I’m happy to welcome author Sally Basmajian. Today, Sally shares interesting details about her creative journey and new release, So Hard to Do.
What was your inspiration for your book?
In my writing group, we sometimes give each other prompts to encourage the creative flow of ideas. On one occasion, our assigned task was to write about an unconventional break-up. For no particular reason, I chose to make it a split between a mother and her adult daughter. Eventually, that scene became the opening hook for the novel.
A deeper inspiration came from the strong attachments I cherish, as a daughter and as a mom. I wanted to celebrate the mother/daughter bond in the book, even elevating it above the traditional romantic love connections that both my young and older heroines develop. I can’t tell you how pleased I am that some of the early Goodreads reviewers have commented favorably on this twist to the traditional rom-com approach!
What’s the best part of being an author? The worst?
When a reader tells me I made them laugh out loud, I feel my efforts have been worthwhile. Really, I’m aiming for is to provide people with much-needed diversion from the everyday trials of life. If I can help make their day brighter, I feel I’ve achieved my goal.
The worst part is letting someone down. A Goodreads reader wrote something along the lines of “I think she’s trying to be funny,” and it made me feel like an abject loser! If I failed to make her smile at least once or twice, I fear I haven’t done my job correctly. Fortunately, though, the vast majority of reviewers have appreciated my humor and cracked a grin, if not a hearty guffaw.
Describe your writing space.
I live in an eccentric house in the historic town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. The front of the house was built in the 1830s; the more livable back section in the early 2000s. My writing office is upstairs in the old part of the house, where the insulation is nonexistent. I freeze all winter and broil all summer! You can’t beat its charm, though. The ghosts up here are friendly, and I have an arsenal of fans and heaters that I deploy when the weather decides to go all Canadian on me!
Which authors have inspired you?
As a kid, I loved Lewis Carroll, and I can still recite most of “Jabberwocky.” Probably a lot of my love of the ridiculous can be traced back to the two Alice books, and to this very day, I am vigilant in shunning the frumious Bandersnatch!
In more recent years, I’ve been inspired by the fantastic Neil Gaiman, who tells stories like no one else, and Terry Pratchett, who makes me chuckle. In the rom-com category, it’s Sophie Kinsella, all the way!
Besides writing and reading, what are some of your hobbies?
I have so many! I religiously walk my dog—a sheltie that barks at virtually everything and still hasn’t learned that skunks are not his friends—around the gorgeous Niagara region. I encounter all kinds of chatty townspeople and the occasional wild animal, including a turkey that used to chase us down the parkway with murderous intent. I wrote a short story in his honor, but he was eventually offed by the local constabulary, poor bird. I also go to Line Dancing classes every week, and I even get called upon to lead a couple of the numbers. It brings out the martinet in me, and I find myself shouting orders at my co-dancers, as if our failure to perform “Uptown Funk” properly might result in permanent expulsion from the local community center. I golf three times a week in the summer, and never improve, but my teammates are amazingly supportive. Then there’s music—I was once an aspiring pianist, and I love to listen to music by Ravel, Chopin, and Bach. Oh, and so much more. It’s weird I write at all, come to think of it.
Any advice for aspiring writers?
Visualize your success, however you define it—and don’t be discouraged by rejections. The important thing is to keep writing and submitting. Do listen to constructive feedback from people whose opinions you value, and apply what you learn. Then carry on! Even if you’re being rejected 90% of the time, you’re ahead of the game, according to the Duotrope stats. Just keep submitting.
Suze Foster has always been devoted to her daughter. As a child, Jannie required extra support in school, but now-at age 29-she’s a rising executive. Suze, thrilled with Jannie’s success, is finally free to follow her own dreams.
Without Suze’s dedicated attention, though, Jannie flounders. In a careless moment, she floods her apartment. Enter our hero, Aram-her hot but significantly older neighbor.
He saves the day, and for Jannie, it’s love at first sight.
Not so much for Aram, though, who falls head over heels for Suze when they accidentally meet. Unaware of Jannie’s feelings, Suze is equally smitten.
In this twisted triangle, can a happily-ever-after be achieved? Or will someone’s heart break and the mother-daughter bond be severed forever?
He was the most good-looking man she’d ever seen. Luxuriant locks. She bet that’s how a Harlequin Romance would describe his hair. And under the full beard, maybe even a cleft chin. And most definitely, a sensuous lower lip. Ooh la la.
As she mused in an X-rated way about his mouth, Jannie remembered something from a book she’d read where the heroine had a habit of biting her lower lip. It drove men mad.
So she tried it. Nibble, nibble.
Aram just looked at her. His breathing didn’t accelerate. His chest didn’t heave.
She tried again. Nibble, nibble. The prolonged silence was beginning to be uncomfortable.
“Are you all right, Jannie?” Aram finally asked. He studied her.
Well, that hadn’t gone so well. But she’d never tried to flirt with an older man before. Maybe they needed something more obvious.
She attempted to look coyly up at Aram through her eyelashes. This wasn’t as easy as all those romance authors made it sound. She felt her forehead contract, her nose wrinkle and her upper lip pull away from her teeth in her effort to do the impossible.
“Jannie, are you having an allergic reaction? Shellfish, maybe? Isn’t that crab I smell coming from your condo? Do you carry an EpiPen?”
She stamped her foot in frustration. It was supposed to look fierce and cute, but she could tell from Aram’s face that he was way more startled than turned on.
Author Bio and Links
After leaving the corporate world, Sally Basmajian discovered the joy of writing. Her fiction and nonfiction stories have appeared in newspapers such as The Globe & Mail and in several anthologies. In 2022 she won prizes for memoir pieces (Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop, Gulf Coast Writers Association), and was thrilled to have a poem selected by the journal Antithesis. She expects to be busy in 2023, when her first two novels appear: in January, a light-hearted romance, So Hard to Do (published by Creative James Media) and in October, a much darker one, Fountain of Evil (Moonshine Cove Publishing, LLC).
Sally Basmajian will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.
Follow Sally on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour here.