Interview Author Sarah MacLean + Giveaway

Filed in Giveaways , Interview , Sarah MacLean , The HEA Lover Posted on October 29, 2010 @ 6:00 am 18 comments
Today it’s with pleasure that we welcome Sarah MacLean on Book Lovers Inc. Sarah is the author of Regency romances, the 2nd book in the series, Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord (yes it’s a mouthful!) was released earlier this week. Let’s give a warm welcome to Sarah. Stay tuned and you can win the first book in the series, Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake.

The HEA Lover: Sarah can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

Sarah: Thanks so much for having me!

Well, you already know that I write romance novels for a living . . . so I’ll tell you some other stuff: I live in Brooklyn, New York with my husband, our dog, Baxter, and a ridiculous collection of romance novels.  I’m fascinated by pirates, I spend way too much time on Twitter, I’m addicted to the BBC, I watch a sickening amount of reality television, and I can name all the Kings and Queens of England in order…in rhyme.

The HEA Lover: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?

Sarah: A typical day of writing usually begins at 10am or so, with several hours of procrastination on Facebook and Twitter while I resist the temptation to Google early reviews of whatever book I’m waiting to be released. Then, around 2pm, I decide No More Of This and turn off the Internet and get to work . . . until around 7pm. If I’m on deadline, I go back to work after dinner . . . but most days that’s enough time to hit my 2000 word goal. I’m a plotser. I do as much planning as possible, and then let the characters take hold.

The HEA Lover: What do you think is the difference between a reader and a real Book Lover?

Sarah: Great question! Anyone can be a reader . . . but book lovers . . . they’re a special breed. They are passionate about their reads—they remember plots and characters and turns of phrase and will go to the mat in defense of their favorite book/author/character.

The HEA Lover: I read on your website that you love historical fiction since your teenage years. Can you still remember what fascinated you most about this genre at that time?

Sarah: I’ve always loved history, especially the idea that everything repeats itself and that—if you’re really willing to take the time to look for them—the answers to today’s problems are almost always hidden in the past. I also loved the idea of one person or moment or event changing the path of humanity. They never knew it, of course . . . but the idea that moments in time chart the path of human destiny . . . that’s pretty awesome.

The HEA Lover: I know you like your heroines cheeky and independent. This isn’t the typical historical heroine. Why do you combine both in your books?

Sarah: I believe strongly that we don’t write historical fiction in a vacuum. On the contrary . . . our historical fiction (and romance) represents both the past about which we write and the present during which we write. Simpering females just don’t cut it in the 21st Century. I find it difficult to believe they cut it in the 19th Century, frankly (one need only look at smart mouthed Elizabeth Bennett to see an example of a bold heroine in her time), and I think it does the genre—and the gender—a disservice to pretend that these heroines are “wallpaper.” Women have changed the course of history for millennia – Cleopatra, Calpurnia, Elizabeth I, Wu Zetian. Why not in my books?

The HEA Lover: What can we expect of Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord?

Sarah: Well, you already know our hero, Lord Nicholas St. John, the twin brother of Gabriel, the Marquess of Ralston from Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake. Poor poor Nick . . . he gets named one of London’s Lords to Land by a popular ladies’ magazine, and he does what any red-blooded male would do in the same situation. He flees. Only to land himself in the path of precisely the kind of lady he cannot resist. I hope readers will find it at once fun and funny and emotionally satisfying. It was a rollercoaster to write . . . and I’m very excited to share it.

The HEA Lover: Your heroine, Isabel is one of those independent woman, who had to take her life into her own hands when she was only a teen. How would you describe her besides that? What makes her tick?

Sarah: I have a soft spot in my heart for Isabel. She’s deeply caring and willing to do whatever it takes to keep the things she loves safe. We all know a woman like Isabel . . . someone who has been put through the ringer only to fight back and show her core of steel. But these women can’t do it all. And certainly not alone. Isabel has a tough journey ahead of her . . . learning to ask for help, and learning to trust. And, of course, to love. Lucky for her, Nick is patient. And crazy about her.

The HEA Lover: We met your hero, Nick, in the first book of your series. While being very interesting he was still  in the shadow of his charismatic twin Gabriel. In Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord we see another side of Nick, (a wicked side! *wink*). Was it hard for you to bring him into the spotlight? And what do you think makes him deserve that place?

Sarah: I preface this answer with this: I fall in love with all of my heroes. I think it’s a risk of the whole romance career. That said, I’m now writing two heroes down the line from Nick . . . and I’m still a little in love with him. He’s brilliant and funny and he loves so deeply—he just gives himself up to love in a way that makes him just . . . well . . . perfect. He was very real to me, bright and vibrant and alive and begging for the spotlight. I was more than happy to give it to him.

The HEA Lover: Will there be more books in this series? Will Juliana gets her own book? If so, who will be her hero? *puppy eyes*

Sarah: Yes! Juliana is next! Her book, Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart, is scheduled for release in April 2011. Her smart mouth and scandalous nature get her into a bit of trouble with one very disdainful duke . . . and that’s all I’ll say about that for now!

The HEA Lover: Your first YA novel, The Season, is a Young Adult Historical Romance. This is a rare combination. Why do you think it’s an underrepresented combination and why do you think it should be a more common genre?

Sarah: Well, first . . . there are some fabulous YA historicals out there. I’m thinking of Anna Godbersen’s The Luxe, Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle series, Angie Frazier’s Everlasting, and Saundra Mitchell’s upcoming The Vespertine . . . all of these have romance in them, and I think they open the door to the wider world of historical fiction for young readers.

That said, I would love to see more pure YA historical romance . . . I think it’s so important to get young people excited about history. I was lucky enough to be reading historical romance as a teenager and to have teachers who were willing to let me explore history through that lens (I wrote an AP paper on a minor character in a Virginia Henley novel!).

The HEA Lover: What is next on your schedule? Can we expect another YA historical?

Sarah: Aside from Juliana’s book, I have another adult Regency-set series coming from Avon starting in the Fall of 2011. And yes . . . you can expect more YA from me. I’m working on a project right now, actually! More to come on that, soon!
The HEA Lover: Now the mean questions *wink*:
Can you summarize each book in this series Twitter style (140 characters or less)?


Nine Rules:

Plump plain Lady Calpurnia decides to change her predictable life with a scandalous list, a scandalous kiss and a scandalous Marquess.

Ten Ways:

Lord Nicholas trades the clamoring women of London for the clandestine women of Yorkshire and falls for Lady Isabel…and her secrets.

The HEA Lover: Who’s your favorite secondary character? And why?

Sarah: Awww . . . that’s like asking a mother to name her favorite child! I’m going to go with Nick’s best friend, Durukhan. He’s massive and Turkish . . . and a gentle giant if ever there was one.

The HEA Lover: Which 4 characteristics should a perfect hero have in your opinion?

Sarah: A terrific sense of humor, a sharp mind, a strong will and a complete and unwavering love of the heroine.
The HEA Lover: Can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read your books?

1) Because I like my heroines strong and my heroes with a soft-nougaty center,
2) Because I’m not afraid to send my characters through fire to get to their happy endings, and
3) Have you seen the gorgeous covers? Worst case scenario, you can just paste your face over the heroine’s and pretend it’s a candid shot of you.

The HEA Lover: Thank you Sarah for taking the time to answer all our questions =)

Sarah: Thanks so much for having me!
Website ~ Twitter: @sarahmaclean ~  Facebook

Thanks to Harper Collins we  have a copy of Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake to offer to 1 lucky commenter

All you have to do is ask Sarah a question 
or leave a meaningful comment about the interview.

Please leave us a way to contact you
(email in blogger profile or twitter name- no way to contact you – no entry).

This giveaway is open to US only

Giveaway ends on Saturday, November 6th and we will announce the winner on Sunday.

Good luck!

About Susi

Susi is a geeky vegetarian from Gemany. She just finished university and now works as a civil engineer in steel construction. Besides her reading addiction she also knits like a maniac while listening to audiobooks. Susi also blogs at the Secret HEA Society.

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Join the Discussion
  • RKCharron October 29, 2010 at 6:15 am

    Hi 🙂
    Thank you for the informative & fun interview with Sarah and thanks to Sarah for sharing here today.
    I was wondering if there was pressure from the publisher to change the name of the novels?
    I really enjoy the titles & I like the way they roll off the tongue.
    All the best,
    PS – outside US – DO NOT ENTER ME

  • JenM October 29, 2010 at 7:27 am

    Hi Sarah – Loved Nine Rules, and looking forward to Ten Ways.

    Is there any particular factoid that surprised you and still stands out when you were doing research for any of your books?

    jen at delux dot com

  • Sarah MacLean October 29, 2010 at 11:47 am

    @RK-Oh, those titles! Everyone asks about them! Nine Rules was sold with the title Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake…we thought the fun rhyming would make the manuscript stand out…and I think it did! After that, we knew we'd have to come up with titles for Ten & Eleven that would be equally numbered, long and rhyming. Not. Easy. Avon has been super supportive of the books and the titles from the beginning! In fact, I'm not sure I would have been able to come up with titles for Ten and Eleven without them!

    @Jen – Research is always filled with fascinating stuff…I try to get to the NY public library at least once a book just to read the London Times from the time period in which I'm writing…I remember that during The Season research, there was a huge article about an aristocratic divorce in the Times that made me realize that the newspapers then weren't that different from newspapers now…that scandalous article stuck with me…and definitely inspired the ladies magazine in Ten Ways!

  • LSUReader October 29, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Sarah—Nine Rules is among my favorite romance reads of 2010. The characters are so uniquely wonderful. I’m really looking forward to reading Ten Ways.

    Who are some authors who have been your writing influences?

  • B. A. Binns October 29, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    I write YA myself, although I do contemporary, I love the ID of more YA historicals. I'm going after The Season, I hadn't heard of it before.

    BTW, like you I'm a plotser (or what I've heard called a puzzler). I too do my best to develop a plot, and then those darn characters come up and twist things in different directions.

    How do you handle things when characters just refuse to conform?

  • Sarah MacLean October 29, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    @LSU Reader – Thanks so much! So happy you enjoyed Nine Rules! Romance-wise, there are so many authors who I love! I've always said Judith McNaught, Jude Deveraux and Johanna Lindsey started it all…but more recently, Eloisa James, Lisa Kleypas, Sophie Jordan and Lorraine Heath have all been huge influences. Non-romancey influences include Edna St. Vincent Millay, John Irving, Philippa Gregory and Emma Donoghue.

    @BA – Puzzler's a good word for the process, that's for sure! When Characters Attack. That's what I call it. They get annoyed and do their own thing and they will. not. conform. I hate it, because invariably it means a bunch of revision and a whole-hog rejiggering of the outline. But, unfortunately, not much can be done about it…they must be heard…and invariably, it makes for a better book. Which, in the end, is all that matters! So…my advice is: Persevere!

  • Alexa October 29, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Because I read a lot of YA books I have the Season on my wish list but I also enjoy adult romance stories every now and then and this one sounds like a great read. Thanks for all the info and the great interview.

  • Johanna R Jochum October 29, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    I love your books! I will be getting your lastest this weekend! Thanks for the great interview! I like to know what are your favorite authors and what are you reading now?

  • Brianne October 29, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Which Virginia Henley character did you write your AP paper on?

    I only wish my teachers were that understanding in school. Most wouldn't let me read anything but textbooks and required reading around campus.

  • rachel445 October 29, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Hey Sarah! Love your book titles, those are awesome! What do you enjoy most about being an author?


  • Stephanie October 29, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    These books look great. I love strong heroines. I also love your covers.

    smccar1 at hotmail dot com

  • Danielle Gorman October 29, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Hi Sarah, I loved Nine Rules and I can't wait to read Ten. Do you plan to keep writing historicals or are you going to venture into other genres? Also, which do you think is more challenging to write, YA or adult?

  • Barbara E. October 29, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    Hi Sarah,
    I enjoyed the interview and the chance to learn a bit more about your and your books. I love your titles and all of your rules, they're a lot of fun.


  • Tore October 30, 2010 at 10:16 am

    I am a follower and email subscriber. All your books sound really good. I love reading romance novels. What other types of books do you like to write? Please enter me in contest.

  • grumpybybirth November 1, 2010 at 10:08 am

    I already have nine rules, but I just wanted to say I loved this interview and I am so excited to read ten ways. I have been not so patienly waiting for this story for awhile now so glad its finally here!!

  • Sheree November 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    I loved "Nine Rules…" and am looking forward to more Nick and Juliana.

  • Carrie at In the Hammock Blog November 4, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    awesome interview! I totally agree with number four on your list of characteristics of a great hero!! thank you for the contest!

    inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

  • Laura H. November 6, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    I LOVE historical romance and am always looking for new authors. Looks like I've found ANOTHER one on this blog!! Although I have yet to read any of your books, you are definitely on my TBR list so I would love to start with "Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake". 😉 Love your book covers and titles! I wish you much continued success!!!

    Thanks, Book Lovers, for the giveaway!


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