Saturday, February 11, 2012

Blog Tour: Mind Over Matter by S.J. Clarke

This virtual book tour is presented by Bewitching Book Tours.
You can see the entire tour schedule by clicking HERE.
Welcome to The Wormhole and my day on the tour!
It is my pleasure to feature S.J. Clarke.
 When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I was in grade two we often had show-and-tell in class. When I didn't have anything cool to show, I'd entertain the class by telling stories. I told this one story about a fire in my brothers house, and how they couldn't get one of my nieces out in time. I painted gruesome pictures with words, right down to the spill of red light pooling on the wet pavement from the flashing lights on the fire engines. I must have done a good job because the teacher called home at recess to convey her condolences to my mom. My poor mom had to explain to her that none of it happened. When the teacher gasped, saying she couldn't believe I'd lied, Mom just smiled. I wasn't a liar, she said, I was a story-teller. I`m not sure I knew then I wanted to be a writer. But it`s when I knew I could be a writer.

 How long does it take you to write a book?
I wrote my second book in 4 months writing only one hour a day on my lunch hour at work. I can usually turn out the fist draft in a few months, depending on how much time I have to write.  Once it's plotted. Plotting takes me 3-4 weeks. Revision is a whole other monster.

 Where do you get your ideas or inspiration for your characters?
Characters come to me at odd mements from everywhere. I tuck something I overhear in line at the grocery store into a corner of my brain. A while later I might see someone in a commercial with a funky look, and she gets tucked away. I'll witness a person make a decision, and watch their reaction – relief, horror, regret. Then I tuck it away. Then I think of a precipitation event, one bound to touch the hearts of my readers. Once I settle on one, I invite my friends out to play and see which one fits best.

 How do you decide what you want to write about?
I use a technique I learned during a course I took. The instructor asked each student to each come up with a single sentence containing a protagonist, an antagonist, a need for each, an interesting setting, a conflict, and a twist – oh and it had to be thirty words or less. The result is a sentence that becomes the tag line for the book.

 What books have most influenced your life?
Every book I read leaves an echo. I can`t pick one favorite.

 What are you reading right now?
I`m just finishing up Fates Edge, by Ilona Andrews' (Novel of the Edge series). It's very good. Not my favorite of her`s, but I'm enjoying it a lot.

 What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I read a LOT! I`m afraid I might also have a slight addiciton to online Scrabble and Words With Friends. Shhhh. Don`t tell anyone!

 What is your favorite comfort food?
Pasta. Any day, any meal.

 What do you think makes a good story?
Strong conflict. Character growth. A unique voice. Good pacing. Use of Language. Well rounded plots. Interesting Settings. Twist after twist. Relateable situations. Impossible choices. Highs and Lows. Sentence structure. Scene Structure. Story structure. It`s so much more than putting words on the page.

 Who would you consider your favorite author and why?
If I had to pick one author who`s influenced me the most, it`s Nora Roberts (also writing as J.D. Robb). As a reader, her works hit all of my hot buttons. It's romance at heart, with lots of mystery, intrigue and suspense thrown in, and often contains elements of the paranormal. As a writer, she demonstrates one individual can reach a wide audience and master more than a single genre if they do it right.

Fun random questions: 
·        dogs or cats?                        Dogs
·        Coffee or tea?                       Tea
·        Dark or milk chocolate?       Both
·        Rocks or flowers?                 Rocks
·        Night or day?                         Day
·        Favorite color?                      Blues
·        Crayons or markers?            Markers
·        Pens or pencils?                   Pens

More About The Author:

S. J. Clarke has published over fifty articles as a columnist and regular contributor for a variety of lifestyle and human interest websites. She is a grateful member of the Writers' Community of Durham Region, and proud to sit on the Board of Directors for The Ontario Writer's Conference.

Sandra also co-authored Touretties, a touching tribute featuring testimonials from patients and and their loved ones living with Tourettes.

Mind Over Matter, released in November, 2011 through MuseItUp Publishing, is her first novel.

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Mind Over Matter
By S.J. Clarke

Rebecca McKenney grieved the loss of her daughter for three years. Now, a vision showing Sabrina three years older, suggests her baby is still alive, and the FBI agent who gave up the search is the only one who can help find her.

Special Agent Dan Cooper is haunted by a tragic mistake made early in the investigation of Sabrina's disappearance. Now to ease his conscience he agrees to help Rebecca search.

Together they fight inner demons, all to real bad guys, and an attraction neither wants to admit to. Each step closer to finding Sabrina is a step deeper into deception and evil.

Can Rebecca and Dan save Sabrina before it's too late?