Interview with spy-thriller romantic suspense author S.D. Skye

Welcome,
Readers.

I’m
happy to introduce you to romantic suspense author S.D. Skye today. She’s
talking about the newest book in her spy thriller series, A No Good Itch.
While
she does a virtual book tour (and review
tour
) with Goddess
Fish Promotions
, S.D. will be awarding an Amazon Kindle Fire HD7 + a $25
Kindle gift card (US only) to a randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a
chance to win, use the form below. To
increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her
other tour stops
and any
of the review tour stops
, and enter there, too!
Bio:
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.

Welcome, S.D. Please tell us about your
current release.
Part of a planned series, A No Good
Itch
—Book 3 in the J.J. McCall series picks up where the last book leaves
off. J.J. and Tony have just identified a mole targeting the White House and is
now en route to New York where their operation to take down the financial hub
for the mole network will lead them in the middle of a crime war bubbling up
between Russian and Italian Organized Crime—and Tony’s family.
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. He’s working with a CIA
black ops contractor who is working under
a different set of rules and a different code than he is, which ends up putting
him in a moral dilemma he’s not certain how to deal with.
And
finally, J.J. learns the truth surrounding her mother’s death in the line of
duty (her mother was an FBI Special Agent under Hoover), her life may never be
the same.
All
in all, I will say this book should be
hard to put down. There’s non-stop action and twists until the big cliffhanger
ending (please forgive me, readers, but I did it for your entertainment).

What inspired you to write this book?

The
story is loosely based on my career at the FBI.I spent 12 years working in
counterintelligence which really opened me up to a new world. I’d lived in D.C. for many years, but never
realized there was this entire clandestine, spy culture going on every single
day right under our noses. Even more than that, judging from the movies you see
and characters like Jason Bourne, Jack Ryan, and Salt, you would never know
that the personnel leading some of the biggest operations in the country are
black, Latino, Asian, etc.
When
I looked back on my career, one FBI Special Agent really stood out. She was an
African American woman working in the field of counterintelligence and Russian
organized crime—a walking enigma. Most people in the field, who are really good
what they do, were white males. So, to see her excel, I always admired her work
ethic and strength and professionalism.
When
I finally broke down and decided to write a series loosely based on my career
(I was decidedly against it for years) then modeling a character after her in a
world we rarely see in spy movies and books (daily counterintelligence
operations inside the beltway) seemed like a great way to go. It’s different,
but readers seem to like that.

Excerpt from A No Good Itch:

The Sheriffs walked J.J. and Tony
through a series of security doors until they reached the interrogation room.
They left their overcoats with their escorts and tugged their suit jackets
straight before entering. The sight of Kendell Phillips’ murderer shrouded in
orange and shackled at the hands and feet gave J.J. a burst of pleasure she
hadn’t felt since her early morning romp with Tony. A reddish blue bruise
circled his eye and spread to the cap of his jaw. His gaze disintegrated under
the weight of her glare and fell to his twiddling thumbs. She prepared to speak
when an overwhelming scent jarred her senses—the smell of contemptible swine.
“My, my, my,” J.J. said to Maddix.
“What an ugly fall from grace. Too bad they don’t make an Armani perp suit. You
used to wear him so well.”
Positioned across from Maddix, Tony
scanned the rat’s face and looked at him with a pained expression. “Rough
night, eh? Did they forget to put you in solitary? Looks like you’ve been
mingling with the locals.”
“Nothing I can’t handle,” he said
with a shrug. Then he leaned back, spread his knees wide, and placed his hands
in his lap. “So, this is the reason you came all the way to Shangri-La? To
gloat?”
J.J. savored his misery and then vexed
him with a tight smile. “We’re here to discuss your comrade in arms, Hawk—Gary
Mosin.”
 “Newsflash, doll.” Maddix forced out a grating
laugh, overplaying his weak position just a smidge. “You get nothing from me,
not without a deal. I want immunity.”
“Immunity?” J.J. blinked in rapid
motion.
“Listen, you ain’t gotta make this
difficult. We didn’t come here to pick a fight. Give us the information we
need, and you can go back to counting the tiles on the ceiling . . . or
whatever it is you do on the inside.” Tony contrived a calm demeanor as he
reached into his pant pocket and pulled out a pack of Marlboro 100s and a book
of matches. He slid them to the middle of the table until they stopped beside a
plastic ashtray. “Our treat. Enjoy. But if you choose to stay on the difficult
route, we can reverse course any time.”
Maddix cupped his hands and with no
show of gratitude, pulled the offerings to the table’s edge, his shackles
jangling with his every move. He folded back the foil on the corner of the pack
and knocked the open end against his wrist until a cigarette emerged. Then his
brow drew together, furrowed in confusion. “You don’t have a clue, do you?” His
gaze ping-ponged between J.J. and Tony before he shook his head. “That’s why
you’re here. You don’t know!”

What exciting story are you working on
next?

I’m working on Book 4 of this series—The
Crazy Itch
—which should be pretty exciting. The story moves from New York
back to D.C. where the group is on the hunt for a new mole, this time inside the Pentagon. I’d initially planned to use
this book to start to wind down the series, but my characters have other ideas.
As I begin to outline based on the direction they’re taking me in, this book
promises to be just as twisty turn and exciting all of the others. I’m very
excited to finish it.

When did you first consider yourself a
writer?

I’ve
always been big on writing journals for
most of my childhood, teen years, and onward. I always wanted to be a writer,
but never thought I could. I didn’t write my first full novel, a romance until I was almost 40 years old. In the
midst of a breakup and overdose of Oprah
“Live Your Life” series, I found my voice and wrote a romantic comedy. It was
one of the most freeing and cathartic processes of my life. Of course, I
thought it was the best romantic comedy ever written…until I entered it into a
contest and got my first criticism. Oh, it
was crushing…for a short time. Maybe a few days. But then I decided instead of
allowing the criticism to stop me, I’d use it to help me make my work better.
After
the contest, I queried it to a bunch of literary agents and got rejected over
and over and over again. At least 50, probably closer to 100 (at least it felt
that way). The moment I first considered myself a writer is when, despite the
rejection, I decided I was going to keep writing anyway. I decided if I wrote a
book, self-published it, and only one person loved it, then that one person was
enough for me. And I haven’t stopped writing yet. It’s six years later…

Do you write full-time? If so, what’s
your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find
time to write?

Oh, how I WISH I could write full-time.
But, alas, the literary gods have not been that kind to me…yet. I do see that
in my future.

As
a single mom with what I consider three full-time jobs, writing, the 9-to-5,
and being a mom, my days are super busy. I’m usually up and writing by 4 am. I
get my son up at 5:30 am and we’re out of the house by 7am. I spend 8+ hours a
day at a government contractor writing and editing proposals, helping them to
win business. And then I’m back home in the evenings, getting junior’s homework
done and eventually squeezing out another two to three hours of
writing/marketing time.
How do I find time to
write?
I
don’t sleep and I do a lot of work on the
weekends, holidays, etc. There’s no easy way when you work full time. You have
to make writing a priority. You have to sacrifice. You have to give up the idea
of balance always and be okay with balance sometimes. There’s no other way, not
if you want to be productive.

What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?

I’m not one of those writers who can only write when the moon is in the 7th
house and Jupiter aligns with Mars. Pretty much, I can write anywhere anytime.
However, when I write in longhand, I’ve become addicted to Moleskine notebooks
and Pilot G-2 gel pens. If I don’t have those, I can’t write. It’s like the
words get stuck. My only quirk.


As a child, what did you want to be when
you grew up?

I always wanted to be a writer, but I
never thought I could be a writer. I always loved books and reading. To me,
authors were like the gods on Mt. Olympus and they didn’t mingle with mortals.
I ended up being a writer of a different kind—an intelligence analyst—and it’s
that work and a bunch of bad relationships that fuel the stories for my books
today. So, the lesson learned for me is, never talk yourself out of answering
your calling. The question is not “if” it’s “how.”

Thanks, S.D.!

Links:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

9 thoughts on “Interview with spy-thriller romantic suspense author S.D. Skye

  1. Author S. D. Skye says:

    Thanks so much for hosting and the interview! Guests feel free to ask away with any questions. I'll be around throughout the day. And don't forget to enter to win the Kindle Fire and GC! 🙂

  2. Author S. D. Skye says:

    Thanks for stopping by Mai T, Karen, and Shannon!!! Mai–my first pick would be Oprah. I really would love to sit down with her and pick her brain. The other might be Steve Jobs. Both geniuses and visionaries in their own right.

  3. Unknown says:

    I really enjoyed the interview, excerpt and the bio. Do you have another series planned? Thank you for the great contest!

  4. Unknown says:

    I enjoyed the interview. How did you become interested in joining the FBI? Was it something you planned since you were a child?

    Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *