Author of the Month Interview - S.J. Frost.

From To The Other Side by SJ Frost we found this quote;
"He'd seen countless beautiful and magnificent horses, but the unicorn stallion had to be the most breathtaking creature he'd ever seen."
Now, we know how amazing unicorn stallions are and we couldn't ignore an author after our own hearts, so.....

May's Author of the Month is the wonderful SJ Frost. We read and chatted about A Little Bit Country in our monthly chats (always the best fun to be had on the internet) and have been reading our way through her back-list. To round things up we grilled her mercilessly about her writing habits invited her into the clubhouse for a chat. Here's what she had to say;

BMBR: Do you listen to music when you write? If so, does the music genre change with each story? Each scene?
SJ: No, I don’t listen to music when I write. In real life, I’m a mom and I also work a full-time day job, so I don’t have a lot of time to write in general. When I do, it’s usually at night after my son is in bed. At that point in the night, I just want to unwind and have things quiet. Of course, writing into the night also leads to me writing while half-awake sometimes, so maybe I should listen to music to keep me more awake! As I’m driving to and from work, though, I listen to music and sometimes certain songs or artists do help me think of a particular story or characters. With one of my WIPs right now, whenever I listen to Imagine Dragons, the characters get chatty. It’s nice when that happens, because I know I can play that music and wake up the characters to be ready to work with later.

BMBR: Are any of the characters in A Little Bit Country based on real life performers? If so, who?
SJ: I’ve got to give credit to Adam Levine and Blake Shelton for inspiring me to write the expanded version of A Little Bit Country. When I wrote the shorter version, there were a lot of calls from people who wanted to see more of Ash and Jackson. Even I knew they had more to their story. Other projects made me keep putting it on the backburner…until I started watching The Voice. Adam and Blake’s bantering woke up Ash and Jackson and it got to the point where everything else got put on the back-burner to finish out their story.

BMBR: Are you a fan of country music/what is your favourite type music?
SJ:I enjoy listening to country from time to time, but my favorite music is rock and classical. I grew up listening to both country and rock from my parents. Classical, I developed my love for on my own. Queen is my all-time favorite band and I have Freddie Mercury on a pedestal above all other musicians. I listen to whatever suits my mood at a given moment, really.

BMBR: Your Instincts series are about vampires and your Terra series is about witches, unicorns and dragons - yet you also write a lot of contemporary, music based stories. Do you have a particular genre you prefer to write in? Is one easier than the other?
SJ: I enjoy fantasy, music, vampire-themed books and movies, horses, history…and so I write stories with those themes. And I write stories that make me happy as I’m writing them. Writing is my escape and I don’t want to escape to somewhere I’ll be stressed, upset, or depressed. If my books get published and other people enjoy them, then that’s a wonderful and amazing bonus to me and I always want people to walk away from one of my books feeling as good about their reading experience as I felt during the writing experience. I also write about issues I care about.
The whole reason I write gay romance is to help put gay relationships in a loving and positive light. That’s always at the heart of my work. Probably another reason why I write sweet romances. In the real world, there’s still so much discrimination, the fight for equality is far from over. I want my stories to be happy, encouraging, uplifting and to show that all love is beautiful and special. Beneath that overall focus, I occasionally touch on other issues that are important to me, such as environmentalism and like now, the WIP I’m writing features a horse rescuer.
Writing contemporary and paranormal are probably easiest for me. Fantasy is more challenging because of the extensive world building involved. The historical I wrote, Of Honor and Love, was also challenging because of the hefty researching I did for it. But I enjoy researching and world building, so while challenging, writing those stories has been very rewarding. I love flexing my little writing muscles in different ways. 

BMBR: What books do you like to read? 
SJ:I read a lot of fantasy, historical fiction, and paranormal books…the kinds of books that really let me escape.

BMBR: Who are your writing influences? 
SJ: There have been many! Mercedes Lackey, Anne Rice, Tad Williams, Laura Joh Rowland, J.K. Rowling, Walter Farley… Not to mention I’m a huge fan of classic literature too; Chaucer, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Shakespeare. Those are just a few whose work I love and admire.

BMBR: If A Little Bit Country was made into a film/TV show, who could you see in the roles? 
SJ:I know Adam Levine does some acting, so he could still be Ash. Maybe it could be Blake Shelton’s screen debut ;-) It’s so hard for me to put Ash and Jackson’s personalities on anyone else at this point after how those two got me going on writing the expanded version of the story.

So, that's what the lovely SJ Frost had to say about her writing. Thank you so much for being our author of the month.  Of course we couldn't invite her into the clubhouse without finding her unicorn name, so here she is, Nightshade Jolly Legs.

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