Rae: Thank you for hanging out with me.
Siera: It’s awesome to sip and talk with you this morning.
Rae: First, if we were meeting at a coffee shop I’d be drinking a spiced Latte with Coconut Milk with chocolate drizzle, what would you order?
Siera: Give me a strawberry acai tea, light on the ice. Sorry, Books I Love A Latte—I never acquired a taste for, “the bean”.
Rae: Before you began writing romance you were a Nurse in the Navy for over twenty years. Do you miss working as a Nurse and the frequent moves? What was the biggest challenge you faced early on?
Siera: In all honesty, I do miss engaging with the patients and caring for families. What I don’t miss is the pace required of healthcare workers by our current system. As far as the moves are concerned, it’s exciting to relocate to a new community. Mr. Awesome is still on active duty and we’ve grown to cherish the next adventure rather than dread it.
My biggest challenge early on in my naval career was learning to be a military officer. Military leadership has to be planted from day one in uniform. You can’t buy a Navy Lieutenant or an Army Colonel. Like a seed, a military leader is cultivated through systematic training, mentorship, and experience. I’m grateful I had great teachers, civilian and military, who invested in my professional growth and development.
Rae: Speaking of books, congratulations on the release of Forbidden Attraction: A Bachelor of Shell Cove/Fiery Fairytales Crossover Novella Forbidden Series) that released last week. Can you tell us about the series? How many books do you anticipate?
Siera: Thank you! The Forbidden series consists of two are standalone novellas. Both are loosely tied to my longer series, The Bachelors of Shell Cove and Fiery Fairytales. In Forbidden Distraction, Vivianne Sloan is a sex therapist who’s incapable of any bedroom action except with her boss. In Book 2, Sarah Jones is a scandalized 40 year-old divorcee who slams into a 20 something year-old stranger and doesn’t want to let go. I wrote three books, but…the third one is a surprise.
Rae: For readers who are not familiar with Page Tyler’s Dallas Fire & Rescue (DFR) Fiery Fairy Tales in Kindle Worlds, can you tell them how your characters crossover? What’s it like writing in another author’s world?
Siera: Sure. My firefighters, Nathan, Cutler, and Trace participate in a cross training program with Paige Tyler’s Dallas Fire and Rescue Station 51. I loved linking my three fairytale adaptations to the DFR world. Paige did the heavy lifting by creating this exciting story world filled with sexy firefighters and first responders. All I did was keep the readers burning for more DFR!
Rae: Every so often I add another city to my bucket list and the Florida Keys is close to the top. Living footsteps from the ocean air sounds peaceful and relaxing. Do the beautiful beaches help inspire your writing?
Siera: As a Florida native and a Navy veteran I’m practically a land-based mermaid. Being near the waters gives me a sense of home; it relaxes me. So yeah, I guess water is my inspiration.
Rae: There has been a lot of chatter on social media about planning and organizing to stay focused and succeed in personal goals for 2018. How do you keep it all from spiraling out of orbit between the family life and writer life?
Siera: I’m spiraling as I type! Seriously Rae, you ask a lot of questions, hehe. I’ve been writing full-time for 18 months, and I still struggle to find balance between projects. I used to write everyday, but now I reserve the weekends for my family and friends.
Rae: Are you a planner girl or digital calendar queen?
I’m a cheap planner girl.
Rae: When you sit down to write, do you write the old-fashioned way or type away at the keyboard? Writing all the words is a challenge; do you have a writing ritual or secret location to get the work done?
Siera: All I need is a keyboard and a quiet space. After our Hurricane Irma evacuation, my writing ritual went the way of the Boy George bangs…bye bye.
Rae: What is your writing process? Do you have a notebook for all the words that flow while out of your office? Do you dictate into your phone? Or, do you remember it all and make a mad dash to your desk when you return home?
Siera: When we arrived in San Diego last November we lived in a hotel for two months. There were too many disruptions for me to focus on what my characters were saying. I’ve been writing in a private study room at my local library for the past three months. Notebooks for jotting down ideas are in my purse, at my bedside, in the kitchen, and in the family room. Yep, there’s lots of paper around my house.
Rae: While writing, how do you tackle plotting your books? Is it on a massive board, sheets of paper in a folder, or do you write it all as you move with the story? There is such a huge range from the simple outline to vision board!
Siera: My longer stories, like the Bachelors of Shell Cove series, all have Pinterest boards. I usually add character avatars, cars, houses, bedroom furniture, and their favorite foods.
Rae: For readers who want to meet up with you in person, where can they find you this year?
Siera: Romantic Times in May
Cilla’s Maniac Book Extravaganza in June
A Reading Warrior Retreat in October
AC Arthur’s Reader Appreciation Event in November
I think that’s all…hmmm
Rae: What can we expect in 2018? Do you have other projects in the works?
Siera: In June, you get TWO new stories featuring single dads. Look for the Men of Endurance series around Father’s Day. If you’ve my Fiery Fairytales series, you know I love tinkering with childhood classics. Cindra, my first paranormal urban fantasy hits the digital shelves in November. Also, checkout The Last File, a suspense thriller in the Death & Damages Boxed Set this fall.
Rae: Thank you for hanging out in the cafe today.
Siera: I appreciate the free drink and great conversation. Ciao, Books I Love A Latte
1. What is a must read book and why?
The Servant by James C. Hunter. We’re all called to some form of leadership, on the job, in our families, and in the community. I like Hunter’s message and his storytelling.
2. What is one place that I should see if I visit your hometown? We are stationed in San Diego for now, so I recommend the Mount Soledad National Veterans Memorial. It’s the only memorial in the country to honor veterans, both living and deceased, that includes their photographs.
3. Do you take-in or cook? If so, what is your “go-to” dish? Homemade meatloaf is my favorite. I have a smokin’ good recipe that calls for steak sauce in the mix.
4. What is one thing readers would be surprised to know about you? I still like to play dress-up! I can put on and take off fancy dresses, shoes, and costume jewelry for hours.
5. Hard Rock or Classical? Favorite Band or Artist? Neither. Soft Rock and Norah Jones are my catnip.
6. If you had an all expenses paid trip anywhere in the world for research, where would you go?
7. What is your guilty pleasure?
Fine milk chocolate
8. What are you afraid of?
Not recognizing when I can meet someone’s needs
9. Tats or No Tats? If tats, how many and what did you choose for your first one?
No tats, my skin is beautiful.
10. Organized or Free Floating?
Organized, or everything goes down hill in a blaze.
11. Binge watcher or weekly viewer?
Total binge watcher
12. What’s on your playlist?
A two and a half minute meditation track
13. What play or musical do you want to see next?
Hamilton is coming to San Diego, but I need a small business loan to get a four tickets.
14. Are you a crafter? Absolutely…not
15. What’s your favorite TV show and why?
I’m not a TV junkie. By the time I discover a show, its on DVD and being sold at the Dollar Tree.
16. If you could pick a book you’ve read and make it into a movie, which book would it be (besides yours 🙂 )?
The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
17. What’s your favorite movie of all time and why?
Thelma and Louise
I love that these two best friends grew in their sisterhood and stood up for themselves. Personally, I’d leave out the cliff diving, but it worked for them.
18. Would you rather see a movie in the theater or at home on DVD and why?
In the theater…for the popcorn
19. What is the one thing you can’t live without?
20. If you could invite 5 people to dinner (not friends and family – that’s too easy) who would be at your table? Where would you eat? Colin Whitehead, Rebecca Skloot, Kristan Higgins, Former First Lady Michelle Obama, and Thad Allen
I would ask my guests to recommend one dish from each food group.
21. If you could try any career for a day, what would it be?
A state university dean
22. Person you admire and why?
Maya Angelou inspired others with her words and she expressed compassion for the human condition.
Thanks again for hanging out! Time for another spiced latte 🙂
Happy Reading Dear Readers.