When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book?
What was your path to getting this book written and published?
I already had the characters in mind, since it’s the fifth book in the series. I just needed to sit down and write it.
What type of research did you do?
It’s contemporary romance, so I didn’t have to do a lot. I did luck out, though, in having gone through a simulated attack that soldiers face while I toured Ft. Sam Houston with my writing group.
Where did the idea for your story come from?
During the same tour I took at Ft. Sam Houston, we met and heard stories from field medics and one story really resonated with me. I had to put the experience in a book to highlight what those brave men and women go through on a daily basis while fighting to keep us safe.
Why did you pick the setting you did?
That was easy, since it was the fifth book in the California Series. It stands to reason, the book would be set in the Bay Area. The heroine lived in Hayward, and I put her hero in San Jose. It was close enough, yet far enough to suit my purposes for the story.
Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people?
I think my characters are composites of people I know. A laugh, a smile. Something I remember that I liked might go into a book as well as something I disliked.
Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
That’s probably true to an extent. My characters are based on my experiences and would react how I think they should or would react given certain circumstances. Someone else’s character might act totally different because their experiences are different.
Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them? If not, what's your secret?
The hardest part for me is getting the characters down and sometimes that takes a lot of writing and then rewriting. I do get blocked when I can’t figure out what’s going to happen or if what’s happening isn’t organic. My critique partners help keep me on track and tell me how the characters are coming across. That eases most of the blocks because they usually have suggestions. The best remedy to unblock a writer’s block is to write, even when it gets impossible.
What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after?
The characters always surprise me, especially if I just write and let their story come out. One was that Cam’s mother would find a love of her own. I didn’t plan it, it just happened. And Cam’s reaction was a surprise. I truly learned about him by writing the scene.
What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about death, promises, and finding a new normal?
The more I write, the more I learn about myself. I’ve unearthed feelings from my childhood as well as feelings about those around me, like my family. It helps with understanding motivations from loved ones. I’ve learned life is short and one should always let people know how much they are loved.
What are some of your favorite books and why?
One of my favorite romances is Shauna by Kathleen Woodiwiss. In fact I fell in love with romance novels after reading her Flame and the Flower. I also love Gone with the Wind. I’ve read both probably a couple of dozen times in my life. Also, I’m a big Sandra Brown fan. I loved Envy. I’ve read that one several times. It was one of those books that just spoke to me.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on book 3 in a romantic mystery/suspense series called DC Badboys. This is Eric Coleman’s story. I have it mostly in my mind and may or may not follow the outline I’ve created.
About the author: Sandy Loyd is a Western girl through and through. Born and raised in Salt Lake City, she's worked and lived in some fabulous places in the US, including South Florida. She now resides in Kentucky and writes full time. As much as she loves her current hometown, she misses the mountains and has to go back to her roots to get her mountain and skiing fix at least once a year, otherwise her muse suffers.
As a former sales rep for a major manufacturer, she’s traveled extensively throughout the US, so she has a million stored memories to draw from for her stories. She spent her single years in San Francisco and considers that city one of America's treasures, comparable to no other city in the world. Her California Series, starting out with Winter Interlude, are all set in the Bay Area.
An empty nester, Sandy has published almost two dozen novels, all with true to life characters and heart-warming stories filled with romance that makes the world go ’round. Whether romantic suspense, contemporary romance, or historical romance, she always tries to weave a warm love story into her work, while providing enough twists and turns to entertain any reader.