TBR: Welcome to TBR, S.J. Will you share a little bit about yourself?
SJ: Thanks for having me! I live in southwest Missouri with my husband and my three young rascals. Along with being a wife and mother, I have a full time job as an administrative assistant during the work week. I enjoy reading, exercising, junk food, watching movies & TV, singing loudly, and dancing terribly. And, of course, I love to write.
TBR: Tell us about City of the Gods: The Descendent and where it’s available.
SJ: It’s about Katalina, a girl who is a descendant of an ancient civilization. Unknown to her, she has been appointed by the Gods to save humanity from annihilation by an evil priest. Three of the original citizens of the civilization are given the mission to train and protect Katalina until she is ready to defeat the evil.
Katalina’s life has been a constant struggle since the loss of her parents when she was younger. She doubts her ability to save the human race, when she can barely protect herself. It’s up to her friends, who have survived for many centuries, to convince her that she does indeed have what it takes to accept the mantle of Redeemer.
Ruby Lioness Press - http://rubylionesspress.com/
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Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/OmniLit - http://www.omnilit.com/
TBR: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
SJ: “Who did this?” Tristan asked quietly, almost more to himself than to Kat.
“Probably that bastard Ryan. He is going to pay for every last thing he demolished,” Kat replied, assuming Tristan was speaking about the chaos throughout the rest of the house. She stepped forward and looked around the room once more. It was then that she noticed the black flowers sitting on her dresser. Kat walked over and pulled the small whit card from them. She opened the envelope to reveal a card with a beautiful picture of the same flower in white. Tristan came to stand behind her as she opened it. It was a simple message, but one she would not soon forget.
I’m coming for you.
Tristan plucked the card from her hand and reread it. Kat stood frozen in place. Her mind raced with unanswerable questions. Who was coming for her? What did they want from her? Was this actually some sick joke or was someone really coming for her? Her stomach churned and her ehad began to pound. She doubled over in pain while fear of the unknown trespasser flooded her brain. It was all too overwhelming.
Kat hugged her arms around her stomach. Her legs gave out and she fell to her knees on the floor. A cold sweat broke on her forehead. Kat was almost glad when black spots started to swim in her vision. She tried to ask Tristan for help, but she could not find her voice. Dizziness engulfed her, and she felt herself begin to fall the rest of the way to the floor. Tristan caught her just before her head and the floor collided. She could barely hear his concerned voice calling her name as the blackness surrounded her.
TBR: Are you a plotter or pantser?
SJ: I’m a plotter. I have to plotter out the story to a certain point to stay on track. There have been times though when an idea hits me and I have to add it in. Then I have to go back and revise my outline. I love the idea of writing without plotting, but I just don’t have the skill to do it without the story becoming jumbled up in my head and on paper.
TBR: Which of your characters would you most/least like to invite to dinner, and why?
SJ: I love this question! I would want to invite Katalina, and her friends, Vivian and Sabine. These girls have a blast together and I want to be a part of their little group. I would also invite the villain, Damian, to dinner. He was so fun creating and some of the things he says and does in the book intrigue me. I want to delve deeper into his character. I would invite Tristan, the hero, to have some protection against Damian. Not to mention, he is a hottie. I wouldn’t mind staring at him for an evening, though I can’t imagine that Katalina would be too thrilled.
The only person I probably wouldn’t invite would be Katalina’s ex, Ryan. He’s kind of a jerk and very self-absorbed.
TBR: While creating your books, what was one of the most surprising things you learned?
SJ: While I was doing research for the book I came across Teotihuacan, an ancient city in Mexico. There was a very limited history about the city, which it why I based the civilization in my book around it. I have this weird obsessive fascination with this city and want to know more of its history. If I had the means I would travel down to Mexico and probably spend days touring through it.
TBR: What’s next for you?
SJ: You mean besides finding someone to fund my trip to Teotihuacan, Mexico?
I’m currently putting the finishing touches on the 2nd book of the City of the Gods trilogy and hope to have it to the publisher soon. Then I’ll get started on the final book for the series.
TBR: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Most rewarding?
SJ: The most challenging for me is finding the time to write. With a full time job during the day and a family to take care of at night, I’m left with little time to sit down at the computer and let the creative juices flow. If I do that I am usually up until the wee hours in the morning, then I’d have a few precious hours of sleep before getting up and ready for work. Luckily I have a very supportive group of people around me. My boss is fine with me writing while on the clock, as long as I get done with my work responsibilities first. I try to write as much as I can after the kids go to bed at night and my husband is busy working on other things.
The most rewarding thing is hearing that someone liked my story. I always like to ask the reader what part was their favorite.
TBR: Who are some of your favorite author and books? What are you reading now?
SJ? My favorite authors include Christine Feehan (The Dark Series), Lynsay Sands (The Argeneau Vampire series), Katie McAlister (A Girl’s Guide to Vampires), and Michele Bardsley (The Broken Heart Series). I love series books because I like hearing what previous characters are up to after reading about them.
Sitting on my nightstand waiting to be read right now is Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. I know, I’m a little behind the times, but I’ve been a bit busy lately.
TBR: Where can readers find you on the web?
SJ: I’m everywhere, scary I know. I have a website. Check it out at www.mcmillansj.com. I’m also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mcmillansj, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcmillansj.
Stop by, say hi, and we can chat.
TBR: Thanks for visiting TBR, SJ. All the best to you.