About Me

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United Kingdom
A pick 'n' mix genre author. "I'm not greedy. I just like variety."

Friday, 5 April 2013

My World Guest Author: Sarah Ballance

EM: Welcome to My World, Sarah. It is lovely to have you here today :- )

SB: Thanks so much for having me! I’m excited to tell the world about my new 99 cent release! (And for 33k words, that’s not a bad deal. *grins*)

1. Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of six (14, 12, 9, 6, 5, and 2 years). Otherwise, I’m a full time author (buaahaha!) who loves to take random road trips, mainly because it’s perfectly legal (and in fact, required) to strap the kids down in the car. In the house, not so much.

2. How long have you been writing for?

I started my first novel 4.5 years ago. I never intended to get it published (or write it to begin with) but it was accepted by the only publisher I queried. Imagine that! LOL.

3. Did you always know that you wanted to be a writer?

No, and in fact I never wanted to be one. A friend suggested I write a novel, to which I replied I couldn’t. Later, that “couldn’t” part got to me. I don’t like being told I can’t do something—not even by ME! So I wrote it and submitted it just to be able to say I’d completed the process. But somewhere along the line, I was hooked and now I think this is the most amazing job this side of parenting!

4. What is your favourite genre to read? To write? And why?

I love romantic suspense. LURVE it. Love the mash-up of sexy and suspense. Back when I actually had time to read, I would finish a book every night. (I have a shelf full of Harlequin Intrigues by my bed.) Until a couple of months ago I would have said that was my favorite genre to write, but then I started a historical and the words flow faster than I can get them on the page. Right now historical romance is DEFINITELY my favorite genre to write! LOL.

5. Who is your favourite author? Fave book? And why?

Honestly I don’t think I have a favorite author because there are certain qualities I admire in so many. One of my favorite books ever has been Ruffian: Burning from the Start. I have never, ever cried so much over a book. It was amazing, and it stands as a favorite because now, 20 years after I read it, it still draws so much emotion. Just an incredible book.

6. How do you get your ideas?

I wish I knew how to conjure them, but I don’t. They just arrive, and usually when I’m too busy to do anything with them. (To that end, when I desperately need an idea there are none to be had.) The idea for my WIP—a historical—came from a single word on a webpage while I was looking up information for someone else. Talk about random! LOL.

7. In your opinion what is the hardest part of the writing process?

My answer to this has changed throughout my career. At this point, it’s perseverance. Writing is not a sport of instant gratification. It’s a lot of work and sometimes it feels like you spend weeks and months getting nowhere, and then you get that acceptance and it changes everything. It’s an epic game of hurry up and wait, but so worth it in the end!

8. In your opinion what is the best part of the writing process?

The cover! LOL. I know it sounds superficial, but when the cover arrives it’s the finishing touch on the entire accomplishment. It’s almost like laying eyes on a new baby for the first time after a long, difficult pregnancy. (Having six kids, I think I can say that! *grins*) It doesn’t make the process any less rewarding, but it’s definitely a reward for the process.

9. Are you a planner or a panster?

A combination thereof. I like to have a plan, but it almost always changes and I’m totally open to that. I love seeing where my characters take me, and I think it takes pretty strong characters to yank free the reins and do what they want.

10. Do you prefer to concentrate on one story, or juggle a few?

I have at least two blocks of writing time during the day. The larger block in the evening is dedicated to my primary work-in-progress. I do have another block of time in the morning to dedicate to other projects, whether proposals or edits or whatever needs attention. I’ve found as long as my main focus stays where it should in the evening, I can work on several things at once.

11. Tell us about one of the most favourable scene you have written.

Oh, man. This is tough. I think the honor goes to the final scene of HAWTHORNE. I grinned like a moron for days after I wrote that one (and ironically it was the first scene of the book I completed).

12. Out of all the characters you have created, who is your favourite and why?

I think I would have to go with Gage from UNFORGIVEN. He kicks off the story by pointing a gun at the heroine and you can’t help but love him even then. *grins*

13. If you could meet any fictional character, who would you meet and why?

I’d love to meet the team from Criminal Minds. I love their group dynamic. It would be amazing to sit down with any one of them!

14. Are you working on anything at the moment?

Yes! I have a historical romance coming out in the fall and I’m working frantically to meet the deadline. And the list of things to do when I finish is so long I can’t see to the end, but what an amazing “problem” to have, lol!

15. Do you have any current release?

Yes! LAST CALL is a 33k word romantic suspense available now for just 99 cents!


In a perilous game of trust, a shocking betrayal deals a dangerous hand.

An accidental witness to a murder-for-hire, ex-cop Rhys Clark becomes the target of ruthless killer—one determined to silence her at any cost. Playing dead seems to be the most likely way to stay alive, but when her protection comes in the form of mega-sexy former adversary Nick Massey, Rhys can think of a few fates worse than death.

Nick Massey may have walked away from his troubles, but he never got past wanting Rhys. Once paired undercover, they’d been nothing but fireworks until a botched assignment ended her career, sending his into a tailspin. Now a mysterious client threatens Nick’s life if he doesn’t keep Rhys safe, but it isn’t until fate takes a critical turn that he realizes the devastating truth: he’s been her greatest threat all along.

Purchase link:

LAST CALL is available from: For the Muse PublishingAmazonBarnes & Noble, and Smashwords (formats: .mobi, .epub, HTML, PDF, RTF, LRF, PalmDoc, and Plain Text). 

16. Any upcoming releases?

I have some goodies coming this fall from Entangled Publishing. The news will be on my website as soon as it’s fully available! http://www.sarahballance.com/

17. Where can readers find you on the internet?

Sarah and her husband of what he calls “many long, long years” live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when they’re asleep. She never dreamed of becoming an author, but as a homeschooling mom, she often jokes she writes fiction because if she wants anyone to listen to her, she has to make them up. (As it turns out, her characters aren’t much better than the kids). When not buried under piles of laundry, she may be found adrift in the Atlantic (preferably on a boat) or seeking that ever-elusive perfect writing spot where not even the kids can find her.

She loves creating unforgettable stories while putting her characters through an unkind amount of torture—a hobby that has nothing to do with living with six children. (Really.) Though she adores nail-biting mystery and edge-of-your-seat thrillers, Sarah writes in many genres including contemporary and ghostly paranormal romance. Her ever-growing roster of releases may be found on her website.

18. Any advice you would like to give aspiring writers?

The only thing more important than having the words on the page is accepting and learning from *good* criticism. A good crit doesn’t tear down an author—it allows an author to build and grow. If you open yourself to that, there’s no limit to where your words will take you!

EM: Thank you so much for joining me!

SB: Thank you! It’s always an honor to be welcomed to your blog. (Especially after what happened to the furniture the last visit. *grin*)

EM: I'd forgot about the furniture . . . It's a good thing you're one of my favourite people. :-P


  1. LOL about the furniture! Thanks so much for having me, Elizabeth!

    1. You're totally welcome, hun. It was lovely to have you over. :-)

  2. Loved the interview! I think the final scene in Hawthorne was amazing! Looking forward to all the goodies you are working on, Sarah.

    1. Thank you, Karen! It's SO hard to believe the next one will be finished in less than a month. YIKES!

  3. Homeschooling six kids! I homeschool three and struggle to find time to write. You inspire me.

    1. Oh, Kathleen, I LOVE finding other writers who homeschool! There's an instant bond there. And I have to hide in my bedroom after dinner. I'm not sure that's too inspiring, LOL!