My guest today is Sabrina Devonshire, whose new book is an intriguing sci-fi adventure . Just up my alley! Welcome, Sabrina!
Thank you, Susana, for inviting me to guest-host this morning. I’m so thrilled to be here.
When I was eight years old, I wrote a short series of mystery novels about two girls who held secret club meetings in a tree fort and had to deal with bothersome boys. Ever since, I’ve filled many journals and have written poetry, short stories and books.
What advice would you give writers just starting out?
Don’t give up. The only part of writing that really soured my mood was all the rejection. Sometimes it socked the life out of my inspiration. It’s hard to work a full day and get home to a bunch of e-mail and written rejections. I’d feel so discouraged sometimes that the thoughts that usually free flow inside my head just shut down. And then I felt like a part of me was missing. So then I’d go back to it again. Ever since I got my first book contract, it’s been easier. But please don’t stop writing when rejections strike. Just keep on plugging away until something happens because the more you write, the better you become. If I hadn’t had those slumps where I sat around feeling sorry for myself, not only would I have been happier, but I also would have had more material to sell today.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
I almost always suffer from writer’s block if I’m overtired or don’t give myself enough time to get into a rhythm. If I stick to writing, no matter how bad it’s going, for at least an hour, good things almost always happen. I also need exercise and plenty of Chai and green tea to write well. I swim and walk most days of the week.
What comes first, the plot or the characters?
It really depends. With my first novel,The Open Water Swimmer, my male protagonist, Jeff Dickson, really got into my head. With Message From Viola Mari, I joined a writing critique group with four people, including famous meteorite hunter, Geoffrey Notkin. Notkin’s submissions ignited my interest in meteorites and catastrophic asteroid and comet events, which contributed to some of my plot ideas. With my work in progress, Expedition To Mountain River Cave, a movie about a caving expedition triggered a chain of ideas for my plot.
Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.
Some of the dialogue closely matches what actually happened in a writing workshop I took once. People can get pretty hostile in their critiques of others’ work and can also react pretty dramatically to criticism. I think most readers who also write will find these scenes quite funny.
Are you working on something at present you would like to tell us about?
I’m about to submit Expedition To Mountain River Cave, the first in a series of two books, to Extasy Books. It’s about a young woman named Rebecca Devereux who is so desperate to escape her humdrum life, she tries to land a job as an assistant for a caving expedition in Vietnam.
What are you reading now?
Shadewright by Dean McMillin.
What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
Jennifer Crusie has influenced me the most, but other writers I love are Nicholas Christopher, Jamie Zeppa, and Daphne DuMaurier.
What is your work schedule like when writing?
Unfortunately, it’s pretty irregular given my multiple commitments. I’m a longtime fitness professional—I provide one-on-one training, swimming instruction and group classes to older adults and my expertise in fitness has gleaned me a boatload of magazine writing work. I’m a time juggler.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I dreamed of being a writer, a singer and an Olympic athlete. I’ve enjoyed many years of competitive swimming without ever qualifying for the Olympics, sing like a frog and am a published magazine and book author. I’m so thrilled writing is a part of my daily life and that swimming has given me the gift of a healthy body and inspired mind.
What is your favorite food? Least favorite? Why?
I really love fresh shrimp – not the frozen, farm-grown shrimp you can typically find at an American grocery store, but the fresh huge ones I often buy when I visit Mexico. Mmmm.
I am a health freak so nothing grosses me out more than greasy food.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
A pantster all the way.
What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?
When I don’t have to leave the house to work, I usually wear my pajamas and a bathrobe most of the day.
Is there a writer you idolize? Is so, who?
Jennifer Crusie. Her books make me laugh so hard my stomach hurts. I feel so much more relaxed and upbeat about life in general after a good laugh.
What would we find under your bed?
Half of what I own. But seriously, in addition to dust bunnies, loose coins and mismatched socks, I keep a heavy steel triathlon trophy with sharp corners under there so if someone breaks in the house, they’ll soon wish they hadn’t.
Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book. Where would you most likely want to go?
Bhutan. I’ve dreamed of visiting ever since I read Beyond the Sky and Earth: A Journey into Bhutan by Jamie Zeppa. I love peaceful places rife with lush greenery and wildlife.
Do you have a favorite quote or saying?
“Failure is not an option.” Ed Harris says that as Apollo 13 Flight Director Gene Kranz in the movie APOLLO 13. I hope writers might remember this when they’re tempted to quit.
Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?
Other than magazine writing, where most of my features relate to health and fitness or competitive swimming, I’m focusing on contemporary, science fiction, and sports romance.
What is something you’d like to accomplish in your writing career next year?
I’d like to see one of my book titles in the top three of Extasy’s bestseller list even if only for five minutes. I’d like to get a second book in print and publish at least two more e-books this year.
World-renowned oceanographer and meteorite specialist Marissa Jones uncovers evidence that a comet cloud will soon destroy Earth. When aspiring writer and her best friend Jennifer begs her to take a Saturday morning sci-fi writing class, Marissa reluctantly agrees. Writing her real-life story as fiction gives her an astonishing new perspective on the anomalous set of craters she discovered off the La Jolla Coast. But this favor for her friend stirs up more than scientific results…writing teacher Justin Lincoln goads her constantly and taunts her with his irresistible curly blond locks and steely physique he knows only too well make women drool. Marissa teeters on the edge of anger and raging attraction for this irritating man. But it’s a terrible time to let lust call the shots when the world’s about to end and Marissa’s the only one who can save everyone.
Sabrina Devonshire, an avid swimmer most of her life, can usually be found near or immersed in a body of water. If she’s not seeking an endorphin rush in a pool, lake or ocean, she’s often encouraging people to work out or writing a book or magazine article. She also loves traveling to off-the-beaten-path places where phones and electronic devices tend not to work well. Peru and Belize are two of her favorites. Sabrina lives in southern Arizona with her husband, two children, and fluffy dog, Sugar. For more information on Sabrina’s books, check out her web site at www.sabrinadevonshire.com and blog www.sabrinadevonshire.blogspot.com
Web site: www.sabrinadevonshire.com