Monday, 23 February 2015

Blog Tour Interview & Giveaway - A No Good Itch by S.D. Skye



A No Good Itch
Author: S.D. Skye
Genre: Spy Thriller / Romantic Suspense

Book Description:
IN THE GAME OF ESPIONAGE, SPY TAKES TRAITOR.
J.J. MCCALL TAKES OVER.

The FBI and Italian Mafia make strange bedfellows when a vicious Russian Organized crime figure, operating at the behest of Russian Intelligence, lands in The Big Apple. The Russian intelligence hench-man, infamously known as Mashkov, avenges the death of slain a Russian sleeper agent and accidentally hits the son of an Italian crime boss, sending J.J. and Task Force Phantom Hunter to the streets of New York. They are stepping into a possible war between Russian and Italian organized crime factions, while trying to dismantle the financial hub of the most insidious Russian illegals network in U.S. History.

Meanwhile, CIA Case Officer Grayson “Six” Chance is in Moscow trying to capture a fugitive American who has stolen White House intelligence and is planning to pass it to the Russians—putting Six in a moral dilemma he may not be prepared to handle.

And when J.J. finally learns the truth surrounding her mother's death in the line of duty, her life may never be the same.

If you enjoy this book, you will love Book 1--The Seven Year Itch (A J.J. McCall Novel) and Book 2 -- Son of a Itch (A J.J. McCall Novel).

Buy Links:

Author Interview

1. Tell a little about yourself. What you do when you’re not writing? What are your aspirations for the future?
I’m a former intelligence analyst/senior intelligence officer with 20+ years of experience in the U.S. intelligence community. For 12 of those years, I worked in the FBI, which is largely the inspiration for the J.J. McCall character and the series. I’m a native Washingtonian (D.C.) and professed nerd-girl who loves all things Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Big Bang Theory.  I have one teenaged son who I love dearly but who drives me completely and utterly nuts. He makes life extremely interesting. I have a degree in Economics and an MBA—neither of which I would probably have if I had acknowledged my love of writing earlier on in life, but, hey, everything happens for a reason.

2. When and why did you start writing?
I’ve been writing in journals since I was about 7 or 8 years old. Writing an actual book seemed so far off for me. I never thought I could do it. To me writers were like Gods in Mt. Olympus who created miracle works and sent them to earth for the entertainment of us mere mortals. It wasn’t until I was heading into the big 4-0 and started asking myself “What do I want to be when I grow up?” before I allowed myself to believe I could at least write and finish a book. After a heavy dose of Oprah, I sat down and wrote my first novel in about 4 months. After months of editing and submitting my work to literary agents, the rejections mounted. So I decided to self publish my first book which was chick lit and if I could find one reader who enjoyed it, then that was enough for me. Four months later it was “discovered” by an editor at a major publishing house due to good reviews and it was later picked up by Simon & Schuster in a 2-book deal. Although I haven’t sought to publish in the traditional realm in a few years, I haven’t stopped writing and don’t see an end to my career in the foreseeable future.

3. Have any particular novels or writers influenced your writing?
I read such a wide variety of books. Everything from Anne Lamott to Jane Austen to Terry McMillan to Toni Morrison to Stephen King. I will say that I’m less influenced by writing styles than I am influenced by writing journeys. I love to read about my favorite authors’ creative processes and the obstacles they’ve overcome to achieve greatness in their genres. That’s what most influences me and gives me energy to keep going. I think my voice is truly my own. No one reads my stuff and says, “Oh, she writes like so-and-so.” Given that the majority of people love my stories anyway, I’ll take that as a good sign.

4. Give us some backstory behind A No Good Itch (A J.J. McCall Novel). Where and when did you write it?
A No Good Itch (A J.J. McCall Novel) is Book 3 in my FBI Espionage Series.The storyline centers around two subjects very near and dear to my heart – Mafia and Spies—Oh my! If I had to frame it in terms of what readers might be familiar with in entertainment today--it’s kind like Covert Affairs and Scandal meet The Sopranos and The Americans.The big difference is that it features an African American FBI Special Agent (loosely based on a real life agent with whom I worked) who catches Russian spies and is a human lie detector. An interesting twist.

It picks up right where Book 2 leaves off — FBI Special Agent J.J. McCall and her co-case agent, Tony Donato, are headed to the Big Apple to take down the financial network that is supporting moles inside the U.S. government. But they have an even bigger problem on their hands. A Russian Mafiya henchman, infamously known as Mashkov, avenges the death of slain a Russian sleeper agent and accidentally hits the son of an Italian crime boss—Tony’s brother. So, they not only have to take down the financial network, they are stepping into a possible war between Russian and Italian organized crime. Meanwhile, CIA Case Officer Grayson “Six” Chance is in Moscow trying to capture a fugitive American who has stolen intelligence from the White House and is planning to pass it to the Russians—putting Six in a moral dilemma he may not be prepared to handle. Also—readers will FINALLY find out how J.J.’s mother, a former FBI Agent, died in the line of duty. And I’ll just say that, the ending might get me killed, but it’s all for a good cause—a thrilling beginning to Book 4.

5. What was your favourite part of writing A No Good Itch?
I would say exploring the ties between Russian intelligence and organized crime. I’ve not seen that played out on screen or in books. Particularly not stories that explore those Russian spies serving as non-official cover officers or NOC officers or how the FBI deals with them inside the United States. The story is very multilayered but everything ties together well and the pacing is super fast! Once you dig in, you won’t want to stop until you’re finished.

6. What does your writing schedule look like?
I write every single day of the week. The length of time varies, but usually begins between 3-4am and I’ll stop around 6 am. Then I resume after my full-time job and Junior goes to bed, which is about 9pm or so until I fall asleep. On the weekends, those are usually all day writing days unless I’ve been forced into socializing with people or I have a book event to attend.

7. Which fictional character would you like to take to dinner and why?
Elizabeth Bennett from Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. I’d like to sit with her and see what she has to say about Lady Catherineafter a few glasses of wine. Or Voldemort from the Harry Potter books. I’ve never seen him actually eat or read about his meals in the books (not that I can recall). If we went to the Outback, I’d like to know what he’d order.

8. Besides your lead, do you have a favourite character in the story?
CIA Case Officer Grayson “Six” Chance is one of my favorite characters because he’s proven to be a bit of a bad boy and sometimes unpredictable. There have been multiple instances within the book that his story and actions have taken significant turns that I in no way planned or conceived. So, I can imagine that if he’s shocking me, he’s got to be pretty interesting to the readers as well.

9. What is one of the most surprising things you've learned as a writer?
When you become a writer, the majority of your support will come from other writers rather than family and friends. In general I’ve found that the writer’s life befuddles most of my family and friends. They cannot comprehend why someone whom they consider to be reasonably intelligent spends hours upon hours writing books and creating these stories when she’s not on the NY Times Bestsellers list or the book hasn’t been optioned by a major studio. In their minds, there’s only superstar writers and the dictionary. No real grey area. So, it’s mostly the support from other writers and hearing about their journeys, for better or worse, that pulls us through from day to day.

10. Any advice for aspiring authors?
Write your heart. Do not try and follow trends and do not engage in endless revisions for people who are not vested in your work. Be as true to your own story as possible and you’ll only have yourself to blame if it blows. Nothing is worse than being able to blame others for your own failure and thinking that maybe if you followed your own mind, you could’ve succeeded.

Also, to prevent your story from “blowing,” take every opportunity to learn your craft. Read books on craft.  Read books in your genre and out of your genre. The more you know, the more your grow.

And one of the biggest pieces of advice is to learn how to accept negative criticism. Listen to it. Learn from it, but never ever let it paralyze you and keep you from accomplishing your dream. 


About the Author
S.D. Skye is a former FBI Counterintelligence Analyst in the Russia program and supported 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 Hansen. She has spent 20 years in the U.S. Intelligence Community.

Skye is a member of the Maryland Writer’s Association, Romance Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers. She’s addicted to writing and chocolate—not necessarily in that order—and currently lives in the Washington D.C. area with her son. Skye is hard at work on several projects, including the next installment of the series.

Author Links:


***GIVEAWAY***


Blog Tour Organised by:

17 comments:

  1. Thank you for hosting my book tour stop today, Alecia! Much appreciated. I will be here throughout the day to answer questions. And don't forget to enter for your chance to win the Kindle and gift card!

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  2. Very informative guest post!

    Trix, vitajex(at)Aol(Dot)com

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  3. Enjoyed the author interview today

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  4. Wow, excellent post! I really enjoyed reading the interview! My question for the author, S.D. Skye, would be: How do you start developing the story? Like for instance, how do you get inspired for it? Do you already know how your story is going to end before you even start writing it?

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    1. Hi Ally! The idea for this series is loosely based around my career. So, coming up with the ideas or the inspiration was just a matter of kind of looking at my career to see what kind of storyline I could tell without getting in trouble with my former employer. I do not always know how the book was going to end when I begin. I truly give the characters control. So the endings are as much a surprise to me as the reader which also makes the next book a surprise to me. I feel more like a vessel allowing the characters to tell me what they're doing and I transcribe.

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  6. Hi, I've always wondered how authors come up with the character's names. Is there some sort of website that lists random names? And thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. I use a writing program called Scrivener to generate names; it has a built-in generator. I also use baby name sites. And I frequently use readers and FB to find names. Grayson 'Six" Chance and some members of the FBI's surveillance group in the book were named that way as well.

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  7. Hi, I'm wondering what is your favorite childhood book?

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    1. Naming a favorite book is impossible. But my favorite authors include Judy Blume and Maya Angelou.

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  8. Thank yo for the post and the giveaway!

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  9. Do you reread your own books? if so how often and how do you feel during/after the read?

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