The WINNER of a signed copy of Crazy for Her is Jessica Jefferson–congrats! I’m so envious. 🙂
I’m delighted to have Sandra Owens here today–her new release, Crazy for Her, is taking readers by storm! All commenters will be entered to win a signed paperback of Crazy for Her from Sandra.
Sandra lives in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. She is a 2013 Golden Heart Finalist for her contemporary romance, Crazy for Her.
A few highlights of Sandra’s life she fondly recalls are jumping out of a plane, flying upside down in a stunt plane, and riding her Harley in the mountains of Southern California and along the coast of Maine. Although those events in her life were great fun, nothing compares to the joy and satisfaction she gets from writing her stories.
What inspired you to become a writer?
First, thank you for inviting me to A Splash of Romance. I’m thrilled to be here.
To answer your question, I can’t really say there was one thing that inspired me to become a writer. It was always there in my head that I wanted to write. I just waited a long time to get serious about it.
Are you a plotter or panster?
I’m a panster all the way! Although I did experiment with some plotting on my current book, the third one in my K2 series. I wrote the synopsis first, which I’ve never done before and that was hard. I fully expect the end result to not look anything like the synopsis, but surprisingly (to me, anyway) I’ve felt more focused, so I might do that with future books. I also completed a character interview on my hero and heroine (another thing I’ve never done before), and some surprising insights came out of that. Whether I use everything remains to be seen, but I wrote the first word of my WIP knowing my H/h better than I ever have before when starting a new story.
At what age did you write your first novel?
I think I was in my mid twenties, and I have do idea whatever happened to that manuscript. Guess I lost it in one of my many moves.
Give us some background on your books/series. Share your favorite scene. Who’s your favorite hero/heroine?
My current series is about the men of K2 Special Services, all ex-SEALs still in the business of secret missions and black ops. They are men living on the edge, men who don’t believe they need love in their lives. Silly men!
The first in the series, CRAZY FOR HER, asks the question…Is there room in one man’s heart for a soldier’s loyalty and a lover’s passion? My hero, Logan Kincaid, is a man with dark secrets, and it will take the love of a special woman to help him put his past to rest.
My favorite scene is the beginning of Logan’s black moment.
Logan was self-destructing and he knew it, but like a cruise missile locked on its target, he couldn’t seem to keep it from happening. All the things she’d just praised him with might be true, but it was all a façade, a false front he’d erected to fool anyone who looked at him too closely. She wanted to know the bad in him? Fine, he’d enlighten her. See how amazing she thought him then.
As for my favorite hero or heroine, for me, it’s always the hero, and my favorite is always the one I’m writing at the moment. However, if I did have to choose just one, it would be Michael, the Earl of Daventry, from THE LETTER. I adore him!
Any advice for mastering the art of writing a book/series?
Yes, sit down and start writing. Write the first word, the first sentence, the first paragraph, then the first page. Keep on going until you write the last word. It’s that hard and that simple. If it’s your first book it will probably be awful. Take heart, almost everyone’s is. That first book is a practice book. While you’re writing it, join RWA if you want to write romance, sign up for their fantastic online classes (many of them are free), and find the right critique partner (which is easier said than done and would take a whole other post to talk about).
What’s your personal favorite out of all the novels you’ve penned? Why?
For me, it’s always the one I’m writing.
When did you first realize you were a sensation with readers?
Oh boy! CRAZY FOR HER was an early Kindle First release. For the entire month of August it stayed in the top ten paid on Amazon. It got one of those #1 best seller banners next to it in three different categories, so I’d have to say that’s when it hit home. As I write this, (the official release date was September 1st) it’s ranked #15 in the paid Kindle store, so I’m still pretty jazzed.
What’s your most successful marketing strategy?
To write the next book. I’ve heard that over and over, and it was proven to me with the release of CRAZY FOR HER. My two Regencies have been out for over a year, and although they have done well, sales had fallen drastically. Last July, I sold 18 books combined for the two. I don’t have the final numbers for the month yet, but in August, with the release of CRAZY, I’ve sold at least 200 combined (and probably even more than that) for the two Regencies. A new to you reader reads one of your books, likes the story, and/or your voice, and goes looking for what else you’ve written.
After that, I think the biggest thing that has helped me are the loyal readers of my books. They tell everyone to read you, they talk about your book, they buy anything you write. I make sure to communicate often with those who friend me on FB or follow me on Twitter because they read one of my books and loved it. They become not only friends, but unofficial street teams. I have a fan in the Netherlands who has probably sold more books for me than I can count. I love her. To show her my appreciation, I now send her an autographed print copy of each new book. It’s things like that you can do to keep a reader loyal to you.
What is the most romantic place you’ve ever been?
St. Thomas with my husband. We had a room where we stepped out the door right onto the beach. Jim broke his toe the second day we were there and hobbled around the rest of the week. Our personal waiter (yes, there was one assigned to us) kept him rummed up so he wouldn’t feel the pain. I still remember sitting on a blanket placed over the sand, sipping a rum drink concoction which George (our waiter) claimed he made especially for us. There was a half-full moon making a yellow ribbon over the water, and….okay, the rest is private. On our last day, Jim bought me a beautiful sapphire ring, and as he slid it over my finger, he said, “I promise you’ll never be sorry for marrying me.” That is my most romantic memory.
Name your favorite real-life or fictional hero… How have they influenced your life?
My favorite real-life hero is my husband. There isn’t a day that goes by that I would pick any other man to be my personal hero. How has he influenced my life? By supporting me one hundred percent. He is my cheerleader, my go to guy for so many things. If I casually mention that I wish for something, if it’s in his power to give it to me, he does. If I get down, he picks me up. I know, he sound too good to be true, but I swear, he’s real.
Name your favorite books from childhood or adulthood.
From childhood, I devoured the Nancy Drew mysteries like they were a drink of water on a hot day. I wanted to be Nancy, off on an exciting new adventure. In adulthood, I would have to say there are several that are favorites, but one that touched me deeply was THE POWER OF ONE. That book just slayed me. Another was SOPHIE’S CHOICE. Wow, cried so much when I found out what her choice was.
What’s your astrological sign? Do you fit the characteristics associated with it? How?
I’m a Gemini. Basically that means there’s two of me which my husband will tell you that at times drives him crazy. I fit pretty much all the characteristics of a Gemini. Sometimes, I even confuse me.
What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned from your journey as a writer?
To not take rejection personally, but to learn from it, and to use it as a motivational tool.
Favorite Color: Purple
Favorite Actor/Actress: Male – Daniel Craig (simply because I like looking at him) Female – Meryl Streep because she’s so amazing as an actress
Favorite Movie: Never Ending Story
Favorite century and why?: This one because as a woman, we really can have it all. The Regency era fascinates me, but I would hate being a female then.
Favorite Food: Lobster
Least favorite vegetable: Green peppers. Hate them!
First boyfriend/How old?/Why did you like him?: Fifth grade, Larry Stanley. First time I got weird feelings when a boy came anywhere near me. He gave me a bottle of toilet water shaped like a lamp for Christmas. Can you even still buy toilet water, and what an ugly name for a perfume.
Describe yourself in 5 words: Shy, quiet, loyal, thrill seeker, creative
Here’s the incredible cover…
When his best friend and fellow Navy SEAL, Evan Prescott, died in his arms on the battlefield, Logan Kincaid gave his word to watch over Evan’s widow. But for two years he kept his distance…torn between honoring his solemn vow and succumbing to his secret love for his fallen comrade’s wife. But when Dani Prescott desperately reaches out to Logan for the help only he can give, he rushes to her side—determined to fight for her safety as fiercely as he fights against his own buried desire.
Someone claiming to be her husband is stalking Dani and her infant daughter, making them virtually prisoners in their remote country home. Logan’s elite military training and high-risk security expertise have outmatched more dangerous enemies. But the real challenge will be the burning temptation that threatens to overcome Logan whenever Dani is near…especially when she reveals her own hidden passion.
Logan twisted the throttle of the Harley-Davidson V-ROD to full open and raced recklessly up I-95. It was four in the morning, so the chances were slim a state trooper hid behind a tree pointing a radar gun at him. His speed was a dare to the gods, a challenge he’d made often since walking out of Bethesda Naval Hospital fourteen months ago.
Now he was on his way to keep a promise made to a dying friend and SEAL brother. He’d started on this journey more times than he cared to count but had never made it to his destination. The Harley’s headlights illuminated the road sign announcing I-26 two miles ahead. As he had each time before, he pulled onto the shoulder.
He’d never taken the exit that would lead him to her, had come this far and each time turned around and gone home. Now she’d asked him to come. Stepping off the bike, he removed his helmet and walked the cramps out of his muscles. He stopped in front of the sign and stared hard at it. He was a coward who couldn’t face the woman he’d been in love with since he and Evan first met her in a bar near their home base of Little Creek, Virginia.
They’d been enjoying a few beers at Sinner’s when the heated conversation at the table next to them intruded on the enjoyment of their last few hours in the States. Logan tried to shut out the argument between the couple, but their voices grew louder. The asshole was pressuring the girl to go home with him.
“For the last time, no,” she insisted.
The man ran his fingers over her arm. Logan shared a look with Evan. If the dude didn’t back off soon, he was going to learn it had been bad luck on his part two SEALs had chosen that night to have a beer at Sinner’s.
“I didn’t take you for a tease, babe.”
Logan glanced at the girl to see her reaction to the man’s words. The air left his lungs. She was gorgeous. The auburn-haired beauty met his gaze, embarrassment in her eyes. She reached into her purse and fished out a cell phone.
“Who’re you calling, babe?” the man asked.
“A cab, and I’m not your babe.”
Logan smothered a grin. If she’d looked at him like that, he would’ve called the cab for her. The jerk snatched the phone out of her hand.
“You came with me, babe. You leave with me.” He wrapped his hand around her upper arm, his fingers digging deep.
Logan rose from his seat, but before he could do more than that, Evan pushed away from the table, swiveled his chair around, and grabbed the man’s hand. Snatching the phone from the man’s grip, he handed it back to her.
“Take a hike, dude,” Evan ordered. “My friend and I will see the lady safely home.”
Logan eased back onto his seat.
The man narrowed his eyes. “Get lost, douche bag.”
Evan flashed Logan a shit-eating grin. “Did you hear that, Kincaid? This piece of dog doo just called a SEAL a douche bag.”
“I heard.” The girl’s eyes were wide and uncertain. She likely wished she could close those beautiful eyes and blink herself home.
The man’s Adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed hard. Logan gave him an I’m-going-to-kill-you stare.
“SEALs?” the dude squeaked.
Logan sent him an evil smile and one slow nod. Being this close to Little Creek, and from the cut of his hair, he was navy, but the lack of muscle said he spent most of his time behind a desk. Even a desk jockey knew it was wise to fear a SEAL. Or two.
Dickweed scurried off like a cockroach, and Evan took less than a second to slide onto his seat, claiming the girl for his own.
She peeked at Logan from under her lashes, her lips curving in a shy smile. That was the moment he lost his heart to a green-eyed stranger. That he had fallen for Dani MacKenna, now Dani Prescott, was a deep secret he held close.
Where to find the book:
Where to connect with Sandra:
Thanks so much for visiting today, Sandra.