Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Stirred by Nancy S. Thompson Trailer, Interview & Giveaway

Stirred Synopsis:
I’m Eden MacLaird, and Fate screwed me good at the age of twenty-one, stole my first love, then my first child. Twenty years later, I still haven't found my happily-ever-after. Sure, from the outside, I have it all, including Declan, my gorgeous, rich-as-sin husband. But things aren't what they seem, and catching Declan in bed with my best friend destroys any dreams I harbor for love, much less sexual fulfillment.

Then in walks Sean Bennett...

Just months away from earning his post-graduate law degree, Sean's smart, driven, and serious, but an unexpected encounter between us in a bar one night changes everything. His best friend, Trinitee, warns against getting too involved, but the heat between us is beyond intense, and neither of us are willing to walk away.

With my marriage in shambles, I'm eager to make a go of it with Sean, despite our sixteen-year age difference. But while I relish my sexual reawakening, I fear giving up the posh life I've grown accustomed to. That life, however, and everything in it, comes crashing down as bodies start piling up around us, and all clues point to me and Sean.

Secrets, betrayal, and revenge threaten to destroy not just my carefully-crafted reputation, but my very life. With our freedom at stake, Sean and I join forces to uncover those plotting against us. But as doubt and evidence mount, I must choose: give in to my suspicions and save myself, or trust our new-found love and save us both.

Nancy S. Thompson Bio:
Nancy is a California transplant currently living in Seattle, Washington with her husband of 23 years, their son, a student at Seattle University, their giant snow dog, Jack, and his kitty, Skye. She works as a freelance editor for her publisher and writer friends and also has her own interior design business within the model home merchandising industry. When she's not writing or editing, Nancy keeps herself busy by cooking and baking.

1.    When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
After completing my first novel, The Mistaken, a dark romantic thriller, I researched what it took to get published, and I thought, “I can do that!” From that moment on, I realized it was something I wanted to do long-term. There’s no fighting the writing bug once it bites you!

2.    How long does it take you to write a book?
It depends My first book took me three months to outline then write. My muse was working overtime on that one. My second, Leverage, took longer because it was commissioned by the publisher of my first novel, but, due to financial difficulties, they closed to submissions, which really threw me off. In the end, I think it took about six months or so cumulative. Stirred took an entire year, for several reasons. My father became very ill and passed away, then I had my own health issues, all of which slowed me way down.

3.    What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I typically outline in the evenings in front of the TV and, once that’s done, I write every day between lunch and bedtime. But I never set word or page quotas. I can’t force it. I have to feel the story. Then it flows well.

4.    What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Although I call it an outline, my first step is really more like writing an entire first draft by hand. I do it in a spiral notebook, and I don’t include setting or dialogue, but everything else is laid out. I don’t know many writers who outline, let alone handwrite their first drafts.

5.    How do books get published?
Depends on how much control the author wants. After polishing The Mistaken, I queried agents and small presses. I took the first serious offer I received from Sapphire Star Publishing. But when they closed to submissions, I had to self-publish Leverage since it’s part of The Mistaken Series and no other publisher would want it if they didn’t have book 1. As hard as that was, I discovered I preferred to have total control of pricing and promotion, so when I was finished with Stirred, I chose to self-publish it, too. If it does well, I might try the traditional route for my fourth, but I like being a hybrid author, both traditional and indie.

6.    Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
The Mistaken was inspired by a song, Thirty Seconds To Mars’ “Hurricane” back in 2010. It made me wonder what could drive a good and decent man to commit a violent crime, and could he ever return to the man he used to be. Leverage handled that last part of the question. Stirred, a stand-alone, was inspired by a “stalker” I had on Twitter a while back. It got my wheels spinning, wondering what might happen if someone like him got a little too close to someone like me, only richer and more famous. The story had a mind of its own and changed a lot, but that was the seed.

7.    When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I wrote The Mistaken in 2010 when I was 47 years old.

8.    What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love to watch movies and a little TV, too, but I’m a real stickler now for good, solid writing and believable plots, characters, and dialogue.

9.    What does your family think of your writing?
My husband is just happy I’ve found something I love to do. He’s proud of me, but he doesn’t read books. My mom’s proud, too. She always buys my paperbacks and shows them to her friends after reading them. My son seems a bit ambivalent, but his girlfriend reads my stuff, so he must talk about me, at least. The rest of my family couldn’t care less, but I’m cool with it. I have great friends.

10. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I learned that writing the book is the easiest part; it’s everything else, especially promotion, that’s hard.

11. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’ve completed three novels, but it’s so hard to pick a favorite. They all take up different places in my heart. I will say though, that I cried and cried every time I read The Mistaken. That book was based on a lot of personal experiences, and the main character’s tragedies tore at my heart. But Stirred, my first foray into pure romance, really made me pull hard from exceptionally sensitive places in my heart, so I have a major connection to it, as well. Choosing one is kind of like picking a favorite child!

12. Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so,
What I always tell new writers is to research every aspect of the industry, from writing craft to publishing trends. Back when I started, ebooks were still relatively new, and self-publishing had a tremendous stigma. You also had to have a “platform” back then, a blog, which, while time-consuming, led me to hundreds of other writers just like me, then, eventually, to dozens of literary agents, some of whom also had blogs. I learned a great deal from those people, from honing my craft to how to query for an agent and beyond. Traditional publication has lost some of its appeal as independent publishing has exploded and become acceptable, making some authors quite wealthy and well-known. So every writer has to find out for themselves which way they want to go. Either way, read books on craft, read agent and writer blogs, surround yourself with other writers, especially those more experienced than you, become critique partners with them, and polish that manuscript until you’re ready to puke and can’t stand the thought of reading it one more time. Most importantly, DO NOT RUSH!

13. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Those who enjoy my books tend to connect with me via Facebook more than anything. While I have an author page there, as well as accounts on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Goodreads, Amazon, etc., I love it when “fans” friend me on my personal FB timeline. I’m on Facebook a lot, probably too much, and if they engage with me, we often become good friends. And they’re always so supportive, many even promote me. Can’t get much better than that!

14. Do you like to create books for adults?
Oh yes, adults only! I love steamy sex and violence. Not sure what that says about me, but I include both in all my books, so they’re strictly for those 18 and older. I couldn’t imagine having to restrict myself for Young Adult or New Adult fiction. And I prefer more experienced protagonists.

15. What do you think makes a good story?
Credibility, more than anything else. A good story has to have a believable plot with authentic and relatable characters who are flawed, just like the rest of us. I always write about normal, everyday people. My genre is saturated with billionaire bad boy motorcycle club rock stars. While those characters are interesting and often make good stories, for me, they lack a sense of credibility, because they aren’t as relatable as the neighbor down the street whose little brother got mixed up with organized crime when he tried to steal from a corner market under their protection. Or the woman who runs an elite pre-school and hides the fact she’s also the author of very successful erotic romance. I like to think I could be in their shoes just as easily as I am in mine. And I like to think that gorgeous lover—whether he’s a contractor or a grad school student— is attainable, unlike most billionaire bad boy motorcycle club rock stars.

16. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be a veterinarian. Unfortunately, I’m extremely squeamish, and I cannot tolerate the sight of animals in pain. Then, since I’m an artist, I settled on architecture, which I still practice, along with interior design. I’ve had my own design company since 1997. I only started writing when the recession cut into my business. Now I do both!

17. What would you like my readers to know?
While my first two books are thrillers, they’re dark romances, too, so it wasn’t a stretch to jump over to pure romance. And though Stirred is steeped in suspense, it’s heavily front-loaded with romance. Once you fall for Eden and Sean, you’ll fear for them as they fight the violent forces trying to tear them apart. I love to write detailed, steamy love scenes, but the sex is not the point of the plot. It simply helps move the plot forward. So if you enjoy erotic romance and taut suspense, I’d love if you gave Stirred a shot. And let me know what you think!

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing my interview! And sorry for the bad Amazon US link. Here's the good one: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017E7HU54