Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Get Unraveled With Sandra SooKoo!!!


Ooh-Da-Lolly!!Golly, what a day!

If you're ready to get the weekend started, you've come to the "write" place! We aim to please here at TLN. So, whether you're destined for a little rest and reading or a write-till-you-drop marathon, we've got just the stuff to get your pumps primed!


Please help me welcome the lovely and super talented, Sandra SooKoo!! She's got the recipe for a good romance and is willing to dish it up!


Top off your cup and grab a sweet treat! Hi-Oh and away we go!!

1) If you were a book, what would your blurb be?

Fairly new to the writing world, Sandra Sookoo might not be at the top of the best seller lists, but she’s making waves with both reviewers and readers alike. With a unique style that draws a reader into her worlds, you won’t be disappointed with any of her tales. Whether you’re looking for paranormal, historical, contemporary or a dabbling of sci-fi, Sandra’s stamp of humor and highly-charged emotional characters will be with you for a long time.

2) Using three words, describe your voice.

Strong, funny, poignant

3) Newbie to Published Author: How has your writing changed?

My writing’s changed in huge ways. It’s funny. Talent is a huge part of writing, but then you have to hone that talent, refine and enhance it in order to be taken seriously. I’ve learned how to tighten my writing, how to build character arcs, close plot holes and so much more. There’s tons more to learn and I can’t wait to take it all in. If you’re not learning on every part of the journey of being a writer, something’s wrong.

4) What's the best writing/career advice you've ever received?

Be yourself. Stay true to your story. These days, many people make the mistake of relying too heavily on what critique groups say about their manuscripts. While critique groups can be great sources of learning basic craft, grammar, techniques, etc., they have the potential to be great sources of self-confidence killers. Some folks in these groups think they’re big shots and take great pleasure marking up a writer’s work just for the joy of feeling superior. This is the time to stay true to yourself and your book. It’s your story. Deep down in your heart, you know what’s best, what’s instinctual. Take the good, pitch the bad, and move on.

5) Any tips for all the newbies out there on writing Query Letters or submitting to publishers?

Ah, the Query Letter. Nothing strikes terror into the heart of a writer more than those two words. Which is funny because it’s only a letter of introduction for your piece and yourself. The catch? Making your book sound interesting enough to get through the door as it fights with hundreds of others. It’s a tough job, I won’t lie. The biggest thing a lot of writers flub up on is not reading the submission guidelines well enough. Consider these as a test to see if you can follow basic rules. If you can’t, generally, you’ll get that big rejection. Of course, we all still make mistakes, such as addressing letters to the wrong people, not paying attention while tailoring letters, etc. It happens. Don’t stress over it. Move on.

My tip? Adapt your writing style to your query letter. That’s the best thing you can do for yourself.


6) Do you have a favorite writer's reference book or website? Any super cool writer gadgets you're digging right now?

Actually no. Sometimes I’ll read a reference book, but I find the best way to learn how to improve your writing is to simply write. When my mind gets bored, I’ll switch genres or write a different character type than I’m used to. I learn a lot about myself when I go beyond the ordinary. As for gadgets, plain old Word is my weapon of choice. As long as I have working fingers and a laptop, I’m golden.

7) What's coming for Sandra Sookoo?

I think the better question can be “what’s not?” LOL On the docket for 2010, you’ll find a few contemporary stories (which one will be in print—I’m so excited!) Of course there will be a few paranormal stories with another couple historicals in the mix somewhere. And big doings for the fall will be my first space opera. Can’t wait for that.

Here’s a taste of what I can entertain you with. It’s the blurb and an excerpt from my latest release UNRAVELED SOULS.



Blurb:
Noelle Radliffe can communicate with ghosts. They haunt her nights and show her dreams of things that haven’t yet occurred. When she has a vision of a dead lion and sees the name of a man, she searches the city to find him only to become sidetracked by an addiction she can’t fight.

Enter Nicholas Pemberton. Although charming and charismatic, he hides a secret, one that is deadly as well as mysterious. He’s a shape shifter and the urge to change into a lion is a battle he constantly wages with himself, second to the recently discovered obsession he feels for Noelle.

As the two fight their mutual attraction to each other, Nicholas attempts to elude the local police force intent on linking recent murders to his name, while Noelle continues to seek peace in her life and to understand her purpose. Their connection is too strong to ignore. As passion ignites, so does the danger. Lives are threatened and destinies collide, but will love be enough to save their souls?


Excerpt:



"No need to be so formal, Miss Radliffe. We have already been introduced." The rich timbre of the voice caused the air to vibrate.

Prickles danced along her skin. The hair on the back of her neck rose. She recognized the voice belonging to Nicholas. "Damn." The cabinet muffled her expletive and she bumped her head when she removed herself from the dark depths of that same piece of furniture. As her stomach fluttered from what she could only assume were nerves, Noelle rose to her full height of five and a half feet and met the amused gaze of the devil himself. "What do you want?" She touched her fingers to her head and felt the tender spot, hoping it wouldn't evolve into a knot.

"What every man wants." A slow grin parted sensuous lips, and the strong afternoon sun caught the blond waves of his hair, turning them to a masterpiece of molten gold that flopped toward his forehead. "Wealth, success, and a willing female to warm his bed and tempt his scruples." He kept his hands behind his back.

"In case you could not discern the fact for yourself, this is an apothecary shop, not a den of prostitution." Noelle's cheeks burned as he continued to appraise her. Slowly, and with obvious enjoyment, his gaze slid down her body. Her skin warmed as if he had physically caressed her. She pressed her hands together at her waist. His presence filled every nook and cranny of the small shop. She cleared her throat, glad when his eyes met hers once more. "If you have no legitimate business here, I must ask you to be on your way."

"Oh, but then you would be mistaken. You see, I do have business here." Nicholas drew her small beaded bag from where he concealed it behind his back. It dangled from his forefinger by its braided cord of black satin, insignificant against the virility of the man. "I had no idea such hostility would be my reward for the return of your possession."

Noelle lunged for the bag, but he held it over her head out of reach. "I thank you for bringing it to me. I had planned to drop by the Carlisle this evening to retrieve it." She refused to give him the satisfaction of jumping after the purse like a puppy with a bone.

"I saved you the effort." Nicholas lowered the bag, but kept it secure in his grip. "There is something I have been curious about. When I saw you in the dining room earlier, it appeared you were talking to yourself, or at least to an empty chair. Do you often exhibit yourself in that manner?"

Invisible hands twisted her stomach into knots. "Uh, I certainly was not talking to myself. I am not mad if that is what you mean to imply." She could not reveal she conversed with ghosts. Her reputation was on shaky enough ground. "You are mistaken."

"Indeed. I must beg your pardon then."

A sigh escaped as relief washed through her. "Thank you." She worried her bottom lip with her teeth. "Well, I'm sure you must have other appointments." Would the man never leave?

"There is another reason for my visit." He held the bag out to her.

"So I surmised by your reluctance to go away." Her fingers brushed his. Threads of heat licked over her skin. Her gaze flew to his face, and once again, the faintly mocking expression annoyed her. "Men like you can rarely be forthright in your intentions." She tucked her bag under the counter. "My visions are never wrong. They may come to fruition days after I have seen them or they may take months to be revealed as the truth, but the end result is the same."

"I must say--"

She didn't allow him to continue. "It is your choice to believe me. It will not affect my life, but at least I can sleep with a clear conscience having warned you." Noelle ignored the twinge at the tiny lie. Sleep was always elusive, no matter what she did to court it. Dreams and ghostly visits didn't mesh well with rest.

"If you would allow me to proceed?" A light brown brow quirked. "I never said I did not believe you. I merely desire to know how much you have learned about my brother and me."

"Learned about you?" When his expression remained serious, she frowned. "I know you two are siblings, obviously, and that you run a mercantile shop. Other than what I saw in my dream, you remain a stranger to me." She didn't trust the speculative light gleaming in his eyes. "Thank you for the return of my purse. I wish you well in life." Her heart pounded, but she couldn't wrench her eyes from his. She was effectively frozen to the floor, playing rabbit to his predatory hunter.

Nicholas moved to the counter, his steps steady as he prowled its length. "Who else have you told about the dream?" He placed his hands, palm down, on the scarred wood and leaned forward.

"Which one?" Her voice dropped to a whisper, and she moistened her suddenly dry lips. "You or the lion?" The aroma of apples, oak, and the faint note of tobacco swirled about her. Noelle blinked and poured all her concentration into resisting his charm.

"Both. The lion is strange enough, but since the dagger features into both visions, I would caution you to keep the knowledge to yourself."

"My cousin is aware of my dreams. Outside of her, no one is privy to them." She swallowed. "If I choose to share my visions with someone else, you really have no say in the matter." With a supreme effort of will, she severed the invisible connection between them and retreated until her back connected with the wooden cabinet.

"I refuse to argue this point so early in our relationship." Nicholas straightened. His eyes were hard glints of brown, clouded with hidden secrets. "Suffice it to say, if any sort of rumor regarding a lion begins to circulate around town, you will be the first person I come looking for."

"Is that a threat, Mr. Pemberton?" Cold anger fueled her movement now. Noelle shot around the counter to poke a forefinger into his lapel, annoyed at his audacity. "In case you misplaced your brain, you and I have no relationship nor will we share one in the foreseeable future." The hard wall of muscle beneath his clothes caught her unaware and she dropped her hand.

A grudging smile crossed his lips. "It's premature to debate semantics. I will be in touch." He turned on his heel and strode out the door.

Noelle stared at the space he had previously occupied as thoughts chased around her mind like leaves in a whirlwind. First and foremost was her unabashed dislike of the man. She did not trust him, and she sensed he harbored more lies than truths.

Buy Link: http://tinyurl.com/yhs7jp4
Author website: http://www.sandrasookoo.com/
Book video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7K54iCYvt_A



Can't you just feel the sparks flying?! Talk about a sweet nibblin'! I'd like to thank Sandra for letting me interview her. She is definitely destined for a long and fabulous career! I just adore her humor and know you will, too! Looking for more details on Sandra SooKoo, click on over to her website!
FYI: She's got some kickin' recipes to share and a whole lot more!

THANK YOU for coolin' your heels here every week, TLN'ers!! Here's hoping your weekend is fabulous! Thank you for all the well wishes. My boy came out of surgery yesterday just fine!((hugs! to all)) To get you in the mood for some Friday fun, I'm taking ya waaaaayyy back! Here's 80's pop-princess, TIFFANY and I THINK WE'RE ALONE NOW!! (lol I still have the tape of this album! I know, I know, I'm a dork!-- but a fun one!)*wink, wink*




16 comments:

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Sarah and Sandra,
Great interview. You certainly are prolific Sandra. Being an historical writer myself, I'm glad you included historicals in your repetoire.
Great excerpt, Nicholas sounds gorgeous with his golden hair. My kind of man.

Cheers
Margaret

Sandra Sookoo said...

Thanks Margaret. He's one of my favorite heroes :-) And I truly love writing historicals.

EA said...

Sandra and Sarah,

Love the interview. The advice portion is true. Sometimes as developing writers, we begin to imitate others styles and even worse, words. The toughest part is finding your voice and making it work.

Thanks so much for sharing these insights with us.

~Evie

Sarah Simas said...

Thanks again, Sandra, for letting me interview you! I really adore your cover. It's beautiful!


HI Margaret!

Thank you for clicking on over. :) I love historicals, too. I think it is so cool that Sandra has such a diversified back list. It's very, very inspiring to see an author with so much drive!

Hello, Evie. :)

I really enjoyed reading Sandra's advice. Learning craft is difficult and apply what we've learned even more so! I'm so happy you stopped by today! Thanks!

Between The Lines & More said...

Informative interview, and thank you so much for the exciting excerpt. Must, Must get this book.

StephB said...

Sarah and Sandra,
Great interview! I loved the excerpt at the end of the interview and it just wets my appetitte further for the book.

I love Sandra's writing. She's very engaging. Consider me a fan!

Smiles
Steph

Laurean Brooks said...

Hi Sandra,

I envy your gift for description and your knack for making your characters come alive.

I write inspirational, historical, and have a sweet time travel on the way-back burner.

May God continue to bless you in all your endeavors,

Elana Johnson said...

I love the advice about the query letter. Great interview! Thanks for sharing all that. :)

Sandra Sookoo said...

Thanks everyone for your kind words. It really made my day :-) This book is easily one of my favorites and I truly love my hero and heroine. And yeah, I'm a descriptive, emotional writer :-) People say they're drawn into my scenes and I'm so glad. :-)

Tonya Kappes said...

Yeah Sandi!! Hold on for the ride! It's sounds like your in for it and smiling all the way!! Congrats girl.

Sandra Sookoo said...

Thanks Tonya. I really do love to write :-) Can't wait to see what happens.

Diane Craver said...

Liked what you said about writing the dreaded query letter and to adapt your writing style to your letter. Good advice.

Great excerpt - hope you sell tons of books!

Sandra Sookoo said...

Thanks Diane! :-)

Cari Quinn said...

Great interview, ladies! Sandra, you're so right about staying true to yourself. Wishing you the best of luck! :)

Sandra Sookoo said...

Thanks for dropping by Cari! :-)

Micole Black said...

Sandra & Sarah...

Sandra, thank you for all of the great advice and Sarah thank you for bringing it to us. I can always count on bringing back the information that helps me along the way when I come to your site!

Hugs to both of you.

Micole