Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Writers on Wednesday: Sandy Vaile

Hello, and welcome to another brilliant Writers on Wednesday Post. This week South Australian author Sandy Vaile is stopping by as part of her Combatting Fear blog tour to chat about her new book and her busy writing career ...



Tell me a bit about yourself ...

Hi, I’m Sandy Vaile, and I’m a motorbike riding daredevil who isn’t content with a book unless there’s a courageous heroine and a dead body.
I’m lucky enough to live amongst the McLaren Vale vineyards, where I can indulge my passion for devising horrible things to do to fictional characters, all in the name of fun, of course.
In my spare time, I run a critiquing group for novelists, judge romance writing competitions, present literary craft workshops, and occasionally write articles and short stories. When I’m not writing for fun, I compose procedures for high-risk industrial processes. (Yep, a word nerd through and through.)

Tell me about your most recently published book?

My books are published by Simon & Schuster in the US, and my latest novel, “Combatting Fear”, will be released on the 20th February 2017.

How far would you go to save a child that wasn’t yours? 
Mild-mannered kindergarten teacher, Neve Botticelli, leads a double life. At home with her paranoid father, she is a combat trained survivalist who lives off-the-grid.
When self-made billionaire, Micah Kincaid, storms into town in search of his four-year-old son, Rowan, he’s pushy, entitled, and stands for everything Neve despises. 
But something far more sinister is lurking in rural Turners Gully, and it has its sights set on little Rowan’s inheritance. It turns out there is one thing Micah and Neve can agree on, and that’s keeping Rowan safe. 
As they work together to free Rowan, they glimpse beneath one another’s guises, and realise that falling in love might be even more dangerous than hunting deadly criminals.
Tell me about the first time you were published?

By the time an offer was made for my first book, “Inheriting Fear”, I had been writing for four years and completed two manuscripts. Naturally there were a bunch of short stories and unfinished manuscripts lying around too, but it had taken me this long to feel confident that I had a saleable story.

I’d like to say the acquisitions editor saw a master piece and just had to have it, but the truth was I was in the right place at the right time. Crimson Romance (a subsidiary of Simon & Schuster) was looking for stories with gritty non-traditional heroines, and I just happened to have a very boisterous heroine called Mya, who rode a motorbike and kick-boxed well enough to put most men on their tails. A match made in heaven!

Being an e-first publisher, the turn-around time was fast (less than 3 months). First my editor marked up structural edits, then another editor did minor copy edits, and just when I thought I couldn’t stand to see the book again, I got the galley proofs to proof read.

Before I knew it the eBook was available on Amazon, followed by print copies, guest blogs and author talks. The best part has been meeting loads of wonderful new people!

As writer, what has been your proudest achievement so far?

Honestly, I like to celebrate even small milestones, to remind myself how lucky I am. My family has a “happiness jar”, and we write things that make us happy on coloured squares of paper, and leave them in the jar all year. On New Year’s Day we pour them onto the dining table and enjoy reading each one. It’s a great time to reminisce and be thankful for the joy and achievements, no matter how small.

In literary terms, I thought that first book contract would be impossible to beat, but I can tell you that I was equally excited about the second contract. :-)

What books or writing projects are you currently working on, if anything?

I subscribe to Sir Richard Branson’s theory of biting off more than I can chew, and then chewing like hell. This year I have five workshops to develop and present, I’m attending the Salt Festival in Port Lincoln, am spending a blissful week on a secluded writing retreat where I’ll be writing the first in an erotic novella series called “Coastal Connection”, and hoping I make a start on the next romantic suspense, “Guarding Fear”.

Which do you prefer? eBooks or Paper Books? Why?

I love the convenience of being able to carry a library of books with me on a slim Kindle, as well as being able to read hands-free while I’m eating. However, paper books will never die. They are sensual and exotic and look amazing spilling out of my bookshelves. These days I save paperback purchases for my favourite authors, or when I go to an author talk/book signing.

Aside from your own books, of course, what is one book that you feel everybody should read?

This is the trickiest question ever. I find it impossible to play favourites, because I have a new favourite every month, and book preferences are very personal. “The Cuckoo’s Calling” by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) is a story I keep going back to, because Rowling has a gift for layering vivid characters. Although I don’t often have the patience for literary fiction, I couldn’t put this book down. Definitely a worthwhile study in how to write crime.

Finally … is there anything you would like to say to your readers in Adelaide, Australia?

Gidday fellow South Aussies! I have a special treat for you, because both of my books are set on the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula, because it’s one of the most beautiful places on the planet (and I’m not biased at all!).

Although I do change the names of some landmarks and town names, to avoid offending locals (of which I am one), I’m sure you’ll recognise a few. Even a couple of bottles of d’Arenberg Money Spider Roussanne made it into “Combatting Fear”. Worth a tasting if you’re down this neck of the woods one weekend.

Stay in touch with Sandy via her website, Facebook or Twitter.

Buy “Inheriting Fear” here…

Thank you Sandy for stopping by my blog. As part of the Combatting Fear blog tour, Sandy is giving away a copy of Combatting Fear. Enter via the widget below (entries close 27th of February.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway