Nights of Passion welcomes back Romance Author Sandra Sookoo. We’re so glad to have you visiting with us again. Before we get to your upcoming releases, please, share with us your writing routine. How do you get so much writing done?
Thanks for having me back, Susan. I guess the short answer to this question is organization. Recently, I’ve been plotting out chapters for my books, so I can at least get a snapshot of the idea down. Then, when I come back to the book, I can easily pick up where I left off. Also, I prioritize my workload and finish promised projects before anything else. If I need a “bribe” I’ll write a chapter of something really fun in order to get through the rest I’m maybe not in the mood for at that time.
Did you have to do special research for any of the upcoming books?
Research? For the historical, yes I did. That’s the thing with that genre. You have to make sure the facts are correct. Since the book is set in Indianapolis, finding turn-of-the-20th Century history was easy thanks to the Indiana Historical Society and the internet. For the short, I researched a few recipes that I based part of the story around. Not a whole lot of in-depth stuff there since it’s a paranormal.
I know on your website you have A Recipe of the Month. Is cooking a passion of yours? Did any of your recipes figure into your romance novels?
Cooking is definitely a passion of mine, and at one time (before I wrote seriously) I was a caterer. I’ll always love cooking and many times when I’m stuck in a story, I’ll head to the kitchen and putter around until my mind unblocks. I try to stick one recipe in each book I write. I didn’t realize I had been doing it until someone mentioned the fact to me. It’s just such a part of me that it flows naturally into writing.
Will you share a recipe with us?
Of course! It’s a chocolate mousse from my upcoming short Foodie’s Guide to Kitchen Magic.
Thank you, Sandra. This exceptionally yummy recipe can be found at the end of the interview. For our viewers who are writers, do you have a recipe for success?
The best advice I can give is to never give up, even if all you’ve gotten is a string of rejections. Write from the heart, and make sure it’s your passion. Enjoy writing no matter what. Always write. Sooner or later, you’ll find that one editor or agent that loves your work and you’ll never look back.
Please, tell us all about your upcoming releases and where they can be purchased.
My first full length novel WINNER TAKES ALL will be released on May 1, 2009 through Desert Breeze Publishing http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com.
WINNER TAKES ALL is a romantic comedy which takes place in 1905 Indianapolis, Indiana. The main characters, Lily and Christopher, make a bet with each other to find a suitable match by Easter. It was my entry into the 2008 National Write a Novel in a Month competition (NaNo) in which a writer is challenged to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I’m happy to say I finished in 21 days.
Excerpt of WINNER TAKES ALL by Sandra Sookoo
“I’d be willing to wager I can find you a suitable husband by Easter.”
She spun around so quickly her skirt twisted about her legs. “I beg your pardon?”
The man stood and made certain all eyes were on him before he continued. “I’d be willing to take any wager that says I can match you with the perfect man by the Easter holiday, six weeks from now.” He downed the last of his wine then rested the empty glass on the table. “I just assumed your problem regarding men is the simple fact you can’t find one good enough, but now I realize the problem also rests in your attitude.” He shrugged, a wicked gleam in his eyes. “Why not let me take that anxiety from you and do the dirty work.”
She frowned. “What does that mean?” She didn’t like the intense way his eyes held hers. It made her insides warm and faint tremors dance through her stomach, and reminded her of when she was a child and would swing on a rope from a tree limb in their yard. She glanced at Samantha, but from the amused half-smile on her friend’s lips, Lily knew she wouldn’t get much help in that quarter.
Christopher flicked an invisible piece of lint from his immaculate black suit coat. “Let me interview a few men, find their strengths and weaknesses, their likes and dislikes. I’ll put them through a screening process and once they pass the test, you can have a few outings with them.” He flashed a confident smile to her parents. “By Easter, I’m certain one of them will be to your liking.”
She lifted a brow. “You must have a high opinion of yourself to think I’d accept any man you endorsed. And I might remind you I’m not looking for a mate.”
He made her a mocking bow from the waist. “I have some experience in this arena. I have three younger sisters, all of whom are enjoying successful matches, thanks largely in part, to me.”
“That’s a fine idea! We should have thought about it before,” Mr. Henderson boomed. “A modern day matchmaker for our Lily.”
“But Father…” Lily stammered, turned an imploring glance at him.
“It’s certainly agreeable to me,” Mrs. Henderson rejoined. “Lord knows I’ve grown frustrated with getting the girl married from my own planning. But I would add one caveat to the wager. You must behave in a sensible and polite manner toward your matches as well as each other.” Her eyes sparkled as she leaned forward. “Lily has a terrible reputation for having a sharp tongue.”
“Mother!” Lily stamped her foot in frustration.
Christopher Farnsworth grinned. “Agreed.”
Lily hated him from that instant. Her competitive streak rose to the challenge and refused to be ignored. “Turnabout is fair play.” Her cheeks heated, whether from anger or Christopher’s gaze she couldn’t tell. “I accept your terms, as long as you agree that I return the favor.”
A gasp from Samantha filled the silence. “I don’t think that’s a very good idea, Lily. You don’t have many female friends, you know. How would you even find suitable candidates?”
“That doesn’t matter.” Lily advanced into the room, determination surging through her being. “I’ll take your bet and raise the stakes. I’ll match you with an appropriate woman before you can match me.” She grinned, pleased.
He tapped his chin with a long forefinger. “We need consequences to ensure an honest effort.” He snapped his fingers. “If you find the woman of my dreams, I’ll borrow one of my Aunt Zelma’s bead encrusted, be-feathered gowns and wear it to Easter service.”
The room erupted into snickers from the males and outright laughter from the women.
Lily ignored them all. She focused on the mocking light in his eyes and the arrogant set to his lips, determined to bring him to shame. “And if, by some miracle, you should find me a perfect man, I…” Lily chewed the inside of her lip as she wracked her brain for a suitable challenge. “I vow to ride around Monument Circle on a horse, naked like the Lady Godiva legend.”
Bedlam took over the stately, blue-papered Henderson dining room at her announcement.
“Lillian, you’ll do no such thing! We are a respectable household!” Mr. Henderson’s protest seemed to rattle the china in the cherry wood hutch on one side of the room.
She ignored her parent. “Do we have a deal?” she asked sweetly, savoring his speechless expression. She offered a high-stakes prize because she knew she would win the contest. How hard could matchmaking be?
Please, tell us when Foodie’s Guide to Kitchen Magic will be released.
My first novella will be released May 18, 2009 through Lyrical Press, Inc. http://www.lyricalpress.com
Visit here to read a yummy excerpt from Foodie’s Guide to Kitchen Magic.
Congratulations, Sandra. This is very exciting. We’re looking forward to reading you and we always enjoy your visits on Nights of Passion. Thanks so much for doing this interview.
Chocolate Mousse from The Foodie’s Guide to Kitchen Magic (www.lyricalpress.com)
1 ¾ heavy whipping cream
12 ounces good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 ounces strong coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon flavorless, granulated gelatin
Chill 1 1/2 cups whipping cream in refrigerator. Chill beaters and whatever bowl you’re using.
In the top of a double boiler, combine chocolate chips, coffee, vanilla, and butter. Melt over barely simmering water, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat while a couple of chunks are still visible. Cool to body temperature, stirring occasionally.
Pour remaining 1/4 cup whipping cream into a chilled glass-measuring cup and sprinkle in the gelatin. Allow gelatin to “bloom” for 10 minutes. Then heat by warming briefly in microwave for 10-15 seconds. Do not boil or gelatin will be damaged. Stir mixture into the cooled chocolate and set aside.
In the chilled mixing bowl, beat cream to medium peaks. Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining whipped cream in two sections. If there is still some white, that’s okay. Do not over work the mousse-you’ll deflated the cream.
Spoon into bowls or martini glasses and chill for at least 1 hour. Garnish with fruit and serve.