Skye will accept anyone who comments and leaves their emails up to Mar 1. So you can have a chuckle and and a chance for great prizes at the same time.
Today we have a very interesting interview with
S.D. Skye, author of The Seven Year Itch,
a romantic/suspense/mystery/espionage novel.
What makes Skye so unique is that she’s spent 20 years supporting counterintelligence, intelligence, and military missions in the U.S. Intelligence Community so she actually knows what she’s talking about. And, here’s the really, really weird part, she’s a comedian too.
I wanted to do a hard-hitting interview, but upon learning about Skye’s background, I admit I’m a little afraid to give her a hard time. (Comedians are scary people.)
But then another part of me insists she wants me to be bad, because she writes so many provocative statements that I can take out of context. So we’ll just have to wait and see how I go on this:
Good and Live Liza
Bad and In Trouble Liza.
And if that isn’t reason enough to read this blog,
then how about this:
S.D. will be awarding a Kindle Fire to a randomly drawn commenter at the end of the tour. (US/CANADA ONLY)
Liza: Skye, may I call you Skye? The initials SD could stand for Sudden Death, which I don’t want. I’m happy being alive.
Skye: Skye is fine.
Liza: So let’s start with a safe question. What is your favorite part of writing?
Skye: Freedom. I’ve never felt so free as when I’m writing a novel. I can go anywhere, do anything. There are no limits. I can kill my ex-boyfriends and/or send them to prison depending on how charitable I’m feeling in any given moment. I don’t feel there are any limits to what I can do.
Liza: I really wish you hadn't said that. *dives under coffee table*
BREAKING FOXLIKE NEWS STORY—NO TIME TO FACT CHECK
SD Skye declares she can kill or send to prison whomever she likes. There are no limits. She is the mastermind of the world!
Skye: Liza... *taps on glass coffee table*
Liza: *looks up through the glass* Don’t kill me. I just want a job at Fox News.
Skye: Can we continue this interview, please?
Liza: *returns to chair*
Skye: You do realize that a glass coffee table ranks as one of the worst hiding places you could chose? Not only could I see you, but your legs were sticking out the end.
Liza: And yet I live. *brow furrows* I do get to live, right?”
Skye: Your chances are about 50/50 right now. Can we continue this bizarre interview?
Liza: Is there anything you don’t like about being a writer?
Skye: I don’t like that I can’t clone myself so that I can turn out books a little more quickly. Understand that when books are left unwritten and in a writer’s mind, the characters hang around in your head and become extremely restless until you get them down on paper. So, I have a zillion people talking in my head at any given time, all trying to escape through my keyboard and I don’t have time to get to them all as I would like.
Liza: No! Not again! *dives under the rug*
BREAKING FOXLIKE NEWS —NO TIME TO FACT CHECK
Skye has become a mad scientist.
She hears a zillion people talking to her in her head and intends to clone herself-alot.
Skye: *Lifts up the rug and glares at Liza* That's a ga-zillion people. You must'v learned how to count at Fox News. Now stop with the breaking news and do your current job, which is interviewing me.
Liza: I will on one condition.
Skye: What’s that?
Liza: You’ll stop lobbing up such tempting floaters. They’re irresistible. *settles in chair* So what's the best piece of advice anyone has ever offered you about writing?
Skye: Ann Lamott, in her book Bird by Bird gives writers permission to write crappy first drafts—or as she calls them “Sh!tty First Drafts.” It was one of my most liberating moments because I am such a perfectionist and hate to make mistakes. I want everything perfect the first time, but trying to do that you will never finish your work. On my first book, I was too naïve to know that I was writing crap. But after you go through your first round of critiques, you get zapped back to reality. So, giving yourself permission to be imperfect on the first (and sometimes second) drafts ultimately means allowing yourself to have a writing career.
Liza: Wow, I didn’t know I needed permission to write a crappy first draft. Oh crap…not again…
BREAKING FOXLIKE NEWS – NO TIME TO FACT CHECK
ACCORDING TO THE FBI YOU MUST GET PERMISSION FROM ANN LAMOTT TO WRITE CRAPPY FIRST DRAFTS.
Skye: *shakes head*
Liza: Sorry about that. Where was I? Oh yes: What part of your book took you most out of your comfort zone?
Skye: In order to build this J.J. McCall series, going the romantic suspense/mystery/espionage route seemed like the most natural progression given my professional background in the US Intelligence Community. However, the plots are so much more complex than those in romantic comedies and there are multiple points of view—whereas in chick lit I write in first person. Then too writing a suspense novel that is more plot versus character driven was very new for me. But I’m really enjoying the challenge of finding a good balance.
Liza: What part of your book was the hardest to write?
Skye: The plot. When I wrote my romantic comedies I was decidedly a pantser and wouldn’t write an outline if you paid me. I have heard it said so often that when you outline or plot in advance, you take control from your characters, thus your story won’t reach its full potential. Well, whoever said that probably hadn’t tried writing a complex espionage plot with multiple points of view. When I finished my first draft, my plot had more holes than the south side of the moon. I wrote no fewer than 27,000 drafts (only a slight exaggeration) trying to fill them in. At that point, the whole pantser thing went out the window. No, it was hurled out of the window with Hulkian force. I decided to compromise with my characters and I allowed them to drive the outline and the scenes, but we will plot or die.
Breaking Foxlike News: Mad scientist, FBI agent Skye develops hulkian strength and hurls drafts out of window burying unsuspecting pedestrians below. Search for survivors continue.
Liza: Just ignore those breaking news. I’m sure my readers are. Now, how'd you come up with this story?
Skye: I spent 20 years in the U.S. Intelligence Community and I’ve had a very interesting career to say the least. I’ve worked in places and done things many people will only read in books. So, I absolutely tapped into my vast experience for the foundations on which to build plots for this series. Each book will feature agencies and situations in which I’ve worked to some degree or another.
Liza: *sighs* Can I become you?
Skye: Yes, but you'll need a binding spandex unitard with an "S" on the chest. On second thought, maybe not.
Liza: But you’re amazing.
Skye: Back to the question at hand. The largest chunk of my career was spent working in FBI counterintelligence, but I’ve had the opportunity to work with or for just about the entire alphabet soup of agencies (CIA, NSA, DIA, at the Pentagon on the Joint Staff, etc.).
Just like so many spies or special ops personnel-turned-authors, I wanted to spin some page-turning tales but we really have to draw a clear and distinct line when we’ve been in the business and could compromise ongoing operations. So, I am extremely careful to pull out the bits that I know that I can use from my professional experience and then let my imagination take over from there. For the reader, I hope that’s a seamless integration and that they find it difficult to draw the line. That’s when I’ll know I’ve done my job well.
Liza: Since we haven’t a clue what you guys really do, we’ll believe anything you write. Especially since the movie ARGO came out. Now, no matter how stupid and unbelievable the plot sounds, if you write it, we’ll buy it.
Skye: If you mean that literally, then my job here is done. *gets up to leave*
Liza: Don’t go. I have a lot of Breaking News to make up for.
Peeps, get your thumbs off your cameras so I can see you. Good, you’re still with me. No skimming. This is an author you’re going to want to buy.
Oh one more question: How much do you cost?
Skye: My book?
Liza: No you. I want to buy one of your many clones to keep as my best friend.
Skye: Sorry, not happening.
Liza: *huffs* Well, then let’s focus on your novel, The Seven Year Itch
The Seven Year Itch
(A J.J. McCall Novel – the FBI Series)
by S. D. Skye
Her Family Was Vexed With a Generational Curse. Now for Lie Detecting FBI Spy Catcher J.J. McCall, the Truth is in The Seven Year Itch.
FBI Special Agent J.J. McCall is a born lie detector who recruits foreign spies to catch American traitors. She and co-case agent Tony Donato have lost two of their most critical Russian sources in the past two years, and they may lose another in just a few short days if they don’t catch him, The ICE PHANTOM, a rumored insider spy more insidious and elusive than Ames and Hanssen combined. They suspect he might be burrowed deep inside FBI counterintelligence—and his body count is going up.
Drawn into an unsanctioned mole hunt, they have a week to catch him, save a key source’s life—and their own. While J.J.’s lie detecting ability helps them narrow down the list of suspects, the lie she tells to herself may help the ICE PHANTOM defect to Moscow and get away with the murder of the man she loves.
Skye's debut FBI Series, filled with mystery, espionage, romance, and suspense, will keep you burning through the pages until J.J. catches the very last spy.
J.J searched for serenity in bottom of a Belvedere bottle. The wait for his sugar-coated lies had dragged on for too long, and she’d lost patience. After glancing around the small reception area to ensure no one was watching, she removed from her purse a silver flask and smiled. It was filled to the brim with relief. One small gulp and the soothing burn slipped down her throat, calming her prickly nerves. Inside she felt on the brink of dissolution. The 10 am swallow was just a necessary evil. It would get her through the meeting, until time for her next dose of repose.
Another dead source. She couldn’t stomach the thought of his demise. Two had been more than her fair share. The unceasing cycle of loss had worn her resolve thin. She’d refused to let another family suffer that pain if she could in any way prevent it. J.J. wanted to tell the FBI where to stick her badge and gun, but she had promises to keep. Promises to Viktor. Promises to herself. No matter what Cartwright said, she’d see her case through until the end. And the end was as near as nightfall because the op was simple and would go off without a hitch.
J.J. stiffened her back and squared her shoulders as the elixir took effect. Her posture mirrored that of the powerful yet graceful eagle perched atop her FBI badge. She’d eyed it, waiting for the carefully choreographed denial and deception ritual to begin.
Liza: That reminds me. I had a few questions about your book. Describe the hero in five words.
Skye: Determined. Honorable. Loyal. Stubborn. Macho.
Liza: And your heroine?
Skye: Clever. Sensitive. Caring. Vulnerable. Loyal.
Liza: I understand you like troublemakers.
Skye: Yes. Grayson “Six” Chance, J.J. McCall’s former beau. He’s gorgeous, arrogant, a know-it-all, full of himself, and he is going to be the source of some major dissention between J.J. and Tony as they attempt to find a comfort zone in their relationship. I love troublemakers and he’s makes a darn good one. He will be the character everyone hates to love and loves to hate.
Liza: If your main character had been allowed to write the novel rather than you, how would the story have been different?
Skye: There would be nothing in the story about her alcohol addiction because she’s still in complete denial that she has a problem at all. The irony about the character is that she can detect when others tell her lies due to a generational curse, but she cannot detect when she lies to herself. And it’s those lies that may end up costing her someone very dear to her if she isn’t careful.
Liza: This sounds like a great novel written by a very interesting person. Here’s some more details I uncovered about Skye:
S.D. Skye is a former FBI Russian Counterintelligence Program Intelligence Analyst and supported several key cases during her 12-year tenure at the Bureau. She has personally witnessed the blowback the Intelligence Community suffered due to the most significant compromises in U.S. history, including the arrests of former CIA Case Officer Aldrich Ames and two of the Bureau's own--FBI Agents Earl Pitts and Robert Hanssen. She has spent 20 years supporting counterintelligence, intelligence, and military missions in the U.S. Intelligence Community.
Liza: I am SOOOOOO jealous!
And now it’s time for the links.
And SD Skye links:
Now my peeps, you know I’m always looking out for you. So to have a chance for the Kindle Fire LEAVE A COMMENT and include your EMAIL address. Otherwise, how will Skye find you?
Peep: She’s FBI. I’m pretty sure she can find anyone.
Liza: That’s probably true, but we want to make this easy on her, so leave your email.
Peep: Okay. I really want that kindle.
Liza: Then make sure you stalk her tour. I've put the link below for her schedule where she’ll be and when.
Peep: She won’t arrest me for stalking her will she?
Liza: Not as long as you blog stalk you’ll be fine and possibly the owner of a new Kindle Fire. Now when you reach the blogsite, page down once and you’ll find her tour schedule. Good luck peeps!
Link to Skye’s Blog Tour
so you can