Welcome, S.D. Thank you for joining me today. Can I get you a drink, what’s your favorite, alcoholic or otherwise?
I have to say, I love M&Ms—margaritas and mojitos. Those are my favorite fruity type drinks. Preferably in extra large glasses. On game day (I’m a huge football fan), it’s all pizza and beer. When it comes to beer I don’t do the fancy stuff, just a six pack from the corner store—Guinness, Blue Moon, Sam Adams, or Yeungling. For wine, Bartenura Malvasia, best red wine ever if you like it sweet and fruity.
Are you an outliner or a seat-of-your-pants writer? Why?
I’m a writer who was formerly a diehard seat-of-your-pants writer that has converted to outlining. I used to be from the school that believed if you outlined, your stories wouldn’t be as organic or authentic. It was easy to say that back then, maybe three or four years ago. I started out writing romances and romantic comedies which tend not to have plots that are as complex and intricate as those in my spy thrillers.
After writing my first spy thriller in the “seat-of-your-pants” style, my draft was left with more holes than the south side of the moon. Plot holes everywhere. And it took ages to tighten everything up. So, I decided from that point forward I would at least sketch out the scenes so that I don’t have that problem anymore.
Here’s a major lesson I learned about outlines—They are only as limiting as you allow them to be. If my characters take the story in a different direction than what I have sketched, then I go where THEY take me. I don’t force the story into my outline. So I still have freedom and can write organically. What outlines help me to do is to stay productive on days when my muse is off on benders. So, I find that writing outlines, but allowing myself the freedom to ignore them, is a happy medium for me.
What is your ideal or dream writing space like?
I’m a water girl—water energizes me. So, my ideal writing space would be in a beach house with all the windows open, warm breezes blowing through, and the sounds of waves ebbing and flowing. I just sighed thinking about it. Summer, where are you?
How addicted to Pinterest are you? Do you have dozens of secret boards?
I’m just getting started on Pinterest. I have one “Vision” type board that is secret, but then I have one book board and one famous quote board where I can post inspirational sayings—they keep me motivated. Help keep my head in the game.
Tell me a little about what are you working on at the moment?
I finished a draft of a book in the romance genre and I’m working on one young adult novel. When I’m done with the YA novel, I’m going back to The Crazy Itch, Book 4 in the J.J. McCall Series. It will pick up where book 3 left off, which is at a major cliffhanger. I thought I would be winding the series down with is book but the characters keep ramping up the action so it promises to be as fast-paced and exciting as the rest. I had planned only to write five books, but I will let them tell me when it’s time to bring the stories to an end.
Do you ever get writer’s Block? Any tips on how to get through it?
I don’t believe I ever get blocked…but there are times when life gets in the way of my writing. I’m thinking about household issues rather than what my characters need to do next. I find that it’s best to force yourself to sit down and write through those things. Even if I start out writing crap, it can be changed or edited. But you can’t change or edit “nothing.” Forcing the habit of writing, I believe, helps get the muse on a schedule so they’ll be there to meet you when you’re ready to create.
What is your favorite quote? Can be book related or not.
I read Jobs by Walter Isaacson, the autobiography of Steve Jobs and found it to be incredibly inspirational. Whatever people want to say about his off-putting personality, he was sort of this odd man out with incredible vision and he changed the world. I’ve always felt like the square peg in a round hole. I’m sure most creative types do. So, one of my favorite quotes is inspired by Apple…as I sit here typing on my new MacBook.
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Tell me about your new release, A No Good Itch.
A No Good Itch
by S.D. Skye
IN THE GAME OF ESPIONAGE, SPY TAKES TRAITOR.
J.J. MCCALL TAKES OVER.
The FBI and Italian Mafia make strange bedfellows when a vicious Russian Organized crime figure, operating at the behest of Russian Intelligence, lands in The Big Apple. The Russian intelligence hench-man, infamously known as Mashkov, avenges the death of slain a Russian sleeper agent and accidentally hits the son of an Italian crime boss, sending J.J. and Task Force Phantom Hunter to the streets of New York. They are stepping into a possible war between Russian and Italian organized crime factions, while trying to dismantle the financial hub of the most insidious Russian illegals network in U.S. History.
Meanwhile, CIA Case Officer Grayson “Six” Chance is in Moscow trying to capture a fugitive American who has stolen White House intelligence and is planning to pass it to the Russians—putting Six in a moral dilemma he may not be prepared to handle.
And when J.J. finally learns the truth surrounding her mother’s death in the line of duty, her life may never be the same.
If you enjoy this book, you will love Book 1–The Seven Year Itch (A J.J. McCall Novel) and Book 2 — Son of a Itch (A J.J. McCall Novel).
The Sheriffs walked J.J. and Tony through a series of security doors until they reached the interrogation room. They left their overcoats with their escorts and tugged their suit jackets straight before entering. The sight of Kendell Phillips’ murderer shrouded in orange and shackled at the hands and feet gave J.J. a burst of pleasure she hadn’t felt since her early morning romp with Tony. A reddish blue bruise circled his eye and spread to the cap of his jaw. His gaze disintegrated under the weight of her glare and fell to his twiddling thumbs. She prepared to speak when an overwhelming scent jarred her senses—the smell of contemptible swine.
“My, my, my,” J.J. said to Maddix. “What an ugly fall from grace. Too bad they don’t make an Armani perp suit. You used to wear him so well.”
Positioned across from Maddix, Tony scanned the rat’s face and looked at him with a pained expression. “Rough night, eh? Did they forget to put you in solitary? Looks like you’ve been mingling with the locals.”
“Nothing I can’t handle,” he said with a shrug. Then he leaned back, spread his knees wide, and placed his hands in his lap. “So, this is the reason you came all the way to Shangri-La? To gloat?”
J.J. savored his misery and then vexed him with a tight smile. “We’re here to discuss your comrade in arms, Hawk—Gary Mosin.”
“Newsflash, doll.” Maddix forced out a grating laugh, overplaying his weak position just a smidge. “You get nothing from me, not without a deal. I want immunity.”
“Immunity?” J.J. blinked in rapid motion.
“Listen, you ain’t gotta make this difficult. We didn’t come here to pick a fight. Give us the information we need, and you can go back to counting the tiles on the ceiling . . . or whatever it is you do on the inside.” Tony contrived a calm demeanor as he reached into his pant pocket and pulled out a pack of Marlboro 100s and a book of matches. He slid them to the middle of the table until they stopped beside a plastic ashtray. “Our treat. Enjoy. But if you choose to stay on the difficult route, we can reverse course any time.”
Maddix cupped his hands and with no show of gratitude, pulled the offerings to the table’s edge, his shackles jangling with his every move. He folded back the foil on the corner of the pack and knocked the open end against his wrist until a cigarette emerged. Then his brow drew together, furrowed in confusion. “You don’t have a clue, do you?” His gaze ping-ponged between J.J. and Tony before he shook his head. “That’s why you’re here. You don’t know!”
About the author:
S.D. Skye is a former FBI Counterintelligence Analyst in the Russia program and supported cases during her 12-year tenure at the Bureau. She has personally witnessed the blowback the Intelligence Community suffered due to the most significant compromises in U.S. history, including the arrests of former CIA Case Officer Aldrich Ames and two of the Bureau’s own—FBI Agents Earl Pitts and Robert Hansen. She has spent 20 years in the U.S. Intelligence Community.
Skye is a member of the Maryland Writer’s Association, Romance Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers. She’s addicted to writing and chocolate—not necessarily in that order—and currently lives in the Washington D.C. area with her son. Skye is hard at work on several projects, including the next installment of the series.