Welcome, Sara Hubbard!
Now, last time Sara was here for an interview--in November 2012-- she got waaay off topic. Instead of telling us about her book, Blood, She Read, she talked about Christmas Trees.
Well, it won't happen this time. We're going to keep her strictly on task with a series of questions. Lol.
Since Sara doesn't drink coffee but prefers chai tea, my magic pot is steeping away. :)
While I'm pouring our drinks, why don't you tell our readers a little about yourself, Sara.
Find out more about Sara and her books here:
Ally: I usually ask guests to reveal something about themselves that isn't in their official bio. What deep, dark secrets are you hiding? Lol
SARA: I don’t know! This is a tough one. My bio states I’m military but it doesn’t say that one of the best times of my life was Basic Training. And no, I’m not a sadist. The camaraderie at Basic is unlike anything I’ve ever felt before, and I still remain close with several of the people who completed it with me, and that was back in 1998.
Ally: Thanks for sharing that. Now on to the book talk. Is this your first NA novel? Did you find writing it any different than writing YA?
SARA: Yes, it is! In fact, this was one of the first books I ever wrote, although it has changed dramatically since then. What I like about New Adult is the exploration of intimacy between the hero and heroine. You have to be careful not to add too much spice to Young Adult novels and it was nice to be able to write the intimate scenes between my characters without any restrictions.
Ally: What do you like best about your heroine? Why do you think the hero is the right guy for her?
SARA: Hmm…I think what I like most about her is you would do anything for the people she cares about, even risk her life if she needs to. She’s also a little naïve and trusting and, for me, it makes her endearing. I’m not sure if the hero is right for her (you’ll have to read the book and decide for yourself!) but, I do think there is undeniable chemistry between them and exploring their relationship was a lot of fun.
Ally: Readers often want to know where our characters come from. Did you have an inspiration for Isame?
SARA: You know, when I wrote this novel I was writing it while Pride & Prejudice played in the background. I think it inspired the time/place/feel of the novel but I can’t really say that I had any inspiration for Isame. The novel began with a scene in my head about a girl running from giants in the woods. It all kind of morphed from there. I wanted to have some yummy heros and giants just weren’t cutting it. Tattooed warriors from a distant land were a little more swoon-worthy.
Ally: Describe the unique setting you used in By Force.
SARA: Think 12th century England. Sort of. The place is completely made up, but I guess this era has a similar feel to it, with castles and men and women on horseback and knights, etc. There are five islands that make up this world: Northern and Southern Copaxa to the East, Optavia to the West, Faemell to the Southwest and Ghost Island to the Northwest. Each island has their own unique features. Isame comes from Copaxa and is kidnapped by savages to be taken to Optavia, the land of the Daentarry (or savage folk). Faemell is an island filled with half species and fairies, or I should say, is “rumored” to be the home of fairies. Wink, wink. And Ghost Island is the land of the dead.
Ally: Putting our books in the hands of readers is a struggle for all authors. Have you found a magic wand or even a tip or two on marketing that you could share with other writers?
SARA: I wish I had a magic formula, and if I did, I would gladly share! Sadly, I don’t really have one. What I’ve found has helped is to be very active on social media and to ensure you engage your readers. Be grateful to them for helping you live your dream. :)
Ally: It's almost time to share a quick look at your new release, but I do have one last question. Given our last conversation was all about Christmas trees and your great love of the season, dare I ask? Is your tree still up?
SARA: Lol. Actually, my Christmas tree is now down, although there are still pine needles kicking around the house. I never can seem to get rid of them!
Ally: That's why I've gone with artificial. It was a pleasure to have you visit, Sara. Come back anytime. We'll end today's chat with a peek at your book...
Kidnapping Isame would set them free…
Isame wanted freedom: the freedom to travel, the freedom to explore, but most of all, the freedom to choose the life she wanted over the life—and the husband—her parents had chosen for her. But when Isame leaves home to accept another man’s proposal, she happens across five fierce, handsome warriors. She wonders why they’ve travelled so far from home, but she never imagines their purpose might have something to do with her. Not even after they kidnap her.
Remmie is a man of honor and fierce loyalty. So when his king commands him to find a specific young woman on the island of Copaxa, he’s prepared to obey. But he’s not prepared for the woman to change everything. Isame is special. He can see it from the start. But how can one puny woman make him question everything he’s always known, including the rightness of doing what he’s promised?
Heat rating: mature YA
Excerpt: He dropped my arms immediately and left my side. When he returned, he carried a wool blanket. Confused by his kindness, I watched his face as he carefully tucked the blanket in around my half-sitting body. His eyes flashed down, meeting my gaze. Something about the way he looked at me did strange things to my stomach. He looked…sad…regretful. But he said absolutely nothing. He wrapped the rope around my wrists and tied them with enough slack for me to easily wiggle out of them. I could have escaped if I had any energy left in my body, which I did not. I considered thanking him for the blanket, but how could I express my gratitude toward a man who had stolen me from my family?
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