Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Author Interview with Sawyer Bennett

Hi guys!! I am excited to have an interview on my blog today with Sawyer Bennett, the author of Off Sides, and the soon to be released Off Limits!! First I will give you the info on the books! 

  • Publisher: Big Dog Books
  • Publish Date : February 21st 2013
“I'm not sure what possessed me to do it. Maybe it was the impossible expectations I faced, maybe it was my own self-loathing. But I just knew I needed something different to happen. I needed someone...something...to derail me from my current path. Otherwise, I would become lost...a hollowed out shell of a man. So I did it. I approached her, then I pursued her, then I made her mine. And my life was saved...”

Ryan Burnham is the privileged son of a U.S. Congressman and captain of his university’s hockey team. While he is on the verge of fulfilling his dreams to play in the NHL, his parents want him on a different course. One he is expected to accept for the sake of his family’s public image.

Forced her to abandon her music career after the heart breaking death of her parents, Danny Cross exists on the opposite side of the tracks from Ryan. She is struggling to make her own way, working two jobs, attending college part time and volunteering in a homeless shelter. She is on a mission to build her own success.

With a chance meeting, their vastly different worlds collide, causing each to evaluate whether they are truly on the correct path to self-fulfillment and happiness. Can their relationship survive? Particularly when others are against them every step of the way. A lot can happen in just ten short days...

  • Publisher: Big Dog Books
  • Publish Date: April 16th 2013
“There is a vulnerability there, hovering just below the surface. And I want to pick at it until I expose it. Then I want to kiss it."

Two years ago, Emily Burnham, had an epiphany about the shallowness of her life. And she made it her mission to become a different person…a better woman. Out from under the controlling thumb of her mother, Emily is tasting the real world for the first time. And she likes it.

Nixon Caldwell has served his time in the Marine Corps, surviving two brutal tours in Afghanistan. He is back home, surrounded by what he likes best…isolation. It's certainly the best way to avoid confrontation of the consuming guilt that is weighing him down.

When an accident brings Emily and Nix together, he soon learns he is not the master of his own fate. Struggling with his own pain, Nix tries to guard himself against Emily’s charms. He wants her in his bed, but he doesn’t want her in his heart.

Having grabbed life by the horns, Emily wants it all. But is she willing to accept just the small part of himself that Nix is offering? Can she reach the part of his soul that he has deemed to be Off Limits?

Hi Sawyer, thanks for doing this interview!!

Off Sides is your first book that isn't paranormal right? What made you decide to write a New Adult Contemporary?

That’s right. My first three novels were paranormal so this was a big leap for me, particularly because I didn’t really know much about the New Adult genre and I didn’t read much contemporary romance. (But I do now!)

How did the idea of Off Sides come to you?

I came up with the idea for Off Sides lying in bed one night, not able to go to sleep. I always create stories in my head when I have a hard time sleeping and I started thinking about a love story that was pretty typical…two people from the opposite sides of the tracks. I woke up the next day, and the idea just wouldn’t leave my head. I was actually working on my sequel to Forever Young (my Young Adult Paranormal) but the story of Off Sides just kept dominating my thoughts and wouldn’t go away. So I finally just said to heck with the Forever Young sequel and started writing Off Sides. I wrote it in less than a week, although it is a shorter novel right at 45,000 words. It took me a few weeks to read through it, have beta readers critique it and then do final proofing, but then it was ready to go.

Why did you choose for Ryan to be a hockey player? Are you a hockey fan?

I am a huge hockey fan (Pittsburgh Penguins) but I don’t watch a lot of college hockey. I had originally considered making Ryan a football star but there is a lot of hype surrounding college football, and I didn’t want to have that detract from the main story. So I went with hockey, plus there is a scene in the book that it helps to have a badass hockey player as your boyfriend!

Now onto Danny. She gives up music, but had played violin. (I'm assuming since there's a violin on the cover lol) Do you play violin or is it just an instrument that you like?

Danny has had a lot of tragedy in her life and she did have to give up her music. I don’t play the violin but I knew right away that the violin was the correct choice for Danny. Her circumstances are tragic, and the violin plays some of the most hauntingly sad music around, so there was no other option in my opinion. I am lucky to have a friend that is a musician and she helped me with the technical aspects regarding the violin scenes.

Both Ryan and Danny sound very broken in different ways. Was it hard to write some of their scenes?

It wasn’t necessarily hard to “write” the scenes. When I write, my words pour out of me so fast that sometimes I don’t even understand what I’m writing. Then I’ll go back and read it and it will hit me pretty hard. I don’t know how many times I’ve read Off Sides through the editing process but there are a few scenes in there (particularly the violin scene in the park) that still makes me cry every time I read them. I really did enjoy writing about Danny and Ryan because they are both such loveable characters. It’s like I was hanging out with two really, cool people for several weeks.

I'm an emotional reader, but I can imagine writing has got to be even more emotional since you have these characters in your head. Does it ever get to be too much to where you need to take a break away from writing what you are working on?

I’m an emotional reader too! I judge how good a book is based on how my body physically reacts to it. Did I cry? Was there a pang in my chest when something sad happened? Luckily, I have not been so overwhelmed with the emotion in my stories that I’ve needed a break. In fact, the emotion can sometimes be a good outlet for me. It also helps that I write good doses of humor into my work to help balance things out.

Can you tell us what projects you are working on now? Are you working on Off Limits or is that already done?

I have finished Off Limits and it will be released on Amazon on April 16, 2013. It’s about Ryan’s sister, Emily, who is trying to change her life for the better. She’s on a journey to experience life to its fullest. That experience includes Nix Caldwell, a former Marine that came back from Afghanistan a fairly broken man. These two have a lot to teach each other and there’s even great follow up on Danny and Ryan so you can see how they are doing. I’m getting ready to start a third novel in the Off Series but it’s untitled as of now. It will follow Nix’s brother, Lincoln Caldwell who is Ryan’s teammate on the New York Rangers. I hope to have that out this summer.

That's all I have! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions! Off Sides sounds fabulous!!


  1. Great interview, Sawyer and Amy! Danny and Ryan sound like great characters, and I totally agree! The violin is SO sad sometimes it's, like, just depressing but beautiful at the same exact time.

    I need to check this one out soon! I'm not a really emotional reader, but that usually just means I don't cry when I read but I still might feel sad about a particular thing :)

    Off Sides looks heartbreaking and really romantic so I'll have to check this one out soon!

    1. This book does sound really awesome!! I think I will really like it!

  2. I'm excited about reading both of these!

    1. They sound really great!! I definitely am going to have to pick them up so I can read them when I have more time!

  3. Thanks Eileen and thanks Amy for having me!!! You rock!!!

    1. Thanks for doing the interview!! Both books sound really awesome so I am glad to get more word out about them!!

  4. This series sounds really good and I have a likin for stories with broken characters. I'm also the same way about judging a book by how it made me physically react. Did I actually feel pangs of hurt or love, did I feel the chemistry etc. Every book I've loved--contemps especially--all left a lasting impression like that. Great interview, ladies!

    1. I am definitely a feeler when it comes to reading. I need to feel something to really enjoy a book.

  5. Great interview! I'm a big hockey fan myself (San Jose Sharks)! I'm really looking forward to reading Off Sides. Just purchased it last night! :-)

  6. I'm set to read OffSides really soon. I'm looking so forward to it. I love going to minor league hockey games, so am excited to dig in!
    Thanks for sharing!

  7. Nice interview. I have never heard of the books. Though the first cover does turn me off a little, the synopsis sounds good. I might just check it out.

  8. I never knew Sawyer was a PNR writer *slaps self* I'm looking forward to reading Off Sides, I have it, just need to find time to read it. Great Interview, Amy!


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