Sassy: What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something?
Author Billie Hanlin : I have always enjoyed reading and wanted to write. I never did because I thought there was no point to it. I would never get published and life got in the way. Then in January of this year I had a health scare and was told that I probably had cervical cancer. The doctors removed a growth and after a couple of months of being completely stressed, 9 biopsies and half a cervix later the good news came that I didn’t have cancer. Cancer is a scary word especially when applied to yourself. During those months I thought a lot about my life and what I wanted to do. Well the only thing about my life that I really regretted was not writing my stories so I decided to change that and Chrystal Bones was started.
Sassy: Are you a planner/panster when it comes to writing a story?
Author Billie Hanlin : I have an outline in my head of what I want to happen in the story but other than that I sit in front of the computer and let the words come. Sometimes I can sit and stare at the screen for hours and only come up with a few words. Other times the words flow faster than I can type them.
Sassy: : Do you intend to write your characters with certain personalities or do things “just happen?”
Author Billie Hanlin : I have a general idea of my characters traits but they do surprise me from time to time. Sometimes they do not want to do what I want them to do. I have learned when that happens to just let the words come and not force them to do what I want. The end results are usually better than what I had planned.
Sassy: : Can you tell us 5 things we may not know about you?
Author Billie Hanlin: 1- I have been married to the same man for 28 years. We got married when I was 18 and have been together since I was 16. That is 30 years and he is still the love of my life no matter how many times I want to kill him. We have one son who is our pride and joy.
2- I am probably one of the clumsiest people you will ever meet. If I have a black eye and tell you that I walked into a door, I really did. I don’t wear shorts because odds are that I have bruises on my legs. In fact I have a huge ugly bruise on the back of my calf and another one on my thigh right now and I have no idea how I got them.
3- The only time I am not clumsy is when I belly dance. I have been a belly dancer for over 10 years now and I love it. No I don’t perform in public the dancing is just for me.
4- I have a rare type of Diabetes called Whites Diabetes. (Don’t bother to google it, I did and found almost nothing about it.) All it means is that I have a very lazy pancreas that only works at 50% instead of 100%. I control it with a very strict diet and exercise program along with medication.
5- I am allergic to caffeine and since chocolate is full of caffeine I can’t have any. This seems to be a very sad fact for most people. It doesn’t bother me at all. I mean have you really looked at a chocolate covered candy bar? What is it about a brown log (looks like a turd to me) that looks good? I do drink a lot of decaf coffee though.
Sassy: What has been your highlight since becoming a published author?
Author Billie Hanlin: The fact that people are buying, reading and enjoying the universe I created. That and the fact that it means I may just be able to pay some of the massive medical bills off.
Sassy: What do you do in your spare time?
Author Billie Hanlin: What spare time? Just joking, but when I am not working a full time job and writing, you can find me either reading, cross stitching, dancing or hanging out with the hubby.
Sassy: Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it?
Author Billie Hanlin: Yes I do get writers block and when that happens I have learned to let it go for a couple of days and work on something else. My brain will mull it over and then whatever is blocking me will go away.
Sassy: Can you share a little of your most recent book or series with us?
Author Billie Hanlin: Chrystal Bones is book 1 of the Finding Home Series. I have 6 books and several novella's planned so far. Right now I am working on both the next book in the series called Riley’s Run and a novella called Dragon’s Decree. In Riley’s Run, Riley continues the work she and Blue have been doing finding kidnapped children and returning them home. After a harrowing rescue in which she is injured very badly she is contacted by the Merrots, mermaids, to find one of their missing children that they believe has been kidnapped by a secret organization. She is outgunned and outnumbered but Riley doesn’t know how to quit.
Dragon’s Decree is a lighter romance about a runaway princess who finds an injured dragon while hiding on the planet Haldaria. She sets out to save the dragon and in the process becomes a Dragon Lord. Something never heard of on a planet where only a few men were ever chosen to be DragonsLords. The hero is sent to find out what is going on and if necessary to kill her. But the Dragons of course have a different idea.Sassy: What advice would you give for new authors?
Author Billie Hanlin: To keep writing no matter what. Don’t worry about what people say. If you have a passion for writing don’t let anyone stop you. I would also tell them that they have to love the story they are telling before anyone else can love it.Sassy: What is one thing about yourself you want your readers to know?
Author Billie Hanlin: I am passionate about writing and love to hear from readers.Sassy : Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Author Billie Hanlin: Wow…. I have so many of them. David Weber is my favorite Sci-fi writer. JD Robb is an automatic buy for me along with Nalini Singh, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Ilona Andrews.Sassy: What books have most influenced your life most?
Author Billie Hanlin: Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. I read it 20 years ago and can tell you with absolute certainly that it has saved my marriage on many occasions. I believe that every couple who are thinking of getting married should be required to read it before the vows.Sassy: What do you do to promote your books?
Author Billie Hanlin: I post on a lot of Facebook pages created for just that purpose. I do author takeovers and giveaways on other pages and I am trying to figure out how to tweet on Twitter.Sassy: What is your favourite positive saying?
Author Billie Hanlin: May the force be with you… Yes, I am a Star Wars geek.Sassy: Do you write full-time or part-time?
Author Billie Hanlin : Part-time. I have a full-time job that I need to pay the bills so I spend most evenings and weekends writing around the everyday stuff that needs done.Sassy: Who designed your book cover/s?
Author Billie Hanlin: My awesome cover was done by Keri Wilhelm. I told her what I envisioned and she made it come to beautiful life. You can find her on Facebook at Kerensa’s Kreations.Sassy: Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Author Billie Hanlin: Absolutely. The cover is what draws my eyes to a book and makes me want to see what it is about. It doesn’t make me buy the book, the synopsis does that but the cover gets me to go look.Sassy: What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
Author Billie Hanlin: Good reviews make me do my happy dance. Bad reviews hurt but I realize not everyone is going to like my books and try to not take it personally. It doesn’t work but I try.Sassy: What is your biggest pet peeve?
Author Billie Hanlin : I have a couple of them. The first one is drunk driving. There is no excuse for it... ever… If you know you are going to be driving don’t drink. It’s that simple. The second one is liars and cheats. Being a cheat automatically makes you a liar so it really is two for one. I am not talking about the little white lies we all tell to make someone feel better. (You know when we say, “No those jeans don’t make your butt look the size of Jupiter or I love your new haircut when you really don't.) I am talking about LIES… I hate being lied to.Sassy: Tell us about your family.
Author Billie Hanlin: I am one of 8 kids, 3 older and 4 younger. I love my brothers and sisters and growing up with that many kids in one home was an experience. I don’t get to see them as often as I would like and I am not as close to them as I want to be. Once again life got in the way and took us in different directions.Sassy: Does your family support your writing?
Author Billie Hanlin : My mom and husband are my biggest supporters but the rest of my family are proud of me for making my dream come true and are always in my corner. I think all of them were surprised when I started writing but the support was there from day one.Sassy: What is your favorite recipe?Please include it.
Author Billie Hanlin: This one is easy and has the benefit of being healthy. Broccoli Cakes
4 cups chopped broccoli, 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, 3 eggs beaten, salt, pepper to taste. Mix everything together and drop small handfuls onto a parchment covered baking sheet. Flatten down a little and bake at 350 for 10 minutes, flip them and bake for another 15 minutes. I hate broccoli but love these cakes. Try them alone or dip in your favorite dressing.