Monday, May 3, 2010

The Author's Den - Sandra Cormier

A ‘10 Questions’ Interview with Author: Sandra Cormier

Writing wasn’t Sandra Cormier’s first passion. As a young girl, she flitted from one activity to another, never quite deciding what she wanted to do with her life. Her love of horses had her apply for a college degree in Horse Management, until she changed her mind to Graphic Arts, and then to Art & Photography. She was working in a camera store when she met and fell in love with her husband. When Sandra’s husband presented her with a refurbished laptop, she grabbed the opportunity to write the stories that had been building in her head for years. She’s a versatile genre writer of romantic suspense, erotic, and chick lit. Sandra lives in Newmarket, Ontario where you can find her writing, painting, and relaxing with her husband, two college-age kids, a sheltie-husky dog, and a cat that likes to torture the dog.

Welcome, Sandra, to Still Moments Magazine!

1: Tell us a little more about yourself and how you began your writing career.

SC: Before I flipped open that old laptop, I didn't have a clue about writing, querying or landing a publisher. Sure, I'd scribbled a few short stories in high school and became a wiz at writing advertising copy, but I'd never considered writing a book. My daydreams had grown to such proportions I couldn't ignore them, so I cranked up the music, ignored my family (with their kind permission) and banged out a spicy romance. I joined a great critique group and they showed me the difference between showing and telling. A year later, The Space Between was accepted by The Wild Rose Press, a lovely publisher based in upstate New York. When a reader told me she stayed up until 1 a.m. to finish it, I knew I was on the right track.

2: Who in your life has been the most influential in your journey toward being an author?

SC: I would have to say my mother influenced my love of reading – our house was full of books – and my father gave me the courage to pursue whatever I set my mind to.

3: You moved a lot growing up. Where are some of the places you’ve been and what was your favourite?

SC: We traveled around the Eastern half of Canada from Ontario to Nova Scotia, and west as far as Thunder Bay. When I was three, we spent some time in Trinidad and my memory still holds a few vivid snapshots. When I was sixteen, we spent a year in Mallorca, Spain. I think that was the year that changed me.

4: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

SC: Aside from my obvious love of reading, I enjoy watching movies that make me laugh and cry. I'm an incurable horse addict but have never owned one. I rode a lot in the past and I plan to take it up again.

5: Your drawings and paintings are indeed extraordinary and beautiful. What are some of your favourite pieces?

SC: Thank you! I love all my pieces and it's hard to let them go. I think my favourite would have to be Dominique, a scene of a girl resting beside her horse during a trail ride in the Okanagan Valley. Someday I'd like to explore the possibility of limited edition prints so I can share my work without giving up my beloved originals. My aunt emailed me from New Zealand and offered to buy my painting of two boys in hockey gear waiting for the ice. It hurt to let it go, but at least it's still in the family!

6: You’re an avid hockey fan. When did you start watching hockey and who’s your favourite team?

SC: I was seven years old, living in Quebec and absolutely smitten with the Montreal Canadiens. My father was a big hockey fan and I sat up to watch games with him. We switched our allegiance to the Toronto Maple Leafs when we moved to Ontario, but I still have a soft spot for the Habs, since I was born in Montreal. Unfortunately, I became a fan AFTER the Leafs won their last Stanley Cup. But I got to see the Canadiens hoist a few.

7: Your love of hockey inspired your book, Bad Ice. Can you tell us the premise of this story?

SC: The short and snappy version: Psycho puck bunny stalks hockey hero. The longer version? A young widowed mother inadvertently prevents a murder attempt on her hockey hero. They hit it off, but his ex-girlfriend simply won't let go.

8: Your story If The Shoe Fits is included in the Sex & Shoes Anthology. How did you become part of this collaboration?

SC: I frequent many agent blogs, and when Lori Perkins mentioned her idea for an anthology to help launch Ravenous Romance, I sent in my humorous take on a husband's meltdown when his wife had too many shoes. It was accepted.

9: Can you tell us about your September release, The Toast Bitches?

SC: Now that I was part of the Ravenous Romance writer stable, I received a call for ideas for serial e-books. I pitched an idea based on that kick-ass title, and Holly Schmidt asked for sample chapters. I only had the premise – four women navigating their way through boyfriends, bosses, divorce and kids. It's sort of like Sex In The City meets 30 Rock. I quickly whipped up some pages and sent them along. She offered a contract based on the partial. Shortly after I accepted the contract and provided a completion date, my world turned upside down when my runaway nephew was found dead due to a tragic accident. My publisher graciously granted an extension. The Toast Bitches was written in approximately two months and was released in electronic format in February 2009. The trade paperback followed in September.

10: What are you currently working on?

SC: I am currently seeking an agent for my literary women's fiction, The Yearbook. Inspired by my year in Spain, it tells the story of a man and a woman who meet thirty years after they attended the same high school in Mallorca. He doesn't remember her, but she certainly remembers him.

I have a few ideas in the tank – a romantic suspense set in the high-class world of polo might be my next project.

Is there anything else you’d like to add and where can we read more about you.

First of all, I'd like to thank you Darlene for this lovely opportunity. If anyone wants to read my writing ramblings, I can be found at: www.chumpletwrites.blogspot.com.
If you want to see my quirkier side, follow me on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/Chumplet.
Links and reviews for my books are on my blog and on my website: www.sandracormier.com.

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