Monday, January 11, 2016

Interview with Mystery Romance Author S.K. Derban



Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, S.K. Derban moved to London within the first three months, and remained in England until the age of five. Her mother, born and raised in the United Kingdom, was involved with the London Royal Ballet Company, and a great fan of the arts. Even after returning to the United States, S.K. Derban’s life was filled with a love of the theatre and a passion for British murder mysteries.  Her personal travel and missionary adventures also help to transport readers virtually across the globe.  S.K. Derban has smuggled Bibles into China on five separate occasions, and has been to Israel on seven missionary trips.  When writing, she relies on all aspects of her life, from a strong faith in the Lord, to her unique combination of professional experience.  The many personal adventures of S.K. Derban are readily apparent as they shine through into her characters.

Her latest book is the mystery romance, Uneven Exchange.
For More Information
About the Book:

Like fire and ice, Alexandra Callet’s life runs hot and cold.

At the age of thirty-three, Alexandra owns a stunning home and a successful interior design company. But she is in love with her business partner, Jake Taylor, and he doe
sn’t even seem to realize she’s a woman. She should be on top of the world, but instead she feels dragged down by the void in her heart. Hoping for answers, she decides a trip to Mexico might soothe her soul.

Jake Taylor only pretends to be a confirmed bachelor.

Jake has been entranced by Alexandra’s determination and exotic beauty since the moment they met, but she has no idea how he feels. He considers confessing his love, but fears jeopardizing their friendship and business. He’s caught in a web of pretending he doesn’t care, and doesn’t see a way out of it.

Alexandra is recruited for a dangerous mission.

Following her trip to Mexico, her resemblance to a member of an assassin’s family leads Alexandra to be recruited by the DEA. Her training leaves her distracted, and her business begins to suffer. Jake notices her sudden change, and feels her slipping both personally and professionally beyond his reach. Should he finally take the chance…before it’s too late? After all, he has nothing to lose.

However, when Alexandra returns to Mexico for her mission, things go terribly wrong.
Will she be able find the strength to fight and escape the
peaceful haven that has now become her prison? Or will Jake lose Alexandra forever…

For More Information

  • Uneven Exchange is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.


Thanks for this interview, S.K. Derban. Can we begin by having you tell us about yourself from a writer’s standpoint?

Of course you may. When I go about my normal daily routine, I am constantly thinking about my stories. Sometimes a new book idea will pop into my head, and I rush to make a note of it. Other times I am simply creating dialogue, and may even use a portion of my current conversation. Whether are work, at home, or away on holiday, I think about writing at some point during each day.

When not writing, what do you like to do for relaxation and/or fun?

Spending time outdoors is a passion of mine. Spending time outdoors with my family and friends makes it even better! I am blessed to live in San Diego where the weather is near perfect. The hardest thing to decide is if I want to go bike riding, golfing, stand up paddle boarding, or to play tennis!

Do you have a day job? Or a night one?

As a real estate Broker, for a number of years I owned and operated a real estate company. Then, after selling the office, I was recruited to work as the Executive Director for a real estate, tax law firm. I remain with that firm in the capacity of a consultant, in order to allow more time for writing.

Would you say it’s been a rocky road for you in regards to getting your book written and published or pretty much smooth sailing?  Can you tell us about your journey?

The road was rocky, but I would not change a minute of it. My struggle to become a published author turned out to be a life changing experience. As I received rejection after rejection, I considered self-publishing. However, after a great deal of prayer, I recognized that any talent I have is a gift from God. For that reason, I made the personal decision to trust in the Lord, and wait for a publisher. If being a published author was completely right for my life, I knew that God would make it happen. Ten years and 500 rejections later, I signed with a publisher for my first novel. I am extremely glad I waited. If I had self-published rather than waiting, I would not have learned the valuable lessons waiting taught me. I became stronger and more determined as a person. I learned to improve my writing skills, and became emotionally ready for the next chapter in my life.

What is it about the mystery romance genre that appeals more than any other genre you would choose to write?

Writing mystery romance is my way creating a “Dinner plus Dessert book!” When I do read romance, I miss the mystery. When I read romantic suspense, the outcome seems inevitable. My goal is to provide readers with a satisfying meal of solving a mystery, along with the dessert of a romantic conclusion.

If you had to summarize your book in one sentence, what would that be?

Uneven Exchange celebrates the many facets of a woman who gives up everything in an effort to make a difference.

What makes your book stand out from the rest?

It does not disappoint. Reading Uneven Exchange is like having a satisfying meal, following by a decadent dessert!

If your book was put in the holiday section of the store, what holiday would that be and why?

At first, I was going to say Valentine’s Day because of the romance. Now, I think Christmas, because of the strength and faith of my characters.

Would you consider turning your book into a series or has that already been done?

It has not been done, but I definitely would consider turning Uneven Exchange into a series.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Most of my ideas come either while hiking or biking. I seem to lose myself along the trails while enjoying nature. When playing tennis or golf, I have to concentrate. While either hiking or biking my mind gets to wander.

What’s next for you?

Presently I am working on another mystery romance with the working title of Circumvent. I am hoping for a publication date of Christmas 2016.