Monday, May 10, 2010

An interview with author Sara Brookes

Please help me welcome Sara Brookes, author of paranormal romance and unforgettable stories the readers will have a hard time putting down. She has a new novel, Midnight's Ghost, being released today, May 10th. In honor of her newest release, I had a virtual sit-down with the literary artist to find out more. Grab your coffee and pull up a seat. At the end of this interview there's a chance for one lucky reader to win an e-copy of Midnight's Ghost. 

Sara, please tell us about yourself.

Come to think of I'm actually quite boring. I spent vast amounts of time sitting in front of a computer screen both at my day job and when I'm writing.

Why do you write?

The short answer: I must. The long answer: It's something I have to do because I feel lost otherwise.

What were your early influences in writing?

My favorite book, to this day, is Charlotte's Web by E B White. That was probably the first time I'd read a book and fell completely in love with the style of writing instead of just the story. I started reading Stephen King when I was 15/16 and there was something about the intricacy of his stories and characters that I love as well. It's two vast ends of the spectrum, but to this day, both of their books grace my bookshelves and are things I can read over and over and never get bored with.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

I've always written, but it was only in the past few years that I decided to take it further and see if a publisher would be interested in something I'd written.

What kinds of research do you do for your work?

It depends on what I'm writing at the time. With Flash of Dark taking place in Cincinnati - a city I've never been to - I spent a lot of time studying maps and satellite images (from Google Earth) to get a lay of things. I was already familiar with vampire lore and Fae myths, so adding my own spin on those was the easy part. With Midnight's Ghost, the research was different. Most of that knowledge I already possessed, so it was creating my own world with it. The sci-fi was actually easier because I was only limited by my imagination as far as worldbuilding went. The research there was coming up with names for things that I wanted to still be pronouncable to readers.

What are you favorite scenes to write?

Any scene where the words just flow.

Do you have a favorite character?

No one character stands out for me - they each have their quirks and pesonalities that I find interesting. I like complicated and flawed characters and probably the one that is the most flawed is Wallace, from Midnight's Ghost. He made a choice to do something and has never apologized for it and still refuses to in fact. He knows what he did is wrong and stands up for the punishment given to him because of that choice. He's a very good example of an anti-hero.

Do you have any favorite lines in your novels?

Oh a bunch, but I'll narrow it down a bit:

“You may have asked yourself if you could, but did it ever occur to you to ask yourself if you should?” - Stark, Flash of Dark

“What would you do if I kissed you right now, Taran? If I didn’t stop with just a simple kiss? If I put your legs around my hips, opening you so that I slid inside you in one mind-numbing thrust? Would you still tell me then you’ve moved on, that you feel nothing for me anymore or would your voice resonate off the walls when you screamed my name as you came?” - Wallace, Midnight's Ghost

“He breaks your heart, I get to disembowel him, tear him limb from limb and personally drop his ashes in the ocean after I light him on fire. No questions asked and I’m not going to ask for your permission. Got it?” - Quinn, Blood Fever

What are the hardest scenes to write?

I hear most people answer "sex scenes" or "action scenes" in the answer to this question but those are actually the easiest for me. The hardest for me really isn't a scene per say, but anytime scent is involved. Since one of my series is vampires with heightened senese of smell, it makes it even harder. Not having a sense of smell came in handy when I used to change dirty diaper - not so much as a writer trying to describe scents to readers when she has no idea what they smell like. Family is invaluable with that!

Please, tell us about your books.

Available Now with Liquid Silver Books:

Flash of Dark (Book 1 of the Rebirth Series)

There’s trouble brewing on the horizon. Ana – a member of the immortal Fae – unknowingly discovers a secret that could potentially alter the calm life she has carefully built around her. Toss in a few murders, a best friend who is a vampire and a human male fervently pursuing her and that toxic touch she possesses could be the least of her worries.


“You’re quite possibly the only person I know who wanted to turn their back on something that could prove pleasurable. I understand your reasoning, but it was unfounded and unnecessary.” His mouth moved over my fingers, skimming against my knuckles as he tugged lightly in an effort to pull me closer. Food was obviously the last thing on his mind.

I shook my head, pulling my hand away so that we could continue eating and talking. As much as he thought that this was what he needed, I really wanted to spend some time talking. Possibly just to prove to myself that this wasn’t just a physical thing. Okay, so not only a physical thing. The sex had been too good to deny that. He let his fork dangle between his fingers as he watched me eat. “What?” I finally asked, tired of the audience.

“Nothing, just enjoying the scenery,” he said casually.

I snorted. “I can think of far more interesting subjects. Since I’m looking for a topic change anyway—I had a visit the other day at the club from our friendly homicide cop.” Better that I be the one to tell him before someone else did, especially since it was obvious we’d be spending more time together.

His interest in me temporarily forgotten, he asked with his usual flair for words. “Oh yeah? What did the upstanding Lieutenant Asshole have to say?”

We had spoken about the first visit briefly, but we had both been too preoccupied at the time to pay more than the barest of passing interest. “He was questioning me about another murder that took place in the same area as the first one. Same method, too.” I played a little with the noodles on my plate.

“Why would he come to see you again?” Stark’s eyes narrowed at me. He took a few swallows of wine and rested his hand on the stem as we talked.

And here came the part I hadn’t told him about. “I was seen tossing the victim out of my club earlier that night for roughing up his girlfriend.”

He swore under his breath. “So that’s what Lucas was referring to.”

“Lucas? You’ve talked to him?” I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed by this because Lucas hadn’t even talked to me and here he was talking to Stark. So much for the rationale of telling him before he heard it elsewhere. Lucas had already beaten me to the punch.

“Yes. I’ve talked to him. He contacted me a few days ago, told me that I needed to keep an eye on you. Make sure you didn’t go anywhere by yourself. Which, I completely agree with, by the way.” He added that last bit before I could open my mouth to respond.

“Why? So, some psycho is tearing apart victims near my club? This is the city, murder happens all the time.” I was trying to keep things light and here he was making me feel like I was child who wasn’t allowed out of the house by herself. The two of them ganging up on me was getting really old, really fast.

He had apparently been expecting my reply because he shot back with sarcasm of his own. “So people you personally throw out of your club regularly end up dead?”

Something about the tone of his voice caused the hair on the back of my neck to stand on end. Why had he suddenly gotten so possessive? A visit or two from a cop was no cause to garner a reaction like this. A thought occurred to me then. “What is it that you’re worried about, Stark? How you’ll appear to the press when it gets out that the woman you’re screwing is a possible suspect in two bloody murders? Afraid to have your image tarnished by being linked to me?” The tone of my voice was snide and unmistakable. I wasn’t in the mood to be cosseted by him—or anyone for that matter.

I watched as he struggled to contain his temper. “I’ve done a damn good job of tarnishing it myself without you to help, Ana. My concern is for you.”

“Are you worried that it really was me? That I really killed those two men?” If so, then I seriously needed to recheck my psycho meter.

“Did you know either of the victims, Ana?”

I shook my head. “No.”

“I did.”

Upcoming Release (Available May 10th from Liquid Silver Books):

Midnight's Ghost (Star Runner Saga)

The timeline is excruciating. Taran has three days to get her former lover – whom she’s barely speaking to – and the mysterious teenager she knows nothing about from one planet to another. Given the fact her ship, Eidolon, is the fastest in the star runner fleet, Taran knows she can make the run in the time Wallace has allotted. As the best – and only – female pilot, she’s got something to prove.

As if things weren’t complicated enough, Wallace, and the teenager he has in tow, are both escapees from the harshest prison facility in seven galaxies. Not only is Taran putting her career on the line, she’s got the Intergalactic Patrol hot on her heels. It isn’t long before unresolved feelings and tempers flare to life again and Taran is left second-guessing her decision of putting everything she stands for on the line.

Her determination may just cost her everything.

One man who feels no remorse for a crime he committed and one woman pilot determined to fulfill her promise equal one impossible mission.


I released my grip and as he fell to the side, I drew myself up to my full height so I was looking down at him. He panted as he tried to draw a full breath and groped out with a hand, searching for something to anchor himself to. His eyes were on mine and I could tell from the far away glazed look he was somewhere else. Unfortunately, his mind had been weaker that I expected, and for a moment, I debated sticking around to see if he was alright.

I heard the hiss and pop of a blaster and looked up in time to see the vivid streak of blue light fly past me before it exploded into Dalen’s chest. Blood, guts and other things I didn’t want to think about flew through the air and the crowd who had gathered around to watch the fight scattered.

Wiping the purple blood from my face, I turned to see who was responsible for the killing shot. As the tallest of the remaining group of onlookers, he was the easiest to find. He shot a casual smile in my direction as he flipped his shirt over the illegal weapon he was sliding into the waistband of his pants. My brain blared a warning and my feet started moving before I was even aware of it.

I ran like the wind.

I knew I needed to get away because he was the last person I wanted to see, especially right now. There was a loud crash followed by a riot of curses behind me, but I knew I would waste precious seconds if I looked over my shoulder to see what the commotion was.

“Reece, fire up the engines. I’m coming in hot and heavy,” I shouted into my holowatch as I pushed my way through the burgeoning crowds that were suddenly filling up the market alleys.

Didn’t these people have jobs to go to?

“Stirring up the natives again I see, Captain.”

“Just do it, dammit.” I flicked off the open line with my thumb and slid the glove I removed earlier back on my hand as I decided to risk a glance over my shoulder to ensure I still held the advantage.

My pursuer was weaving his way expertly though the mingling crowd and he was making far less of a disturbance doing so. Even at this distance, I could see one side of his mouth was quirked up in a lopsided grin.

Damn, he was actually enjoying this.

My attention momentarily distracted, I ran full tilt into a trader’s cart and watched the horizon tilt wildly as I went head over heels. For the second time today, I was fighting for air as I stared at the dull cerulean sky. A few careful blinks assured me the dimming light was because of the triple sunset and not my spinning equilibrium.

My pursuer’s face came into view overhead with a smile so wide it nearly split his face in two. Leave it to Wallace to find pleasure in tormenting me.

“Going somewhere?” The smug expression on his face made me want to reach up and slap it to the next galaxy. He would probably have some sick fascination about seeing my red hand print there later as it marked his perfectly sculpted jaw and decided against it.

“Stuff it, Wallace,” I spat out and winced at the level of effort it took to do so. With the combination of the fight with Dalen and the tumble I had just taken, everything hurt. I wasn’t too proud to admit that either. What I was too proud to do was take the hand Wallace was offering me. I rolled away from his extended hand, purposefully refusing his gesture as I gathered the effort needed to push myself up to stand.

A frown darkened his features and his hand fell uselessly to his side as he watched me. Based on our history, he had known that I wouldn’t take his hand or accept his assistance, but that didn’t mean it stopped him from offering. A few years ago, I would have taken it without hesitation.

My holowatch chimed, a signal Reece was trying to contact me. I sighed heavily and tapped the acknowledgment button. “Power down, Reece.”

Do you have a writing tip to share?

Sure do - let yourself suck. I'm a huge believer in this one. Too often times writers give up simply because they can't get it right the first time. I know, I was one of those. Once I started giving myself permission to suck, I realized I could always go back and fix it later. What I couldn't do, however, is go back and fix what didn't exist.

Sara is giving away a copy of her sci fi romance e-novel, Midnight's Ghost, to one lucky reader of the blog. All you have to do is leave a comment under the interview before Monday, May 17th at midnight and we'll draw one name from the virtual hat.

Sara, thank you for interviewing with Para-Fanatics. It's been a pleasure having you. To the readers, I hope you all will take a chance with this new author and give her books a read. You won't regret it.

D.L. Jackson


  1. Very interesting! I love that new cover, Sara.
    May I add a personal thank you for striving to find names or new words for things readers will be able to pronounce. It drives me MAD when I see a word that I have no idea how to say in my head let alone out loud.

  2. I love the title of your series, Star Runner Saga! This sounds great, I'd love to read it. Also, thanks for introducing this blog on SFR. I'd never read it before but will read it now.

  3. Love the cover and that it's a series. Great interview!

  4. Always interested in SFR! Thanks for a great interview!

  5. Wow -- that is the best advice I've heard in a long time! Thanks you Sara for sharing a little about your writing process! The books sounds fabulous!!

  6. @ Barbara Thank you & you're welcome for the names. I myself have been known to skip over names if I get it pronounced the first few times I see it but I still try to have some fun with the names I chose. For instance, the name of one of the planets is a character's name from my paranormals but reversed. :^)

    @ Melissa & Pauline Thanks for stopping by!

    @ Rebecca I think sometimes authors are too hard on ourselves and expect perfect right out of the gate. Just not possible.

  7. Congratulations on the new release! I haven't read any of your work as yet so I'm really delighted at discovering another wonderful new author.


  8. Great interview. Love your advice, too - let yourself suck. For awhile, at least. :)
    Congrats on your release!

  9. I alos love the cover, Sara. And that's sound advice. Turning off my internal editor so I can "just write it" is very hard for me to do, so my progress is often slowwww. Giving myself permission not to be a perfectionist would probably help me get a lot more productive.

    Great interview and congrats on your SFR release.

  10. OOh, I reverse things too to make names and words!! great minds eh? I did wonder if anyone had noticed in my story Misfits that my Redaer - girl with special powers - was reader - backwards!!

  11. Congrats on your release I cannot wait until I can read more of your works. Loved your advice.

  12. Congratulation on your release!
    I would like to read your book, it sounds very good!

    Kind regards,

  13. The cover is awesome and the excerpt it fantastic! Good luck, I hope your sales and fans are in the stratosphere!

  14. @ s7anna Thank you!

    @ Cate Of course, there's no suckage allowed by the time you get to submission point. Then you just makes it as polished as you can - then wait, because an editor is always going to find something to point out to you where you'll wonder where your brain was the day you wrote it!

    @ Laurie Thank you - I have been so lucky to have the same cover artist for book so far because I am sooo in love with her work.

    @ Barbara Love it! I always enjoy putting in little "easter eggs" just to see if people pick up on them. If not, at least I'm amused. ;^)

    @ Jenna & Lucy Thank you so much!

    @ Valerie Thanks, I think the sci-fi pop/old school feel of the cover really fits the tone of the book. Hope readers agree!

  15. Oooo...Sounds like a good series.

  16. @ Scott Thanks - I hope everyone has as much fun reading it as I did writing it!