This edition of Monday Musings welcomes author, Sandra Dailey, to discuss her new romantic suspense release, Close Enemy.
Welcome, Sandra. I love suspense stories and am excited to learn more about Close Enemy, but first please tell us about yourself.
Sandra Dailey lives with her husband and mother in a small town in North Florida, far from the maddening crowds. Her children and grandchildren all live close and keep her ridiculously busy and active. Her passions are reading, writing, and crafts. Her addictions are coffee, chocolate, and football. Her aversions are cooking, housework and negative people. She loves to hear from fellow readers and writers, so get in touch.
I’ve visited North Florida once, several years ago, and hope to return to that lovely state again one day. Do you prefer living in a city or small town, and what places do you most like to visit?
I moved a lot growing up, one relative to another, big cities and small towns. Now I’m a full-fledged homebody in a tiny town. I’ve never taken a vacation.
No need to go on vacation when you live in paradise. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
In my spare time I do crafts, mostly knit and crochet. I make clothes and stuffed animals for my grandchildren. My favorite project recently was a huge dream catcher I made for my son for Yule.
Gifts made by hand with love are the best! I bet your son will treasure that dream catcher. I’m guessing you’re also a reader, as most of us writers are. What are you reading right now?
I’m anxious to dive into James Patterson’s new book, Cross Justice. I just have to catch up on my own work first.
I’m a big fan of James Patterson, too. What’s your favorite genre? Is this the genre you write?
My favorites are mystery and suspense. I cut my teeth on the true crime short stories in magazines, and then graduated to my mother’s books featuring Mike Hammer, Phillip Marlow or Sam Spade. Even though I started writing contemporary romance they had an element of suspense. Now, I find my writing going straight in that direction.
I envy and admire anyone who can write suspense. I don’t have the crafty type of mind needed for it. What advice would you offer aspiring writers?
No matter what others say, write what you like – what interests you – what you enjoy. That’s what you’ll be best at.
And that’s why I write romance. No matter how good the story is, if it doesn’t have at least some semblance of a HEA, I feel cheated. Are you a plotter or pantser?
I’m an OCD plotter, index cards and all.
So, being a plotter, tell me which comes first, plot or characters?
The plot forms in my mind, but I flesh the characters out before anything else.
Is it difficult or easy for you to come up with titles and character names?
I may change a character’s name a few times. I have a habit of repeating initials. However, titles are almost impossible. It’s usually decided after the book is finished.
I always get such a sense of relief once I’ve come up with a suitable book title. What’s the best thing about being a writer? What do you like the least?
The best thing is making my own hours, usually during the night while everyone is sleeping. The worst is promoting the finished product. I’d rather be working on the next book.
You and me both! Promotion is such a big deal and so time-consuming, and I tend to look at it as a necessary evil. Describe your hero and heroine in Close Enemy.
Caleb is a tiger in the courtroom, but his past haunts his private life. Leah was forced to grow up too fast, and now circumstances have caused her life to spin out of control.
What inspired you to write about these particular characters?
Caleb was the twin brother to Connor, my hero in Common Enemy. One night he had to give an alibi. He shocked everyone when he admitted to a one-night-stand. It made me wonder who the woman was. Leah, and her story, was born.
Perfect! And that answers my question as to whether this is a stand-alone story or part of a series.
Close Enemy is the second of a pair. Common Enemy came first, but they can each stand alone.
That’s the kind I like to read—in case I miss the first story, I can still enjoy the second without constantly wondering what’s going on. And speaking of what’s going on, please tell more about Close Enemy.
She’s everything he doesn’t want, but he can’t get her out of his mind.
Caleb McCrae is a powerful man with a broken soul. In six years, Leah was the only person to help him forget the painful memories, but only for one night. Now she seems to have disappeared. A mysterious letter arrives, and she’s in trouble…in more ways than one.
Leah Fletcher’s life is complicated. To care for her drug and alcohol addicted mother she works at a sleazy men’s club…until she finds out she’s pregnant and is framed for a crime that lands her in jail. When a stranger visits, she learns her troubles have just begun.
Bogdan Petrov has waited eleven years to get back the money Leah’s father stole from him. Despite her denials, he knows she’s hiding it. He’s arranged to infiltrate every part of her life until he gets what he wants, but soon realizes that an unknown person is doing the same to him.
Very intriguing! We’d love to read an excerpt.
“If I’m such a problem, maybe I should find somewhere else to stay!” Leah shouted.
“Don’t be ridiculous. If you had anywhere else to go, you’d have already left.”
“Ridiculous?” Leah was white hot with fury. “I’ll pack our things now. I’d rather live on a bench at the bus station than stay here another minute.”
“Shut up, Caleb, just shut up.” Connor stepped between them. “If you let her leave with that baby, I’ll hold you responsible for what happens to them.”
“Why not?” Caleb scoffed. “After a single night of sex I’m completely responsible for her. She decided to have a baby, without my knowledge, and I’m responsible for her too. She gets thrown in jail, and who has to take care of that? Me, that’s who. Now, I’m responsible for her cellmate. Not to mention her boozeguzzling, pill-popping mother who married the ex-con who murdered her sticky-fingered husband.”
Certainly makes me want to read more. Where can we find you and your books on the internet? Please share your links with us.
Thanks so much for coming by today, Sandra. It was lovely learning more about you and Close Enemy. I wish you success with this intriguing new release, and with all your writing endeavors.