Q&A for Author Sasscer Hill
Q: What was the first book that you have written and published?
Q: When did you get started as a writer?
I never thought of myself as a writer until I was about ten. As a child I loved horses, action, and adventure, and quickly discovered Walter Farley’s Black Stallion books. They were my first inspiration. In the fifth grade our teacher asked my class to write a story. I wrote a scene with a boy and an old man trailering a horse to the races. Something was wrong and the boy was worried. That’s all I recall. But I do remember this – after the teacher asked me to read it out loud to the class, several kids surprised me by raising their hands. “What,” they asked, “happens next?”
At the time, I didn’t realize there is nothing so important and having your readers want to know what happens next. But those kids left me with a glow I’d never experienced before and with a feeling I might have something.
Q: How did your careers as a jockey and racehorse breeder help inspire you with your books?
The characteristics and personalities found in racing are an endless source of inspiration–the risk, the beauty, the speed, the endless opportunities for skullduggery, and the extraordinary “Upstairs Downstairs” quality of the people who inhabit the life.
Picture the winner’s circle. Notice the poverty-level groom who holds a hundred-thousand-dollar horse for a trainer who may be living large, or only hand-to-mouth. With them stands the rich or possibly almost-broke-owner who may also be a white-collar criminal. Or he might enjoy a golden life of lofty social status. Now, notice the jockey up on the winning horse. Did you see him make the sign of the cross before he risked his life once again to mount thousand-pound animal who races in a mob at speeds up to 40 miles an hour? I have, many, many times.
Now watch the horse, the real hero of this group in the winner’s circle. He might be sore, or tired, but he still dug deep to find the heart and courage to pull out the win. They are amazing animals, and I am so lucky to have bred, raised, and owned a few of them.
The cheating, the pageantry, the criminals, the heart, and courage–– I’ve seen it all and without question it has inspired me to write.
Q: Did you always see yourself as a writer?
No, because I was convinced by my parents that I must find an office job and go to work immediately after college. Sadly, that is exactly what I did and my first book wasn’t published until 2010 after I quit my last job as a marketing manager.
Q: How many books are already in your series featuring Nikki? How many more do you have planned?
Right now, I have five books in my Nikki Latrelle series and two in my Fia McKee series, both of which are horse racing mystery thrillers. I am currently working on the sequel to Travels of Quinn, a mystery thriller about the con artists known as Irish American Travelers. Once this second “Quinn O’Neill” novel is finished, I will return to Nicky.
Q: What three words would you use to describe your writing style?
Edgy, fast-paced, and laced with humor.
Q: Tell us, readers about your main character, Nikki.
Nikki is somewhat of an alter ego, except she’s braver than me. Braver than me because I didn’t grow up on the streets of Baltimore. Unlike Nikki, I wasn’t left in the hands of an evil stepfather. My mother didn’t die when I was thirteen. I wasn’t a runaway, desperate to escape from a man who waw me as prey. Sometimes when I’m in a tight situation, I ask myself, “What would Nikki do?”
Nikki struggles to chase her dreams– What bigger dreamer is there than a jockey who risks her life to ride in a race? Like many of us, she was born fighting the odds, the odds that say we won’t get what we want. And we’ve all done that, right?
She also tends to help the helpless. Maybe she’s searching for that sense of self-worth, or that sense we all get when we help someone, that we are, after all, a good person, that we matter to someone.
Q: What advice would you give to fellow mystery writers?
Keep going. Don’t give up. The more you write, the better you write. Join groups like Sisters in Crime or Romance Writers of America. These people will help you.
Q:What: What themes can readers find in your latest release, Shooting Star?
Search for your dream. Stand your ground against evil. Guard the helpless. Hunt down the enemy.
Q: Where can readers find you and your books online?
Sasscer’s Website https://SasscerHill.com
Website Book Page https://SasscerHill.com/books
Goodreads profile https://bit.ly/3z827pZ
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/lynda.s.hill
Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/SasscerHill
Find everything Sasscer! Click here: linktr.ee/sasscerhill