Priest isn’t Sierra’s first book, but it’s how we discovered her…and man, did she blow us away in a BIG WAY. Both Jacque and I read and LOVED Priest. We’ve never read anything like it. The best part about discovering Sierra is just how awesome she is. She is sweet and humble and we cannot wait to see what she comes up with next. Check out our interview below to find out more about Sierra.
20 Questions with Sierra Simone
1. Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Pretty much ever since I can remember, but I also wanted to be a librarian for as long as I can remember. I’m very lucky that I got to do both!
2. Are you a full time writer? If so, what did you do in your “previous life?”
Just a few months ago I transitioned into being a full-time writer after working in libraries and museums for over a decade. It’s both fantastic and also a little sad–I loved being a librarian.
3. If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?
Not to be so easily discouraged. I was (and still am) a very sensitive person, and it doesn’t take much to send me into Brooding Mode.
4. Do you work on one storyline at a time or do you have multiple storylines in the pipeline?
I usually only draft one novel at a time, but I tend to have a few stories and/or characters gestating at the back of my mind while I’m drafting.
5. Let’s play favorites! Who is your favorite character you’ve written?
Right now, I think it’s Father Bell, mostly because he and I are very alike in how we feel about sex, God and whiskey, but also because he was just a fun character to write!
6. Have you experienced any of your stories personally?
Not one in its entirety, but many aspects of my stories come from real life experiences.
7. What are your biggest distractions?
Reading, drinking, my husband. During the summer, my kids are constantly underfoot as well 🙂
8. What is your least favorite part of the writing or publishing process?
I actually love pretty much every part of the writing process itself–I love starting a book, when you have the total freedom of the blank page. And I love finishing it, and the endorphin rush that comes with it. As for publishing itself, whether it’s trad or indie, pretty much every part of that makes want to turn into a hermit crab and hide!
9. Do you find it difficult, or challenging to write from the male POV?
I luurrve the male POV. It’s my favorite to read and to write. And I do find it difficult at times, because men really do think differently than women. But I also–truly and deeply–believe that men are much more romantic than we are trained to think in our culture, and that belief underscores the way I write my men.
10. What activities do you enjoy outside of writing?
My entire family is active in martial arts (I’ll be getting my fourth black belt in karate next year.) Other than that, it’s mainly reading and drinking.
11. Do you have a favorite author or book?
I have too many to list! Jane Eyre is my go-to favorite book, and right now in erotica, Joey Hill and Cara McKenna are my “buy-anything” authors. I. Will. Buy. Anything. They. Write.
12. Ever think you have a great idea for a book, only to find out someone released the same storyline already?
I’m lucky since I was a librarian for so many years, because you see that most stories, at their heart, are the same basic plot points, the same kinds of premises. The difference lies completely in the telling–in the way each individual author chooses to write the characters and emotions. And usually if I see that something has a similar premise to a project, I’ll avoid reading it just to sidestep any cross-pollination.
13. Have you ever had writer’s block and how do you work through it?
I haven’t had writer’s block since I was in college, and I think a large part of that is having children and limited free time forces you to use your time. Right now while my kids are home for the summer, I only have a few hours a night to work, and I have to make those count. If I don’t, then nothing gets done. Every once and a while, though, I’ll encounter what I term resistance, where the river of words feels more like a river of mud that refuses to flow. Then I usually take a break and do something else–read, exercise, take a walk, drink–and then come back when my head is clear. That usually does the trick.
14. Do you ever find yourself jumping up from the dinner table to jot down a scene that just ran through your head?
I frequently come out of the shower or from walking the dog and I’m like NOBODY TOUCH ME I HAVE TO WRITE THIS DOWN. My family is trained to leave me alone when this happens.
15. What does your writing workspace look like?
I have a small office in my house, with a hundred-year-old writing desk and a globe that opens up into a Scotch bar. The office is filled with books and (often) cats.
16. Sharing your baby with the public has to be scary. How do you respond to negative reviews?
I am a firm believer that reviews are for readers and not for writers, so I actually try to avoid reading negative reviews, because I’m so easily discouraged. Usually, I will have a critique partner read through them for me, and then I’ll ask them if there’s any recurring themes that I need to pay attention to.
17. Do you have any visuals for your characters from any of your books?
I do! For my latest book, Priest, I imagined Poppy as the actress Felicity Jones, who I think is sex on legs, and for Father Bell, I drew inspiration from the infamous Calendario Romano (https://www.facebook.com/calendarioromano/photos_stream?ref=page_internal)
18. Can you tell us what you are working on next?
Right now, I’m drafting a book for Silas, a character from my Markham Hall series. Silas is quite the playboy, and I’m already having a lot of naughty fun with him 😉
19. What is in your purse right now?
Gum, anti-depressants and tampons. I’m super classy.
20. Do you have a favorite scene or book of your own?
I think my favorite scene that I’ve written is a scene that happens at a hotel dinner table in The Education of Ivy Leavold. There’s two handsome men in tuxedos, one very worked up young lady, and a tablecloth that hides a whole hell of a lot from the other diners…
Books By Sierra Simone
Sierra Simone is a former librarian who spent too much time reading romance novels at the information desk. She lives with her husband and family in Kansas City.
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