Name Sierra Rayne
Age Still young enough to raise hell, but old enough not to get caught.
Where are you from
I’m from Hindman, Kentucky … don’t blink as you drive through or you’ll miss it.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc.
I’ve been married three times. Yes, you read that correctly – three times. I often say I had to go through the two terrible marriages to learn how to truly cherish and appreciate the love of my life. My husband is amazing and without him I couldn’t have experienced the dream of being an author. We actually went to high school together but may have said ten words to each other the entire four years.
Then, almost four years ago, he sent me a friends request on Facebook. We went out the next week and we got married a month and a half later. Yes, it was quick but it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. We have seven children between us and two grandchildren. Holidays and family events are chaotic but awesome.
I began writing in June of 2015 and released my first novel, Broken in Pieces, on September 2, 2015. What a wonderful experience! Broken in Pieces is the story of Sheridan Paige Stollings and Damien Blade Hawthorn. It’s the first book in the Wounded Heart Series and it was anything but easy to write. There were times when I wanted to give up or thought I didn’t have what it took to be an author. I knew I had all these people running around in my head, desperate to have their story told but was I good enough to be the one to tell it.
Along this journey, I’ve met some of the most special people. They became my friends, my fans but most importantly they became my family. Every time I had doubts or wanted to give up, it never failed that one of them was there to pick me up and set me straight again. I dearly love each and every one of them.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I am currently working a standalone stepbrother romance. It’s called Illicit and I’m hoping to release it in December 2015. The main characters initially despise one another. However, their parent’s last wishes send them on a journey that will allow them to learn more about themselves and each other.
I’m also working on Shattered in Pieces, the second novel in the Wounded Heart Series. I hope to release this novel in January 2016. It’s the story of Jax and Jade who are introduced in Broken In Pieces. Jade’s a recovering addict who lost her husband and small child when they were hit by a drunk driver. She’s at one of the lowest points in her life but she’s a fighter. Jax has never had a mother or father, his grandmother raised him. When he finds the love of his life in Jade, he refuses to give up on her and will never let her go.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I guess I kind of jumped ahead on this question and already answered it. I began writing in June of 2015. The characters in my head wanted me to tell their stories. I wanted to give them a voice and see if they were as interesting to other people.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I always loved writing in high school and college but I don’t think I ever considered myself a writer until I released my first book. I used to sit around jotting down names and scenarios but never really bringing it all together. It was when I finally decided to share them that I felt like an author.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
The extraordinary author, Jordan Marie was my inspiration. Jordan and I have been friends since high school. She encouraged me to start this journey. She knew I could do it when I didn’t. Without her, I would have never released a book. I love you Jordan Marie!
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I really don’t have a specific writing style. I know that’s probably important but I truly just let my characters lead me. I do like using different points of view because it really allows you to bring the reader into the characters mind.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The title of my first book did not start out as Broken In Pieces. However, as the characters developed, it only made sense. These two were broken in so many pieces that you wondered if they could hold each other together or not.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
One of the biggest things I hope people take from Broken In Pieces is that no matter what you go through in life, never give up. Don’t let circumstance destroy you. Use what you’ve been through to make yourself stronger. Overcome!
Early in the novel, Sheridan is raped and has to overcome it or let it damage her forever. Someone once wrote that they didn’t like Sheridan’s character because she started out so meek and mild but ended up being a ballsy, fighting for what she wanted, bitch. It’s called growth. Sheridan refused to let circumstances or people defeat her.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic ?
I would say that seventy-five to eighty percent of the book is realistic. The characters deal with real life situations that many people have gone through. The storyline may move a little quicker than reality but it would get boring if it didn’t.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Some of the situations in Broken In Pieces are loosely based on events from my life and events in the lives of people I know…but I won’t tell their secrets. Up until about five years ago, I lead a very different life. Lots of pain, anger and sometimes danger. I reached the point where I refused to let these thing touch my life anymore. They’re only allowed to come out in my writing now.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life? a mentor?
Ernest Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. Hemingway was a brilliant author who paint vivid pictures and drew you into his characters.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I don’t have a lot of time for reading because of my two works in progress. When I have a few minutes, I’m reading Unlawful Seizure by the new author, Baylee Rose. It’s incredible. You’d never believe this was her first release.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Oh my, there are a plethora of remarkable new authors out there. As I mentioned before, Baylee Rose. Another is Vanessa Kelly (VKelly), she also had her first release this year.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
When I’ve completed Illicit and Shattered in Pieces, I will be working on the third book in the Wounded Hearts Series. I’m actually thinking about letting my street team help name that novel. I also want to start an MC series that’s screaming at me and maybe a series of mysteries.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Outside of my family, my greatest support comes from my street team. Sierra’s Daring Divas is a wonderful group of women and men …yes, we have a couple male members. They are always there with encouragement and love. We share our lives, our hearts and our souls with each other.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely! My ultimate dream is to someday be able to quit my full time job and do nothing but write. I will achieve this one day.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
There are a few things I would change about Broken in Pieces. Don’t get me wrong, I love the book. It’s part of me. I was so nervous about sharing it with others that I over thought it sometimes. When I compare it with what I’m writing now, I can tell it’s by a new author. I’ve taken it as a learning experience to make my next one even better.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I think my interest in writing originated when I was a child. I was a daydreamer lol. I’d play out the strangest scenes in my head. Then I’d want to put them down on paper, either in a story or play.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’d love to! The following is an excerpt from Broken in Pieces:
We’re lying on our stomachs when he sits up and pulls me into his lap again. I seem to be in his lap a lot lately but I like it. I feel safe there, like it was meant for me. He brushes my hair back and runs his fingers down my cheek, “No more secrets, baby girl. Secrets will shatter you into a million broken pieces and leave no resemblance of who you once were. You can tell me anything. Nothing will change the way I feel about you.”
He stares deeply into my eyes, moves in and his tongue begins a merciless dance with mine. The passion is so strong that it feels like he is going to consume me. Electricity shoots through my body.
A loud clap of thunder startles us both and there’s an instant cloud burst. It’s pouring so Blade jumps up, grabbing all the picnic clutter and shoving it in the basket. “Come on!” He shouts as he takes my hand and begins to run.
I jerk free and begin to laugh. “Why?” I question as I stretch out my arms and lean my head back. “You won’t melt,” I giggle as I begin twirling in the rain. He stands there dumbfounded and then lets out a laugh from deep within. It’s a wonderful laugh that I’ve never heard from him before.
“Oh, you like the water, do you?” he smiles and I nod yes. He drops the basket, picks me up and starts running back to the house.
“Put me down,” I squeal as we enter the pool area again.
“Yes, ma’am,” he sternly says as he slings me into the pool.
“I can’t believe you did that,” I scream as I resurface. Then he jumps in and swims to me. I can’t help but laugh. He gives me a quick kiss on the lips and leads me out of the pool.
An excerpt from Shattered in Pieces:
The snow is blinding. It’s like I’m driving into a wall of white. “Jacob, I’m thinking we shouldn’t have tried to make it home tonight.” My fear shows in my shaky voice. I can’t see anything as we inch down the snow covered street. At least Little Jake is calm. I can hear him humming “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” from his car seat, in the back.
“I know, Jade. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have had that beer then I could have driven. Just try to make it to the next parking lot and we’ll pull over. At least we’ll be off the road and maybe the show will let up in a bit,” Jacob tries to reassure me.
We come upon a snow plow and relief washes over me. I can follow the plow as he clears the street in front of me. That should make it much easier. The light at the intersection turns green as the plow approaches it so I prepare to follow it through. Then everything happens so fast. My whole life changes in the blink of an eye.
As we enter the intersection, I see the bright lights of a car approaching from the side street to my right. Holy shit, it’s all over the road and it’s not slowing down. Fear courses through me and I try to floor it, to get out of the way. Before my foot can react, I hear the sounds of crushing metal and breaking glass as my head bounces of the driver’s side window. Then, silence. Dead silence before darkness takes me away.
“Ma’am? Ma’am, can you talk to me? Speak to me ma’am. Stay with me little lady. You just gotta hang on,” I hear a strange man’s voice coming from above me and sirens coming close but I can’t open my eyes or find my voice. Little Jake? Jacob? Where are they? I can’t hear them. Little Jake’s not humming anymore. Hum for me Little Jake, hum so mommy knows you’re okay. I can’t open my eyes to find them. Where the hell are they? Darkness devours me again.
An excerpt from Illicit:
“Fuck you, asshole. I didn’t come here to be your friend and as for your sarcastic, bullshit comments about the way I look, keep them to your damn self. You made fun of the way I looked enough when we were growing up, I sure as hell don’t have to put up with it now.”
“And stop fucking calling me that. I’ve always hated that shit. I’m not a damn princess. I don’t put myself on a pedestal and look down on people the way you always said I did,” she growls in a low tone as she looks around to make sure no one is watching.
“Wait, Prin…Cindy. Tha..”
“Save it Shane, the bullshits over. We have to make this trip together but we’re not going to accomplish anything this way. I know mom and Jim wanted us to be friends but I will not let you belittle me,” she continues through gritted teeth, then gets up to stomp out of the restaurant.
I leave more than enough money on the table to pay the check and run after her, catching her just outside the door. “What the hell was that all about?” I ask as I grab her arm to slow her down. She yanks free and keeps walking. I decide to shut up because whatever I say, she’s gonna take it wrong. Bitch switch has definitely been flipped.
As we near the door of the hotel, she stumbles and almost eats pavement but I catch her before she does. “Let me go!” she says as she’s trying to regain her footing.
“You got it, Princess,” I say as I lower her to the ground and walk off. As much as I wanted to, I didn’t drop her to the ground. Even I’m not that much of an asshole. This damn sure hasn’t started out well and I’m sure it’s not gonna end well, but what the hell; I’m not doing this for her anyway so I continue on to the room without looking back.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The biggest challenge for me in writing isn’t the writing itself. It’s balancing my writing with everything else in my life. I work a full time job, I’m a wife, a mother and a grandmother. I often end up writing until the wee hours of the morning which keeps me exhausted but it’s all worth it.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
There are so many authors that I love reading but if I had to pick one, it would be Stephen King. He’s unbelievably talented and I’d love to meet him one day. I have to wonder what kind of mad, amazingly creative mind could come up with the stories he does.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I haven’t had the pleasure of traveling yet but I am truly looking forward to it. I’m hoping to attend some book signing next year.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The cover of Broken In Pieces was designed by Tammie Smith. She is astounding! Tammie is a PA that is also working on her first novel.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part about writing this book was the fact that I kept getting in my own way. Over thinking everything and the self-doubt I had.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned to stop over thinking and just let things flow. I learned that I do indeed have what it takes and that some people out there actually like my work. I learned that editing is harder than writing and to never be working on your edits at 4:30 p.m. when your deadline for the formatter was 3:00 p.m.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
My advice to other writers would be to never give up. I read a heartbreaking post on Facebook the other day. It was written by an author who had released several books and she had decided to retire. She stated that the competition out there was too much and she was disheartened by it all. She even pulled all her books from the different distribution sites they had been on. Don’t allow it to be about the competition, the sales numbers or your ranking. Write because you love it.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Ahh, my readers are a fabulous group of people. Thank you for allowing me to share part of myself with you. Thank you for all the support you have given me. Without you guys, there would be no reason to pour it all out on paper. I love you all more than you will ever know.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Oh my goodness, no I don’t remember. Reading has always been a love of mine and I don’t remember ever not reading something.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My family makes me laugh … they are a bunch of knuckle heads and I love them with my whole heart. Injustice, lost love and death make me cry.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
As I said before, one of them would be Stephen King. I’d love to delve into that beautiful mind. Another would be Mother Teresa because she had a special heart. Also, I would have loved to have met my husband’s mother and father because they raised such an incredible man.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
She was bat shit crazy. Just kidding. She loved with her whole heart. I hope that the people I love know that I love them with every fiber in my being.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Writing and reading are all that I really have extra time for.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I enjoy watching The Voice, all the Law & Order series’ and Criminal Minds. One of my favorite movies is A Beautiful Mind. It depicted the true struggle that John Nash went through in balancing his brilliance and his mental illness. I also love the The Notebook. That’s a true love story if there ever was one. Noah and Allie never gave up until they gave up together.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
My favorite food is anything chocolate and Italian. My favorite colors are red and blue. There is so much musical talent out there that it’s hard to choose. I would say my favorites are from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s although today’s music has a lot to offer. I love Adele. She has an stupendous voice.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
My dad always said I should’ve been a lawyer because I argued better than anyone he ever met. When I was very young, I wanted to be a medical doctor. In my teen years and early twenties, I wanted to be a psychiatrist. I love the way the human mind works and I wanted to explore it. But life took over and that never happened.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I have a website at http://sierrarayneauthor.weebly.com/
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