Thursday, May 3, 2007

Interview With New York Times Best-Selling Author Sandra Brown

Welcome to “Up Close & Personal.” For every interview I will be introducing a literary personality discussing her views and insights, as well as upcoming literary events around the world.

Today’s interview is with New York Times bestseller Sandra Brown. She's the bestselling author of romantic novels and thriller suspense novels. Ms. Brown has also published works under her pen names of Rachel Ryan, Laura Jordan and Erin St. Claire.

E.I.Please tell us more about Sandra Brown - - the woman behind the author.

Sandra Brown:As a teenager, I was very much like I am now -- hard working and anxious to please. I was a class officer, on the Student Council, National Honor Society, very active in the drama department and the choir at my church. Then, I strived to make straight A's and please my parents. Now I strive to make best seller lists and please my readers.

E.I. You are well known in the writing community as a bestselling author of romantic novels and thriller suspense novels. Could you share with your fans about your challenges in marketing your first book?

Sandra Brown: I'm the first to admit that I was extremely lucky in getting my first book published. I was advised by a published author to write romances, because that was a burgeoning market in the early 80s when I started writing. I bought dozens of them, read them, studied them, and began plotting stories that fit the genre. The owner of an independent book store, whom I met at a writers' workshop, offered to read one of my manuscripts. She liked it and recommended it to an editor. The editor bought it and asked for another. And then another. I had an acceptable product at a time when there was a demand for that product.

E.I. How do you choose which chapter or pages to read from your book when you do a book signing appearances? Do you feel more pressure, or are you able to separate all that from your own creative process?

Sandra Brown: I never read aloud to an audience. Instead, I talk to them about selected books, how I got the idea and developed it. I make it casual and conversational, involving the audience as much as possible. Then I do a Q&A, because I want to address what they're curious to know about me, the books, and writing as a career. I guess all that time spent in the drama club in high school paid off! I'm a natural ham and don't suffer stage fright.

E.I. When you look back on your enormously successful career, is there anything you would've done differently? If so, what and why? If not, how do you manage to move forward without regrets?

Sandra Brown: I worked alone for several years, negotiating my own contracts, and was successful at it. However, in hindsight, I would have retained my agent much sooner. Nowadays, beginning writers have little choice except to have an agent from the get-go. In many ways I wish I had. I didn't make any catastrophic errors, but my agent's expertise would have saved me from making any.
Do you let anyone read your manuscript, before you send it to your editor?

Do you let anyone read your manuscript, before you send it to your editor?

Sandra Brown: It's sent to my editor and agent simultaneously. They're the first to read it.

E.I. What's next for your millions of fans?

Sandra Brown: PLAY DIRTY goes on sale August 28, 2007. It's about a former quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, who was caught throwing games. The story opens the day he's released from prison for racketeering. He's paid the price for breaking federal law. But in Texas, this game is a religion, and he committed a cardinal sin. He's a pariah. That's why he's surprised when the wealthy owner of an airline offers him a very unusual job -- and it's not to play football!

E.I Ms. Brown, thank you so much for contributing to my blog. It has been a pleasure for me to get to know you, and your work a little better.

Standra Brown: Thanks, E.I.

To learn more about Sandra Brown, please visit her at:

No comments: