My Q&A with Sandra Hill:
Do your characters surprise you sometimes and do you ever argue with them while you’re writing? Who usually wins?
My characters always surprise me, and they always, or almost always, win. I have become a seat-of-the-pants writer over the course of thirty-some books. That means that I know my main characters and basic plot, but it’s like driving a car, you can only see as far as the headlights. And there is no GPS to guide me through the various curves and skids the story line might take.
What are the most important elements of good writing? According to you, what tools are must-haves for writers?
That is a subjective call. To some readers and writers, the most important thing is plot, or literary writing skills, or setting, but to me it’s characterization all the way. Unless I care deeply about the hero and/or heroine, I don’t care what happens to them, despite an intriguing plot or sensual writing. On the other hand, if I do care about either or both of the main characters, I can excuse weaknesses in some of these other. For example, Deborah Smith’s A GENTLE RAIN has the most intriguing cast of characters, everything from the rancher who saves horses and handicapped people to the elderly “mermaids.”
Is there a genre or another sub-genre you haven’t tackled but would like to try?
Actually, I will be trying a new genre with my upcoming DEADLY ANGELS series, starting with KISS OF PRIDE in May, 2012. These are Viking vampire angels who come from Transylvania, but not Transylvania, Romania. Nope, they’re from Transylvania, Pennsylvania. Humor and sizzle guaranteed!
What’s your best line of dialogue regarding THE NORSE KING’S DAUGHTER?“What in the name of all the gods and goddesses are you doing now?” he bellowed, nigh knocking Drifa to the ground with surprise “What does it look like I’m doing, lackwit?” “Shoveling camel shit into a leather bag?” “Yea. I am taking it back to the Norselands with me. The gardener at the Imperial Palace told me it makes a wonderful plant fertilizer.” Sidroc was standing, hands braced on his hips, staring at her as if she were demented. “Do you honestly think I am going to allow you to carry shit in a bag for the two or three days it will take us to return to the city?” “Do you honestly think you can allow or disallow me to do anything?”
What fictional characters from another book would your main characters chose as a best friend and why?
All of my Viking women would love to meet Charmaine LeDeux of modern day Louisiana from my Cajun series. Charmaine is a self-proclaimed bimblo with class. Some Viking women have the same kind of sass.
Please tell us five fun facts about you or this book that readers would love to know!
♥ There is a 57-page love scene.
♥ Sidroc is very aware of the infamous Viking S-Spot, and he know how to find it.
♥ Drifa’s love of flowers leads her to a very unusual setting for me…ancient Byzantium.
♥ Never underestimate the powers of a Viking man with a mission.
♥ Never underestimate the powers of a Viking women with a mission.
Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
I still have more Vikings I would like to write: Tykir’s son Thork, Jamie the Scots Viking, Alrek the Clumsy Viking, Wulfric the Saxon knight, Brodir the sinfully beautiful Viking pirate, or maybe even Lady Isobel as The Harlot Bride. And I have always wanted to return to post Civil War Louisiana where I placed FRANKLY, MY DEAR and SWEETER SAVAGE LOVE; surely there are more stories for the Baptiste family. And of course the Cajuns and Tante Lulu.
Can you tell us about some of your upcoming releases, or new projects that we can look forward to?
‘TWAS THE NIGHT will be released in audiobook version in December, my first ever audiobook.
A DIXIE CHRISTMAS will be released in December. This is an ebook anthology that contains JINX XMAS, which has never been published before but had been available on my website for awhile, and BLUE CHRISTMAS, a reworking of that 1998 novella “Fever” that had been in a BLUE CHRISTMAS anthology.
KISS OF PRIDE, May, 2012, the first of my DEADLY ANGELS (Viking vampire angels) series; KISS OF SURRENDER, October, 2012, second book in that series; and CHRISTMAS IN TRANSYLVANIA, an original novella, November, 2012.
What makes a romance novel a great love story and would you define “romance”?
Again, a subjective call. I love a story with a torutured hero who still maintains a sense of humor. When I write a love story, it is between one man and one woman. To be a great love story, there has to be some conflict, something keeping them apart, to amp the sexual tension between them. If they are in love from the beginning and nothing to keep them apart, then ho-hum, story over. Who cares about their travels and other secondary issues? Love is the primary theme.
If you could retire any question and never, ever have it asked again, what would it be? Feel free to answer it.
It would be, “Where do you get your ideas?” But then, I wouldn’t be able to tell all the marvelous stories about where my quirky ideas originate, like the lady who told me about the condom museum, or my hair stylists who made a most outrageous suggestion about her hot wax hand massager, or my son whose girlfriend gave him the glow in the dark boxers.
I had so much fun reading this book!
The Norse King’s Daughter is written with viking expressions and slang, which is a bit weird at first but you after a few characters you’re immersed into their world and forget if you ever had any difficulties with it. I fell in love with the main couple and how their story was told. The journey they go through and all the years that pass between them only makes the plot stronger, however, the heroine had a somewhat too easy surrender in my opinion. The pacing was simply perfect and some of the detailed scenes about plants and flowers were never boring! I also liked how the author described the setting.
I hope we have a book about Ianthe and her HEA, but I have a fair hint about what will happen to her next. I’ll absolutely read the previous books of this series as Sandra Hill’s writing has captivated me.
Heat Level: 5/5
by Sandra Hill
October 1st 2011 by Avon
Princess Drifa of Stoneheim has a passion for flowers, and for an irksome, too-tempting Viking warrior. She is off to Byzantium where she plans to study the Imperial Gardens–and figure out a way to cultivate the heart of an incredibly stubborn man.
Sidroc Guntersson is in the Emperor’s elite Varangian Guard. He cannot believe Drifa dares to come near him again; after all, she once attempted to kill him after their very brief betrothal. But when Drifa gets in trouble in the Golden City, Sidroc is the only one who can save her. The question remains: is Drifa willing to pay the sensual price? Or will Sidroc be trapped in his own erotic game?
Sandra Hill and Harper Collins will be giving away a $25 Amazon.com gift certificate to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour! Go check the other stops and the more you comment, the better your chances of winning!
Next TOUR STOPS:
October 3: Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews
October 4: Reading Romances
October 5: Among the Muses
October 6: Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess
October 7: Riverina Romantics