Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Interview with Sandra Sookoo!!!!

Today I have an interview with fellow Lyrical Press author, Sandra Sookoo!! Check her blog here!

First question I always ask, when did you start writing and when did you know you wanted to make it your career?

I “unofficially” started writing at the age of 10. I wrote an “epic” fantasy using all the kids in the neighborhood. 600 pages longhand LOL Thankfully, I matured and the writing got way better. I think sometime in my twenties I knew I wanted to make writing a career. It was either that or be a cake decorator. Even though I’m really good in the kitchen, I can’t bake a cake or decorate it to save my life! Good thing I’m pretty talented in the writing field, huh?

I see you’ve had quite a career so far! How many books have you published? Got a favorite?

How many books? Let’s see. 6 in 2009. And 7 in 2010 so far. I’ve been very lucky and have met some great editors along the way. As for a favorite? Hmm. That would be a toss up. I have too many “favorites” I guess to pick just one. LOL

You’ve been published by several houses. I was once told not to “put all your eggs in one basket” when it comes to publishing. Do you agree with this? Are there pros and cons to having your “eggs” in several baskets?

I totally agree that an author needs to write for a few houses. This gains you readership and showcases your work to different sets of readers. Not to mention that every editor worth their salt will teach you something different so it would behoove a writer to seek a new house every once in awhile.
One of the cons about having multiple houses is the release dates for books. Often they will coincide with other releases you have out and you’ll end up with back to back releases which makes promotions tricky.

I have all of your Holiday Magic books on my “To-Read” folder on Goodreads! What inspired you to write holiday themed books?

Well thank you! I guess you could say I have a “thing” for holiday romances LOL I liked the idea of centering a series, not only around holidays, but also romance and magic. So the Holiday Magic series was born and I’ve been beyond pleased with the results.

Now let’s talk about your newest release, Dead Ruby Slippers, from Lyrical Press! Tell me a little about it!

Dead Ruby Slippers came about because of my excessive love of cozy mysteries. I’ve read tons of them and one day decided to try my hand at writing one. Wow, was that an eye opener! It’s hard work and for me, it confuses my brain trying to drop clues, keep up the mystery, etc. I’m so thankful for my editor on this project because she helped me keep my facts straight.

Blurb: Dancing may be hard…but no one expected it to be murder.

When sexy tap dancer Abigail Carlton, a.k.a. Ruby Slippers, is found dead and arranged in an artistic fashion on her coffee table, it’s up to Special Agent Quentin Banks to solve her murder.

But nothing is ever as it seems. Not only is Quentin a FBI career man, he doubles as an officer for the Institute of Magical Instruction…and the dancer’s death has super natural energy written all over it.

Quentin must find who murdered Abigail, and he only has 24 hours to do it before it’s taken over by his superiors.

Book video: Click here

Buy link: Click here

Will I write another mystery? I want to say no, but who can say what my Muse will want later? LOL

It sounds like an interesting mix of murder, romance and fantasy! Is commingling genres something you do like to do?

It’s one of my passions, I guess you could say. I’m a firm believer that a writer should have a range of things they can write. Try a new genre. If you don’t like it, that’s okay, but at least you spread your wings. I love writing across genres. It keeps my brain engaged and prevents me—the writer—from being bored. And as a reader, I read across genres to prevent boredom. I think this is a key to a long life as a writer.

And lastly, something non-writing related….I see that you love to cook—me too! I’m always on the lookout for tasty, low-cal meals! Got a recipe that qualifies?

I do love to cook. When I’m stuck in a story problem, I’ll head to the kitchen. I do have a recipe to share. It’s one I fussed around with a few times because I had a craving for Chinese food but didn’t want to deal with the heavy breading and high calories of traditional food.

Sweet & Sour Chicken

There will be recipes out there that tell you to marinate your chicken in egg white and corn starch. I’ve done it that way and I can honestly say I don’t buy into that step. So, this is how I do it.

1 pound of boneless and skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1" chunks
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 10-ounce can fresh pineapple chunks (reserve juice) If using canned pineapple, make
sure you buy the one marked “juice” not “heavy syrup”
1/4 cup juice from the pineapple
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup (I use Red Gold because it’s an Indiana product)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (1/4 teaspoon table salt)
3 tablespoons brown sugar (or, if you taste the sauce before you cook it, you can add
another tablespoon for a more concentrated sweetness)
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cooking oil (I use canola oil)
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
½ to 1 teaspoon sambal sauce (or any hot sauce you like) optional

1 Whisk together the pineapple juice, vinegar, ketchup, salt, hot sauce, ginger, corn starch and brown sugar.

2 Heat a large frying pan or wok over high heat until a bead of water instantly sizzles and evaporates. Pour in the 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and swirl to coat. It's important that the pan is very hot. Add the chicken and spread the chicken out in one layer. Let the chicken fry, untouched for 1 minute, until the bottoms are browned. Flip and fry the other side the same for 1 minute. The chicken should still be pink in the middle. Remove chicken to a plate, leaving oil in pan.

3 Turn the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 teaspoon of cooking oil. Let the oil heat and then add the bell pepper chunks. Fry for 1 minute. Add the pineapple chunks and the sweet and sour sauce. Turn the heat to high and when the sauce is simmering, add the chicken pieces back in. Let simmer for 1-2 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Timing depends on how thick you've cut your chicken. The best way to tell if the chicken is done is to take a piece out and cut into it. If it's pink, add another minute to the cooking.

Serves 4. (or two if you’re really hungry) I like to serve over plain white or brown rice.

Sounds tasty! Can't wait to try it!!

Thanks for having me on your blog! As a special gift, one lucky commenter will receive a romance themed pizza cutter and some book swag. Be sure to leave your email address. Winner will be drawn the following day.

Oh how cool! Thanks for being here!! Wishing you all the best in your career and with your newest release, Dead Ruby Slippers!

Ps- Make sure you check out Monday's post and enter to win a copy of my new release, A Bitch Named Karma!


  1. Wow, I can't believe she tried a new genre just like that and was successful with it. I'm jealous. LOL

  2. LOL Successful? Not quite. It was a hot mess until my editor got ahold of it LOL ;-) But it was hard work. Maybe I'll do it again sometime... lol

  3. It definitely inspires me to try something new!

  4. Thanks :-) I always say if you're not learning, you're dying lol

  5. I loved this interview! You had me sold at the awesome recipe, I mean that's the coolest interview tactic I've come across yet!

  6. Thanks Jen! Writing and cooking, that's what I'm all about :-)

  7. LOL Jen!! Thanks for stopping by!!!

  8. The lucky winner is Jen! Please email me your mailing address at

    Thanks for coming out everyone!

  9. Thank so much Sandra for being here!!!! Congrats Jen!!

  10. This is such a great interview -- and oh wow, 600 pages as a 10-year-old. That's quite amazing.

    Stephanie, thank you for visiting and following my blog! :)

  11. Thanks for stopping by Sandy!!!