Saturday, August 18, 2012

Love's A Beach

That's the title of a new anthology by Still Moments Publishing that features 
Deep Blue Escape by my good friend and fellow author Sandra Tilley.  

I've invited Sandra here today to tell us a little about how she writes and the difference between writing shorts and novel length.

Tell us a little of your writing history. Which came first the novel or the short?

Sandra:  After teaching middle school English for a hundred years, I retired and spent a year writing a novel.  The shorts came three years later.

So tell us about the different genres you write and one you prefer one?

Sandra:  One of my short stories Dead Man Floating, is a romantic suspense and Deep Blue Escape is a women’s fiction/romance.  I love writing women’s fiction, but writing romantic suspense was big fun. I’ll let you know which genre I prefer after I try my hand at YA.

Wow.  You like to keep things fresh.  But do you have a preference between novel length and shorter?

Sandra:  Writing a short story is definitely easier; however, sometimes you can’t take a story where it needs to go in less than 10,000 words. But writing shorts provides opportunities to experiment with different genres.  And in my case, to get published.  

So how do you decide on your stories’ length.

Sandra: When all the balls I’ve been juggling land snuggly into the plot, it’s done.  For some stories it's 7000 words, others it's more like 90,000.

Sounds like a panster to me but I know for a fact you like to plot.

Sandra: I’m a big-time plotter but (with much gnashing of teeth) I have been trying to be more of a panster and let my story flow. Because when the characters take over, it is so much fun!  

How do you decide on a time frame for a short?
Sandra:  It’s all about pacing. With a short, you have little time for dessert.  So it’s basically meat and potatoes.

Tell us a little about your settings? Both are set locally aren’t they? Here on the Northwest Florida Coast.

Sandra: Both shorts are set on Pensacola Beach. Right in my backyard.  My novel Someone Like You is set in a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama close to where I grew up.

What is the most difficult part of your writing process?

Sandra: Blocking out distractions and keeping those toxic negative thoughts out of my head. 

What are you working on now?
Sandra: While I am revising my novel Someone Like You ONE  LAST TIME before submitting queries (again), I’ve plotted and begun writing a full-length sequel to my short story “Dead Man Floating.” 

We'll look forward to that.  You left us with such a hook at the end of the story that even as your critique partner I've been begging to see the sequel.

Do you have a favorite craft book or writer’s resource?

Sandra: I think we’re students for life, and there are no restrictions when it comes to learning and honing our craft.  RWA offers many options.  Savvy Authors and Writer’s Digest offer info and opportunities.  And I follow a number of great blogs—like this one!  Personally, the greatest resource I’ve found has been finding the right critique partner. Thanks, Suzanne!

What a great friend!

If you have any comments or questions for Sandra feel free.  And be sure to check out her new releases with the these links on the titles.

Dead Man Floating a sailboat crashes into the fishing pier on Pensacola Beach, Florida, where Sydney Harrell and Gena Sandlin have their chairs and cooler planted in the white, powdery sand. Sydney, a registered nurse, swims against the current and hauls herself aboard and finds an injured man floating face up. While administering first aid, Sydney feels the boat shift and is relieved that help has arrived. Her relief quickly turns to angst when she is joined by her ex-husband—Mark Penrose, FBI agent. A recent divorce fails to extinguish the flames between Sydney and Mark, and their close encounter fans the smoldering embers. When the injured man dies at the hospital where Sydney works, she and Mark find themselves in the middle of a federal investigation and international intrigue.

 Deep Blue Escape in Love's a Beach

A summer at the beach can cure most things, maybe even a broken heart. Julie Ross is ready to give up on love until she gets stopped for speeding by Officer Jackson Palmer. He lets her off with a warning, but who’s going to warn Officer Palmer that his own heart is at risk?