Tell us about your newest release.
My debut novel, Command Performance, tells the story of a woman whose life is defined by responsibility. For one night, Professor Maggie Barlow sets everything aside and goes after what she wants—a man who can make her fantasies come true in the bedroom. But two days later, when she arrives to deliver the presentation that promises a promotion and the professional stability she craves, Maggie learns her one-night stand, US Army Ranger Hunter Cross, is her Army-issued liaison. He holds the key to her success, and he is under orders to “control” her. As you can imagine, sparks to fly.
I love the way RT Book Reviews described Hunter and Maggie’s path to happy-ever-after: “The man with no strings winds up tied up in knots over her (Maggie) and gives her everything she wants and more . . . ” Hunter may be emotionally “in knots” over Maggie, but to find out who is literally tied up, well, for that you’ll have to read the steamier parts of the storyJ
Can you tell us a little about your favorite scene in the story?
At one point, Hunter decides to turn the table on his red-hot relationship with Maggie and explore his fantasies. Anticipation drives Maggie to distraction. But on the big night, Hunter begins with a romantic meal and a traditional campfire dessert. He’s decided Maggie, who spent most of her childhood caring for her alcoholic father, needs someone to take care of her for a change, and not just in the bedroom. One of my favorite lines in the book comes from this scene when Hunter says: “You need a s’more more than anyone I’ve ever met.”
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I honestly cannot recall a time when I did not want to be a writer. But for many years, I did not know what I wanted to write. It wasn’t until I fell in love with romance novels while working in the Simon & Schuster marketing department that I first started thinking about writing romance.
What is a typical writing day like?
I am a stay-at-home to a three-year old son and a twenty-one-month old daughter. If the kids sleep past six or so, I might sneak in some writing in the morning. After that, I wait until naptime. As soon as they close their eyes, I dash to my computer and start writing. Then, I start again after they go to bed. I do my best to stick to this schedule seven days a week. And if I’m lucky, my wonderful husband will take the kids on the weekends so I have some extra time.
Do you have an interesting writing quirk or habit?
If I’m stuck on a particular scene, I switch to writing longhand. I keep a legal pad next to my keyboard. I also like to write the dialogue first and then go back and fill in the rest of the scene. Once my characters start talking in my head, they speak quickly and I don’t want to miss a word.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned as a published
After working on sales and marketing side of the publishing industry for a number of years, I was familiar with the romance community. I had attended the Romance Writer’s of America conference and worked with a number of bestselling authors. I knew it was a supportive group. But when I started writing, and attending RWA conferences again, I was blown away by the people I met. Perfect strangers, who quickly became friends, offered advice and support. Many of these women have become dear friends.
What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?
There is a long, long list of writers and friends who have read drafts, offered encouragement, and endured brainstorming session (thank you Maya Rodale!). However, Tawny Weber’s mentorship truly pushed me from aspiring writer to published author. She read the initial chapters of COMMAND PERFORMANCE after I bid on and won a critique through Brenda Novak’s Annual Auction for Juvenile Diabetes Research. And she could have stopped there. But instead, she held my hand as I submitted, waited for a response, revised and resubmitted. She has always been there to answer questions, provide support, and best of all, friendship.
What does your family think about your career as a published author?
I am blessed with a very supportive family. My parents always believed I should be a writer. When I went to them a few years back and said I planned to quit my day job in publishing to focus on writing, they were behind me one hundred percent. But my husband, he’s the one who suffers through my need to stayed glued to a computer or interrupt a conversation to discuss a plot point that suddenly popped into my head. And my children support me by napping.
Besides writing, what other interests do you have?
Like most authors, I love to read. I also love horseback riding. Probably a part of the reason I was drawn to the idea of writing about a soldier who literally rode into battle like a modern day cowboy. But living in New York City, I don’t have a lot of opportunities to ride. Before we had children, my husband and I took a couple of vacations on horseback. One was an unguided ride through a remote area of Southern France. They literally gave us maps and horses and sent us off to explore! One day, when the kids are a little older, I would love to start riding again.
Can you tell us about what’s coming up next for you writing wise?
My current work-in-progress is connected to my debut. In COMMAND PERFORMANCE, the Army’s Top Brass tasks Hunter with preventing Maggie from finding out about a mistake his teammate, Logan, made on their last mission. In this connected story, which takes place simultaneously, Logan finds his happy-ever-after with a bestselling erotica author. Of course, there are a few bumps along the wayJ
How can readers connect with you online?
Readers can find me on Facebook at Sara Jane Stone (I’m there everyday!), on twitter @sarajanestone, or at my website, www.sarajanestone.com. And if you do stop by my website, please sign up for my newsletter. I’d love to keep you updated on the follow up to COMMAND PERFORMANCE and other upcoming projects.
I’m also running a contest to celebrate the release of my first book and the details are on my website. The grand prize is a $100 Visa gift card!
Visit Sara Jane's website to enter her contest: http://www.sarajanestone.com/
About Sara Jane:
After several years on the other side of the publishing industry, Sara Jane Stone bid goodbye to her sales career to pursue her dream—writing romance novels. Armed with a firm belief that dreams do come true, Sara Jane sat down at her keyboard to write fun, sexy stories like the ones she loved to read.
Sara Jane currently resides in Brooklyn, New York with her very supportive real-life hero, two lively young children, and a lazy Burmese cat. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and her local New York City RWA chapter. When she can convince her husband to watch the children, Sara Jane attends Lady Jane’s Salon, New York City’s only romance reading series.
Blurb for COMMAND PERFORMANCE:
Subject: Chief Warrant Officer Hunter Cross
Mission: Keep Margaret Barlow distracted…using any means necessary!
Ranger Hunter Cross is the army poster child—excitement, danger and no strings in sight. And he’s been in town exactly three hours before a curvy blonde named Maggie flashes him a look that says “You belong in my bed.” It’s a night of wicked satisfaction. And it’s a night they can never repeat….
All Professor Maggie Barlow wanted was an orgasm—or three— from the dead-sexy Ranger. Having him as her official army liaison while she works on her new book? That wasn’t in the plan. Especially when she learns that Hunter has orders to “control” her. Little does the army know that when it comes to their deliciously naughty nighttime activities, Hunter is at Maggie’s complete command….
Uniformly Hot! The Few. The Proud. The Sexy as Hell.