by Caren Crane
Caren: Welcome to the Romance Bandits blog, Sabrina. We're very happy to have you visit us! Your latest release from Pocket, Beware a Scot's Revenge, hit #14 on the New York Times Bestseller List. Congratulations! Were you surprised at the popularity of the School For Heiresses series or do you see it as a natural evolution?
Sabrina: Thanks, Caren, it's great to be here, especially now that I've met some of the Banditas in person at conference! Actually, I was kind of surprised. I didn't think it was a concept that would be as popular as the Royal Brotherhood, but I've been pleased that some readers are really liking the books.
(Caren: [mumbling] A lot of readers apparently, since it was #14 on the Times...)
Caren: "Beware a Scot's Revenge" was the third book in your School For Heiresses series. When is the next book due out and what can you tell us about it?
Sabrina: The next book comes out Feb. 19, 2008 and is titled Let Sleeping Rogues Lie. I just got the cover for it, and it's spectacular. It's about Anthony Dalton, the Viscount Norcourt. He grudgingly agrees to teach a few rake lessons at the school under the "supervision" of Miss Madeline Prescott, math and science teacher extraordinaire (they called them naturalists in those days), who is way too pretty for a schoolteacher. Little does he know that Madeline secretly needs his help...or that helping her is liable to put an end to his rakehell existence once and for all.
I had a lot of fun with Madeline, who tends to approach sex from a scientific viewpoint...and tells Anthony that his rakehell behavior isn't "safe" or practical, which is pretty much all she cares about. It catches the big bad rakehell off guard. He's used to getting censured for entirely different reasons.
Caren: In addition to your sexy Regency historicals with Pocket, I happen to know you have dabbled in some Southern fiction for the past few years with Belle Books. Tell us about that.
Sabrina: I read the very first Mossy Creek book (it's a collective novel, made up of stories written by different writers and loosely connected around an event in the town) because I knew the writers. But I got completely sucked in. In fact, I have now read every book in the series - generally I read them as soon as they come out. I just love the small town of Mossy Creek, and all its quirky characters. I like the series so much that I begged to be included. And they let me write a story for A Day in Mossy Creek and At Home in Mossy Creek. The first one wasn't a romance (hey, I was stretching). But the second one is.
(Caren:[squeals] I'm a Mossy Creek fan girl, too! Sorry...)
Caren: I know you claim to be a plot-driven author and your plots are always quite intricate. And yet, your characters are all three-dimensional and fully realized. How do you achieve such a balance?
Sabrina: Don't mention intricate plots - my upcoming one has a little too much intricacy. I get carried away sometimes. *sigh* As for characters, it took me years to learn how to make my characters three-dimensional. I have a number of questions I ask myself about my characters before I even start, but mostly I try to go against type. I mean, alpha males don't all have to be alike. And heroines definitely don't.
Caren: You are well known for having series of connected books. As a matter of fact, except for your first two Sabrina Jeffries books, haven't they all been part of a series? And, do you ever think you'll write a true stand-alone book again?
Sabrina: My first two books are part of a series, too, actually. It's only my Deborah Martin books that were sometimes stand-alone. I suppose it's possible that I could go back to stand-alones one day, but I doubt it. I really love series. Always have. I was delighted when they got to be popular with readers. I don't think I'm alone in that either - mystery and science fiction and fantasy readers have all preferred series for years. It makes perfect sense to me that they'd also be popular with romance readers. We like to visit the same familiar world over and over, only with different characters at the helm.
Caren: What other works do you have in the pipeline at Pocket? Any plans to branch out to other subgenres or try something new and different?
Sabrina: Right now, I have two books left (after Let Sleeping Rogues Lie) in my School for Heiresses series, including the one for Cousin Michael and Charlotte, so I'm focused on that. I have a couple of other ideas for other subgenres, but I'm still not tired of writing Regency historicals, so I'll probably keep it up a while longer. I really don't know. That's two books off!
[Sabrina ponders] But I'm curious to know how readers feel about their authors branching off into new directions. Would readers follow me if I wrote, say, a time travel? Or a contemporary with mythical elements? Not sure if I'm ready to do that, but I do have ideas.
So, dear Readers, let us know. What do you think about authors trying new types of stories? Would you follow Sabrina to a different subgenre? Be sure to post a comment. Lucky winners will win an autographed copy of either the School For Heiresses anthology or At Home In Mossy Creek!
You can find information about all of Sabrina's books at www.sabrinajeffries.com. Thanks for stopping by!