Friday, 18 January 2013

Author Interview: S. P. Wilcox

About the Author:

I am Southern California native born and raised. I have been married for 16 years and have four children. I have a Bachelor’s Degree from Arizona State University. I love to read, almost to the point of needing an intervention. I love the beach, swimming, spending time with family and friends and football. We are a huge football family.

I don’t like scary movies and ferris wheels, the scare the shit out of me.

Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?

I don’t plan too much, maybe the location of the story, characters names and ages the background. But mostly I just let the story flow, it is weird I get in almost a trance and the words just come out quickly. I usually have key events I want to happen and then have to figure out how to get the story to those points. But I don’t follow an outline.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story?

Well my in first two books the main character, Sydney Stanton is the focus of the books. So I tried to keep the story all about her life. There were other characters who were part of the story but she remained the focus of both books.

What is your favourite food?

Chicken Marsala

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Definitely not a morning person, but once you have kids who are of school age you quickly have no choice. I love to stay up late reading or writing.

Where do you dream of travelling to and why?

I would love to travel all around the United States. I have been to the key spots, DC, NYC, Florida. But I would love to spend time in say someplace like Montana or South Carolina and see what it is like to live there.

Do distant places feature in your books?

Distant places are not a main focus in my books. In the second book, Not Another Wish, Grant Montgomery, Sydney’s boyfriend goes to Europe, but I don’t really say where he is while he is there. Although they do go to Greece together and I do mention specific places in Greece (Everyone should go to Greece, it is a beautiful country).

Do you listen to music while writing?

I do listen to music while I am writing, which most people don’t understand how you can listen to music and write at the same time but it motivates me. The music puts me in a good mood. I either open up iTunes and listen on my computer or put ear buds in and listen from my iPhone. When I was writing Not Another Wish, I would get stuck, I would go for a walk, with my ear buds in and by the end of the walk I almost always had worked through my next part of the book.

I listen to all kinds of music. I love country music, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan. But I love top 40 music too (I have a 14 year old, so I am exposed). I do have to say a few of my favorite songs came off the 50 Shades playlist, Misfit by Amy Studt and Try by Nelly Furtado. Right now my favorite songs are, Wanted by Hunter Hayes, One More Night by Maroon 5, Come Over by Kenny Chesney and Locked Out of Heaven by Bruno Mars.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?

I currently have two books listed on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords.

Wishful Thinking is the story of Sydney Stanton who has finished her first year of college at Arizona State University and is heading home for the summer. Her best friend is staying at school for summer school and to be with her boyfriend. Sydney is not excited to be going home, living under her parents rules again and dealing with her ex-boyfriend from high school. She is given the opportunity to live by the beach with another friend of hers (Heather) for the summer and get a part time job.

She moves to the beach for the summer and embarks on the summer that will change her life forever. Sydney quickly makes eye contact with one Grant Montgomery, who has a playboy reputation and who her friend Heather repeatedly warns her away from. Grant and Sydney have the chemistry that can’t be denied but their relationship is burden by ghosts of their pasts. When the summer ends and Sydney must return to school, well Grant has issues with their separation and it doesn’t go well for them. They end up on opposite sides of the country and apart.

Not Another Wishpicks up where the first book leaves off. Sydney has to decide whether to forgive Grant and allow him back into her life. She makes her choice and takes another chance on the man she has given her heart to. Things go well for them for quite a long time until career choices get in the way for them. They take different paths but because they have mutual friends their lives continue to cross. Sydney decides to give Grant her heart to him for one final weekend and then walk away. But she walks away with more than a broken heart. Grant finds out about her secret or what he thinks is Sydney’s secret and confronts her.

I can’t tell you all the details or you would know how the book ends. But the second book is about love, loss and forgiveness.

What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?

I have learned a lot! You can’t just write it and self-publish it, well you can but there are important steps you should take before you publish. Get yourself a great editor to read and edit your book for all kinds of errors. Get yourself an ebook/print on demand programmer, who will make your book look all nice for your readers. Find a book cover artist to help you create a cover no one else has used before. Lastly, remember that no one is going to love your book as much as you do. Readers can be so mean in their reviews but as a professional you have to know not everyone is going to love or even like your book.

Is there anything you would do differently?

I am not sure if I would do things differently. As far as writing no, I would not change how the course of the stories went in the books. What I would change is understanding how the self-publishing world works. I should have done a book blog tour when I first released each book. But we live and learn.

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?

I am not sure if any author has influenced my writing. What I do notice as I read books now is that I love books with great banter between the characters, characters who have depth and are more than just a pretty face or handsome face. I love books with great chemistry between the characters and not just the main characters. I don’t care for books that have no story and it is only about the sex. Let’s face it most romance novels have quite a bit of sex in them, (which is great) but if on every page the characters are having sex with no relationship developing it is hard for me to follow the story because there is no story.

Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?

Take your time writing your book/novel. Don’t rush it, readers can tell when a book has been rushed just to get it out there. So, just let book come to you and don’t skip on the parts which may be the foundation of the story. I hate reading a book and the chapter ends with some crisis and then the crisis is never resolved and the book just keeps going. I get like, “Hey…what the hell, don’t you need to resolve the situation from the last chapter before you get married?” It drives me crazy.

What are three words that describe you?

Sentimental, bossy, and loving

What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?

Hmmm…this is always a hard one for me. I love-love-love Beautiful Disaster by Jamie Mcguire. I would have to say my favorite author is a tie between Lisa Kleypas and Jill Shalvis, I love every book I have ever read by these authors.

Blurb of your latest release or coming soon book

I am working on a young adult romance novel. Which is currently called “My Narrative”. It is about a boy and a girl, of course. They are in high school at the same school but their paths have never crossed until the week of Thanksgiving break. Where it seems at every turn they are running into each other. They end up spending the entire week together in what seems like a whirlwind of fun and attraction to each other. But when the outside world starts to come in to play in their newrelationship (well they haven’t defined their relationship yet) things become a tad bit chaotic. Friends, sports and family start to interfere as do prior reputations.

I am only about 65 pages into the book, the story is told from both the boy and girl's POV, which is fun and more time consuming to write. I do have to say there are some cross-over characters in this new book from my first two books, so you have to keep an eye out because you never know who is going to pop up in my books. I am hoping to have the book released in Spring 2013 but I can’t promise.

Any websites/places readers can find you on the web.

Readers can find me on goodreads (spwilcox), facebook (spwilcoxauthor) and hopefully my website will be done soon.

Goodreads Wishful Thinking

Goodreads Not Another Wish

Amazon Wishful Thinking Amazon Not Another Wish

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