Sophie Oak Interview

I am beyond excited to be speaking today with author Sophie Oak. She made her way onto my must reads list the very first time I read her and has quickly become one of my very favorites. Sophie, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me and Fallen Angel Reviews!

I am such a fan of the Texas Sirens series. The characters fit together so well and I loved the storylines. Can we expect to hear more from them?
Absolutely, Tara. I'm almost finished with the third book in the series. It's called Siren Enslaved, and it's about Julian Lodge, Jack's mentor. Siren Enslaved moves the story along about three years so you get to meet the kids that Jack, Abby, and Sam have had. I have one more in the series planned, and that book will feature Jack's half brother, Lucas and Abby's daughter, Lexi.

Three to Ride was such a great book and I completely adore the town of Bliss. Tell me, what's happening next in Bliss?
Two to Love is the second in the Bliss series. It's about Callie Sheppard and the two men she had an affair with years before. They leave her because they're DEA agents and have a very dangerous undercover operation going on. Six years later, they show up in Bliss, but their mission might not be over yet. I'll finish out the first cycle of Bliss books with One to Keep. That's Stefan and Jen's story.

It still blows my mind that you are such a new writer. You would never know it by the quality of your writing. How did you start writing and did you have any help along the way?
I don't know if I would call myself a new writer. I've been writing for years. I started in high school. I wrote several plays that were produced both in my hometown and in a couple of other cities. I studied writing in college, but I was still into plays and screenplays. Then I got married and had a couple of kids and it all fell to the back burner. When I decided to try again, I wrote some comic books. All along, I'm reading romance novels voraciously. When baby number three came around, a light finally came on, and I wrote my first book. I wrote six more in the course of a year. They were urban fantasy and I love them, but that's a hard market to crack. I love really hot romance, so I decided to try erotic romance. Small Town Siren was my first attempt. Thanks to an editor who kicked my butt, it turned out okay. As for help, other authors have been wonderful to me. Shayla Black is the best mentor you can have, and Kris Cook is so supportive.

Can you tell us a little about your other upcoming works?
I've mentioned the series stuff. I'm planning a little detour from cowboys for next summer. I want to do a paranormal ménage series. We'll see. I also have plans for a fourth Bliss book. I recently submitted a story for Siren's Love Extreme line called Playing the Field. I wrote it with a friend of mine. She's a new writer named Chloe Lang. It's a fun little sex romp.

What is your favorite part of a book to write?
I love what writer's call 'the dark moment.' It's that moment when everything seems the darkest. I like to play around with the concept. This is the moment when the hero and the heroine break up before getting together forever. It's very emotional. My husband knows I'm there when he walks into the office, and I'm crying. He usually takes that opportunity to back out and shut the door.

What are some of your hobbies besides writing?
Hobbies? Surely you jest. I don't have time for hobbies. Well, changing diapers and watching Toy Story 3 for the thousandth time, if that counts. Seriously, I spend a lot of time writing and editing. The rest is taken up by my babies. (Don't let the fifteen year old boy know I called him that.) When I want to unwind I like to watch really bad horror movies.

Do you have a character that is especially close to your heart?
I love them all, but if you want the one I most identify with, I would have to say Abby Moore from Small Town Siren. We're the same age and I put all of my own insecurities into her. I think every woman approaching forty wonders if they're still attractive, if life hasn't passed them by. For Abby the answers were yes, and a resounding no. Abby's a fighter. So am I.

Where do you get the inspiration for your stories?
From everywhere. It's strange how it happens and sometimes you forget exactly where it started. I brainstorm with friends a lot. It often starts small. I saw this dog at my daughter's riding lesson. He was enormous and obsessed with playing fetch. His name was Quigley. All things Bliss flow from meeting that one dog. I thought he was such a character; I had to dream up an owner. Max Harper came to mind and, just like that, he had a twin brother. I took it from there and Nights in Bliss took off.

While writing, how does the story develop for you? Do you go from start to finish or create scenes as they come to you?
I'm a recovering pantser. I'm in therapy to cure the disease. Typically I have a beginning, something in the middle and the end. I've found when I go with the flow it takes me forever, so I've started to really plot. It usually starts with one scene I really want to do. It's the scene that made me want to write the book. In the book I'm writing right now, it's the scene where Julian shows up at Jack's ranch and they have a serious conversation while Jack has a baby strapped to his chest. I don't know why, but I had to have my big, strong Dom with a baby.

Do you have a favorite movie that you could watch over and over again?
I watch Galaxy Quest once a year. I force myself to avoid it the rest of the year so it can be special. I watch it every year while I'm putting up the Christmas tree. My kids thought it was a Christmas movie for a long time. Now they just know that mom's crazy. They do know it's the Christmas season when they hear - "Never give up. Never Surrender."

If you could go anywhere, be anyone, do anything for 24 hours, what would it be?
If I could go anywhere, no limitations, I would go back in time and talk to my dad. I would tell him what I'm doing. The only sad thing about getting published now is that my father isn't here to share it. He died of cancer five years ago and I wish he could have seen me start to achieve my dream. He was the one who pushed me to write. So I would spend 24 hours with my dad tossing a baseball back and forth.

Do you have any indulgent behaviors one might find surprising?
I go to a lot of rock concerts. I'm usually the oldest person there. I love a really eclectic variety of music. I've seen Vampire Weekend, Papa Roach, Ingrid Michaelson and Adelita's Way all in the last six months. I catch Sick Puppies any time they come through town or within a reasonable driving distance.

Do you have a website or blog where readers can learn more about you and your books?
I have a blog and you can find me on Facebook.

Sophie, thanks again for your time. I cannot express how much I have loved your books or how anxious I am for your next one. Readers, if you love your books with a whole lot of steam and excellent storylines to boot, please check out Sophie. You will not be disappointed!

Interviewed by: Tara