AH MY GOSH I am so excited to share this interview with ya'll :)
Iv already told you about the Like a Lady Serial on numerous occasions because i absolutely adored the series to the moon and back, well i got the chance to interview the very talented lady behind the books. S.J.SAWYER!!!!! She has been nothing but wonderful with helping out and agreeing to the interview with my lil old blog, plus giving me an exclusive excerpt and teasers to share.
ENJOY MY LOVELIES xoxo
1.What does your writing process look like?
There's a process to this madness?! *GASP* I'd love to say I have a method, tried and true, that gets me through this insanity that is writing, but I don't. Every book that I've written has been done differently. It's proof that there is no right or wrong way to do it. With Like A Lady serial, I've sketched out ideas and concepts, using organizers to map out the flow of flashbacks and current sections. And it worked, for that project. Sealed was written out of order, chronologically speaking. As I saw it, I wrote the scene, and then, I filled in the blanks (I don't recommend this, just fyi!). Teased was, for the most part, written front to back, in the order it appears. Occasionally, I would sketch a scene that was too vivid to ignore, not often. Ditto that for Secured.
Mostly, I attempt to sketch out the scenes that I can see in my head on paper, even if it's just a sentence, to make an outline of the work. That's how I start. Then, I come in and try to figure out what happened in between. BUT, and this is a huge BUT, I am very character led in my writing. I wish to hell that I could just make things happen when I wanted them to. I can't. I've tried. It's a disaster of epic proportions. I mean, plagues have started that way! For me, writing is an expression of the characters in my head (yes, I'm totally crazy! Disclaimer!) So, when I'm writing, if a turn happens mid-scene, I go with it! Those guys totally know what they are doing.
2. Do you have any strange writing habits or rituals?
No habits--it's just me and my laptop.
3. Just as your books inspire authors, what authors inspire your writing?
Authors who inspire me...let me think. Cora Carmack, for sure. I adore her books. I once emailed Mia Sheridan and told her that Archer's Voice would be the reason why I quit writing, as I could never match the brilliance of that novel. I'll forever adore the great first wave of Indies: Kristen Proby, Abbi Glines, CoHo, those sorts <3 For me, inspiration comes from a song, an image on Pinterest, a book. Anything can "trigger" a scene or an idea.
4. Were you always a writer? Have you always loved to write?
I have always been a writer, as the notebook filled totes beneath my bed attest to! It's something that I have always wanted to do. I can't imagine not writing, actually.
5. If you didn't like writing books, what would you be doing for a living?
In addition to writing, I have a very boring daytime job at a bank, and I suck at math, so there's that. I work the lending side of banking, and luckily, don't handle any money! I am also a photographer. I've made all of my own graphics and teasers! Though, recently, I paid to have the Like A Lady serial facelift, and I will never do my own cover again. I adore Kari March's designs for the serial and my logo.
6. What are your working on now? What is your next project? (if you can tell us ;)
I am currently working on several projects, but the one that will most interest my Like A Lady fans is No Offense, Darlin'. There's a glimpse of Beau and Shelby's story at the end of Say A Prayer! However, I love you guys so much, I'll give you another sneak! I am also co-writing a stand alone novel titled Honor & Sacrifice with the lovely, talented Lynn Stookes. AND last but definitely not least, I'm working on a new adult fantasy novel that is a fairy tale retelling. It's sort of my secret project, though ;) This summer, I'll finish up Tethered, the next in the Sealed series.
7. Do you read your reviews good or bad? Do you respond?
Ahh, reviews! They are such fickle things. I do read each and every one of them because they can be wonderful, helpful insights from my readers, but I never, ever respond! An author that I admire once blogged about not responding to reviews, good or bad, because nothing the author says will seem constructive, and I totally agree. I've had bad, awful reviews that cut me deeply, hating and bashing on things that should have been apparent from the beginning (yes, Like A Lady serial is in four parts; yes, I have Big Girl Panties for free to give you a taste of my writing style and the characters; no, they can't be read stand alone; and yes, they end in cliffies like a television series!). I even had low reviews in my Sealed series because of a free novella that was written on my website as a Valentine's special to my readers (which was later published as Severed, for those who want to know!). It was FREE, and everyone complained that it wasn't a complete book and that it was short. It was very, very frustrating to me, as I was trying to do something nice for my Kreed Jones fans, BUT every time I considered replying, I remembered the advice of that amazing author and stepped away from the keyboard.
8.If you could cast characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your series Like A Lady who would you choose as your characters?
I've actually never dream cast Like A Lady, not with real, Hollywood stars because I've never found the "right" fit to how I see them! I do have Spotify playlists and Pinterest boards with images and ideas to enhance the reading experience.
9. If you had a superpower what would it be?
Superpower...hmm. I'd write a lot more books if I was a techno. Being able to type with my mind would be AWESOME!
10.What literary character is most like you?
I don't even know--I aspire to be Elizabeth Bennet, but I will always fall short. To me, she's the all time, epic heroine. There's nothing better than sarcastic wit and a good sense of humor.
11. Where is one place you want to visit but haven't been before?
Australia, of course! And Hawaii. I'd love that.
12. If you could have any accent from anywhere in the world what would you choose?
Irish--I'd kill for the accent. I went to Europe in high school, and our tour guide was Irish. His accent was amazing lol.
13. If a character from any book EVER written could come to life, who would it be and why?
Not to be conceited, but I'd love to have a Mary Lou in my life (for those who don't know, Mary Lou Parsons comes from my Like A Lady series). She's funny and awesome, and everyone could benefit from a little of her in their life.
14.Your book boyfriend crush at the moment?
I'm totally in love with Daemon Black. He's from the Lux series that I mention in 15! It's my current read, and I'm loving it.
Last but not least and defintley the most important
15.What is your current book you are reading?
OMGeeee!!! I am into para/fantasy romance at the moment, and I just finished up Inspire by Cora Carmack. THEN, I started the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout.
**No Offense Excerpt**
Copyright 2016 from S.J. Sawyer-Unedited and subject to change
Dr. McKay’s booming voice is echoing into the barn a minute before he ever gets here. I laugh to myself. The man is a giant, standing well over six feet tall and probably close to two seventy-five. He’s older with a graying beard and hair, kind blue eyes. I’ve never heard how old he is, but I know he’s probably in his sixties. With a mouth that would make my mother blush.
And that’s saying something.
“Stupid bastard cats. Whores! Everyone one of them. Why do we keep them, Shelby? I don’t understand.”
I smile at him, holding up one of the little kittens. “Because they are cute.” He grumbles at that. “Because they keep the mice away.” He looks over at me, eyebrow raised. “What? They do!”
“So are you,” I accuse.
“Hmph.” But I notice that he picks up the smallest of the bunch, a tiny, orange ball of fuzz nuzzles her to his face. “This one stays. The others go.”
We do have a cat problem, but it’s not from a lack of trying on our part. Dr. McKay neuters or spays them as they come up to the clinic. The most recent litter came from a momma cat who was already pregnant when she found her way here. She’ll be fixed up, but then, there’s the matter of the kittens. It’s a never ending cycle. The only perk for this litter is that it is Christmas time. I’m sure it’ll be easy enough to find them a home.
A shutting car door echoes back to us from the front of the office. I look up to find him covered in kittens, inspecting each and every one. “I’ll go see who that is.”
“Probably Reggie. He said he was going to bring in a load of new cattle. Jus’ tell him to bring it on back. We’ll put them in the south pen.”
I hate cows. They’re my least favorite animal, probably because they are so damned stupid. You herd them and herd them, pin them up, and what do they do? They get out in the road and stand there just waiting for someone to drive through and run into them. They’ll cross cattle guards, which are a joke. They’ll tear through a barbed wire fence and shred themselves up just to taste the grass in the next pasture.
Sure enough, Reggie’s black, four-door pickup is parked out front, the big trailer hitched to the back. I can smell ‘em and hear ‘em from here. This wasn’t how I wanted to spend our Sunday. I was hoping for a nice, peaceful day. One where I could sneak in some homework. Guess that’s not going to happen.
“How’s my favorite cowgirl?” he calls, throwing an arm around my shoulders. “I see you got your workin’ boots on!”
I look down at my pink Muck boots. “I was hoping it was just for feeding the mess we already got in the pen. What are you thinking, bringing more work for me?”
“Like to keep you on your toes.”
He rubs a hand back and forth over my hair, messing up my braid. “Damn it! Cut that out, or I’m going to send you packing with all of ‘em! You messed up my hair.”
“Such a girl.”
“You going to stand here grab assing all day, or can we get these suckers penned up?” I ask, sticking out my tongue. He laughs at me, pulling his ball cap off his head and giving me a mock bow. I grab hold of the side of the truck bed and swing my body up. “South pen.”
I hold on to the side, crouching down, as he makes his way over the potholes. Looking back over my shoulder, I see a familiar, old truck pulling into the front parking lot. What is he doing here? My stomach starts fluttering, butterflies not even the half of it. I feel like I’m going to lose my breakfast, and I’ve been feeling great, not a touch of morning sickness. No, this is something entirely different.
Something I don’t really want to deal with today.
Reggie pulls us up, and I stand, holding on to the cab, to help direct him backward. We get backed up to the pen. Dr. McKay comes walking our way with his game face on. The man who likes to cuddle with the kittens is gone, replaced by the vet who is tougher than nails. I’ve seen him wrestle cattle to the ground time and again, never batting an eye. He’s a tough bastard, but I love him so much more than I’ll ever be able to say.
“Reggie! Good to see you,” he calls.
Reggie hops out of the truck, slamming his door. When I move to barrel over the side of the truck bed, he holds up his hands, letting me slip easily to the ground. I nod my thanks. They start talking cattle, and I tune them out, knowing that I’ll get my instructions soon enough. Knowing Dr. McKay, he won’t let me help with this. Ever since he found out about the baby, he’s been a protective momma bear. It’s damned scary.
“Beau Reed! What the hell you doin’ here?” he asks, and I look up, having forgotten about him.
How that is possible, I can’t say, because the instant I look up, seeing him stalking our way, my panties freaking melt. The way he walks is the sexiest thing, ever. He doesn’t swagger or prance about. There’s no false bravado with him. No, it’s an intense walk, as though he’s always on a mission, always with purpose. The walk is just an extension of his personality, though. The man never does anything without a reason, nothing casual.
That’s the scary part.
“Hey, doc. Reggie,” he says, and I detect a hint of a growl in his voice. I look between the two of them, but I don’t see anything in their eyes to clue me in. “That’s a bunch of cows.”
“Yeah, just bought them at the sale, yesterday. I always bring them in to be checked out. Riling up cowgirl, here, is just a perk.”
I shake my head, eyes condemning him, but there’s a smile on my lips. “Screw you, Reggie. I hate those cows.”
“Did you need something, Beau?” Dr. McKay asks him, getting down to business.
Probably a good thing since we have all this damned, bawling livestock to deal with. “Actually, I just need a second of Shelby’s time. Shouldn’t take me long.”
Reggie and Dr. McKay exchange a look, one that I can’t decipher, before Reggie walks on around toward the stock trailer. “Sure thing. Shelby needs to finish feeding the animals, anyway. Just try not to get in her way.”
And then, he leaves me with Beau, leaves me with the butterflies.
God, I’m going to be sick.
“Come on,” I tell him, gesturing toward the clinic. Without waiting on him, I take off, sloshing through the mud in my boots. “That’s my cue to get back to work.”
“You work hard, don’t you?”
I look over my shoulder at him, wondering what that question means. “Um, yeah, doesn’t everyone?” I pause, thinking about my mother. “Well, don’t most people?”
“No, not really.”
“Hmm,” I shrug. “Well, yeah, I do. I need this job. Dr. McKay pays me a nice salary to work my ass off, plus he has health coverage. That’s a big perk, these days. And, to top off all that with a big, fat cherry, he’s lenient with my school work. It’s a win-win for me.”
“I’ve always thought he was an ass.” I laugh, leaning down to pick up a bucket of feed for the dogs we are kenneling. “What? I have!”
“I guess he comes across that way, but I love that old man.”
The hunting dogs are baying when we get closer to their pens. I open the gate, shooing them back with my feet to get inside. Their food bowls are completely empty, no shock there, and I fill them up, scratching each one behind their ears, even though I’m not supposed to with them. I slip back outside of the pen in the mass confusion that is breakfast. Grabbing the water hose, I twist the special nozzle to let a trickle of water out, filling up their bowls from the outside of the pen. When they are full, I drag it on behind me, down to the next.
Jeez, we keep too many animals here. I swear, it better pay Dr. McKay a ton of money cause they are such a hassle.
Mrs. Perkins poodle had puppies. Apparently, that was a cause to room all of them here at the clinic, and we have them in a separate area away from all the others. Their heating lamp is still keeping it nice and toasty. The big ball of fur looks at me disdainfully when I put food and water in her bowls. Despite her bitchy demeanor, I pet behind her ears, under her chin, and she loosens up, leaning in to me.
“There ya go, girl. It’s all right.”
I take a doggy biscuit from my pocket and give her a couple. She smiles up at me, happily, tail wagging, before digging into the treats. The puppies are happy nuzzled at her side. They all look warm and cozy, happy.
“You are amazing.”
My heart stops, coming to a complete stand still in my throat. “Thank you,” I reply, not sure how to reply to something like that.
“People don’t give you nearly enough credit.”
“For what?” I ask, facing him.
“These animals love you.”
I laugh. “Not Princess, there. She’s a pretentious bitch who thinks I’m not good enough to feed her.” I nod, acknowledging that he might be partly right. “She does love these treats, though. I think I’ve softened her up.”
“You’re good with the animals.”
“Too bad I’m not that good with people,” I lament. Shit! Where did that come from? “I just mean, if I were better at that, maybe I wouldn’t be in my current situation.”
“I’d say your current situation means you are too good with people,” he drawls, shitty grin tugging at his lips.
“Screw you, Beau!” I laugh because while his comment was rather awful, his tone is light, playful. “I meant all the crap with Slutty Leslie and,” I lean in close, whispering, “Jake’s truck. If I were a better person, a better people person, more likable, then maybe I wouldn’t be in that mess.”
“The way I see it, you aren’t in a mess. Not anymore, anyway.”
“What?” I ask, stopping to stare at him.
“Well, the assault charges are going to cost you a little bit of a fine, but I don’t think it’s going to be that bad. As for the Roberson case, well, it’s going to be closed here shortly, perp unknown, assuming we don’t have a weapon show up with fingerprints.” That shit ain’t happening! “The camera is pointed in the wrong direction, and I spoke with the Robersons, yesterday. Butch isn’t interested in pursuing any charges. As the truck actually belongs to him, not Jake, he’ll have the final say.”
“How’s that even possible?” He shrugs, but I know that he’s had something to do with this. “Tell me.”
“Leave it be, Case. It’s done.”
Oh, how I want it to be! “I don’t think I should get off without some sort of punishment. Honestly, Beau, we all know I’m guil—”
“Hush!” he orders, putting a hand on my mouth. The smell of his skin is comforting, which is weird, but he has this clean, outdoorsy smell that clings to him. It’s the best smell in the world. I wish I could bottle it. “I took care of it. Please. Just trust me.”
“I do,” pops out of my mouth before I can think about it.
We’re left with little else to say. His hand slowly drifts down from my mouth, touching my shoulder softly. He feels so good. It’s intoxicating. Addicting. A girl could easily get used to being surrounded by Beau Reed. When he’s this close, it’s hard to remember all the reasons that I can’t.
He seems to be considering something, looking down at me with big, expressive eyes. “Why does Reggie call you cowgirl?”
“You caught that, huh?” I say, laughing. “He’s always bringing in cows, and I hate them. Hate. Them. He knows it, thinks it’s fun to tease me about it.”
“I think he likes you.”
That growl I heard earlier by the truck is back. “Excuse me?” I ask, certain that I’ve heard him wrong.
“I think he likes you, Case. You know, your ass, your tits, the way you are just you. I think he likes you.”
My spine stiffens, hating the tone of his voice, but I look over my shoulder, instantly searching out Reggie and Dr. McKay. Neither one of them are paying us any attention. They are more than occupied messing with the cattle. I’ve known Reggie as long as I’ve known Dr. McKay. He was one of the first customers I helped once I came to work for the clinic, and he’s always been nice to me.
“Does he like me? Yeah. About as much as Dr. McKay does, Beau. You’re being silly.”
“You’re real fuckin’ blind, sometimes, Case.”
I am usually good at reading people. Growing up the way I did, you have to be. If you aren’t, people will take advantage of you, or worse. From a young age, I’ve had the talent for figuring out what makes them work. That eventually lead to learning how to scope out people’s tells. The little ticks that make them their own distinct person.
And right now, I’d swear that Beau Reed is jealous.
“Guess we’ll just have to disagree,” I tell him.
Moving, I step around Beau and walk toward the front parking lot. He follows behind me, his long stride quickly catching up to my shorter one. The mud is thick out here, right now. Dr. McKay has been trying to get gravel hauled in for weeks, but the guy was on backorder. Now, it’s so dang slick, he probably couldn’t get the truck in the drive. So, we are left to deal with puddles of muddy water and squishy ground. It’s fine for me. I wear my work boots when I’m here, anyway. But Beau. Well, he wasn’t so lucky. By the time we get to his truck, I’m feeling really bad for him.
“Sorry about your shoes,” I say, looking down at his fancy boots. They’re all muddy, icky, now. “I shoulda taken you through the clinic.”
“Just some mud. It’ll come off.” I nod, unsure what to say. He lets out a huff of air. “I’m sorry I got into with with you over Reggie. I shouldn’t have said that shit.”
“You’re wrong. He doesn’t care for me like that. Sides, he’s like ten years older than me.”
“So is Carl, but I’m willing to bet that my brother would be all too interested if you gave him the time of day. I don’t think age has much to do with it.”
I’m not sure where all this hostility, this aggression, is coming from. It’s not like Beau. “Carl has the hots for anything with tits. I swear, he might be pining for Jeff,” I joke, referring to the bartender’s enormous man-boobs. “So, I don’t think I’m special there.”
“Ahh, hell, Case. I don’t think you have a damned clue.”
With that, he turns away from me, getting into his old truck with a squealing slam of the door. It starts up with a groan, and he backs out, maneuvering the driveway with a wave of goodbye to me. I stand there in the parking lot, watching, long after he’s gone, wondering what the hell he’s talking about.
THANKYOU SO MUCH TO S.J. SAWYER FOR TAKING TIME OUT OF HER BUSY AUTHOR SCHEDULE FOR THIS INTERVIEW
You can find out more about her books at the author website and read the first parts for FREE!!!