed by Brockton’s dumb ass, and all Jasper wanted to do was mount her. “Is that all you think of?” Her croaking voice flowed through the room.
An instant later, a rush of footsteps had Jasper on one side of her bed and Doc on the other. She shook her head, biting back a groan of pain. Dammit, her head still hurt.
She opened her mouth to complain but stopped short when another figure appeared at the foot of the bed. Tears began to pour from her eyes. She slowly sat up, holding her hands out to Zeke, sobbing as he eased his way to her. “Oh my god.” She grasped Zeke’s hands, tugging him to her. Sidda’s breath caught in her chest. She’d been so sure she’d never see him again, yet here he was alive with her.
“What happened? I saw what Brockton…” She shook her aching head, holding onto him for dear life. He’d saved her from Brockton. “I thought…I…”
“Yeah, he beat me up pretty bad, but Stephan got there.” Zeke smiled. “He’s a good guy after all.”
Sidda forced a smile for her brother. Her hand trembled, burning from the mark on her palm. It looked like a small scratch, but the hum of energy from the spot told her it was more.
She cleared the thoughts of Stephan from her mind. “I can’t believe you’re all right.”
“Yeah, I’m gonna be fine. Your mate said if I didn’t get better, he’d be forced to beat me back to health.” Zeke laughed.
Sidda smiled at Jasper, releasing her brother’s hands to pull Jasper’s head toward her. She kissed his cheek, and he winked.
“Gross.” Zeke’s lips curled. “I should not know what you are feeling, or him. It’s disturbing. Come on, Doc, I want to take these rags off my forehead.”
Zeke and Doc slipped from the room. Sidda grinned at Jasper and pulled the covers back so he could slide into bed with her.
He tugged his pants and shoes off, followed by his shirt. “I should be mad at you for running off, not trusting me to handle the situation, and going into heat while I wasn’t there. I really should be pissed, but all I want to do is hold you. To make sure you’re safe and all right.” Jasper wrapped his arms around Sidda, dragging her close to him.
Sidda sighed with contentment. She’d been so scared when Brockton had come after her, but here in her mate’s arms, she was safe again. “Just hold me. Later we can fight. Right now I just want to hold you.” She yawned against his warm chest.
“Whatever you want, babe.” His hands stroked her back, sending her into a blissful sleep.
If you’d like to know more about the fabulous Sayde Grace, head over to her website: http://saydegrace.com/
So, I hoped you read with a southern accent echoing in your head. Do you have any questions for Sayde about writing for different publishers…or anything else? Or just a comment on cowboys or…