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commentator. How do you enter? Just join in the conversation, tell us if Sarah is a new to you author or if you are a fan. Check out her interview and ask a question of your own or comment on the her interview. We will be picking the winner at the end of the month. Good luck!:::
Command Performance by Sara Jane Stone- Book Blurb
Subject: Chief Warrant Officer Hunter Cross
Mission: Keep Margaret Barlow distracted…using any means necessary!
Ranger Hunter Cross is the army poster child—excitement, danger and no strings in sight. And he’s been in town exactly three hours before a curvy blonde named Maggie flashes him a look that says “You belong in my bed.” It’s a night of wicked satisfaction. And it’s a night they can never repeat….
All Professor Maggie Barlow wanted was an orgasm—or three— from the dead-sexy Ranger. Having him as her official army liaison while she works on her new book? That wasn’t in the plan. Especially when she learns that Hunter has orders to “control” her. Little does the army know that when it comes to their deliciously naughty nighttime activities, Hunter is at Maggie’s complete command….
Uniformly Hot! The Few. The Proud. The Sexy as Hell.
First, can you let us know what projects you are currently working on?
First, thank you so much for having me here at Romance Junkies! Now onto my current projectsJ
My current work-in-progress is connected to my debut. In COMMAND PERFORMANCE, the Army’s Top Brass tasks Army Ranger Hunter Cross with preventing Professor Maggie Barlow from finding out about a mistake his teammate, Logan, made on their last mission. In this connected story, which takes place simultaneously, Logan finds his happy-ever-after with a bestselling erotica author. Of course, there are a few bumps along the way.
What does your writing schedule look like? Do you have to plot or do you write as it comes?
My writing schedule looks exactly like my children’s sleep schedule. As soon as I get my toddlers down for their naps or to bed for the night, I start writing. Sometimes, I squeeze in an extra hour or two on the weekends if my husband takes the kids.
I work off a lose outline, mostly writing as it comes. I often write the dialogue first and then go back and fill in the rest of the scene. My characters speak very fast inside my head sometimes and I don’t want to miss anything!
What inspired you to be a writer? Who is your biggest support system? When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Prior to writing my debut novel COMMAND PERFORMANCE, I worked in the publishing industry on the marketing and sales side. I loved working with writers. But the more I read, the more I wanted to write.
My family—my parents, my husbands, even my toddlers—have been very supportive while I traveled the long road from aspiring writer to published author. It took me four years to sell my first book, but my family never doubted me. And since I sold COMMAND PERFORMANCE, I have received nothing but support from my in-laws, family friends, friends still working in the publishing industry, even my husband’s “church family” in his hometown. Everyone, regardless of whether they love and read romance, has been so positive. And I also have a wonderful group of writer friends who have been by my side as I wrote, revised, and finally, shared my writing with the world!
I’ve wanted to write for as long as I can remember. It simply took me a while to realize I wanted to write romance. In high school and college, I tried my hand at poetry and playwriting. Both were fun, but I love writing romance!
Which genre is your favorite to write? Is there a genre that you would love to write but haven’t yet? Are there any that you would stay away from?
Contemporary romance, featuring military heroes and heroines is my favorite right now. I’d love to write a historical. I certainly love reading them! But I don’t think I have a literary bone in my body.
Do you use a pen name? Why or why not? If you do does the name have a special meaning to you?
Yes, I do. But my real name is Sara. Why? I wanted a name that was easy to remember and spell. And I love the initials—SJS J
Have your characters ever taken a turn on you and changed personalities? What was your most challenging character to create and why?
Yes! One of the biggest lessons learned from writing my first book—always listen to the characters. They are like toddlers; you can’t force them to do something they don’t want to do!
In COMMAND PERFORMANCE, my heroine, Maggie was the most challenging. I loved writing about a woman discovering herself and her needs, some sexual and some emotional. But I wanted to make sure I got it just right. One of the first reviews from Fresh Fiction wrote: “Sara Jane Stone has completely nailed her vision of what is going on in both of their (characters) minds and easily portrayed that to the reader.” I almost fainted when I read those words because that was the most challenging thing for me.
What kind of research do you do for your books? Where is your favorite place to find what you need to know? What is the most interesting thing you have learned?
COMMAND PERFORMANCE is inspired by the true story of the U.S. Army Rangers who rode horses (provided by a local warlord) into battle in post-9/11 Afghanistan. I read a New York Times Book review about the title HORSE SOLDIERS by Doug Stanton, the nonfiction account of this ride, and thought a soldier on horseback? A modern day cowboy? Wow! He’d make a great hero!
I read a lot of nonfiction books about the military when crafting the characters and plot of COMMAND PERFORMANCE. In addition to HORSE SOLDIERS, one of my favorites was VICTORY FOR HIRE by Molly Dunigan. This book spoke to how private security companies work with the soldiers on the ground in the Middle East. Reading this book helped me understand how Hunter, my hero, would feel about a hotshot professor labeling him a “cowboy.” And also how Hunter would feel about being offered a job with a private security company. These are small details, but without them, the characters wouldn’t be the same.
As for the most interesting thing I learned? The tidbit that always sticks out in my mind—and I worked this into the book—is the fact this team of Army Rangers trained to do just about anything—expect ride a horse.
What is the last book that you read that left a big impression on you?
Shades of Gray by Maya Banks. I’m a huge Maya Banks fan, but this book was special. After reading it, I went back and reread her KBI series backlist. Again.
What is your favorite TV commercial? How about your least favorite?
I don’t have a favorite, but I love commercials that can make me teary-eyed. Least favorite? I don’t think I can pick just one.
Who was your first celebrity crush? Is he still hot?
Tom Cruise. Still hot? He has his moments.
What are your favorite TV shows? Which shows could you do without ever watching?
I love Grey’s Anatomy and Nashville. I’ve never watched Dancing with the Stars or American Idol and probably never will. I’ve tried the Bachelor, but must admit I’m rather reread Vicky Drieling’s Regency romance take on the show. With two little kids, I spend more time watching bits of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Thomas the Tank Engine while I’m trying to cook, clean, or talk to my agent or editor, than I do adult programs. A show has to be pretty amazing to pull me away from whatever I’m reading or writing.
After several years on the other side of the publishing industry, Sara Jane Stone bid goodbye to her sales career to pursue her dream—writing romance novels. Armed with a firm belief that dreams do come true, she sat down at her keyboard to write fun, sexy stories like the ones she loved to read. Sara Jane currently resides in Brooklyn, New York with her very supportive real-life hero, two lively young children and a lazy Burmese cat. Visit her online at www.sarajanestone.com, or become a fan of Sara Jane Stone on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter: sarajanestone.