MR: Thanks for coming back, Sloane. Let's start by talking about your writing process. Are you a plotter or a pantser? What are the advantages and drawbacks of your approach?
ST: I’m in the “P” category alright, but it’s called a procrastinator. LOL.
Actually, I’m quite anal about my writing. At least that’s what my critique partners claim.
I do a spiral notebook for each book with the cast of characters and their characterizations. Each chapter has its own page and what has to go into that section to move the story forward. It also shows me where I can logically drop in snippets of back story. Every day I list the number of words I want to write and how I feel the story’s progressing. It’s also where I lambaste myself or my computer.
This process works good for me even though it is time-consuming. Without it, I flounder and play Mah Jong for hours on end. Not good when deadlines are looming.
MR: Can you talk about your road to publishing? How long did it take?
ST: Actually, it was very short by anyone’s standard. I started the first book in 2003. It took almost two years to write because I hadn’t a clue as to what I was doing. That’s when Beth Anderson came along and set me straight.
A Silhouette editor, at a spring conference in 2005, asked me to send her the book and, a couple of months later, told me it was too explicit for category romance and suggested I consider going mainstream.
The next fall, I attended a writer’s conference and met one of the honchos from Triskelion. We talked for over an hour, and she requested my book. Off it went and, a month later, she offered me a nice contract. That book was released in June 2006 and my career’s been going well ever since.
MR: Your books are primarily e-published. Can you talk about how e-publishing differs from print publishing?
ST: Hmm, I may not be the best person to answer this, but I’ll give it a go. Rumor has it that print publishing editors are the best and that e-pubs simply scan for punctuation. It’s also said e-pub editors become editors because they love to read. In many houses, that’s probably true.
My publishers, Aspen Mountain Press and Eternal Press, aren’t like that. Those editors come with a long list of reputable credentials that make my head spin. It was one of the main reasons I chose to sign with both publishers. There isn’t an author out there who couldn’t use a good edit.
Of course, there’s the more commonly known reason, e-books are cheaper. I’ll go along with that. We’re in an age where monies are tight for a lot of people, so why spend $15.00 for a paperback you’ll probably never get back if you loan it out.
We’re in an electronic/conservationist age. Everything has to move faster while we save our resources. Anything a person could want can be found on the Internet, some good and some bad, but it’s all there. I truly believe that, within twenty years, print books and newspapers will be obsolete.
MR: You're one of those writers who has secured contracts with multiple e-publishers. What’s your secret?
ST: No secret, Maya, just great luck. After my first publisher went bankrupt, several others contacted me to sign with them. Pretty amazing, huh? I checked them out and chose the ones I thought were the best for my needs. I also had to think through what I wanted for my career. I decided I’d never be exclusive to one publisher again.
MR: Any tips for aspiring writers?
ST: Writing is a business. You have to treat it as such. It’s just like working at any 9-5 job, only a writer has flex time.
You must sit yourself in front of your computer and work. It’s tough, but if you’re serious and writing is more than a hobby or a game, you’ll do it.
The writer should prepare a schedule. If you commuted to a job every morning, five days a week, you’d have a routine. It’s the same with writing. If you don’t do that, you’re lost.
MR: What’s next on your agenda? Tell us about your next book.
ST: Currently, I’m working on the second of five books in the Naughty Ladies of Nice series, French Delights, which will be released in December.
Hopefully, the blurb says it all. LOL.
Lisette Hugo arrives in Nice, France to first rescue her irresponsible friend and then to pamper herself with an overdue vacation. As an added delight, her rundown rental cottage comes complete with a sexy French gardener well equipped to satisfy all of her fantasies.
Paul D’Laquois, an impoverished research scientist scraping by on the remnants of his family’s estate, has poured his meager resources into his work. He couldn’t be happier when a wealthy tourist rents his dilapidated cottage. That she’s beautiful, seductive and more than interested in him convinces Paul he’s not as dried up as his orchard.
Sloane, thanks for taking the time to stop by.
Thank you, Maya for having me visit. It’s been fun.
I invite your readers to visit me. Here’s where they can find me when I’m not traipsing through Europe researching new material;
My contests are run through my short, quarterly newsletter for Members Only. The sign-up form is on my home page.
Thanks, Sloane. Let's take one last look at your book covers:
Francine on Fire is published by Aspen Mountain Press. The link to the book is here.
French Tart is published by Eternal Press. Their website can be found at: http://www.eternalpress.com.au/