Welcome back Sara Jane Stone. I am really honored to get the chance to interview Sara on her writing process and journey. Such a great interview, thank you Sara!
What is your writing process?
SJS: I start each book with a character outline and a short summary of the story. This two-paragraph blurb generally resembles the back of the book copy. Sometimes, if the publisher requests one, I write a synopsis. Then I start writing the first draft. I write whenever I have time until the manuscript is complete. I usually go back to the beginning about halfway through and read what I have to make sure the characters and plot are on track. And after the first draft, I go through many, many rounds of revisions and edits🙂
Describe your journey as an author so far.
SJS: I discovered romance novels while working as a sales representative for Random House. The more I read, the more I wished to write them myself. After a few failed attempts, I wrote a story that caught an agent’s attention. Then I wrote another that I sold to Harlequin. My debut, Command Performance, released three years ago. Mixing Temptation marks my 13th published book!
How do you stay motivated?
SJS: I love to write. But deadlines also help. I’m generally very motivated when the first draft is due. And I’m always eager to hear what my editor thinks about story.
What has been your biggest obstacle while writing and how have you overcome it?
SJS: Learning how to structure a story. I wrote a few terrible manuscripts before I sold my first book. They were creative and I had a strong voice, but the characters lacked goals and motivation. Also, I’d skipped the conflict. My agent and my first editor helped me by recommending books about story structure. Save the Cat, a screenwriting book, is my favorite. My agent recommended a number of blogs. Then I took everything I’d learned and read a lot of romance novels. I reread some over and over until I understood structure and could apply what I’d learned to my own writing.
Why did you write this book?
SJS: Great question! I wrote this one for all of the readers who asked for Caroline’s story. Initially, I pitched Caroline’s story to my editor as a secondary character/plot line. But readers started asking, so I spoke to my editor and we decided that this was the right direction for this series. Even though writing a story about a woman who’d been raped while serving in the Marines didn’t exactly sound like a recipe for happy-ever-after, I found one for Caroline. But wow, the bumps along the way! Mixing Temptation was the most challenging story I’ve written so far. And the most complicated to research. The first person accounts and interviews were heartbreaking to read. In the end, I think the story delivers on the HEA promise romance readers expect. And yet it is also realistic.
Thank you for being a part of the Mixing Temptation blog tour! And happy reading!! Continue reading