Author Spotlight

I had the privilege of chatting with a wonderful author who took time out of her busy schedule to share a little bit about herself.  So, without further delay….

Rita Sable

It sounds like you have always wanted to be a writer. Tell us how it felt the first time you were published.
It was such a THRILL!  I couldn’t believe this dream had finally come true and I was living it. Unfortunately it was also difficult to share my new-found success and enthusiasm because I was working full-time and my employer didn’t know anything about it. Being an erotic romance writer wouldn’t have gone over too well with them. My husband knew and he was very happy for me, as well as a few close friends. But I did most of my celebrating online with my crit partners.

What made you choose graphic design during college and do you miss the world of graphic design since you gave it up?
Actually, no, I don’t miss it at all. When I graduated from KSU in 1987 with my degree, computers were not part of the business. Although we had an Apple IIc in our apartment, and my then fiancé/now husband was majoring in computer science, graphic design was still a “hands on” art. I used the little computer to write papers for other classes and printed them off on a dot matrix printer. It was novel stuff at the time.  JBut graphic art was done with airbrush and watercolor, fineline pens, colored pencil, straight edges, press on text, camera and photography. It was a real craft back then. Now, anyone with a computer and some software can create posters and websites. By 1997, when computers had “taken over” graphic design and made it faster/easier/cheaper, I’d lost that touchy-feel for the art. I designed websites for a few years, but that really didn’t give me the same pleasure as real art. I still do some oil painting, I love landscapes and portraiture and I enjoy throwing pots from time to time when I can find a ceramics shop.

Tell us what makes Rita, well, Rita.
This is a tough question. Like most writers, I’d say I’m a complex individual with many facets that even I haven’t explored. With only 2 books out, I know I’m still very new at this and learning buckets full each and every day. The industry is also rapidly changing and clearly e-book format is cutting a strong path. I feel very fortunate to be here. But what makes me, me, is difficult to pull out of my head in one easily digested clump.

Besides my writing, I love animals – especially dogs and horses. I originally wanted to be a veterinarian. Horses have always been a big part of my life. In school I never skipped a day or once played hooky. I loved school! …well, except for math. I enjoyed art most of all and excelled in history, geography, biology and English. I speak fluent German, my parents are naturalized German-Americans. I love to cook and bake and experiment with new recipes. I love chocolate and marzipan, but hate licorice. I devour seafood, especially crab and lobster. I actually enjoy grocery shopping. I wasn’t much of a daydreamer as a kid because I was usually either drawing, painting, or at the barn with the horses. My mom taught me to read at age 4 (while teaching herself English), and I still love it. I can lose myself in a good book for hours and forget the real world exists. When we lived in , Texas, I was the 4th Grade Spelling Bee champion in our school district – my winning word was ‘silhouette’. Geez, I’m still proud of that! I’m a morning person and I rarely take naps. I hate to exercise just for fitness, but love to be active and outdoors. I love to sing, but can’t hold a tune. I love to dance, but can’t do that very well either. I love to go the movies and don’t mind going by myself to a matinee. I love to travel, and crave adventure. It’s not a problem for me to be spontaneous and leave at the drop of a hat – I know how to pack light. I have an excellent sense of direction and rarely get lost…and if I do I’m not ashamed to ask for directions. I like spiders or snakes, but ticks and centipedes really creep my out. I never wanted kids, and still don’t regret not having any. For the longest time I didn’t think I was “old enough” to have kids of my own! Even though I love to swim and snorkel my biggest fear is deep water and drowning. I still cringe whenever I hear the theme from “Jaws”.

Tell us some of your favorite foods, authors, books, movies, music, and anything else?
Let’s see – foods I mentioned above: anything chocolate is always good, as is anything seafood.

Authors & books: too many! I started reading Kathleen Woodiwiss and Rosemary Rogers in high school, they’re still some of my favorite books and I have the originals. Nora Roberts, Elizabeth Lowell, Heather Graham, Catherine Coulter – great writers, great books. I have a ton of e-book authors who I really enjoy, and a lot of them are online friends. But I’m afraid to mention one and accidentally forget another – so I won’t. Suffice it to say most of them write for EC and font-family:Arial;color:blue">Loose Id. I also love adventure/action books by James Rollins, Dan Brown, Lincoln & Child, Clive Cussler. My most favored mainstream books are the suspense/gem-inspired stories by retired author Gerald A. Browne. He wrote big, heavily detailed, extravagant stories peppered with really interesting characters, some romantic elements and all surrounded by the danger and drama of the gem world.

Movies: action, adventure, scifi, fantasy, drama, thriller, romantic, and comedy. Just about anything, really. I do have 2 movies that are on my ‘hated ‘em’ list – “Open Water”, and “Reservoir Dogs”. They were awful in my opinion, not because they weren’t done well, but because they played upon my most primal fears. 

Music: I love modern country, and some pop rock. I listen to the radio in my car mostly. I’m not an Ipod kind of person and I don’t buy music.

How does the writing process work for you? Do you outline or know the whole story before you begin or do you just take it page by page?
I wrote my first book, Evening Star, completely by the seat of my pants. Honestly I didn’t know where that book would go from chapter to chapter. I’d wake up in the morning with an idea of what should happen next and wrote that. Then all day long at work I’d be thinking about it and rewriting scenes in my head until it all fit together. My second book, Family Jewels, required a lot more research and some plotting, but still wasn’t completely plotted out. Those characters talked to me all the time and directed the story to the end.

I’d say I’m a plotting-pantser. If I try to plot a story from beginning to end, it usually bores me and I’m going to drop it. I like the thrill behind not knowing what’s supposed to happen next until that very moment when my creativity sparks the idea.

What is you perfect writing environment?  Do you like quiet or can you write anywhere?
I can usually write almost anywhere – so long as there is no loud music playing. Coffee shops are good because the noise level is like a constant buzz that lulls your brain into a rhythm. I love taking my laptop to the library and finding a hidden corner booth to write in. Being surrounded by all those books, and the people who love them, it feels good and gets my creative juices flowing. But most often I write in my home office with just the window open for the sound of birds and crickets. I must have a cup of coffee, tea, or Diet Dr. Pepper at hand, and gum to chew.  

I see your love of animals has continued through your life. Tell us about your dogs and horses.
Ah, the loves of my life. My horse, Stetson, is a 6-year old Tennessee Walking Horse gelding. He’s a gold champagne, which is a rare color, similar to palomino but much brighter. And he’s so much fun to ride and just be around. He loves to play ball – seriously! I have a 36 inch inflated ball that he loves to bump, chase, and kick around in the pasture. He makes me laugh. He’s also a very adventurous boy and loves to go off to find new trails with me. I tell him all my secrets and he keeps them. My husband owns Deuce, a 10-year old solid black Tennessee Walking Horse gelding. He is very much ‘daddy’s horse’ and has bonded to my husband. I don’t ride him much, but the two boys together with us are a lot of fun.

My dogs are my kids in so many ways. We own Vizslas, which are Hungarian Pointers. We show them in AKC dog shows, do hunt tests (hubby is a Judge), as well as field trials which require the horses too. So far we’ve bred one litter from our Champion/Master Hunter girl and kept her best puppy, who is also now a Champion/Master Hunter. My oldest girl just turned 10, our Australian import girl is now 7, and our current show dog/field trial girl is now 4. Vizslas are a relatively healthy breed, and require a lot of exercise. But they are sweet and very affectionate and so darned cute! 

How much time do you spend traveling each year and does traveling inspire your writing?
Travel does inspire my writing. I grew up as an Army brat and we traveled Europe extensively. I’ve either lived in or visited 23 US states so far. My husband’s job as a consultant means we travel about 9 months out of the year, so we’re always on the go somewhere. I enjoy the gypsy lifestyle.

Evening Star was written after we took a trip to NYC and out west to Utah, Wyoming and Montana. I wrote Family Jewels from my memories of being in Amsterdam and Europe, and NY. I love seeing new places and can’t help but incorporate that into my books. I think that adds a dimension of newness, adventure and reality for readers.

It sounds like your husband is very supportive. Does he read your work?  How does your family feel about your writing career?  Do they read your work?
Oh no, no, no… They don’t!  Hubby knows what I write, but has never read any of my work. He says he’s afraid to find out what really goes on in my mind. (now, why would he think that??) My sister and brother don’t enjoy reading romance and although they support me and my brother says it’s “cool!”, they aren’t interested. My mom, well, she’s excited to have a daughter who is a published author, but is also afraid to read what I write. I think the erotic aspect is what really scares mom away. Come to think of it, I *am* afraid to let her read one of my books!

You write in several genres. Do you have a favorite and if so, why?
I don’t think one genre is my favorite over others, but I seem to be better at contemporary overall. Suspense is so much fun to write, as well as SciFi. And paranormal – oh what a blast! I like being able to stretch my imagination and be outrageous, yet believable.

How do you promote your work?
I’ll be the first to admit I suck at promotion. I do the chat loops, maintain a website and I blog with a group.  I also love to do interviews and author list mom days. But that’s where I draw the line. When it becomes more work than fun I lose interest. I’ve toyed with doing things like postcards, and pens, pins, etc., and I plan to do those for book signings in the future.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Read what you want to write, and write what you’re good at. Join an author’s support group and a crit group. Have fun and don’t be intimidated. We all started out by crawling first, then walking before we could run.

Do you ever get writer’s block and how do you overcome it?
Oh dear god, yes. I seem to be plagued by it mostly during the summer months when I really want to be outdoors. I deal with it several ways: ignore it and have fun doing something else; put that work aside and pull up another story or start a new one; go to the movies; bake something; go to the library or do online research; read. Eventually the spark ignites again and I’m fighting fire with fire once more.

If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be and why?
That would have to be Lilly Wilcox, my first heroine from Evening Star. She is a lot like me and writing that book, her character, was an exercise in self-analysis in so many ways. I poured my heart into Lilly and she gave it back ten-fold! So, I’d like to meet her in person and say thanks. She’s a vulnerable but tough, creative, sweet, modest woman.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Just to say THANK YOU for the interview and the chance to share a bit of myself with readers. I’ve enjoyed it!

 

 

 

 

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