Q&A With Sandra Sookoo
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Q&A With Sandra Sookoo
This evening I have the honor and pleasure of doing this Q&A with USA Today Bestselling author Sandra Sookoo! Sandra Sookoo writes historical romance, both Regency and Victorian, as well as historical romantic suspense & sometimes historical paranormal romance. Sandra’s romantic suspense series is Singular Sensation. Some of her many historical romance series are Diamonds of London, Storme Brothers, Willful Winterbournes, Colors of Scandal, or Lords of the Night
Q: Sandra, where did your love of reading and writing come from? Out of all the genres you chose to write in, what is it about historical, contemporary romance, paranormal romance & romantic suspense that you love so much?
A: I have always loved reading and spent most of my spare time as a child at the library. At the age of ten, I wrote my first book containing characters based on the neighborhood kids. My childhood wasn’t the best, so I knew in writing I could give everyone the happy endings they should have always had, and that’s something I keep in mind while writing now. When I got into high school, I tried my hand at writing romances, and the love and talent for that never went away.
As for genres, in 2012, I specialized in writing historical romance exclusively. In recent years I’ve added historical romantic suspense and mysteries. It’s what I’m most happy writing about and don’t see that changing any time soon. Years ago, I wrote contemporary rom coms and funny paranormal romances but that time in my life has passed. Those books are still up for sale, though, if you’re interested.
Q: Would you like to talk about your upcoming release The Devils Game, which is the first in the Hasting Sisters Series? Where did the idea come from for the book?
A: I’m excited to say this series launches in March through Dragonblade Publishing. The Devil’s Game is the first book in this new series, and the idea was born from that fascination that comes with liking the “bad boy” hero. Every woman, I think, has entertained the idea that they can possibly save such a man, but that’s not what this book is about. My hero doesn’t need saving. In fact, the heroine likes him just as he is, but he’ll change a bit to win her, as will every man worth his salt.
The series revolves around sisters who are all forced to get their livings as companions to help out with the family’s reduced circumstances and unfortunate finances. Of course, none of those plans go the way they are supposed to, which makes for no end of interesting scenarios. Originally, this series was supposed to be low heat, but my characters were having none of that, so make sure you have a fan nearby when reading!
Q: In your opinion, what makes a great historical romance
, or historical romantic suspense story especially for new and aspiring authors who want to write in those genres?
A: For me, the characters need to be interesting. Personally, I have grown out of liking very young characters. I like to write about older characters, more seasoned couples because they have life experience, drama, baggage, and things they’ll either need to work through or make peace with. Also, a story can’t be run of the mill or predictable. There are far too many stories like that already on the market. Make it exciting, make it unusual, add in unexpected things and then you’ll really have a good story. Above all, a book needs to have an author’s personal touch. My readers tell me all the time they know when reading one of my books it’s not going to be like anything else in the genre, and they love that about my books.
Q: As we’ve discussed you have The Devils Game, which is the first in the Hasting Sisters Series coming out. Do you have any other releases coming out and is it too early to talk about any new projects you are working on now?
A: I always have new books coming out. There is a new release each month, sometimes two. This year my readers can look forward to four new Singular Sensation books, four new Diamonds of London books, all the Hasting Sisters books currently contracted, as well as three sexy standalone Regency romances. To stay current with my release schedule, subscribe to my monthly newsletter! Subscribe here and make sure you confirm your address: subscribepage.io/OP87Ic
Q: Is it fair to say that the characters & places within your stories are taken from bits and pieces or real people and places?
A: Well, that’s difficult to answer since obviously unless we have a time machine, we can’t visit Regency or Victorian era London or anywhere else from those time periods. Yes, some of those places still exist, but much of it needs to be supplemented with imagination. As for characters, those come from imagination as well, with a few small exceptions, and then I do base some of those on real people, and they tend to be mostly villains. 😉
Q: How long does it normally take for you to write a book?
A: Right now, since I’ve been doing this job a long time and it is my full-time job, I write a full-length book (50-80K in word count) a month. Sometimes, I’ll need to write way more than that in a month. Writing is like any muscle and you need to exercise it so you are always improving your craft, your skill, your speed, etc.
Q: How does it feel to have your work on the USA Today Bestsellers list? It sounds like a dream come true!
A: It was exactly like a dream when it happened! Unfortunately, that goal is no longer possible for indie authors since their works are now excluded from the list.
Q: What advice would you give anyone who wants to write who deals with self-doubt & family and friends who aren’t the best motivators and supporters of their creative goals?
A: Ignore the noise and clap for yourself. If publishing books is the dream of your heart, you must do it for you and not anyone else. Keep pushing, keep working hard and learning the craft. Don’t do it to “get rich quick” and don’t do it for the accolades, because those are few and far between.
Q: What advice would you give to new and aspiring authors on how to deal with negative reviews and online trolls?
A: Ignore them. Don’t engage. There are always unhappy and mean people in the world, and authors somehow manage to attract a lot of them. I have learned in the past few years to take some of the really mean one-star reviews and use them as free promo to sell books. If people are going to be ugly then I use that energy to help readers find my books and try them for themselves 😉
Q: Does Hollywood have the rights to your work? The entertainment industry desperately needs new original content instead of remakes, reboots, sequels, prequels, and spinoffs. Who would be the dream cast to play the characters you created?
A: Hollywood has not come calling for my stuff. As for a dream cast. I would have no idea, since I have so many books. That would be a problem for another day, and quite frankly, I don’t know that I’d want any input on how my books would be portrayed on a big screen. It would no doubt deviate far from my original story.