This week’s author interview is with Sawyer Belle, and she’s written a gorgeous historical romance. Her heroine is a pirate (!!) and her hero is a knight (!!!).
Read on, and enjoy!
When did you start writing? What was the first thing that you ever wrote?
My memory doesn’t go back far enough to say when I actually started writing, but I can say that in elementary school, probably second or third grade, I wrote a story about Columbus and his voyages to America, but I did it from the perspective of his fictitious pet Beagle named Amerigo. It won first place in a school wide contest and I got to go to a pizza place in a limo with my mom and the school principal. I’ve written ever since. 🙂
Is writing your full-time job? If not,would you like it to be, and why? If so, what are the most rewarding and challenging parts of full-time independent writing?
Writing is not my full time job, unfortunately. I have a very demanding day job and I use writing as an outlet. Without a doubt, the greatest challenge to being an indie author with a day job is the balancing act: trying to juggle work, motherhood, and writing. It’s a difficult and delicate thing, and I am definitely not the best at it. The most rewarding thing about being a writer is feeling like I’m feeding my passion. When you work full-time and have small children, it’s easy to forget about yourself and the unique traits and drives that make up your identity. Mothers find ways to recharge and replenish their spirits in the ways that best suit. I write. Don’t get me wrong, I totally love it when readers love my stories, but the MOST rewarding bit is being true to my goals and pursuits.
How many books and/or series have you written to date? Which one of your books is your favorite, and why?
That’s a hard question to answer, because I’ve written way more than I’ve published. So, we’ll just go with published. I have five books out at the moment, four historical and one contemporary. Three of the historicals are part of a series I’ve called Love in the Sierras. It’s about western settlers in the early years of Nevada, my home state. Book three, Ruby’s Song, was just released last week! I feel it’s my best work to date, but my favorite story is Love of a Lioness, my medieval pirate tale. I think it has the just the right mixture of everything I love in books: passion, adventure, history, and action.
What are your future projects?
In the immediate future, I’ve a Christmas novella to release as part of my western Love in the Sierras series. After that, I want to embrace my unfinished contemporary projects. I love historicals, reading and writing them, but they take up much more time and commitment to write. Readers of historical romance do NOT take lightly to anachronisms. I’d like to spend more time with my young children, so I’d like to write some stories that are not as research-intensive. I’ve got three contemporary romances that are in varying stages of completion. One takes place in the Bahamas, another in San Francisco with a pair of professional dancers and the third in Las Vegas in a spoof of The Bachelor. I’m really looking forward to writing all three of these.
Your book ‘Love of a Lioness’ is set in 1343, and so is most definitely a Historical Romance. What attracted you to this time period? How did you do your research?
I read a ton of history books. In college, I never sold back any of my history textbooks. That’s how much of a history geek I am. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I began devouring books on the Hundred Years War. The circumstances, the people, the battles, the politics were all so dramatic. It screamed for a romance. So, most of my research was done as pleasure reading. Then, of course, there were the tedious bits of researching the clothing, customs, the weaponry, shipbuilding, etc. But this was my first time getting into “the groove” as a writer, or what I call the “writer’s high.” Everything came together easily. The story poured from my fingertips and I was in love with it the entire time.
Your heroine, Isabeau, is a pirate (squee!!), called The Lioness of Brittany. Can I just say that I loved that about her? How did you get inspired to write a strong, amazing female pirate (squee!!) intent on avenging her father?
Ha ha. I love Isabeau. She is my favorite of my heroines (with Ruby following closely behind). Isabeau was inspired by the many true accounts of heroic woman during the Hundred Years War. Joan of Arc, Joanna of Flanders, Joan de Clisson – all extremely brave women who led armies in battle and conquered enemies. Reading their stories gave birth to Isabeau. I love strong, fierce, courageous women.
Our hero, Guy Dampierre, is an actual, real knight (squee!! again). Why did you choose to make him quiet and calm, especially when compared with Isabeau’s fire and fury?
Guy…….doesn’t he make you sigh? I’m a huge fan of opposites attracting because I think it provides balance. Guy was the anchor for Isabeau, someone to keep her true and grounded in what matters most. She needed someone as reliable as her father, someone she could trust. For someone as riled as she was, and given the reason for it, Isabeau could have never fallen for or trusted someone who was aggressive and antagonistic. Plus, it showed Guy’s maturity. I like heroes who don’t have to be arrogant and boastful about their strength.
Your love scenes are very hot, very descriptive. Do you find it easy to write them?
Ha ha – thank you! I don’t find it hard to write sex scenes. I do get a bit red-cheeked and that, but they are the easiest parts for me to write. It’s so much more difficult and important to write a good story full of tension, angst and pathos.
If a reader wanted to find out more about you, where could they do that? Have you got a website, blog, social media presence?
My website has a good overview of my books and background. That’s at www.sawyerbelle.com, but I’m most active on my blog: www.sayitsawyer.wordpress.com. Of course, You can find me on Facebook as AuthorSawyer Belle, or on Twitter @Sawyer_Belle.
My favorite stomping ground outside of my blog is on Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/SawyerBelle
Thanks so much for having me, Marysol!!