Monday, October 13, 2014

INTERVIEW: Sarah Madison plus #Giveaway!

Today we're talking to one of my VERY FAVORITE people, Ms. Sarah Madison who comes to us absolutely rockin' the fedora. Plus, she brought us *literally* the cutest dachshund picture of all time, so... bonus!

Welcome back Sarah to The Hat Party <3 Thank you so much for subjecting yourself (AGAIN! Are you nuts?) to the RANDOMNESS that is a Raine O'Tierney interview! Please don your best hat, and let's get started!

Sanity is overrated, I believe. *places Mad Hatter chapeau firmly on head and curls pinky while drinking tea*

If you could have a conversation with 13-year-old yourself right now, what would you say to her?

Credit cards are like drug lords. Do not take that first hit.

Describe yourself using song lyrics.

This one was easy. I’ve been singing this song non-stop since I first heard it. J

Let it go, let it go.
And I'll rise like the break of dawn.
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone
Here I stand, in the light of day.

Let the storm rage on!
The cold never bothered me anyway...

How do you handle reviews? Would you rather have NO reviews ever or a slew of stab-ya-in-the-gut negative reviews?

I think one of the hardest transitions for me was going from writing fanfic, in which feedback is how readers ‘pay’ for the stories, to writing original fic, where feedback is few and far between in comparison, and quite often not predisposed to be nice. I’ve grown a much thicker skin than when I first started writing professionally, but if I had a choice between no reviews and stabby negative ones, I’d opt for no feedback at all. I’ve read for decades with no means of telling favorite authors how much I loved their work and it didn’t diminish my enjoyment of their stories whatsoever. As it is, one negative review has the power to overcome fifty positive ones (which may well be why some people enjoy writing particularly nasty ones). If I only got negative feedback it would be hard for me to believe I had any stories worth sharing.

What is your superpower? What is your Kryptonite?

The ability to see someone else’s point of view and understand where they are coming from. Sadly, that works as Kryptonite, too.

You have 200 words—Make. Me. Swoon. (AGAIN!)

The smell of cigarette smoke woke him.

He rolled over in bed and saw Sutton silhouetted in the pre-dawn light coming in through the window where he had drawn the curtain aside. He stood with his back to the bed, one arm elevated above his head, leaning into the window frame while he occasionally lifted the cigarette to his mouth. He was shirtless, wearing nothing but trousers, the pale streaks of pink lightening the gray sky outside and the room within, creating a backdrop for his form.

I will always remember him like this. David knew this fact for a certainty.

As though he had heard David’s thoughts, Sutton turned and said, “We need to go.”

“I know.” David continued to stare at him in the half-light. Strong, lean body. Coarse, dark chest hair tapering down to a ‘v’ where it disappeared into the waistband of his pants. The faint gleam of metal as the identity discs on their chain shifted with his movement. The red glow of the cigarette’s end; now at his side, now at his mouth. The curl of smoke into the room; seductive, deadly. David would remember this too, he knew.

A GENRE SPECIFIC-VIRUS has targeted you and rendered you incapable of writing your chosen genre! What do you do now?

I’d write mysteries or sci-fi novels. I’d suck at it, but they are my first loves. I’d hammer out stories and re-work them again and again until they were something worth reading.

What is one mistake you’ve made during your writing career that you’ve learned and grown from?

Caring too much what other people think. That’s lead to a lot of problems, including taking a lot of the fun out of writing for far too long. I’m trying to go back to just having fun with it now and not minding if it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, or if it provides money for cat food rather than the mortgage. In the beginning, I let lukewarm reviews gut me as though they’d been the worst of the nasties. I pushed myself to turn out stories before they were ready and it caused the writing to dry up entirely for a while. I was making everything about the destination and forgetting that the journey is where a great deal of the fun comes in.

What are you going to do to survive during the zombie apocalypse?

Zombies scare the ever-living crap out of me. I’m not kidding. I’d move everything I loved to an island and burn all the boats. I’d homestead. I’d live off the land, raise my own food, travel by horseback, learn to hunt and fish. I’d turn into the worst kind of hermit surround by the two-thousand paperback books I read over and over again. I’d work to eat and rest when I needed to. In some ways, I think it would be the ideal existence, except for the whole zombies gonna get you thing.

Give a shout-out to another author who may, or may not, know how much you appreciate them.

Oh wow! So many, and where to start?? It’s like the thank you speech at the Oscars—you always end up leaving someone out. I have fallen in love with Tash Alexander’s Lady Emily series (only recently found them, so I have a lot of catching up to do!). I’d have to say the two best M/M stories I’ve read this year belong to Sarah Granger (A Minor Inconvenience) and Anna Butler (coming soon from Dreamspinner: Gilded Scarab). The characterization and world-building by both authors are phenomenal, and I’m a sucker for Regency and steampunk kinds of stories.  Not to mention, a little bit in love with Hugh and Rafe. J

And finally, it’s STILL THE most important question of all: what kinds of dachshunds are the BEST kinds of dachshunds?

Unbearably cute ones!

~ ~ ~

Six months after starting their hunt for a serial killer who is still at large, FBI agents Jerry Lee Parker and John Flynn are partners in every sense. But Jerry has serious doubts about their relationship and whether they would even be together if not for the way Flynn changed after touching a mysterious artifact in a museum. 

Flynn hates the extraordinary power bestowed on him by the artifact and wants nothing more than to have a normal life again. Jerry fears that without the unusual connection they forged, Flynn will no longer want or need him. Chasing after a similar artifact takes them back to Flynn's old stomping grounds in Washington D.C., where his newfound abilities uncover long-buried secrets, the kind people would kill to protect. But they aren't the only ones looking for these powerful relics, and what they discover will threaten their relationship—and their lives.

Available from Dreamspinner Press


Jerry returned his attention to the tableau unfolding in the aisle. Flynn was making his casually toward Jerry; he yawned, taking his time. 15-A hesitated; Jerry could see that he had stepped into the aisle, but was thinking of sitting back down again. Just then, the door to the toilet opened and the toddler came out into the aisle. Picking up on the air of tension, the child immediately started to wail.

15-A snapped like a wire stretched beyond its tensile strength. Whipping off his sunglasses, he reached into the pocket of his hoodie and pulled out a glass vial. Holding it up high over his head for everyone to see, he shouted, “Everybody stay where you are!”

People glanced up and turned around in their seats, startled and immediately alarmed. 15-A looked around sharply, making sure that no one was trying to rush him. Several people had started halfway up out of their seats to see what was going on; Jerry knew they were remembering United Flight 93.

15-a moved his hand in a broad semi-circle so that everyone could see the vial tucked in his palm. “I have sarin!” he announced. “If anyone moves, I break the vial. Someone make that child shut up!”

His last directive was aimed at the young mother. He shot her a wild-eyed glance as he snarled his demand; she fell to her knees and folded her child in her arms, trying to hush the cries.

Someone else on the plane screamed, which only agitated 15-A further. He whirled in the direction of the woman who had cried out. “Shut up!” He pointed the vial at her, his eyes bulging as he yelled. Flecks of spittle flew from his mouth.

“Everyone stay calm.” Flynn put out his hands in a placating manner, but whether it was intended for 15-A or the passengers, Jerry couldn’t tell. He could hear the stress in Flynn’s voice. Jerry could sense the flight attendant standing just behind his shoulder. Behind the two of them, someone was chanting, “Oh my God,” over and over again. The growing panic of the passengers was like the change in pressure before a summer storm. It radiated in the narrow space of the aircraft. There was another tension as well, the coiled muscles and grim determination of several people prepared to act. If Jerry could feel it, then it had to be suffocating Flynn.

Flynn! Focus on me!

He was too late. He saw Flynn press the heel of his hand against his eye, and knew that if he were close enough, he could have seen the uncontrollable tic developing there. Flynn stood rigidly, obviously trying to shield himself. He was one step away from a complete meltdown—like that first night when he’d touched the artifact, and Jerry had mistakenly tried to take him to the E.R.

The young woman in their row who had been reading suddenly stood up, her head ducked low like a bull about to charge.

Her action caught the attention of 15-A. “Nobody move!” He lifted the vial over his head, threatening to hurl it down so that he could crush it underfoot. All eyes were drawn to the bottle in his hand. Inside, a milky fluid jostled with the slight turbulence of the air.

About the Author:

Sarah Madison is a veterinarian with a big dog, an even bigger horse, too many cats, and a very patient boyfriend. She is a terrible cook, and concedes that her life would be easier if Purina made People Chow. She writes because it is cheaper than therapy.

On Facebook (Profile page):


  1. Yay! Thank you for hosting me here today! I always have so much fun with your interviews! :-)

    1. I hope you come back to the party a MILLION more times!!

    2. Hah! I hope I have that many stories to talk about! :-)

  2. No one would notice if I scooped up that dachshund and popped him into my pocket as I join you on the zombie apocalypse island, would they? He's ridiculously cute, and I approve wholeheartedly of any interview that involves puppies. I also loved your two hundred words piece and the sense of atmosphere and foreboding / melancholy you've evoked, Sarah.

    And while I popped in to follow your tour, much later than intended due to illness, I find myself blushing at your compliment. Thank you so much. :) Speaking of illness, I was finally well enough today to read 'Walk a Mile' and I *loved* it - but more of that when I'm up to putting my thoughts together in a way that's more than "Oh, Flynn", or "Oh, Jerry", said so many times and in so many ways during my reading!

    1. Big fat grin on my face here. Of course, you are welcome on the island! Cute puppies, too! Your kind words here have me clapping my hands with delight and barking like a seal; thank you! Thank you very much! And you shouldn't blush, you should puff up with pride and crow--A Minor Inconvenience is an *amazing* story. :-)

  3. That is a great picture. I'm not usually big on dachshunds, but that one is totally cute. My husband wouldn't mind if he showed up either. Thanks for the fun interview and look at your new book.

    1. Thanks, Jen! I had a blast, as always, doing it! So much fun to come here and be interviewed!

  4. Really liked this post with a very interesting interview and loved the doggie picture <3 Thank you <3

    1. Thanks, Rashell! I always have so much fun and the Hat Party! Glad you enjoyed it! :-)

  5. Thank you so much for posting this interesting interview and for the cute dog picture. TY for the chance to win.

    1. Thanks, Anne! As long as Raine doesn't get tired of me, I'll keep coming back! :-) Good luck on the giveaway!

  6. Great interview. Your dachshund is too cute for words >.<