08-20-2009 11:03 PM
Ladies Room. . .
I believe the book you're referring to is RAINWATER. It's set in Depression era Texas, so, no it's not contemporary. Nor is it a bona fide Christmas story. It takes place during the month of August. But it's a very moving, emotional story, so in that respect, I think it will make a good Christmas gift.
Amie does keep a comprehensive list of when reprints of older books will become available. Some are now available for the first time in audio.
08-20-2009 11:07 PM
Thank you, KFZ. I think Ryan is charming and perfectly wonderful, but then I'm biased!
He's very talented and has a vivid imagination. But, almost as important, he has an amazing work ethic. He takes my advice, which I give only when asked for it, but he then APPLIES himself to the job. He's worked very hard for this first book sale, so I'm proud of that.
The best advice I could give him? It's all about the STORY.
08-21-2009 01:26 AM
I first must say that I have enjoyed each of your books that I have read. Actually, once I start one I can't seem to put it down! It drives my husband crazy when I turn the bathroom light on at night so that I can see to read...oops!
Reading each of the responses on this board, I have tried to figure out which actors I would choose to play the heroes and heroines of each book and I have only come up with a couple of actors. I just have each character so vividly imprinted in my mind that I cannot easily replace their faces with those of real people. That said, I think perhaps Bradley Cooper might make a good Jay Burgess. He's very handsome and I can definitely picture him as the "life of the party" ladies man. I can also picture him as being a very calculating and manipulative character...his role in He's Just Not That Into You may have something to do with that assessment. Raley Gannon was a little bit harder to figure out. Perhaps Victor Webster or Ivan Sergei. I don't know. I have a really vivid image of Raley in my mind and there is nobody who really matches up with it.
As for which book is my favorite...well, I don't really have a favorite; I have favorites! In your suspense collection I started with Best Kept Secrets and fell absolutely in love with the story. Then I read Slow Heat in Heaven and once again I couldn't put it down. Breath of Scandal had me crying my eyes out in several scenes. I'm not really a crier if that tells you anything. Finishing off my favorites in this category are White Hot, The Switch, and Smoke Screen. I'm also not very adventurous. I had only read suspenseful books, until I read Texas! Lucky. Of course I had to read each book in that Texas! trilogy, and was then hooked on your romance novels. Led Astray, A Treasure Worth Seeking, Prime Time, and A Kiss Remembered are among my favorites in this genre. I haven't read all of your books yet, but I sure am working on it!
I think what I have loved most about each of your books is that both the protagonists are flawed characters. They are not perfect...just merely human. Yet you make the ordinary circumstance or character and turn into something extraordinary. You don't need exotic locales to make your stories interesting. They are made interesting based on your storytelling ability.
Keep writing such great books and I will definitely keep reading them!
08-21-2009 08:40 AM
Good morning, Sandra, and everyone visiting --
This has been a great week!
Sandra, I have a few questions to kick things off today:
1. Could you tell us a little bit about how you develop your characters? I know they're very important to you, and I'd love to hear more about how they "grow."
2. I know you do all of your work on a computer, but I've seen your longhand script, and it's quite elegant. Do you ever write anything by hand, as exercise or inspiration or brainstorming?
3. You are a lifelong Texan, and I wondered if you might tell us a bit about what Texan qualities influence you and your work.
That's it from me, but I know you'll have other questions and comments from your audience. Thank you so much for everything!
08-21-2009 11:38 AM
Thank you for all your kind comments. I especially appreciated what you said about casting actors in the roles of my characters. So often, I'm asked, "Who do you see playing so and so?" And in all honesty,it hasn't occurred to me. At least not during the writing of the story. Because the characters look like themselves to me. I never "cast" a book the way directors cast a film. In my mind my characters are themselves -- not someone portraying them. Thank you for being that insightful.
08-21-2009 01:33 PM
I had begun answering your questions and got called away for a meeting. I came back one and a half hours later, and finished, then submitted. But I'm not sure my answers got transmitted. So I'll answer again, but if I'm repeating myself, please forgive me.
1. I don't really develope my characters. They introduce themselves to me. It's a gradual getting-acquainted process. When I begin a book, I have a hazy idea of what the character is going to be like, but I don't get to know them well until I put them into the story and watch how they react. With each draft, I come to know them better, and by the end of the book I know them really well.
2. The only time I use longhand is when I start plotting. Working from a legal tablet makes it easier to scratch through the dumb stuff -- the rejected ideas. I know when an idea wants to become a story when I set the tablet aside and return to the computer. But I always write handwritten thank you notes. This is a diminishing art in our culture, and I regret it.
3. Well, Texans are notorious liars. To write fiction is to lie convincingly. Texas also has a rich heritage of larger-than-like characters, both real and fictitious. Texas has retained a wildness that I adore. I suppose I draw on all that.
As we're closing out the week, I want to thank you and everyone who visited. It's been my pleasure to chat with you.