Author Sandra Hill is the best-selling writer of more than thirty titles including: Tall, Dark, and Cajun, The Cajun Cowboy, The Red-Hot Cajun, Pink Jinx, Pearl Jinx, and Wild Jinx. She resides in central Pennsylvania with her husband the stock broker, her four sons, and very large dog.
Thanks for being here, Sandra. It’s a pleasure.
#1- Tell us a little about yourself outside of your writing career…
I am a lifelong reader and writer. Enjoy going to estate auctions, always looking for antique paintings, Roseville pottery, etc. We have a second home on a fishing creek where we spend much time with our four sons and three young grandchildren.
#2- You wrote the Cajun Book Series, with SO INTO YOU being number 8. What inspired a Cajun Louisiana theme for your contemporary romance series?
I love Louisiana, especially bayou country. Although I never lived there, I feel as if
I have a genetic memory of the place. And what’s not to love about the colorful semi-tropical backdrop, spicy foods, lively music, and a culture which enjoys life and love.
And these are survivors. People tossed into a seemingly unlivable environment where they not only survived but thrived.
#3- As you know, I reviewed your title SO INTO YOU for Bookpleasures and loved it. But how do you handle the negative reviews and critiques you receive?
You have to take the good and the bad with a grain of salt. Different strokes for different folks. There are some sites I avoid because their reviews are just mean and personal, but I am always open to constructive criticism, keeping in mind that one man’s caviar is another man’s fish eggs.
For example, I recently got this very blunt message from a reader:
“Please stop writing about Cajuns, or at least learn more about us before you write another one. We do not sound like hillbillies.“
However, the very next day, and in hundreds of other cases, I have received letters like this one:
“I just love love LOVE your Cajun and Jinx series. As a person from
South Louisiana and a Cajun I want to say thank you for getting it
right. Most authors write about South Louisiana and never get the
true vibe of what it is about. Sure we have New Orleans and it's a
big part of our culture but you got underneath it with the sense of
family,no matter how distant, and the sense of community. In
additon, most families with true Cajun backgrounds have a Taunte
Lulu in it. Or if not someone like her, very close to it. And
praying to a saint, yes that is something BIG down here. There is a
saint for everything. LOL. Sorry for the long note just wants to
send this and say thanks and keep them coming.”
And, btw, Tante Lulu has her very own Twitter now. The internet may never be the same.
#4- Using humor in contemporary romance serves as a great selling tool, but is often difficult to carry throughout a story. How do you feel you are able to do that successfully?
I don’t have trouble carrying it through the entire book. In fact, sometimes I have to restrain myself. However, I am always looking for windows of opportunities in a plot where humor…even just a word or phrase…would enhance the comedic element.
#5- Assuming you get any time to read, what authors do you like to read, and were there any books that stand out from your childhood as favorites?
As a child, I can recall a book called Sonja about a little girl whose father was a sailor. He brought her a different doll from a different country every time he came home. Wish I could find it again for my granddaughter. And, come to think on it, maybe Sonja was the name of one of the dolls.
Then there was Gone With the Wind.
Today, I read Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Trish Jensen, Rachel Gibson, Kate Angell, Mary Balogh, Lisa Kleypas, Jillian Hunter, Lora Leigh (Navy SEALs), Beverly Lewis (especially the Abram’s Daughters series), etc.
#6- Are there any upcoming releases we would like to know about, and could you give us your web site so readers can check it out?
In a few weeks (September) comes VIKING HEAT, a time travel which I describe as “Private Benjamin” meets “Stripes” meets “G.I. Jane” meets Brandr the Berserker.
Joy Nelson, a psychologist, is devastated after the death of her POW brother. How else can you explain her joining a female Navy SEAL program and end up on an auction block, being sold to a tenth century Viking warlord? This medieval chauvinist doesn’t know what hit him.
In February comes VIKING IN LOVE. If you’ve ever seen the Dixie Chicks video of “Good-bye Earl” you will understand my medieval version of the Dixie Chicks. Five Viking princesses kill the husband (an earl…what else!) of one of them after witnessing his abuse. They bury him in the bottom of a privy, then run for their lives.
After that will be “Tomorrow is Another Day” in the LADIES PREFER ROGUES anthology in March. My return to post-Civil War Louisiana where the owner of a modern dating service is tossed back in time and decides to employ her matchmaking skills…except men are scarce after the war, especially ones with limbs, or teeth, or under the age of sixty. This is a lol romp with Sandra’s version of Rhett, a Navy SEAL lookalike, who needs to regain his sense of humor. And, boy, does he ever!
Then, there will be more Cajuns, Vikings, and medieval knights.
#7- This about concludes it. Thank you again for joining us. Is there anything else you would like to share?
Please visit my website at www.sandrahill.net. I’m especially pleased with the book video for SO INTO YOU. The woman who did the video for me is married to a musician who wrote the original music, and he did the voiceover. You must go to the end where he says “so into you.” You will melt.
As always, wishing you smiles in your reading.