I am quite excited by the prospect of getting to know Ms Thomas – ooh, doesn’t that sound formal! – that little better so I’ve ditched the usual hotseat in favour of a comfy couch today, and just hope my guest can stay awake for the entire round of twenty questions…
ACT ONE – all about you…
Writing sizzling paranormal romance and erotica and dark paranormal horror SJ Thomas has been published in several anthologies and had her first stand alone novellas published in 2012. She reads, writes, and breathes sexy possessive paranormal creatures and the heroines (or heroes) that bring them to their knees. SJ lives in the South West of England with her wonderful husband and a very spoilt Springer Spaniel and she has a full time day job so has to fit her writing in when she can, but of course would love to write full time one day. When not writing or working she enjoys reading, walking, geocaching, and surfing badly.
1) Have you always been a writer or is it something you fell into?
Firstly thanks for having me and I am glad we went for the comfy couch!
Anyway writing is definitely something I fell into and only in the last couple of years. I've always had an active imagination and fancied writing when I was about 16 but I honestly didn't think I could come up with anything original. It was reading an interview with Gena Showalter and Kresley Cole about their inspiration/inklings for stories that made me remember the ideas I'd had when I was 16 and I started writing again.
2) Do you have a particular writing style or ritual?
Working full time means a very irregular writing pattern. I work in my living room on the Macbook, normally when my hubby is on the Playstation, so I always put my headphones in and listen to music. I have several playlists depending on what mood I am writing.
Style wise I try to start at the beginning and work my way through but sometimes I'll start with a particularly scene and back fill from there.
3) Is there a book or an author that has particularly influenced you in your writing?
The joint goddesses of paranormal romance, Gena Showalter and Kresley Cole. I have always leaned toward fantasy, vampires, werewolves in my reading but it wasn't until I discovered Gena's Lords of the Underworld that I actually realised there was a genre called paranormal romance.
4) Is there one piece of writing (or life?) advice that has stuck with you, or that you would like to share?
Just sit down and write. Even if it’s a few words or a whole scene, just start. First drafts are normally rubbish but that’s the beauty of editing and rewrites. Unless you get it down to begin with you'll never get anywhere with it.
Oh and try to avoid negative reviews!!
5) Can you tell us three things about yourself that we probably don’t already know?
1 - I have three Degrees, one Undergraduate and two Masters.
2 – I once did a hot air balloon flight over the Nile for my mum's 50th birthday.
3 - We have two pet lizards, a Blue Tongue Skink called Charlie and a Chinese Water Dragon called Sly.
6) What five luxury items or gadgets would you hate to be without?
1 - Kindle
2 - Sky TV (major Spartacus, Game of Thrones, Arrow and Hawaii Five O fan)
3 - Straighteners
4 – Central Heating
5 - Ipod
ACT TWO – all about your stories…
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7) Congratulations on your recent release of Hot Flashes, featuring not one, not two, but three of your short stories, but what exactly is a “hot flash”?
Thanks. Flash fiction is a short piece of fiction anywhere from 200 – 1000 words to give you a tantalising taste of a story. It’s a brilliant writing exercise and the Breathless Press author group do them regularly, often inspired by an image, for the blog and Facebook page. Someone had the idea of doing an anthology and we now have two out; Freaky Flashes all of which have a sexy Halloween theme and Hot Flashes, which ahem speak for themselves.
8) I see that you have a flair for paranormal and sci-fi fiction, so where do you draw your inspiration from?
Anywhere – tv, books, images, films. Everything I write has a paranormal/sci-fi/fantasy flavour because it's what I like to read and what I like to write. I normally get an idea or image of a scene of piece of dialogue and then from there build the story, asking the what's and why's.
9) I also see that you have written short stories for a number of anthologies, was this a conscious decision or something that just happened?
Something that just happened. When I first started writing I was aiming for a full length novel but Candy Crum, a wonderful indie author, put out a call via Facebook for a paranormal horror anthology, the Withering Darkness. I had a go and my story Winter King got accepted and was my first ever published work. (It also happens to feature my all time favourite character, Malum, who had a follow up story in the second anthology Candy published and who I am determined will have a full length story one day!).
The first few things I had published were all anthology shorts and it turns out they were a brilliant way to practice my skills and learn the craft. I am trying to move away from short stories and get a full length novel out, but I am sure I will be tempted again.
10) Out of all the stories you have had published, do you have a favourite paragraph or sentence, that you would like to tantalise us with?
The story that has the most meaning for me is my werewolf novella Alpha Chase because to date it the longest story I have written, it was one of the first complete stories I wrote, and it received a rejection from one publisher before finding a home with Breathless. There are several lines/paragraphs I love but my favourite has got to be this one:
She was not going to be intimidated, even when she was flat on her back with a pissed-off werewolf on top of her.
11) Over to you, what can you tell us about your stories, to make us rush out and buy one, and which one would you recommend trying first?
My romance/erotica features strong alpha males, feisty heroines, heart-stopping action and sizzling sex. The characters don't always play nice but they will give you a hell of a ride.
My horror will linger with you long after you finish the story and will send a shiver up your spine.
To get a feel for my writing any of the anthologies would be a good place to start particularly Ravaged, Dark Hunger or Sinister Seductions.
If you fancy something longer I have the best reviews for Alpha Chase and Oh Christmas Tree so they are probably both my strongest writing.
12) What can we expect from you next? Is there something you are working on right now?
I have just contracted a novella with Breathless Press for their Naughty Nursery Rhyme line. It’s based on they nursery rhyme Hey Diddle Diddle and is a bit Alice in Wonderlandish with a very sexy anti-hero and lots of sizzling…erm…situations!
I am also waiting to hear on a submission to a new publisher and I have a short story I am expanding for another Breathless anthology.
After they are done I will be working on another Naughty Nursery Rhyme based on Little Red Riding Hood and a full-length sequel to Alpha Chase.
QUICK FIRE ROUND – it’s pop quiz time…
13) Plotter or pantser?
Half and half
14) Secret Seven or Famous Five? (please tell me you know them!?)
Err sorry don't really know either. Can I choose the Avengers?
15) Digital books or print books?
In my heart print, in my head digital
16) Tea or coffee?
17) Cats or dogs?
18) Extrovert or introvert?
19) Save or spend?
Try to save but normally spend
20) Facebook or Twitter?
And that’s a wrap!
Thank you so much for taking part, I wish you every success with your stories and hope a certain other impending new release of the biological kind doesn’t wear you out too much.
Thanks for having me, it's been lots of fun.
To follow S.J. Thomas, and to keep up with her latest news and projects, you can visit her at:
I have some lovely swag that needs a home (Alpha Chase and One Wild Vegas Night postcards and Alpha Chase and SJ Thomas fridge magnets) and I'll pick one or maybe two winners from all those who comment.
Buy it now…
Heat Rating: 3
Word Count: 22889
Release Date: March 8, 2013
Heat Rating: 2
Word Count: 25363
Release Date: October 26, 2012
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