Anniversary Interview & Contest: S.A. Wolfe

Wolfe

Jen:  Welcome to day four of our focus on Young Adult and New Adult authors.  When I was asking my staff who they wanted us to feature, the very first request I received was S.A. Wolfe.  And when S.A. said yes, I asked our reviewer Andrea to do the interview.  So, I’m turning the blog over to these awesome ladies.

Andrea:  Will you share a short bio with us?
S.A.:  S. A. Wolfe lives with her family in New York City. She is a voracious reader of all types of fiction, and she loves connecting with readers.

The Fearsome Series:

Book 1: FEARSOME
Book 2: FREEDOM
Book 3: FAITHFUL … coming soon!

You can find S. A. Wolfe at:

Website | Twitter | Facebook

 

Andrea:  Please tell us a little about your newest release.
S.A.: Here’s the blurb from Freedom, which released in March 2014.

Dylan Blackard is back in town and certain everyone knows his secrets.

Putting away his notorious reputation as the wild guy with a womanizing past, he’s now on a new path, wanting to be the good guy his brother can stop worrying over. As long as he gives up his old vices—including women—he can keep himself on the straight and narrow and finally live up to everyone’s expectations.

However, obsessing about his lack of self-control is making Dylan one humorless, cranky hermit. That all changes, though, when his brother hires a new employee, the stunning Emma Keller, who will be sharing an office with him and all of his tightly wound nerves.

Emma, a spunky young woman from New Jersey, isn’t about to feel sorry for Dylan and his situation. She is beyond distracting to him, and that is enough to turn his emotional balancing act upside down. Not only is she intelligent, and a smart aleck, she’s also very determined to pull the sexy Dylan Blackard out of his self-imposed isolation.

From the moment he meets her, he feels alive again, but Emma doesn’t come as a gift with a pretty bow; she comes with major baggage—a family embedded in its own tumultuous history.

Will Emma be the tipping point that causes Dylan to regress into his past destructive behaviors…or will he actually pursue her for keeps?

*Due to adult language and sexual content, this New Adult Contemporary Romance is intended for readers over the age of 18.

FREEDOM EXCERPT :

“You’re living with her and you’re trying to keep it platonic?” Dr. Wang pauses his typing and squints at me.

“Am I screwing up?” I ask. “I really like Emma, but I don’t want this to go to crap. I don’t want to do what I did to Jess… I don’t want to get in deep and then find out I’m on another bender.”

Dr. Wang smiles at my term for going manic. “I’ve been seeing you for months and you’re doing well. There’s nothing wrong with being attracted to Emma and dating her, if that’s what you’re suggesting, although living and working together so soon may be a challenge. However, if it’s comfortable for both of you, it doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong. Although, you seemed to have rushed right in to living with her, the circumstances are unique. Dylan, no one—not even your brother—expects you to never have a relationship with a woman again. This choice of celibacy was yours. Did you plan on living like that forever?”

“I’m not sure. I suppose I thought I could pull it off and keep it together.”

“Do you really think it’s realistic?” Dr. Wang leans back in his chair and looks at me. “You’re young, you’re healthy, and for the most part, you’ve got your depression under control. You sound indecisive about it. Tell me about that.”

“I’m indecisive about what to do with her. I don’t know what I’m allowed to do.” I get nervous just talking about Emma and my hands start fidgeting on the armrests.

“Allowed? You keep referring to these rules you think someone has established for you. Tell me more about what you’re feeling with Emma.”

“I like her a lot.”

“You’ve said that at least six times since you walked in the door.” He smiles. “From my perspective, I can see you’re different. You’re happier. Is that all because of Emma?”

“Yeah. When I’m around her, I think I actually feel my blood pumping, and I start feeling optimistic. It’s like every part of me has finally been woken up from a coma. It’s very vivid and that’s what’s scary.”

“So you’re in love?” Dr. Wang asks thoughtfully.

“No, I like her a lot, though.” I have to downplay my feelings for her. If I say that I think I’m falling in love with her, I really will sound like a nut job.

“That’s seven likes.” He smiles again. “Okay, I see where this is going. I’m going to ask you two questions, and I want you to give me the first thing that comes to your mind. A quick response without deliberating. Understand?”

I nod and think of Emma back at the office, probably wondering why I have been keeping my hands off her for the last two days since our hot and heavy, near-sex episode on the couch. We drive to work together and spend our days dealing with accounts, and then when we go home, I cook dinner and we watch TV while she knits. We’re like an old married couple that never has had sex, not even the consummation part. That’s my fault, of course. She is not shy about what she wants, and I would want it, too, if I knew that my crazy head couldn’t possibly put us on the road to ruin.

“Go ahead,” I say.

“Why do you like Emma?”

“She makes me feel fantastic.” I sound remorseful rather than thrilled.

“Why are you afraid of being with Emma?”

“Because she makes me feel fantastic… and I might turn into the old Dylan again. I might lose all this self-control I’ve been managing for months.”

“Okay, this is what I want you to hear. Fact, you like her a lot and she makes you feel fantastic. You worrying about losing control and turning into the old Dylan are speculation and fear, not fact. We have to work with facts. If you keep letting your fear dictate how you live, you will miss some very big things in life.”

His words provide some relief. It’s like my shrink is handing me a golden ticket.

 

Andrea: Are there real life inspirations behind the characters in your stories?
S.A.: All of my characters in the Fearsome series are based on real people in my family, my friends, or my circle of acquaintances. I also have a family that’s loaded with issues such as obsessive-compulsive behavior, autism, bipolar disorder, and several suicides. Not to make light of this – it’s just the cards we have been dealt, and it has made it relatively easy for me to write quirky, weird, funny, depressed, manic, and awkward characters. Describing a character is one thing, but writing about their struggle in life is the emotionally exhausting part, and I think I choose these characters because I do want them to have a happily ever after.

Andrea: Do you have any interest in writing a different genre?
S.A.: Before writing romance, I was writing in literary mainstream fiction for fifteen years. That’s a whole other story. I really enjoy writing romance and I think I’ll stick with it because I like people falling in love and I like creating happily ever afters.

Andrea: Do you have any crazy writing habits?
S.A.: My only crazy writing habit is sometimes I pull all-nighters and accomplish some of my best writing when everyone else is asleep and the city is dark and fairly quiet. I’m more productive on dark, rainy days.

Andrea: What book has been most inspirational to you?
S.A.: I read To Kill A Mockingbird when I was a child and it was very inspirational for me because of the way Harper Lee crafted Scout’s voice. It taught me a lot about talking to your reader. Growing up, I mostly read my parents’ books, so my mother got me hooked on Anne Tyler at a young age and I learned a lot about the craft of writing from her novels which feature ordinary characters who end up in extraordinary circumstances. The Accidental Tourist is a perfect example where Tyler shows great humor and yet there’s an underlying great tragedy that is the inciting incident. I like my characters to be funny — I love witty, sarcastic banter, but I also want my characters to be imperfect and have to deal with real issues.

Andrea: Do you feel that there is no room for modern themes in mainstream contemporary fiction?
S.A.: As long as there are writers who aren’t afraid to explore their imagination, I believe there will always be room for more modern themes in mainstream contemporary fiction.

Andrea: Most importantly, when is your next book coming out? And what’s it about?
S.A.: My next novel in the Fearsome series is FAITHFUL and should be out in early fall. It’s about Cooper MacKenzie and Imogene Walsh. Both were in Freedom and, actually, Imogene was first introduced to readers in Fearsome.

I don’t have an official blurb for the third book but here’s a log line:

FAITHFUL:

A bombshell waitress who wants more.

A former FBI agent who wants less … except for her.

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62 thoughts on “Anniversary Interview & Contest: S.A. Wolfe

  1. Katrina Lanzer says:

    I loved Fearsome and Freedom. Looked forward to reading Faithful and I hope that we see Dylan and Emma starting a family. I think Dylan would make a great over protective dad to a little girl.

  2. Jennifer mitchell says:

    I absolutely LOVED Freedom. I haven’t read Fearsome yet, but I look forward to reading it, and Faithful when it comes out. I would love to see more of Dylan and Emma, but I’m looking forward to learning more about Imogene and being introduced to another hottie book boyfriend!

    • Thank you, Jennifer!

      I think Cooper will surprise readers. Because of his former career, he was rather cryptic in FREEDOM. In FAITHFUL, he’s fun and he goes after Imogene relentlessly. Together, they are hilarious and sexy.

  3. Lorie Glowania says:

    What is your writing technique when you sit down to write? Do you get to pick your own covers for your books?

  4. Karen G. says:

    Thanks for the post. I have not read either of these books ‘yet’ but they are on my tbr list. They first caught my eye because of the covers, they are so beautiful! Do you have any say about what covers go on your books? If you do what do you want them to say about what is inside? Also I was wondering what makes you decide to write New Adult as apposed to Adult books? Thanks for the chance to win one of these beautiful books! 🙂

    • Karen G. –

      I have final say on my covers — my designer is terrific. I actually give him my ideas and what I need from the image on the cover. He then designs several covers, and if I find one I like he begins tweaking it until I love it.

      Fearsome is representative of Jess’s artwork. In one scene she discovers a self-portrait of herself she painted years ago. The cover captures that image and scene very well.

      Freedom’s cover really represents Dylan’s struggle with his illness. I wanted his face hidden and him to be in a huddled position to show is anxiety over controlling his behavior. We found the perfect model/image and my designer tweaked it to add the necessary scars on Dylan’s shaved head.

      I decided to try New Adult because I was ready to switch and write in first person POV to give a sense of immediacy to the story. And I chose that twenty-something age group because I remember how conflicted I was between the ages of 20 and 25. I was constantly doubting myself and my decisions.

  5. Thanks for interviewing me. Your blog is lovely.

    And thanks you for all the nice comments.

    Lorie Glowania –
    I have to dedicate large blocks of time when I sit down to write because once I get into a scene, I want to keep going.

    The first twenty minutes is deciding if I need background music for inspiration, and it’s usually a movie soundtrack: Pride & Prejudice (2005 version), Revolutionary Road, or Little Children. I work off a loose outline but the scenes and dialogue are branded in my brain by the time I write because every night I run scenes and dialogue through my mind until I fall asleep. That’s another reason why I’m an insomniac. After a few weeks of obsessing that way, it makes the writing flow. I have the whole story and the details in my head, all I have to do is sit at the computer and type. And then revise. And then revise again.

    I do get to choose my covers. I start by asking my beta readers for their ideas, and I combine those with my thoughts and pass them on to my designer, Damon, at damonza.com. He sends a few mock ups and then we go from there, tweaking and revising until we have the cover I love.

  6. Misty Chifalo-Rogers says:

    I’ve read Fearsome and Freedom both twice. I love your writing style. My question to you is; What book(s) did you read that lit the fire inside you to become a writer yourself? I myself write as much as possible. Maybe someday, you will be reading a book I wrote. 🙂

    • Hi Misty!

      Wow, I have read so many books that lit the fire and created a desire to write. Besides the books I read as a kid that were very influential, To Kill A Mockingbird and The Accidental Tourist, it was when I was in my teens and I read Dying Young and other books that had a voice I felt were similar to mine. These were not romances. I was writing much more mainstream literary novels (Maybe that’s why I couldn’t sell a damn thing!). My husband was the main driving force in making me write. He set up the writing software program and every night he’d insist I write even if I felt it was garbage. He’s been so supportive of my writing since I was in college.

      In 2005 one of my brothers committed suicide (Hence, Dylan’s story), and for a year, I hid away doing nothing but taking care of my young kids and reading all day long. My downstairs neighbor brought a box of romance books up to my apartment and said it’s time for me to change my soundtrack because I was so depressed. I was reading a lot of dark literary books and when you’re grieving, those types of books don’t help you feel better.

      I had never read a romance novel, but I read one that night after I dug a Karen Marie Moning book out of the box my friend gave me. It was part of Moning’s highlander series and I really enjoyed it, not just because of the writing, but because for the first time in a long time, I could escape from obsessing about my brother’s death and the story had a happy ending. That’s when I realized how wonderful it is to read romance novels — the escape and happiness they provide when you really need something uplifting in your life.

      So after reading a couple thousand romance novels, I was still writing literary novels! In 2012 and an agent told me to switch to romance, so in 2013, I wrote Fearsome.

      I hope I get to read your book one day, Misty!

  7. You will see more of all the couples in FAITHFUL. As Imogene explores her relationship with Cooper, the other women volunteer information about their relationships, and it’s eye-opening for Imogene. I think you’ll see everyone grow closer together. Even when they are arguing, they are a very tight-knit group that shows great loyalty and love for one another.

    I think, I hope, FAITHFUL is much more funny than the other books in the series. It has some very tender dramatic scenes, but it is Imogene’s moment to shine, and she is very direct, very raw, and very funny. But that is also what brings her and Cooper together, and they both experience significant character growth in the story.

    One of my beta readers says she thinks it’s the best of the three books because everyone falls into place, and Cooper and Imogene are so fun together — but she really feels Imogene’s over the top wit is compelling. I hope so. And I hope everyone sees that Imogene’s sarcastic armor also softens and shows her wonderful compassion.

    We’ll see! I’m working on revisions this weekend … FAITHFUL will be published in about a month!

    Thank you for your questions and comments!

  8. lauren f. says:

    I absolutely loved freedom it is one of my go to read over and over again books. I love Emma and Dylan and the way he loves and protects her.

  9. Candy Sanchez says:

    I liked the excerpt though haven’t read fully I plan to. I love reading and this books sounds amazing. ..

  10. Stephanie Davis says:

    I have read both books, Fearsome and Freedom by S.A. Wolfe and ABSOLUTELY LOVE DYLAN!
    He is an amazing person to put his life back together and fall in love with such a fantastic woman like Emma!
    I would love to read more about both couples from Fearsome and Freedom and expand on the friends and acquaintances of all the characters. But I would love MORE DYLAN!
    Thanks again S.A. for my pack that you sent me. They are on my nightstand so that I see Dylan every night and every morning!
    Can’t wait to read more from this fabulous writer!

    • Thank you, Stephanie!

      I love Dylan, too.

      I have tinkered with the idea of a 4th book in the Fearsome series in which I’d introduce two new characters and you’d get to see how the other couples are getting on. You do see quite a bit of the other couples in FAITHFUL because they are integral to Imogene and Cooper’s story. However, I’m still on the fence about another book in that series because I’ve been planning another one that takes place among sisters from Brooklyn.

  11. Mel says:

    These books are fabulous! They’re definitely going to be the type of books that I’ll be re-reading over and over from time to time. The covers are so fitting as well; very eye-catching, which is why I was drawn to the books before even reading the excerpts. And I simply cannot wait for Faithful! Thank you S.A. for writing these wonderful books!

  12. Jessi says:

    I haven’t read this series yet but it is on my reading list. I have heard nothing shy of amazing reviews from people who have read your series . How did you invent the main characters in this series?

    • The characters come from real people I know. Jess is based on a brainiac friend who is a physicist and gorgeous, but she has had terrible relationships. Dylan is based on both of my brothers. Emma is based on a friend from summer camp — her father was a well-known mobster, no kidding. I have met amazing people who also happen to be ordinary in so many ways, and I love writing stories about them and giving them their happily ever afters. Especially Dylan.

  13. Shannon Cole says:

    I’m newly introduced to this author but would love to read these books! They both sound so good.
    When writing your books, where do you get your ideas for your stories? From seeing other peoples actions, dreams you have, or thoughts that race through your mind all day?? Lol
    I’d love to write a book with all the characters I make up in my mind!
    Added these to my TBR!!
    Thank you!!

  14. Danielle says:

    WOW!!!! Looks like Freedom is being added to my Goodreads list!! I am looking forward to reading your amazing work 😉

    • Hi Mary-

      I was planning to just do the three books in the Fearsome series so I can start the next series I have outlined. However, you never know. When I wrote FEARSOME, I thought it was done and I would move onto another standalone novel. I received so many requests for Dylan’s story that I had to write FREEDOM, and I’m so happy I did. And in FREEDOM, I introduced a new character, Cooper, who I really felt could be someone special for Imogene in the future, so I had to write FAITHFUL.

      There are two characters in the Fearsome series, in the way, way background, and I’ve thought about bringing them together. I’m not sure if I’ll write their story.

      Thanks for asking!

      Sara

  15. Kathy P says:

    I loved both these stories and can’t wait for the third! I really enjoy S.A. Wolfe’s work so much that I have a feeling she has a new lifetime fan! Thanks for the stories!

  16. Danielle Meek says:

    Oooh I haven’t read this series yet but I’m always looking for a new series to start and this sounds great! Faithful definitely caught my attention!

  17. Diana Doan says:

    I haven’t read your books yet. Sorry…!! There just aren’t enough hours in the day. But I have a friend who LOVES them and I promised her that I would start them soon! I can’t wait to love them as much as she does!

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