Hi everyone, I’m Savannah Rayne and today I have the great honor to interview the very talented Sara Curran-Ross. (And the HP male dancer’s Brett, Kevin, Ran, Brian, & Brick are doing the Bunny Hop! Shake those tails boys!)
Savannah: Good morning Sara! Thank you for taking the time today to sit and chat with me for a bit. I know how busy you are.
Sara: It’s a pleasure to be here with you and lovely to have a chat. :)
Savannah: Well Sara, I was wondering if you could give us a little peek as to what a typical day in the life of Sara is like?
Sara: It depends. If my daughter is at school then I am up early grabbing the first of many cups of tea I will drink that day and then I am off working. I will answer my e-mails, do a spot of promoting, see what is happening on Facebook and Twitter. Then I will get myself in the mood with another cup of tea and start writing. Well it does take me a while to get going but once I am in the flow then I am off. Towards the end of the day I will try to do a blog post. Now that is on a good day with no interruptions. Unfortunately none of us seem to get many of them. Lol. Especially at the moment. My daughter is still off school and won’t be going back until the middle of next week so for now I snatch snippets of time to work when I can.
Savannah: What prompted you to start writing?
Sara: I could never find a book to read and like unless it was a classic. It sounds awful but I could never find anything I was interested in. Having always had a passion for writing stories I decided to have a bash myself. It has been great because now the publishing market has been revolutionized with the e-book there are lots of new fresh writers selling their work and there are lots of great reads out there. I can now find plenty to read.
Savannah: Do you prefer to write one genre over another?
Sara: I love writing different genres. Although I do confess to liking a mystery and romance in all of them. If I just wrote one genre I would probably get bored. It works for some writers but I like the variety. I am always on the lookout for a new writing challenge.
Savannah: I understand your first book with Hellfire Publishing Knight of Swords is the first book in the Swords Series, can you tell us how many books will complete the series? This is one of my personal favorites and I have to tell you, I’m chomping at the bit to read more about Nathan Valancourt and Juliet Gaudain! LOL
Sara: There are three books in The Swords Series. The second book, Ace of Swords will be released by Hellfire Publishing in January 2012 and I am in the middle of writing the third book, The Hanged Man. I plan to write books on the other characters in The Swords Series and I have started a modern spin off called Knight of Coins. I have also been experimenting with a humourous modern version called, The Vampire Lover's Diary in which I explore the relationships of the adult children of human vampire hybrids and the Lycans in urban suburbia. The Knight Of Swords world will be expanded but Nathan and Juliet will always be in the background of whatever new story I write. You can follow my work in progress on these two stories on my blog at http://www.saracurranross.blogspot.com/.
Sara: I love the cover for Knight Of Swords. I love the fact that you can’t see all of Nathan’s face. It just adds to the mystery. Dara England who designed the cover has captured the mood of the story together with Nathan’s hair, clothes and figure perfectly. It’s brilliant.
Savannah: You also have a second book with HP, The Devil You Know. Where did the idea for this story come from? And I have to tell you Sara, this book had my attention the entire time and the ending was so unexpected it blew my socks off! Let me tell you, with all the reading I have done and still do, surprising me is quite the feat!
Sara: Wow. Thanks Savannah. I was pretty shocked at the ending myself when I wrote it but the signs to answer the mystery where there from the start.
Writing The Devil You Know was quite a strange experience for me. I hadn’t intended to write a novel about violence, murder , the mafia and sex. I had wanted the story to be a romance between an ex soldier working as a bodyguard in my favourite city, Paris and the woman he was sent to protect from her Mafia family. But as I began to write the story I found myself tapping into some uncomfortable past experiences in my life that began to feed my imagination and open up a world in which I explored my own emotional issues.
The book is essentially about betrayal in relationships and people turning out to be somebody completely different to what they led you to believe. The Mafia angle was a way of creating a world of violence in which my protagonist Isabelle found herself trapped and unable to trust anyone. It gave the story a murky darkness in which all sorts of strange alliances and relationships could exist . Secrets and hidden agenda’s provided a backdrop in which it was better if you stuck with ‘The Devil You Know’ instead of taking a chance on someone you didn’t. But Isabelle finds herself forced to trust a stranger and encounters some dangerous surprises as a result.
The inspiration for The Devil You Know came from a bad experience at work in the 1990s. I was sexually harassed by a group of men I naively believed were friendly, trustworthy co-workers. I was also followed home on a train by a man for several nights. It was a very scary time for me but I am thankful to say one where I won out in the end. At the time everything was going on, I went for a massage to ease my stress and was told the masseur who was obviously psychic that a cloaked figure stood over me! That was all I needed. This strange scary apparition provided the idea for the phantom hooded male figure who stalks Isabelle in the book. I was just about a jabbering wreck with all of this going on and trying to keep a calm level head so none of them would succeed in pushing me out of my job and stop me getting on a train.
Quite a few years later I was still feeling very angry about both episodes and I began to write The Devil You Know to exorcise them. I wanted to show just what a lot of women have to put up with from some men in this world.
The characters in The Devil You Know were not explicitly based on anyone in particular but bore traits of lots of people. I don’t always know where my characters come from, they just seem to appear and grow in strength as I write them. Isabelle’s frustration and fierce anger at the way she was treated definitely came from me. Her journey in the book was to learn how to believe in herself, allow her confidence to grow and defeat the monster that continued to haunt her. I also wrote into the book how many women tend to ignore how certain men treat women. There are many scenes detailing women who were content to ignore the violence being enacted on Isabelle and be a spectator. It is all too familiar in our society which I find extremely upsetting.
I have noticed that in many of my novels the betraying character pops up a lot so I guess I have some more exorcising to do. Lol. As for the scary dark hooded figure that stood over me, I recently found out from a psychic that he is still around and has always been there to protect me. Nice to put that little mystery to bed with a happy ending! Lol.
Savannah: Knowing that you live in the United Kingdom, London, I believe, I was wondering if you have ever been to the United States? If not, do you plan to visit in the future?
Sara: Yes I have been to New York, Washington DC and of course Florida and the wonderful Disney World. I love America and I love the food. Everyone is so friendly in the US. I am looking forward to getting back over there in the near future.
Savannah: Okay Sara, get comfy and I’ll ask some easy questions now. What kind of music do you like?
Sara: Ooh lots of different types. I need to listen to music to write. I listen to everything from Linkin Park, 30 Seconds To Mars to anything by Britney Spears and music from the movie Inception. It all helps the creative juices flow! I wrote all of the second in The Swords Series, Ace of Swords to Hans Zimmer’s wonderful music from Inception. Brilliant movie! It helped me to strongly visualize all of the scenes from the book and move them along.
Savannah: Favorite animal?
Sara: I love lots of animals. We went on safari in Kenya in 2007 and I saw some fantastic animals. We saw ten giraffes walking alongside us one day and a line of elephants coming towards our jeep. It was amazing. I love those animals. I have to say though lying in a tent at night hearing the jaws of a crocodile snap loudly down on the Massai River when you are trying to get to sleep is a bit terrifying. Thankfully, Governor’s Camp where we stayed had armed guards around us. Phew!
Anyway, I suppose I would have to say that I love dogs. My dog, Domino is a Welsh Springer Spaniel and he is very furry and cuddly. I love him to bits. He is quite a character. He will steal your leather gloves in the winter and bury them in the back garden when you are not looking. I lost five pairs one year despite my efforts to hide them from him. He always manages to get them, even out of your bag!
Savannah: Favorite flower?
Sara: I can’t say I like one particular flower there are many I like. My faves are lilies, gerbera, gladioli and red roses.
Savannah: Least favorite thing?
Sara: Spiders. I absolutely hate spiders. I blame my fear on watching an episode of Doctor Who with lots of huge horrible spiders in when I was very young. I can’t even watch some of the Harry Potter movies because they have big ones in them.
With the heavy rain in the UK recently we have had a lot of them come in the house and they are bigger than normal! I woke up one night to hear a loud tapping noise. It was so loud I thought I was being visited by a poltergeist. I got up and looked around the room. Nothing. I moved the shopping bags I hadn’t unpacked that day around as I checked everything thinking maybe there was a moth in the room somewhere. I went back to bed but the noise didn’t stop. My husband was still up so I called him into the room and after extensive investigation he ended up looking in one of my shopping bags agreeing with me that it might be a moth. He suddenly gave a shriek and told me not to look as he flung the bag half way across the room. I lifted my feet up on the bed with a scream and closed my eyes. I heard a loud bang and my husband exclaim that that was the largest spider he had seen in a while. It had been tap dancing it’s eight feet inside my shopping bag causing the noise. I wonder if I had carried that all the way home from the shop in the bag! Ugh!!! I hate them. LOL.
Savannah: What is the one fashion accessory you have a hard time passing up if you see it on sale? LOL We girls do love to shop!
Sara: Ooh I am a certified shopaholic. I love shopping for clothes more than anything in the world. But if we are talking accessories then it would have to be a designer bag. My passion is Prada handbags. I love ‘em. I can’t buy them very often. Like most people I have to save up my pennies and birthday pressies to get one but if I saw one on sale I wouldn’t be able to help myself. I would have to put out all the stops to get it. LOL.
Savannah: Do you have any special ways you like to relax or maybe a hobby?
Sara: I actually find writing relaxing. But I do like to read and watch movies, quite often old black and white ones and comedy with my daughter. Most of all I like going for walks in the forest not far from our home with the dog. For some reason I can’t put all my worries behind me when I go for a walk in the forest. I have also been known to indulge in a spot of knitting and I have recently decided to try my hand at growing my own organic vegetables in the back garden.
Savannah: Is writing your only career?
Sara: Writing is my only career at the moment but I have just completed my Reiki I course and I am waiting to do Reiki II. Once I become a Reiki Master I hope to start practicing it. I also want to take courses in reflexology and hypnotherapy so I can offer those therapies to customers. I also have aspirations to return to university at some point and possibly become a lecturer one day. But we will see.
Savannah: Regarding the subject of Reiki, could you share with us more about that?
Sara: I have been attending a psychic development circle and have just completed my Reiki I course. I started attending the psychic circle because I was having so many strange experiences that I could not define or explain. These experiences have only increased since I finished my Reiki course. Reiki is all about healing but it opens you up to being more receptive to spiritual occurrences. I have been told that I am a medium. I have to say that I have been having experiences for years that I have quietly dismissed. I now cannot deny what is happening. Recently I have seen outlines of people, lights and shadows. I see and hear many different things and it is only getting stronger. I am looking forward to doing Reiki II and becoming a master. I would also love to start giving people readings when the time is right.
Savannah: I was wondering, just between us girls **wink** do you have anything else coming out through Hellfire Publishing in the near future?
Sara: I have a contemporary romance called Sleeping Love coming out with Hellfire Publishing in November. I am very excited about this book. It’s about a woman who travels to a wealthy businessman’s French Chateau in the Loire Valley in France to undertake some historical research on one of his ancestors. Only, when she gets there she finds that her gorgeous enigmatic host knows about her memory loss from seven years ago after a brutal traumatic event in which she lost all knowledge of her family and friends. He announces to her that he is her husband and the chateau is the home she disappeared from on the night of her birthday party. Raoul is determined to have her back in his life and back in his bed. There is no escape.
I have included the blurb below.
Historian Sabrina Michaels lost her memory ten years ago after waking up in a London hospital badly beaten. When she travels to a French chateau owned by handsome wealthy businessman Raoul Valoire to research his famous ancestor, he lays claim to her as his wife.
Afraid of confronting her past, Sabrina attempts to leave the chateau but finds that her husband is more than determined to have his wife back in his arms and in his bed. He is prepared to hold her prisoner until she uncovers her true identity and remembers her love for him.
Sabrina embarks on a journey into her own past in the hopes of uncovering what caused her to disappear from the chateau without a trace the night of her birthday party and the man who was responsible for her attack. She only hopes it is not the husband she is falling in love with all over again.
Savannah reply: Great to hear! I’ll be looking forward to reading it!
Savannah: Well Sara, I know you’re very busy and I do appreciate you spending some time with me today. It has been great sitting and chatting with you!
Sara: I have enjoyed chatting to you Savannah. We must do it again sometime. :)
Savannah: Thank you Sara! You can find Sara Curran-Ross at the following sites:
Be sure to stop by, I know she’d love to hear from you! Now come on Sara (Savannah grabs Sara by the hand) Let’s go join the boys and do the Bunny Hop! J
Thank you everyone and be sure to stop by each and everyday!