The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Welcome Noble Romance author, Sarah Ballance!

The end of the immensely successful Romantic Suspense draws to a close today with my final guest of the tour, Sarah Ballance. I am in utter and complete awe of Sarah who manages to write around SIX kids, yes, SIX!! Never again will I moan about finding time with my pathetic number of!

I hope all the other lovely ladies have seen an increase in sales as I have and I really look forward to taking part in another tour with you all in the future.

Okay, over to super mom and writer, Sarah Ballance!

1) Where do you write?

More often than not, in my bedroom. My husband and I have six children (11 months through 12 years) and I really need to hide from them to concentrate, but thanks to my netbook and the 10-12 hour battery on that sucker, I can work pretty much anywhere.

2) What is the best & worst part about the writing process for you?

Sometimes I get frustrated with the amount of progress I make (or lack thereof), especially when it comes to balancing writing time with time with my kids, who are homeschooled. I really need to write so I can relax, which in turns makes time with the kids far more rewarding for all of us. But that need for wordage can backfire. On the upside, the feeling of accomplishment I get from writing is well worth the frustration in getting there.

3) When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I'm still not sure I believe it. I was so stunned by my first contract that I thought it was a mistake, and even when that book released I don't think I was convinced, LOL. It all feels far too good to be true.

4) What is the best & worst advice you’ve received about writing?

Best advice was to find a crit partner who will tell it like it is. If your "critter" is fawning all over your work, refile that one under "fan" and find someone will help you improve. As far as worst advice, nothing horrifying comes to mind so if it was bad, it wasn't a lasting trauma, LOL. (Worth noting, however, that what might be good advice for one author won't necessarily work for another.)

5) Which comes first? Plot or characters?

They tend to hit me all at once and develop together from there. If I had to pick one, I'd say plot, but both aspects evolve until I put the last word on the story. It's an exciting way to write!

6) What is a typical day for you?

I don't have to get up until the baby does, which is between 8-9am most mornings (not so long ago, I got up at 5am – I go through phases, LOL.) I work on computer stuff (blogs, emails, messages, etc) until we start school. School runs from about 10am until 2pm with a lunch break in there, and then I try to take care of my to-do lists (computer or otherwise) and play with the kids until dinner. After dinner, the kids clean up while I dig in to my WIP, which I work on until midnight or later.

7) Where do you see your career in five years?

My goal is to finish at least two novel-length manuscripts a year, so with any luck I'll have 12 or more published books to my credit and there will be more in the making! (It's got to be easier without an infant, right? LOL.)

8) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

When the weather is decent, I love to get out on the water in our boat. That's just the ultimate way to relax and shake the whole staring-at-a-computer syndrome, and it's fantastic family time. Everyone is my family is outside every second they're allowed, so it's nice when I can take a break to join them.

I'm spending Saturday at the beach (with my husband, sans the kids!) on the very spot RUN TO YOU is set. I can't take you guys with me, but I'll be happy to send a little bit of my book to someone who comments, so leave your e-mail address for a chance to win a RUN TO YOU keychain featuring the book cover. Thanks so much for having me, Rachel!


Mattie James can't pinpoint exactly when she lost control of her life, but the moment she decided to take it back made the front page of the local paper. Desperate to dodge the fallout— and the tabloids—she jumps at the chance to spend an off-season week in a tiny resort community by the sea. Making the trip with her ex-lover is a complication she can live with; coming face to face with a dead woman is not.

The last thing Sheriff Wyatt Reed expected to find on the storm-ravaged beach was a beautiful blonde with a jealous sidekick, but one look at Mattie left him wanting more. Their first date takes an ominous turn when he gets the call that a woman was found murdered. With a killer on the loose and a troubling lack of suspects or motive, Wyatt has to put his feelings aside to focus on the case. But his vow not to become personally involved is shattered when he discovers Mattie's life is on the line, and this time the truth leaves her with a deadly choice . . . and nowhere to run.



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Fabulous interview, Sarah - your free time on the water so fantastic. I live in the English countryside which is beautiful but whenever people tell me about spending spare time in boats or on beaches, i turn a rather fetching colour of green, lol!


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