AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT Sarah Makela
Sarah Makela who I think might just be a chocoholic has agreed to chat with the JR bunnies….
Tell us a little about Savage Bytes?
Savage Bytes follows Private Investigator Hannah Franklin who works with her new technomage partner and lover, Ian Bradley. They may be in over their heads when brought in by their friend from the hospital to quietly solve a case that baffles even the police. Victims are being drained of blood and having their organs removed in a ritualistic fashion. When Ian’s attention narrows to solely encompass their work, he’ll need to keep their relationship strong, or he could find himself repeating a painful past.
What inspired me to write Savage Bytes was actually a song I like called “Singular Indestructible Droid” by Papa Roach. I’ve wanted to write a story related to it ever since I heard the song several years ago. If you listen to it, it’s pretty much how I imagine the villain feeling. I also enjoyed delving more into Hannah and Ian’s relationship as well as their world.
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
It depends on the story. I’ve done it both ways. I’ve had stories I plotted before tackling, and some that I had only the vaguest of ideas before charging forward with. These days, I need to have a premise of what the story will be about to give my publisher. That said, my characters do tend to surprise me. The story I turned in recently, I figured would go a certain way, and instead, it took a different direction that just flowed.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
With the cyberpunk romance genre, I had previously wanted to try it. I thought it seemed awesome, but I had no ideas for stories or an urge to act. At the beginning of this year, I decided to take the leap and really enjoyed it. The genre I first started writing in was paranormal romance, so I did morph into this one. Although, I do have a paranormal romance series I’m writing too.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
That’s a hard question. I tend to enjoy each of them. Although, I do have to say that Leon, a secondary character from Techno Crazed and Savage Bytes is pretty darn awesome. My hero and heroine meet him in Techno Crazed and have a budding friendship in Savage Bytes. I’m looking forward to seeing more of him in the series.
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
The toughest character for me to “get right” that I’ve written so far is from the story I just turned in recently called Jungle Fire. It’s the sequel to Jungle Heat, my paranormal romance series. The heroine, Rubia Costa, in that story was challenging. Probably one reason is that it’s been quite a while since I wrote the first book.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
It’d be awesome to meet characters like the ones I’ve created in my books, but I don’t really draw too much inspiration for them from real life. If I do, it’s just a certain aspect of someone I’ve met here or there.
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
I find the hardest part of writing is to not let real life problems get in the way of cranking out words.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
When I set my mind to it, I really enjoy cooking from scratch and making complex meals. My family even thinks my cooking is tasty. haha
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Yes, its name is Caramel Frappuccino from Starbucks.
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
I basically just open the word document and turn on some music if I can. It’s pretty much butt in chair, hands on keyboard for me. If I’m having problems getting anywhere, I might use Write or Die since it tends to help me focus.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
I’ve had stories that were influenced music. I’ve also gotten story ideas by listening to music. I haven’t done theme songs for my books yet though. Although, I think it’s an awesome idea.
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
If my story was optioned for a movie by some miracle, I’d have Henry Cavill play Ian and Natalie Portman as Hannah.
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
I was in my home office checking my email. I burst into tears, and my husband asked what was going on. So I told him, and then I told my mother next since she was over visiting.
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
I began reading romance novels when I was about 13 years old. My first one was a Harlequin called Chateau of Flowers by Margaret Rome.
What author causes you to “go fan girl”/ squeal over/anticipate upcoming books?
Ilona Andrews. Hands down.
If you still have one of those pesky non writing jobs what is it?
Wife and cat herder. lol
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
I’m currently working on a standalone paranormal romance short story. I’m in the planning process for my third book in the Hacked Investigations series as well as the third book in my Amazon Chronicles series. I have a superhero novella waiting in the wings.
I’m not really sure. I haven’t put much thought into it.
How do you pick your characters names?
I love picking character names. I feel names are important, and I try to go with ones that include characteristics of who the character is instead of just sticking them with anything.
Do you prefer the love at first sight approach or a steady growth throughout?
It depends on the book and the characters. It’d be boring to do the same kind of romance set-up each time.
What is your reaction to people who say one of the following…”Oh you write romance, I thought you were a real writer”, “Romance isn’t a real writing career” or the ever popular “Oh, one of those books”.
I think it’s pretty ridiculous and hurtful that some people say those kinds of things. But I think an author should be able to let the comments roll off their back, especially since it’s important to have thick skin for all the criticism, rejections, reviews, etc. authors face.
Where reader’s can find you
And for the silly side – What is your favorite type of chocolate?
I love milk chocolate, especially with caramel or peanut butter, and I think white chocolate is awesome.