Monday, July 14, 2014

A Day In The Life: Jennifer Haymore and Sandy Raven

On this special edition of A Day In The Life (Of An Author) I'm privileged to welcome two talented and amazing writers, Jennifer Haymore and Sandy Raven.

Hi, Jennifer. Can you tell us what your typical writing day looks like?

I have three kids, I edit for a day job, and I write books. Because those three things are my priorities, I tend to let other things fall by the wayside. Like…er…housework. And…well, cooking dinner (we eat out A LOT). And much to my son’s dismay when he had a friend over a few days ago, keeping the refrigerator stocked (expired milk, anyone?).

So my days are jam-packed with my three passions. I usually wake up early in time to help my kids get ready for school. Thank goodness they’re old enough now to make their own breakfast, but sometimes when I’m feeling particularly ambitious, I’ll whip up an omelet or something (when did my family grow big enough to consume a dozen eggs in one sitting?!).

When the kids are off to school, work begins, usually with emails. I answer requests and perform necessary smaller tasks either for my writing or editing for as long as it takes. Sometimes…unfortunately…it takes all day. For example, the other day, I needed to, (1) write a new bio and send it to my agent, (2) write a one-paragraph overview of my current project (harder to do than it sounds!), (3) answer the questions to an online interview, (4) contact my webmistress for a website update (since I got a new UK cover—yay!), (5) contact the winners of my website contest…

Sometimes these tasks seem never-ending! If I’m lucky, after all that, I’ll have some extra time for editing. I’ll open the file and sink into whatever book I’m working on at the time.

Before I know it, 3:00 rolls around, and the bus is dropping off the kids! Time to scurry! They need snacks, they need help with homework, they need rides to ballet, baseball, taekwondo, football… We do all these things, and somehow squeeze dinner in.

Finally, at around seven, I tell my husband (who’s recently arrived home from his own job), “Okay, the kids are yours.” And I lock myself in my office and close the door as he tells my children, “Mom’s not here, okay?”

I sit. I take a few hundred deep breaths. And then I put on my headphones and start to write.

And I write, uninterrupted (well, except to kiss my children goodnight), for hours. Sometimes it’s just a couple of hours, sometimes it’s until the wee hours of the morning. I start late, and I end later! But I’ve learned over the years that nighttime is when my mind is primed to do my most creative work.

Finally, exhausted, I close my laptop. I go to bed (usually trying not to look at the unwashed dishes in the sink or the unwashed laundry in the laundry room…) and a few hours later, I wake up and start the whole crazy process over again!

What gave you the inspiration to write A Highlander’s Heart?

Three things:
(1)  I wanted to start a crossover series, because readers have been asking for books about some of the characters from my House of Trent series.
(2)  But I also wanted to write a new series, with new conflicts and new characters.
(3)  I love Highlanders.

So I smashed those things together and came up with The Highland Knights, a group of soldiers who’ve returned home from Waterloo and are now working to protect the interests of the Crown (and are finding love along the way).

Tell me about your hero and heroine.

Hero: Sir Robert- He’s a Highlander, a major in the army who’s seen a lot of military action. He’s a solid man. A true leader. Stoic and calm in all kinds of high-stress situations. He’s madly in love with Claire, but he’s not the kind of man who’s very good at expressing how deeply he feels for someone!

Heroine: Lady Claire. She’s English, blonde, and very petite. She’s the kind of woman who hurtles headfirst into getting what she wants, and she doesn’t give up until she’s gotten it. She was called an “irrepressible hoyden” as a child, and she proves in this story that the nickname still applies.

How can readers reach you?


Hi Sandy, welcome to When Midnight Comes. What is your average day like?

It would be a luxury to have two days in a row that were the same! I live on a farm with lots of animals, so they take precedence to any plans I attempt to make. I usually wake up around nine-ish, let my inside dog out with his breakfast, feed the inside cats their breakfast, check social media, email and the news while I eat *my* breakfast. I don't usually answer email at this time.

I read them and think about what I need to say (if I have to reply,) or I forward it off to Assistant Ashley. Then I go outside and tend the horses and outside cats and dogs. Many hours later I can come inside shower, eat early dinner and get to work. I check social media again, then reply to emails. After I do that, I move into my office and write or edit. The only exception to this is if the Voice is on. Anything else I might watch is TiVo'd. Needless to say, before I go to bed I check social media again. ;-)

Plants or Pets?

Duh... both! This is a farm, and I do have fruit trees that I TRY to tend. Really, I do. Sometimes the trees get a little neglected because the animals always come first and I only have so many hours in the day. Earlier this year I hired two guys to tend the farm, but they ran off to be extras in a vampire movie filming nearby. If they don't get bitten by the acting bug and move out west, they might come back.

Music. What's the last song you bought? Why?

Actually, I just ripped this from my daughter over the weekend: Gabrielle Aplin's Human. When I first heard it I started to see snippets/images of one of my heroes in the lyrics. Marcus is so scarred emotionally and his (yet unnamed) heroine will bring him out of his darkness.

Favorite vacay spot?

Any deserted beach, as long as I have plenty to drink, a good book, and the sound of the surf. (I'm not big on the crowd noises.)

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About the Authors:

USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Haymore is the author of sexy historical and contemporary romance. You can find Jennifer in Southern California trying to talk her husband into yet another trip to England, helping her three children with homework while brainstorming a new five-minute dinner menu, or crouched in a corner of the local bookstore writing her next novel.
Author Sandy Raven grew up on the Texas Gulf Coast with sand between her toes and perpetually frizzy hair. Which is why she now lives in the middle-of-nowhere Virginia, in a place with minimal to moderate humidity (for perfect, non-frizzy curls,) rolling hills and farmed forests. Home is a small, renovated farmhouse she shares with her hero husband, and more cats, dogs and horses than she cares to admit to having. Second to writing is her love for her animals. She practices natural horsemanship, and loves to ride her barefoot Tennessee Walkers on the wooded trails around her home.

1 comment:

Cassandra said...

Thank you both for being a guest on my blog and sharing a part of your typical day with readers, and how it affects your writing and vice versa. :)