“A Good Little Girl Like You” by Sage Ardman
Describe your writing style in five words: Well, “honest characters falling in love” describes my books, but perhaps not my style. So instead, I’ll go with “flowing, upbeat, fun, realistic, unexpected.”
How long have you been writing? I started writing romance fiction in May, 2012. But I was writing non-romance fiction, and even nonfiction for a long time before that.
Hard/paperbacks or eBooks? My books are available in paperback and eBook (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, etc.)
What is the writing/editing/publishing process like for you? It all starts with dialogue. I can visualize my characters talking to each other, interacting and developing. In this early phase, I can hammer out thousands of words of dialog in a single day. Then I go back and write the narration with the emotions and inner thoughts behind the dialogue. I reread and reread, smoothing it over until I’m happy. Then I get it edited by two different editors who offer substantive comments (not just spelling and punctuation). A few more rereads and I’m done.
What is one thing that people would be surprised to know about you? I was the lead singer in a rock&roll band. In fact, I’m tempted to write a rock&roll romance after the Westerley trilogy is complete (after the 3rd book).
Do you have any writing rituals? I usually work in silence. I tried listening to music once and it was nice. But the music had to be light (orchestral, folk, etc.) Since much of the music I enjoy is not light (rock, techno, etc.) I had to edit special playlists for my writing. In the end, I went back to silence. I can hear my characters better that way.
How has social media helped your career as an author? I’m not sure yet. I’m on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. But I don’t use them enough, nor do I have enough fans, to make a difference. I prefer writing stories over interacting on social media.
What does being an author mean to you? I always liked the idea of writing a book when I was young. When my first book came out in 1987, I was delighted. But that was a non-fiction textbook, and it took me years to write. These romances are so much more fun, easier to write, and they thrill me just as much, perhaps more.
I see in your bio that you like whiskey, which is your favorite? So far, my favorite is Bulleit Bourbon. Very tasty.
What do you love about the romance genre? For me, the best part of a romance story is the moment when the characters realize they are in love. When one of them says or does something that hits home with the other, and that other person has an epiphany about the relationship. It never fails to bring tears to my eyes. It even happens to me when I read my own stories.
What do you want people to take away from your books? I like to twist the romance genre a bit, playing with gender roles and other expectations. Executive Sweet (Westerley #1) presented a different take on the “young woman and male CEO” trope (I was sick of the all-powerful and obnoxious male CEO character). A Good Little Girl Like You (Westerley #2) is more playful and I had fun adding in a Wizard of Oz allegory. And the third book (Seductive Synchronicity) will reverse the “poor woman/rich man” theme by telling a “rich woman/poor man” story with a different kind of ending.
What are you working on right now? I’m putting the finishing touches on two books at once (the 2nd and 3rd books in the Westerley trilogy). The stories wrap around each other, overlapping their timelines and their characters. And yet, all three books stand alone and can be read in any order.
**About Sage Ardman:
- The Westerley books are my first novels. I did write two non-fiction books, but they weren’t nearly as much fun.
- After a lifetime of reading general fiction, I discovered romance at age 59, and fell in love with it. Now I fill my time reading and writing romance novels.
- Also, I never drank whiskey before. But since I wrote characters who drink it, I became curious. Now it’s my favorite drink.
- Life in Northern California is full of surprises, including these romance novels. I have been happily married for thirty years, and we have raised two wonderful children. I honestly wouldn’t trade places with anyone else, living or dead, real or imagined.