TTS: The Top Shelf would like to welcome Sara Humphreys to the blog! Tell the readers a little bit about yourself and your book Unleashed.
Sara Humphreys: Hi! Thanks so much for having me here. Unleashed is the first book in the Amoveo Legend series and my first published novel. The Amoveo are a secret society of ancient shape shifters on the brink of extinction. They are dream-walking, telepathic shifters made up of ten different animal clans in search of their one true mate. If they don’t find their mate by their thirtieth birthday they begin to lose their abilities and eventually die. They can only have children with their mate, so for all of their strengths they’re actually a very fragile race. If you kill one Amoveo their mate dies and you wipe out the potential for any offspring.
Unleashed is about Malcolm Drew from the Golden Eagle clan and his unusual mate, Samantha Logan. Samantha is the first of her kind—at least the first that they know of—she’s a hybrid…half human and half Amoveo from the Gray Wolf Clan. There’s just one problem…she doesn’t know it. Her parents died when she was an infant and she was raised by her human grandmother. She has no idea that the Amoveo even exist, let alone that she is one of them. Her unique abilities have lay dormant all of her life…until Malcolm finds her.
TTS: How did the idea for this book come about?
Sara Humphreys: I’ve been an avid reader of paranormal romance for years and I’d always wanted to write my own books. I finally mustered up the courage to pursue my dream a few years ago and I never looked back. I came up with the idea for the Amoveo one summer while at our family’s beach house—and it’s actually the backdrop for Unleashed. I wanted these shifters to stand out from other creatures I’d read about so I gave them all of the qualities I like most in mystical beings.
TTS: I like to ask this question of every author I interview because I find character creation interesting. How did you name your characters and did you shape them after people you know in real life?
Sara Humphreys: The hero and heroine’s names just came to me there really wasn’t any divine inspiration. However, Nonie, Samantha’s grandmother, is named for my great-grandmother—Helen Costigan. In some of the upcoming novels, I use last names that are in my family tree.
TTS: Did you have the storyline all planned out when you sat down to write or did it take a life of its own beyond the initial paragraph?
Sara Humphreys: For the first book I had an idea but it took on a life of its own as I wrote more. I got the idea for book two, Untouched, when I was writing the last third of Unleashed and that seems to be my creative process.
TTS: When you sit down to write a story do you use an outline?
Sara Humphreys: When I first started writing I was a total pantser. I had no idea where the story was going until I sat down to write. However, now that I have deadlines to meet…I can’t dibble-dabble around and I have got to write an outline. I use the outline as a road map for the book but as I’m writing new ideas and will reveal themselves.
TTS: Where there ever moments where the story didn’t go the way you planned or personally wanted it to go? How did you deal with that?
Sara Humphreys: Definitely! I’ve reached a point in every book where I have NO idea what was going to happen next or what I had “planned” wasn’t working. For me, the best thing to do is walk away for a little while. Just a day or so…and let it rest. Then I’ll go back and read it from the beginning which usually gives me a better perspective and helps spark new ideas.
TTS: What led you to writing?
Sara Humphreys: I used to be an actor but marriage and babies took me in another direction. Writing became a wonderful way to let my creative juices flow. I’ve realized that if I don’t have a creative outlet…I go a little nuts.
TTS: Are you planning on sticking to one genre or are you going to branch out into others?
Sara Humphreys: My upcoming vampire series Dead in the City is more urban fantasy than paranormal romance but I guess it’s all in the same wheelhouse. I also have a YA series in the works that is in the pnr realm…so I guess I’m sticking with my favorite. For now 🙂
TTS: What do you like to read?
Sara Humphreys: I love, love, love anything by Christine Feehan and Lori Handeland. Lori’s Nightcreature novels are my all- time favorite.
TTS: What are you reading at the moment?
Sara Humphreys: Creatura by Nely Cab. I’ve been so busy that I’ve had to put it down but it’s not easy! After I finish that, I’m going to read STUD by Cheryl Brooks and The Storm That is Sterling by Lisa Renee Jones.
TTS: Do you think what authors read influence what they write?
Sara Humphreys: I think many authors read the genre that they like to write and reading books that are well written is inspiring.
TTS: Can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on right now if you’re working on anything at all?
Sara Humphreys: I’m doing edits for Untamed (Book #3) and writing Undone (#4). I’m also plotting out the first book in the Dead in the City series. Actually, the heroine from DIC is featured in Undone which is a crossover book between the two series.
TTS: Once again, I would like to thank Sara for taking the time to be here! I would love to have you back again sometime!
Sara Humphreys: Anytime! Thanks for having me 🙂
Sara is a graduate of Marist College, with a B.A. Degree in English Literature & Theater. Her initial career path after college was as a professional actress. Some of her television credits include, A&E Biography, Guiding Light, Another World, As the World Turns and Rescue Me.
Sara is the President of Taney Speaker Training, which specializes in public speaking, presentation development and communication skills training. She has trained executives at Verizon, Bristol-Meyer Squibb, Westchester County and the United States Navy. Her speaking career began with Monster’s Making It Count programs, speaking in high schools and colleges around the United States to thousands of students.
Sara has been a lover of both the paranormal and romance novels for years. Her sci-fi/fantasy/romance obsession began years ago with the TV Series STAR TREK and an enormous crush on Captain Kirk. That sci-fi obsession soon evolved into the love of all types of fantasy/paranormal; vampires, ghosts, werewolves, and of course shape shifters. Sara is married to her college sweetheart, Will. They live in Bronxville, New York with their 4 boys and 2 insanely loud dogs. Life is busy but never dull.
Synopsis: What if you suddenly discovered your own powers were beyond anything you’d ever imagined…
Samantha Logan’s childhood home had always been a haven, but everything changed while she was away. She has a gorgeous new neighbor, Malcolm, who introduces her to the amazing world of the dream-walking, shapeshifting Amoveo clans…but what leaves her reeling with disbelief is when he tells her she’s one of them…
And shock turns to terror as Samantha falls prey to the deadly enemy determined to destroy the Amoveo, and the only chance she has to come into her true powers is to trust in Malcolm to show her the way…
Get swept away into Sara Humphreys’s glorious world and breathtaking love story…