Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Exclusive Q&A with Sandy Appleyard

I'm delighted to share an exclusive interview this week with author, Sandy Appleyard. Sandy is an ambassador for 'up and coming' writers, helping authors via the Internet and social media - and she was kind enough to review my first book. I was also intrigued to discover she lives in Niagara Falls, Ontario in Canada. What a location!

About the Author

You’ll usually find me holed up in my living room with my laptop open or with a book in hand.  If not, I’m doing yoga, petting the cat or braiding one of my kid’s hair.  When I write I do it without reservation and with no particular purpose in mind other than to enthral, inspire and express myself in such a way that I can touch at least a few readers.  I’m a born and raised Canadian, proudly married for ten years to a man who gives me the space I need to do what I love; to write.

Here's the Story:

A serial killer, a stock broker, and a police chief’s daughter clash in this mysterious tale of greed and love. Michael is forced to choose between his most precious asset and the love of his life, when a serial killer tries to take what matters most to him. Police chief Mark Tame and his team hunt for clues with Michael’s help, when they realize that the killer is linked to Michael. Jessica has the love and protection of both men, but will that be enough to keep her safe?

Now over to Sandy:

1.         Who is your favourite character in Don't Mess with Daddy's Girl  and why?

Michael - one of the main characters - is my favourite.  He’s the man every woman wants; he’s not afraid of commitment and is hard-working, handsome, and desperately in love with his girl.  Plus he plants a great surprise for Jessica - his girl - at the end of the book (that all female readers would love), which ties the whole story together.

2.         How did you settle on the title for your chosen book?

It was originally titled ‘The Night He Gave Up Saigon’ because the story encompasses the stock market, in particular a stock called ‘Saigon’, and the contention between Michael and Jessica surrounding it. 

But I decided that title was too exotic so I changed it to ‘Don’t Mess With Daddy’s Girl’ since I think that has more punch and heart and draws more attention to the fact that the main story is about a battle between two men who bring Jessica to safety and the resolve that Mark (her father) arrives at when she’s finally safe. 

3.         What's the nicest thing anyone has said about the book?

The nicest thing was from someone kind enough to review it.  I’ll quote it the review, “Sandy Appleyard is a masterful storyteller able to balance romance, action, suspense, mystery and wonderfully deep and emotional characters. She writes incredibly well, with attention to every detail of her plot and subplots, leaving no loose ends or annoying cliffhangers.”  Now if that isn’t a compliment I don’t know what is J (sorry to toot my own horn, but that review certainly made my day).

4.       What are you working on now?

I'm getting ready to release the third novel in my romantic suspense series called 'The Wheels of Change' - coming out in March 2015.  It's about a rich and young, womanizing man named Simon, who has an affair with a married woman and suddenly finds himself behind the wheel of a car without brakes.  There are several twists in the story, and Simon learns through his experiences in a wheelchair just how jaded his view of the world has been.

5.         What do you enjoy most about the writing process?

I love how the stories I write come to life and despite the notes I write for plans for the next chapter, the story takes on a whole different perspective.  It’s also great when a new story idea comes to mind, and best of all, I love typing in those proverbial long-awaited words ‘The End’.

6.         Which novel do you wish you’d written?

Without a doubt, Sandra Brown’s ‘Best Kept Secrets’.  That was the first of Brown’s books that I read and the first chapter was so well written I was completely hooked on her.  I’ve read so many of her works now I lost count.

7.         Can you list 3 of your favourite reads, this year?

I read ‘Best Kept Secrets’ at the beginning of the year, so that counts ;), but I also loved David Baldacci’s ‘The Sixth Man’, and definitely my all-time favourite was Sandra Brown’s ‘Rainwater’, that was probably one of the most beautiful stories I’ve ever read.

8.         In the reviews and feedback you’ve had for the book – what has surprised you most?

One reviewer said “This book has all the makings of a made-for-tv crime drama.” And that shocked me because that is exactly the mood I was looking for.  I watch a lot of Criminal Minds and Murdoch Mysteries and therefore much of the inspiration from that book comes from those shows.

9.         Which authors would you invite over for dinner to get to know better?

Nicholas Sparks - because the man has been through so much in his life (death of both his parents and his sister) and has found so much inspiration to write because of all the heartache he’s encountered, yet his work is so touching and thoughtful you’d swear he’s lived a charmed life. 

Of course, Sandra Brown; not only because she’s one of my favourite authors, but also because she started writing after leaving a desk job; similar to me, and I’d love to pick her brain about how she felt leaving the corporate world to pursue a writing career.

E. L. James - because…..well…..you can probably guess, but I’d like to know what her inspiration was when she wrote the ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ trilogy.

10.       Which one question would you want to make sure you asked them?

It would be a very loaded question: “What was the turning point in your career, and how did you get there?”  Because so many authors wish they hit a turning point (myself included) and would probably sacrifice just about anything to know how some of the greats arrived where they did.

I would probably ask E.L. James if she feels that writing such a bombshell trilogy and striking gold on her first try made the experience any less climactic; most writers have to work very hard writing countless novels to make it to the top, and likely when they get there, it’s magical.  I always wondered, since reading E.L. James’s books, if she ever felt less motivation to write now since she’ll likely never be able to top the success of ‘Fifty Shades’.

Sandy's website is: http://www.sandyappleyard.com/

Many thanks to Sandy for joining us!
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AJ Waines is the author of Psychological Thrillers:  The Evil Beneath and Girl on a Train.
Both books went to Number One in 'Murder' and 'Psychological Thrillers' in the UK Kindle charts.

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