Read the interview with Sandra Norton Flynn, author of Be Mine.
Sandra, Thanks so much for agreeing to talk with me today about your writing life. Can you explain why you used a pen name? What are the advantages/disadvantages of doing that?
I’m writing in a completely different genre than my previous books, and I wanted my readers to know what to expect from each. Plus, I’m conducting a little bit of an experiment to see how well an author can keep two names separate. We’ll see how this plays out.
When did you start writing and how long did you know want to be a writer? Your whole life or later in life? Did you start writing novels? Short stories?
I started out writing short stories, and had to push myself to get up to novel length. I figured, if I could tell the story in a shorter way, why not? I’ve been writing since I was a teenager.
Do you have any professional training? Creative Writing degree or writing classes, etc.
I’ve taken a few college classes and attended a lot of writing seminars.
Do you attend writer’s conferences?
Yes, I’ve attended many seminars and conferences. Each teacher presents the information in a new way, and even if I’ve heard the material before, sometimes it’s helpful to hear it from another point of view.
What is your writing life like? When do you write? Where? Do you have a process? (For example, my perfect set up is sitting up in my bed with a Dr. Pepper and a hot chocolcate – and an empty house!) I don’t need it to be quiet—which is good, because it’s rarely quiet at my house. I need lots of ice water nearby, and I’m usually wearing socks—especially in the winter. I write in spurts all throughout the day, whenever I find a minute.
Are you self-publishing your upcoming book, Be Mine? Yes, I am.
Could you tell us a little about your experience publishing so far? For example, which parts of the publishing process you like/dislike.
I like seeing the book come into being. I enjoy self-publishing because I have total control, but I also like traditional publishing because the publisher absorbs the risks.
Writers often debate over how much solitude is necessary to be a good writer. Do you work mostly alone or do you like to socialize. (I like to write in groups – but with my headphones in – so I’m with people but not distracted!)
I need to write alone. I get distracted when there are other people around me.
Who do you work with as an author (editor, etc) and how do their roles impact you and your process?
Tristi Pinkston is my editor, Andrea Pearson is my e-book formatter, and James Curwen is my cover designer. Every one of them have brought amazing ideas to the table – I’ve really got a great team.
Do you have a muse? Something reliable that gets your creative juices going?
I know almost every author says this, but taking showers. There is something magical about hot water.
What obstacles do you face in your daily life that could/do prevent you from writing?
There are a lot of things … it’s easy to get pulled off to the side by things that aren’t as important. Of course, the other things that distract me are housework and children, which are important. The trick is knowing what to let go and what I need to take care of right now.
What is your favorite thing about writing suspense/thrillers?
I want to keep my readers a little bit tense and breathless. I imagine how they’re reacting to what I write, and that’s what I enjoy the most.
Tell me a little about your book, Be Mine. Do you have a favorite character or scene in this book? I read the first chapter that you have posted on-line here http://www.sandranortonflynn.com/p/about-books.html and I have to say that I love that Erin has auburn hair! (I know you didn’t know me when you wrote it, but it feels kind of like I’m famous!)
Lauren, who is the main character’s assistant, is my favorite character. She’s a little bold and brassy, says exactly what’s on her mind, and she holds nothing back.
And hey, auburn hair is pretty cool …
As far as an “about the book,” my main character is a fashion designer in New York City who finds herself the target of a serial killer. And that’s all I’m going to say for right now.
In addition to Be Mine, you have two other books coming out this year. Could you tell me about them? Are they sequels to this first one?
No, they are standalone novels. The first is “For Keeps,” the story of a therapist who gets trapped in a house with a hoarder. That one’s likely going to be a little gross—if you’ve ever watched “Hoarders,” you’ll know why. The second one is “I See You,” which is about a man who is running from his past, but when his past catches up to him, it decides to make him pay.
Finally, what tips do you have for other authors – either aspiring or established? Things you wish you would have known earlier in your career or regrets you have. Any words of wisdom that you would like to share with us!
Be yourself, write what you love, take good advice and forget about the bad. Of course, learning to tell the difference is key.
Click here to learn more about Sandra and her books.