Author M.A. Church took the opportunity to sit down with Sandrine and ask her a few questions about her latest book A Betting Man, and we here at The Novel Approach are glad she did, because that means Sandrine gets to be part of our Wilde, Wilde week of fun with Wilde City Press!
And now, we give you…the interview.
Hey guys! Pull up a chair and join me. Lovely day for an interview, huh? :) Today I have the fab Sandrine visiting. She’s going to talk a little about her latest M/M release A Betting Man from Wilde City Press. Plus, she’s going to reveal all, lol, in an interview. o.0
Hope y’all enjoy! :)
A BETTING MAN
By Sandrine Gasq-Dion
How bad could one harmless bet be? Kent Samson is about to find out. Raised in Alabama, Kent has hidden his past and now loves his life as a big time ad exec for a prestigious advertising company in New York. But when he makes a bet with his best friend, Blaine, Kent is thrown for a loop—for Kent has to make the next person to walk through the door fall in love with him.
Terry Barron is hiding out in New York. Raised in England in a wealthy family, Terry escapes to New York to avoid arranged marriages and the lifestyle he’s grown to hate. When he delivers a package to an advertising firm, he meets the unbelievably sexy Kent Samson. Suddenly, secrets and lies complicate everything and both men find themselves in uncharted waters. How will Terry feel when Kent is revealed as a betting man?
Sandrine (Sandy) was born in Inglewood, California. Raised by “Old School” French parents, she later moved to Tucson, AZ. It was there that writing became a hobby. Always told she had a great imagination, Sandy wrote short stories for her friends in high school. In college, she took more writing classes while working on her Criminal Justice degree, but it wasn’t until a soap opera caught her eye that she got involved in male on male romances. On the advice of a friend, Sandy dipped her toes into the world of M/M Romance. Sandy takes the writing seriously and has had countless conversations with gay men as well as hours of research. She’s been involved with the military in one way or another for over twenty years, and has a great deal of respect for our men in uniform. She’s traveled the world, but is currently enjoying the South.
And now for the interview…
~When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Middle school. My English teacher told us all to write an essay about where we saw ourselves in ten years. It was due by the end of the week and I wrote it in one day—all ten pages front and back. I got an ‘A’ and she told me I had one hell of an imagination.
~How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
Almost all of it! There are places I’ve been, people I’ve met, situations I’ve been in that most people would say, “Well, that could never happen!” But it does! I think almost all writers pull from their own life, that’s what makes great storytelling! I’ve been involved in the military for over twenty years and the stories from that alone could make another ten books! My personality is most definitely in all my books. I think it comes out the most in my snarky characters.
~Have you ever doubted yourself as a writer and if so, how did you overcome it?
Oh God, all the time! I am so lucky to have friends that back me up and shout in my face when I become a babbling, crying idiot. I don’t think you ever really overcome it. I think you’ll always have that little voice in your head that pokes you and tells you that you’re just not good enough. I think for me, I write the best I can and when I look at a finished manuscript, I know at least ONE person is going to love it, and that’s all I need.
~How do you come up with a title?
It’s been interesting how many times I’ve bounced ideas off my friends who are close to me. Reflash was me talking to firefighter friends. Since the book revolved around Firefighters and Cops, Reflash became the only title I even considered. Mostly I’m looking at the storyline itself and what one word brings it all together. In the instance of The Nik of Time, I let my readers name it!
~When do you do your best writing… morning, afternoon, evening, night?
There really isn’t a set time of day. I TRY to write when the kids are at school, but half the time I’m up until about two in the morning typing like a mad woman. So I’d have to say I get more done in the early morning hours. My editor hates it because I do less punctuation at that time. lol
~Out of all the stories you’ve written which one are you most proud of?
I would have to say Second Time Around it was really my first try at first person and I realized I LOVE writing in the first person. I think in a lot of ways it’s easier and the words flow faster. I like putting myself into that character and bringing him to life.
~Do you plan your stories and, if so, to what extent?
I do and I don’t. I know with the Assassin-Shifter books, I have couples that I plan out way ahead of time (Wyatt and Preston, Devin &Andrei and Keegan and Vince) Then there are the ones that come to me as I’m driving down the road. I’m 16 books into the Assassin-Shifter series and I have so many more to write! Coming up with fresh storylines is where the planning starts. I don’t want to rehash the same story over and over so I’ve added a few characters to mix it up a bit! I’ve also got the books I’m writing for Wilde City Press and those will not be a series, but you’ll see past characters come in!
~How many stories do you work on at any one time?
Oh God, right now I’ve got five going at once. It’s like a never ending voice in my head. Usually it’s when I’m driving down the road I’ll get an idea for a book. Sometimes it’s in the middle of the night!
~What was your favorite character to write, and why?
I think Riley Flynn is my favorite. He’s just so much fun and he has innocence about him. He’s spontaneous and has an inner child that loves wreaking havoc. He’s also very loving and to an extent– naïve.
~Name three things that would surprise your fans to know about you?
I speak fluent French.
I actually hang out with tatted, bulging military men.
I have actually lived in every state I’ve written about. And not just for a few months, we’re talking YEARS.
~What’s your guilty pleasure?
ANGRY BIRDS! lol
~What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
In the beginning I couldn’t afford an editor. My friend and I tried our best, but I’ve never been one to care about where a comma goes and if that period needed to be there. So I think the flack we both took in the beginning hit us both hard. I changed editor’s right after Half Moon Rising but still keep anyone involved in this close to me. They were here from the beginning and shall remain here throughout.
The best compliment hands down are from my readers. When I get an email telling me how much a book lifted someone’s spirits, or just made their day, any five star review can’t beat that.
~What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
I had another author tell me never to read reviews below five stars. Normally, I try to adhere to that advice, but there’s still that part of me that wants to see if I could do better. I’m a glutton for punishment.
~If there was one piece of advice you could give a new author, what would it be?
Edit, edit, edit. Try not to take that one star review to heart. If there is one thing I learned over the last year and a half, it’s that you can’t please everyone!
~What was the hardest book for you to write, or the hardest scene in one of your books to write, and why did you struggle with it?
Second Time Around and Summer of Awakenings tie as the books hardest to write. With “Second”, I pulled a lot of emotion from my own loss. I lost my father and my grandmother in a plane crash and I think for me, losing someone so suddenly takes one hell of a toll on you. So the funeral scene in “Second” drained me emotionally. “Summer” was hard to write as well, especially for the character of William and the kids that had been abused. That book was mainly for all the teenage kids I have been blessed to meet, and some of the names in the books are actually theirs.
~When you sit down to write a book, do you go with the flow? Or do you outline and plot all the important details out first?
Both. Some books just write themselves and I’m going with the flow. Other’s I’ve had to actually sit down with a pad of paper and write down how I wanted it to go chapter by chapter. Sometimes I’m writing the ending of the book and then I fill in all the spaces in between. It’s crazy!
~Who are your favorite authors (in your same genre or not) and some of the best books you’ve ever read? What is your favorite book that you remember from childhood?
I fell in love with The Thorn Birds. I think that all-consuming-can’t-have-it love makes a story that’s much more compelling. And the movie was done beautifully! That book has remained my favorite all this time.
I love Stephen King; he’s just got this twisted mind that I love! Dolores Claiborne is my favorite, with Misery close behind!
I love M.A. Church (Hehe), GA Hauser, Mercy Celeste, Mary Calmes, Ethan Day and Geoff Knight, just to name a few!
~If your “Muse” were an actual flesh and blood person, what would he/she look like?
A seriously tall, tatted man with bulging muscles!!
~What part of the writing process do you dread?
Research. Although I’ve lived in every state I’ve written about, I still go back and make sure I’ve got that right street, or that building is where I said it is. Researching Russian Prey started with me trying to find a maximum security prison in Russia out in the middle of nowhere. FUN! lol
~Do you prefer hot or cold weather and why?
Now this is funny. I was born in California, but raised in Arizona, so I LOVE hot! BUT, on that same note, I was stationed in Fairbanks Alaska for two years and LOVED the cold. I think in Arizona, I loved the fact that I could just go dip in the pool and get a tan in five minutes. In Alaska, I loved the cold because I could bundle up and watch the Aurora Borealis from my front porch. I’m at an impasse…lol.
~Are you a romantic?
Oh God yes! I believe in love at first sight!
~Do you listen to music when you’re writing?
All the time. I also incorporate songs into the books so my readers know just what song I was listening to when I write that hot/sexy/steamy love scene.
~If we could see your writing space, what would we see?
I’m so organized it’s pathetic. You’d see a very clean desk with little to no clutter. I keep little knick knacks on it that the kids have made for me, or readers have sent me. Other than that, my coaster for my coffee cup and the cat bed.
~Do you own a pet? If so, tell us about him/her!
I own two cats, one dog, three fish and four rats. I’ve had the dog the longest though. She’s a Siberian Husky and fourteen. She set in her ways and loves to drive me up the wall. I had another Siberian, a male named Nikoli, my readers will know that name ;). I lost him last June and adopted my cat, Mateo. (My readers will know that name too). He sits on my desk and watches me work. Nikoli used to sit in my office all the time and I would talk to him about what I was writing. So in a way, Mateo has helped me heal just a bit!
~What are your favorite TV shows?
Supernatural, Castle and The Vampire Diaries. I’ve cut out so much TV in the last year I’ll have to watch all the shows I dumped on Netflix.
~Want to tell us about any projects you have in the works? Or any releases coming soon?
I’m actually writing a follow up to A Betting Man. I’ve also got The Littlest Assassin-Shifters as well as Lesson’s Learned in the works, and four more other books, some in the Assassin series and some off on their own. The Nik of Time Should be out soon. I’m going to be very busy this summer.
~Where can your readers find you on the web?
I have two facebook pages, a blog and a website.
~Is there any message you’d like to share with readers?
First off, thank you! If it wasn’t for all of you, I would not be where I am. So thank you, thank you, thank you!! Second, I look forward to bringing you many, many more books in the future!
And that’s it, folks! A huge thank you to Sandrine and M.A. for visiting us today!