Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Welcome Rhonda Gilmour

Welcome to Rhonda, a fellow Wild Rose Press author, who writes as Sadira Stone.


Hi, Jennifer. Thanks so much for hosting me today and giving me the chance to meet your readers. 

1. What is your writing style or schedule?
Remember that old Dolly Parton song that starts “Tumble out of bed and stumble to the kitchen, pour myself a cup of ambition…”? That’s me, minus the office clothes and commute. I pull on yoga pants and stand at my desk until midday-ish, when my vision starts to blur. Then I take a walk around the neighborhood, perhaps hit the gym with Hubs, maybe even clean the house a bit. If it’s a good day, I hit it again for two or three hours in the afternoon.

2. Where do you actually write? 
I’m blessed with a little office of my own, painted celery green and stuffed with books, plus a comfy reading chair. Recently, I bought a standing desk thingy that sits atop my regular desk, so I work standing as much as possible, practicing shimmies, hip circles, and undulations while searching for the right word. (I’m a belly dancer.)

3. Do you write linearly or not?
Pretty much, yeah. Theoretically, I have more than one story cooking at a time, but I tend to stick with one manuscript until I’m satisfied it’s ready to launch.

4. What sort of other activities keep you from actually writing?
Well, my daughter’s grown, but if I want to hang onto my husband—and I do—I have to actually talk to him from time to time. Isn’t it astonishing how a “brief trip” to run a “few errands” can turn into a whole afternoon? And it turns out you do have to exercise now and then—imagine that! So yeah, ordinary life stuff. My step-son’s getting married this month, so there’ll be lots of family time, for which I’m grateful, gobbling my writing time. I’ll try to contain my grumbling.

5. Do you have support, either from family and friends or a writing group?
My husband’s support helps tremendously. I belong to a fabulous weekly critique group whose insight really helps polish my work. Through the RWA, I’ve connected to so many helpful writers, including my dear beta readers. (Waving at my Olympia, Washington chapter) Ours is truly a supportive community, especially among the Wild Rose Press authors.

6. How long does it normally take you to write a novel? 
About a year, start to finish. I’m hoping to speed up over time.

7. Who or what are your inspirations?
I’m inspired by the fabulous, fascinating women I’ve met. I want to tell their stories, giving them the happy ending they deserve.

8. If there’s a single aspect to writing that really frustrates you, what is it?
My own tendency to write fat is frustrating. My current project, Book Two in the Book Nirvana Series, weighed in at 107K words as a first draft. It’s down to about 88K now. Sharpening/tightening a manuscript takes a lot of work—and coffee.

9. Given unlimited resources, what would be your ideal writing environment?
I’d love to have a bigger office with a view. All I see is the side of my neighbors’ house. They’re lovely people, but still…

10. Tell me about your latest book.
Through the Red Door is the story of a widow who’s trying to keep her indie bookstore afloat when faced with corporate competition. Her best chance to draw customers is the extensive erotica collection, curated by her late husband and kept behind a locked red door at the back of the shop. Since Jared’s death, she hasn’t had the heart to enter that room, leaving its care to her trusted shop assistant. One day, a handsome visiting professor arrives, looking for historical erotica. On the same day, her shop assistant introduces her to his younger cousin, a charming local guy with whom she has a lot in common. Clara faces a dilemma: start dating again? In dreams and signs, her late husband encourages her to open her heart and rejoin the living. But to Clara, that feels like a betrayal. And which guy should she choose?

11. Where did you get your inspiration for your book?
Ever since I first read the lyrical erotic stories of Ana├»s Nin, I’ve been fascinated by historical erotica. People who lived long ago were just as amorous as we, and just as creative in expressing their desires. And who doesn’t love an indie bookshop?

12. Do you have a favorite character and if so, who and why?
I’m very fond of Harry, Clara’s 75-year-old shop assistant and wise father figure. I hope to write his story one day.

13. What are you working on now?
I’m doing final edits on the second book in the series. I can’t say much about those characters without spoiling the first book, but I can tell you the hero and heroine are both runners, and their romance goes viral on social media at the perfectly wrong moment. I guarantee you’ll fall in love with the heroine’s feisty, artistic, ninety-year-old great-aunt.  

Blurb:

Clara Martelli clings to Book Nirvana, the Oregon bookshop she and her late husband Jared built together. When rising rents and corporate competition threaten its survival, her best hope is their extensive erotica collection, locked behind a red door. In dreams and signs, her dead husband tells her it's time to open that door and move on. When a dark and handsome stranger's powerful magnetism jolts her back to life and he wants a look at the treasures of that secret room, she can't help but want to show him more.
Professor Nick Papadopoulos is looking for historical erotica. Book Nirvana's collection surpasses his wildest dreams, and so does its lovely owner. A widower, he understands Clara's battle with guilt, but their searing chemistry is too strong to resist. Besides, he will only be in town for two weeks, not long enough for her to see beyond the scandal that haunts his past.

Excerpt:

The amber flecks in his eyes danced in the candlelight. Their glow drew the truth out of her like a magnet tugging metal. Deep breath. Just ask. He won’t bite.
“Nick, how did you know when it was time?”
“Time?”
“To move on. To let someone in.”
He shifted away, but the saggy sofa cushion slid him back against her thigh. “Can’t fight gravity.” He chuckled and draped his arm across her shoulders. “Honestly, my body was ready before my heart was. Even if the heart is withered, nearly dead, the body goes on—eating, breathing, feeling, wanting.” He fingered a strand of her hair, his gaze far away. “A friend saw how closed off I’d become, and she…helped me.”
“How?”
“By seducing me. There was wine involved, and music. She wouldn’t take no for an answer.” He cupped her shoulder. “And I’m so glad she didn’t.”
Avoiding his penetrating gaze, Clara focused on the flickering candles. “Did you love her?”
“Not really. And yet—yes, very much.”
“Huh?”
“You see, I’ll never love anyone the way I loved Diana. She was unique in all the world. But she wouldn’t want me to spend the rest of my life pining for her, miserable, alone. My friend helped me see it’s okay to enjoy my life. She helped me realize that one day I might even love again. She told me it’s not something you can rush, but it will come in time if you relax and open your heart.”

Buy links:
About the Author:
Ever since her first kiss, Sadira’s been spinning steamy tales in her head. But it wasn’t until her 50s that she tried her hand at writing one. Now she’s a happy citizen of Romancelandia, penning contemporary romance and cozy mysteries from her home in Washington State. When not writing, which is seldom, she explores the Pacific Northwest with her charming husband, enjoys the local music scene, plays guitar badly, and gobbles all the books. Visit Sadira at www.sadirastone.com.


7 comments:

  1. Enjoyed getting to know you more, Rhonda. Though I'm a linear writer, I always have stories and plots running through my mind, too. Most days, when my head hits the pillow I'm reaching for a notepad and pen to write these new idea down. All the best with your new release!

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    1. I hear ya', Mary. Gotta have a notepad on the nightstand.

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  2. Great interview. Your book sounds great. I wish Clara's bookstore was in my town. I would love to dive into some historical erotica, but that kind of stuff is hard to find, at least where I live. :)

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    1. Aren't indie bookstores the best? Thanks much, Amber.

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  3. I enjoyed your post, Sadira. I was interested to read that you stand at a desk while you write. I've thought of trying that, but I struggle with walking and chewing gum at the same time. Best of luck.

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  4. Nice to learn more about you, Rhonda. Intriguing book, lovely teaser of an excerpt. Wishing you much success, Cat

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  5. Great excerpt. I'm a linear writer as well. I'm trying to write a series of novellas, and I spend more time "worrying" about whether I'll be able to write the next one instead of working on the current one. Go figure.

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