Hi S.J., let’s get to know you – tell us something about yourself
My name is S.J McGran. I am from Toledo, OH. I have a husband and two fur-babies, Spirit (puppy) and Grandy (cat). I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication, Public Relations.
I am obsessed with black and white photography, the Detroit Tigers, coffee, dark chocolate, pizza, ice cream, and craft beer. When I’m not writing or reading, I am probably walking my pup, playing disc golf with the hubs, playing softball, or generally doing something active. Although, I am by no means healthy. I mean, did you see some of my favorite foods? 😉
Ha, ha, you’re talking to a foodie. A little birdie told me that you have a new book coming out any day now?
My newest release, Peace by Piece, is a standalone, contemporary romance about a couple that has to face a tough decision. Levi Tillman has to decide what to do when he finds out the woman he loves, Genevieve Weston, only has one year to live.
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1tOxZYW
Createspace (paperbacks): http://bit.ly/1tOymmm
That is amazing. Congratulations! And all the best! Do tell us about your other books.
I write contemporary and new adult romance.
The Triumph series is three books: Vanquish, Conquer, and Prevail. The series is about overcoming your pasts, fears, addictions, and doubts. Each book has overlapping characters, but features a new lead couple, so you do not have to read the series in order, however I would recommend doing so.
Hear that people, get your hands on these great reads this summer, or any time of the year, actually. I’m sure you have quite a following, S.J. But who do you follow? Who are your favourite authors, what are your favourite reads?
I am definitely a romance reader. From time to time, I will read something outside of my comfort zone, but rarely. My favorite authors are Kendall Ryan, JA Redmerski, Tessa Teevan, Gail McHugh, and AL Jackson.
If I had to pick a favorite book(s), I would have to go with the Edge of Never and the Edge of Always by JA Redmerski as they are probably the two I’ve read the most.
Your journey as a writer?
I’ve always enjoyed writing in school, in fact it is why I chose the major I did. At one point in my life, I thought I’d write children’s books. I may still do that someday, however right now I’m on a completely different path.
I wrote my first book in November 2013 for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). NaNo is a challenge to write 50,000 words in one month (which ends up being about half of a full-length novel.) I did the challenge and realized it was as hard as I had originally thought it to be. I ended up hating the book, and am not sure it will ever get published, but it was a start. After that, I sat down and wrote Jared and Zhoe’s story, Vanquish, and haven’t looked back.
That’s rather cool! What is your writing zone? Silence, music, coffee, wine, notebook, laptop? What gets those grey cells working?
Typically, I write in the morning. This is because my husband works second shift and sleeps in late so I have the mornings all to myself to concentrate. When it’s nice outside, I like to write on my patio, otherwise I usually write on my couch in my living room.
I have to have music to write, although I rarely pay attention to what song is on or if it inspires a certain scene, which is why I never include playlists with my books. But, I do need the noise.
I love writing in a notebook. I find, especially when I’m stuck in a writer’s block, it helps me think more creatively and keeps me from getting distracted on Facebook, etc.
I do agree. It feels so much more personal to put words down on paper than typing on a machine. (Let’s not tell the machine that, huh? It’s a bit temperamental)
Moving on to connecting with readers, marketing etc, what is your most used social media platform and why?
I use Facebook the most often. I think for me right now, most of my readers are there. I do use Twitter, but not as much as I should.
Here is the link to my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/sjcmgran
I also have a readers group where I do giveaways and perks, such as sneak peeks at new books, and where we talk hot men and good books. SJ’s [Sinful] Angels is open to anyone! http://www.facebook.com/groups/sjsangels
Oooh! Swag! Who doesn’t like that? And hot gossip! And free books! Need more reasons to sign up?
Btw, are you a blogger too?
Uh, not nearly as much as I should. Okay, I’ll be honest I really never blog. But, I do have a website that I try to keep updated as much as possible.
Your ‘Yes, I’m an author” moment?
I don’t know that I’ve really had that moment, yet. I think I’m afraid to think of myself that way because I don’t want writing to lose its excitement. I don’t ever want to think of it as a job. Writing is something I love doing and I want it to remain that way.
Teasers from the Triumph Series
Your book art and covers are exquisite. Who designs them?
As of right now, I do all of my covers myself.
Talented in many ways. Do you have a dream cast of characters for your book if it is turned into a movie? Do tell!
For Peace by Piece I think I would cast Luke Bryan as Levi (yes, I know he’s not an actor but he’s a sexy cowboy) and Christina Hendricks as Genevieve.
Excellent choices … and HOT! And which is your favorite book made into a movie?
The Fault in Our Stars. I thought they did a pretty good job with the adaption. But, really as readers do we ever like the movie of our favorite books?
That’s true, though I have to confess that I like the Divergent movies better than the books. (Don’t tell anyone, though)
Would you share an excerpt from your latest book Piece by Piece?
“Been waiting for you, Genevieve. I know it. You were made for me.” He continues assaulting my lips and neck with his kisses, pausing at the hollow of my throat to whisper there, “You feel that? You feel the world tip on its axis when we’re together? It’s earth-shattering. It’s like we can fix everything that’s wrong in this world just by being together. Do you feel it, V?”
I let out a needy moan from the back of my throat. I want to feel it. I want his words to be true. I want more than anything in this world for our relationship, for his kisses to have healing powers.
Standing there in the middle of my tiny cabin, with the most beautiful, amazing man holding me in his arms, with his lips driving my pulse through the roof, I send up a silent prayer to every God that might be listening to let his words be true.
Please, let him heal me. Let this pain, this suffering be worth something. Give me this man, please. Give him to me and I’ll never ask for anything again. I’ll be your greatest servant, your best disciple. Just give me this man. Please.
He pulls back and I feel the loss of his touch immediately. “Come on, sweetness, we need to get you washed up.” Grabbing my hand in his he pulls me through the one room cabin to the small closed-off bathroom. Picking me up he sets me on the vanity while he goes to the shower to test the water temperature. Once he’s apparently satisfied, he turns back to me and takes my breath away with the strength of his stare.
This wasn’t supposed to be our fate. He’s just a kid. He’s not supposed to fall in love, yet.
And, yet I know it is inevitable. I see it in the way he looks at me, the way he touches me. It doesn’t make sense and yet there it is. I recognize it because if I were to force my eyes off of him and look at myself in the mirror I’d see the same emotions reflected back at me.
This is the moment where I either push or jump.
And, I have no idea what to do.
“Don’t shut me out,” his words are whisper quiet but they bounce off the tiled walls mockingly. “Don’t push me away, V. Don’t fight this.”
“I have to, Levi. I can’t let you fall in love with me.”
He steps up to me and once again nestles my face in his steady grasp. “You don’t have a choice.” He absorbs whatever argument I was going to say with his kiss. Expertly he pushes back my excuses, making me focus on nothing but the way he makes me feel. He completely surrounds me and I get lost in him. Just like he wanted.
Hm … definitely, a must read … any sneak peeks at future projects?
Right now, I’m working on a mini-series, two books that will be part of the Caught Looking Series. It’s about baseball players. =)
Sounds interesting. Looking forward to that!
What cause is dear to your heart and why?
The American Cancer Society because cancer has touched too many people in my life.
If your story is turned to a movie, which band would you want to play the title song?
I would have to go with Ed Sheeran as he’s what I listen to the most while writing.
I love his music too. Excellent choice. 🙂
If you were in a crayon box, what color would you be and why?
Royal Purple is my favorite color, but I’m going to go with Razzle Dazzle Rose because hello, that’s an awesome name for a crayon!
Quirky! 🙂 If you were a kid, who would you want to grow up to be?
Sandra Bullock. I love her. She’s beautiful, talented, quirky, funny, and down-to-Earth.
She is rather awesome, isn’t she? If you’re stuck on a desert island, who would you want to be stuck with?
My husband. Yes, I know it’s cheesy but he is trained in survival skills and if I was going to spend the rest of my life with one person, it’d be him!
Aw, that’s romantic! Lucky man!
How do you decide on your character’s names?
Google. For example, Angelica (from Conquer) is a snobby, rich girl so that’s what I Googled, from there I picked from a list. Some of them, like Levi (from Peace by Piece) just came to me. It felt right.
What dessert would you be and why?
Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sundae. Because I’m sweet, a little bitter, and definitely not for everyone.
Ooh! I see where the heroines in your book come from. 😛
Thank you so much S.J. I had a lovely time. I hope you did too. S,.J.Gran, everbody, let’s hear it for her. Congrats again! Reminder for all those who’d like to read her books, connect with her or just stalk her (aside: she likes that, you know 🙂 ). Here are her links again.
SJ’s [Sinful] Angels: http://www.facebook.com/groups/sjsangels
Monthly Newsletter: http://www.bitly.com/sjmcgrannews
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1tOxZYW
Createspace (paperbacks): http://bit.ly/1tOymmm