Monday, June 22, 2015

Author Interview with Sandra S. Kerns

 I'm currently reading  and enjoying an ARC of Reconstructing Roman, and I asked the author, Sandra S. Kerns, if she would agree to an interview.
Preorder Links for Reconstructing Roman:
Here's what she had to say.
Jen-Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Sandra-​I’m originally from central New York and a diehard Yankees fan. Nope, I won’t apologize for it. Now I make Colorado home with a beautiful view of the Rocky Mountains from my back yard. When I’m not writing I enjoy traveling to warm places, reading, quilting, tatting, and playing with my dog since our boys grew up and left home.
Jen-What genre do you write and why?
Sandra-Everything I have out right now is romantic suspense. I have always loved figuring out the whodunits, so it was a natural slot for me. I also think it gives me a great backdrop for readers to get to know my characters as they deal with intense situations. I currently have a futuristic fantasy series in the works. I’m hoping for a 2016 release with that.
Jen- What is different about your writing style?
Sandra-I think what makes my writing style different is that my characters tell the story. I can’t tell you how the book ends (other than an HEA) because I don’t know until the characters decide how they want to wrap things up.
Jen- When did you start writing?
Sandra-There is the standard I’ve been writing forever, and in a way it is true, but not really. I started writing seriously in the early 90swhen we lived in Minnesota and it was too cold to go out much in the winter and too humid (and buggy) in the summer. You laugh, but I’m serious.
Jen- I know the list is long, can you tell our readers just how many books you have out?
Jen- Wow. That is a lot of books. What is a typical day or week like for you? How do you find time to write?
Sandra-A typical day has changed since I retired from my day job last year. Now it means waking up between 5:30 & 5:45AM to get the hubby going so he will leave for work sooner than later. While he’s putsing around I get my tea and go up to my office by 6. That time is usually spent checking email and doing some social media.
After a break for exercise (15-30 minutes), breakfast, and a shower, I’m back in the chair by 8. Many days I have until 3 or 4 to write. There are other days when I have the required errands and appointments that come with everyone considering you retired so you have ALL this free time. I’m still working on getting people to realize I retired from ‘work’ to pursue my true career of writing. Still, I have more writing time than many authors I know, so I can’t complain.
Jen- What are you reading right now?
Sandra-Right now I’m reading two books because I promised reviews on them soon. The first is Jim Heskett’sBoth Ends Burning - the last book in his Whistleblower series. The second is by Allan J. Lewis: Get out of my Dreams - I believe it is his debut novel.
Jen- What are you working on next?
Sandra- I recently started the next book in the Masters Men series, Her Master Investigator (temporary title) and the futuristic fantasy series I mentioned earlier.
Jen- Are you traditionally published, self-published, or with a vanity press? Why?
Sandra-I’m self-published because I got tired of waiting over a year to hear back from editors who requested manuscripts. I had more than a dozen completed books and decided it was time to bite the bullet. Actually, my critique partner and I decided to do so at the same time. It was fun having someone to take the leap with rather all alone.
Jen- Do you use experiences from your own life in your writing or does it all come from your imagination?
Sandra-I think there’s always a little bit of your own life experiences in your writing though not necessarily exactly what happened. The majority of my writing is pure imagination. I will admit to using my writing as therapy sometimes. If I’m really annoyed or angry with someone when I sit down to write there’s usually someone killed in the first scene that comes up. Hey, at least I’m not really hurting anyone, but I am getting rid of the anger. It’s very cathartic.
Jen- What is your favorite curse word?
Sandra-Damn, probably. In reality I don’t curse a lot. In fact, if my youngest son (26) is around and I do he calls me on it, that’s because it’s just something we didn’t do much in our house.

Jen- What is your favorite word to use in writing?
Sandra-It changes with each book. My editor can always tell you what the “Word of the Book” is that I just finished. It’s become quite the joke with us.
Jen- Do you Plot or outline when writing?
Sandra-I’ve tried, but it doesn’t work. Once I have the whole story plotted I don’t care about it anymore. I know the ending so why bother writing it? See, as much as my readers buy the book to learn what happens, that’s why I write it.
Jen- Are you a cat or dog person?
Sandra-I’m a dog person, definitely dog although I don’t dislike cats as much as I used to since my editor has two and they’re pretty cool. Dogs are found in a number of my books where they play important roles - well, the characters think so anyway. Copernicus is the name of the one in Reconstructing Roman and he’s very important though he’s only a tiny thing.
Jen- I love Copernicus. He is so cute. If you had your choice of writing retreat would you choose, a. Villa in Italy, b. Cabin in the woods, c. English estate in Derbyshire (think Pemberly) d. Beach house in the Virgin Islands
Sandra-Can I do e) Beach house on Cocoa Beach, FL? That’s my favorite place. 
Jen- Tell us a funny story about you that we can’t find on your bio.
Sandra-I’m from NY, my husband is from Ohio, and we met in Mississippi at the pool at the apartments we both lived in. The joke in our house when he makes a really bad joke or something is - you should have let him go down the pool drain, mom.

Sandra is the author of three series, totaling more than 15 books. She writes contemporary romantic-suspense. The majority of her stories are located in Colorado because it possesses such a diverse selection of heroes and heroines. In less than a minute you can see a cowboy, an engineer, a lawyer, or a stay-at-home mom/dad. The combinations of characters keeps her very busy. You can also find her characters visiting New York or finding trouble in Florida. These two locations pop up because she grew up in central New York and enjoys vacations at Cocoa Beach.
When she’s not writing you might find her at a sewing machine. Learning to sew at age seven, she enjoyed making clothes for herself and family for years. Now she prefers making quilts for family and friends, though occasionally she will whip out a skirt or two.
Before writing full time she had various jobs. Her employment started as a substitute church secretary when she was in high school and ended as a faculty assistant (aka Copy Lady) in a high school in Colorado with stints as bank secretary, fabric store clerk, and temp secretary in between.
She lives in northern Colorado with her husband and Rudy, their rescue dog from Japan. Her sons are grown and move around the country, but still provide endless inspiration and support for her writing.
Author links:
Facebook: Sandra S Kerns Facebook
Twitter: @SandraSKerns
LinkedIn:  Sandra on LinkedIn
Goodreads: Author Sandra S Kerns

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