Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sabrina Jeffries Lets Sleeping Rogues Lie

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 Thanks for stopping by!


Buffie said...

Hey Sabrina!! I can't wait to read Beware a Scot's Revenge. I have heard so many great things about it. And who doesn't love a good Scot??!!!

I've never heard of Mossy Creek before, but now it is on my list of books to search out at the bookstore.

Typically, when an author I love tries a new subgenre I do venture out of my comfort zone (the typical historical romance) and give it a whirl, so to speak. Lately I have been pleasantly surprised by the variety of novels I have enjoyed (erotica, paranormal, and romantic suspense). So, in short, yes I would follow you!!!

Have a great day!

AndreaW said...

Hi Sabrina!! *waving*

For me, I'm willing to try a different subgenre of a favorite author. Why not? If I love what they currently write, then I'll take a chance on something different. So, like Buffie said, sure I'd follow you! ;)


Sonja Foust said...

I'd follow Sabrina anywhere. ;) I'm definitely a fan-girl.

I generally don't mind at all when authors branch out into other genres. A good writer is a good writer no matter the genre, and I read a wide variety of genres anyway, so I'm always glad to see a familiar name, even in a genre where they haven't been before.

Beth Caudill said...

Hey Sabrina.

I'll give anything a try once particularly if it's an author I follow religiously. As Sonja said, Good writing it good writing no matter the genre.


Deb Marlowe said...

Hi Sabrina!

I would love to see your spin on a time travel or mythical story!

I have to admit that you were the one who got me started on Mossy Creek, but I so love that series! Quirky southern town full of quirkier characters--what's not to love?

Can't wait for Let Sleeping Rogues Lie to hit the shelves!

Deb Marlowe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Claudia Dain said...

Am I the only one in shock? Leave the Regency!? Okay, okay, you can play in Mossy Creek every once in a while, but leave the Regency?


You're not a French spy, are you?

Caren Crane said...

Ooh, Deb Marlowe, I think the time travel/nystical thing would be so cool!

And Claudia, you know Sabrina could never leave her rakehells permanently. I think she has a soft spot for them.

Of course, Sabrina may very well be a French spy. She may simply be pretending she only speaks English and Thai. *g*

Pat said...

Beware a Scot's Revenge is a great read, Sabrina, but that's no surprise as I've enjoyed all the School of Heiresses series.

If your muse is leading you along new paths, follow. I write two sub-genres and have learned they are not mutually exclusive and can, in fact, not only co-exist but co-mingle.

Historical fiction must be written within an existing framework, but there are times that framework stifles. My alternative is Science Fiction. No framework. No perameters other than plausibility (and fantasy doesn't even require THAT) so the imagination soars. And then you find yourself someplace where the populace uses swords, has arcane rules, inflexible honor codes---hmmm, Regency England perhaps?

Anyway, your true fans will follow where you lead just as you follow your muse. Take the chance. Have fun. Enjoy the ride. We're all rooting for you.

Write well

Sabrina said...

I tried getting on from my other computer and it won't let me, so I'm hoping this will work.

Sabrina said...

Yay! I was about to panic. It would be awful to guest blog and not be able to get on.

Claudia, surely you know I would never permanently leave the Regency unless I had to for some reason. It was just a question. Really. Sheesh!

Sabrina said...

Well, at this point any new direction would be pure speculation, since I'm not seriously considering it just yet. But I always like to leave my options open. *G*

Caren Crane said...

Yes, Sabrina, but what about being a French spy? I notice you haven't addressed that. We are all suspicious now!

Stacia said...

Great interview. I love when an author tries something new. Especially if they succeed at it. I think it makes an author not look as strong if they're afraid to take chances.

jo robertson said...

Sabrina, thanks for joining the Banditas today.

Absolutely! I'd follow my favorite writers no matter what they wrote. It's the art and craft of their writing that I enjoy. Of course, I'd always have my favorite genres.

I always feel bad for well-known writers who, being the extraordinary writers they are, want to break into something new and different, but get flak from their readers. I think at the very heart of creativity is its flexibility.

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Sabrina -

I'm one of the banditas that met you at conference.

Hey Babe - I'd follow you anywhere (grin). Seriously, it's the voice that I love, and the humor & complexities. Those traits work in any subgenre - so if you ever decide to venture in a new direction - I'll be there.

Claudia Dain said...

Yes, Sabrina, what about that French spy charge? Very adroit of you to ignore that altogether, but I am on to you, Frenchie!

Caren Crane said...

Claudia, the Frenchies remind me of the Scarlet Pimpernel! Speaking of whom, our darling Sabrina does lead the crowd with quite a song and dance, doesn't she?

Methinks "romance author" would be quite a handy facade for a French spy. What *was* she doing during the Peninsular War, anyway?

Anna Campbell said...

Bonjour, chere Sabrina!

Hey, Banditas, if she answers, that means she speaks French and she really is a spy for Boney!!! Quelle horreur! Sacre bleu!

Sabrina, as you know, I had an absolute squeally fan girl moment when I met you in Dallas. I love your writing and can't wait to read the Scot! Thanks for visiting the Banditas! Come back often! We'll give you croque monsieur and cafe au lait and show you pictures of la tour Eiffel!

Joan said...


Thanks so much for visiting our Bandita lair (rumor has it there are different levels of hunks, cabana boys within the labrinyth

I agree with everyone else, if a favorite author delved into a different sub-genre I would follow.

Aside from the Regency time period, what historical period would you consider setting a story in?

Sabrina said...

French spy? Moi? I go out for a little dejeuner, and next thing I know I'm being accused of treason. Treason! Quelle horreur!

Although I can see how people might have gotten the wrong impression, since I just finished playing Mystery Author over at It took them a while to guess who I was, so see, I CAN be devious!

Sabrina said...

Other settings. Hmm. I've always loved the Restoration period, but I don't know if I could write in that period now, since I'm so much more aware of appropriate historical language than I was then, and I would want to write in my usual style.

I could see me trying Victorian. Or maybe even Edwardian. But honestly, I like the setting I write in. If I wrote something else, it wouldn't be historical at all (well, except the time travel).

I got a great idea for a serial killer book on my way home from lunch today, but I'm not sure I could follow through.

This is the problem with being a writer. Ideas abound. Ideas that are WORKABLE, however ... not so much.

Sabrina said...

Pat, one of my good friends is a sf/f artist named Ursula Vernon who has just sold her first fantasy YA, and whenever I hang out with her, I think of sf/f ideas I could write. It's an enticing idea, but I'm not sure I know the market well enough to venture there, and unfortunately, I don't have the time these days to familiarize myself with it.

Sabrina said...

I should clarify--I've read a variety of sf/f, but not that much RECENTLY. And whenever you're heading in a new direction, you kind of have to know what people are reading NOW, and what has become cliched or horribly passe.

Beth said...

Welcome to the Bandit lair, Sabrina! Your books sound wonderful! Definitely reads I'll be adding to my TBR pile *g*

I say if a favorite author wants to write/try something new, good for them! And I would happily follow my favorite authors to different subgenres :-)

Maureen said...

If an author I like switches to a different subgenre then I'll try them once. Usually I have found that I still enjoy them, even in a different category.

Caren Crane said...

Some authors, like la Nora, seem to be able to make the transition effortlessly. I love her J.D. Robb books! They are much more compelling to me than her contemporary romantic suspense books.

Also some (like Claudia) have written in many different time periods (including a Roman outpost story, Joan!) and made them all work. I can't wait for Claudia's October release, which will launch her firmly into the Regency!

On the other hand, I have followed some authors to other subgenres and been disappointed. I suppose some authors "translate" better than others.

Interestingly, Sabrina's Southern fiction is wonderful, though certainly quite different from her historicals. I'm a fan!

Helen said...

Hi Sabrina
I have read your Royal Brotherhood series and loved it I have all of the School For Heiresses series here waiting for me to read and am really looking forward to it and I learn't about Mossy Creek from your web page and they sound great. I generally only read historical romance but if I like an author I will give them a try in any genre as some of the others have said a well written book is a good read and I love your style of writting they are very sensual and not put dowonable if that makes sense anyway I love your work and only have a few more of your books to get and I will have them all really enjoyed the interview thanks Guys.
Have Fun

tetewa said...

I always love it when some of my favorite authors switch to writing different genres. I follow them no matter what they write.

Sue A. said...

Sabrina, do you have any ideas for a pseudonym you would use if you do pursue another genre?

I think as long as you are openly using a pseudonym, it lets reader know that you're branching out and gives them the choice to follow or not.

Joan said...


Oh, I've read Claudia's Roman outpost story. LOVED IT!

Sabrina said...

Sue A., I would probably not use a pseudonym. I doubt any publisher would be eager to let me try out another genre without also getting the benefit of what success I've had. Of course, if something happened to tank my career, that would be different, but usually once you've built a name, publishers don't want you taking a pseudonym.

Caren Crane said...

Joan, I'm glad you also loved "To Burn". I thought it was quite compelling. Man, Claudia isn't afraid to torture some characters. I felt so sorry for the heroine! Gotta love some barbarian invaders, though. Whoo!

Helen, be warned that the Mossy Creek stories are not sensual at all. They are very warm-hearted and fun. And if you've never been to the Southern USA, they are a fun snapshot of life in a small Georgia town. It's fiction, but it feels true!

doglady said...

Hi, Sabrina!! I absolutely love the Royal Brotherhood series!! SIGH ! BEWARE A SCOT'S REVENGE is fabulous. Those of you who have not read it, shame on you! I have no doubt that you would sparkle in any genre, but I have to have a dose of your Regencies periodically or I would go through severe withdrawal. My local bookseller has a list of those authors she KNOWS I will buy on sight so I cannot wait for her to e-mail me and say "The latest Sabrina Jeffries is here!" Come to mama, LET SLEEPING ROGUES LIE !!!

Sabrina said...

Aww, doglady, you're so sweet! Unfortunately, Let Sleeping Dogs Lies is still a ways off, but I can tell you that they've given me the most gorgeous cover ever. It's purple. As Caren can tell you, I LOVE purple. *G*

The inside art is pretty, too--not quite as spectacular as Beware's, but still very nice. I'll be putting it up on my site next month.

doglady said...

Beware's art work is rather spectacular, isn't it? As it happens purple (almost any shade) is my very favorite color. Drat on the long wait for SLEEPING ROGUES! Actually my mother is a big fan of the Mossy Creek books, so I will have to borrow her copies and spend a weekend at Mossy Creek. I live in a very small town in Alabama and I can definitely see how an entire book of stories could be written around one event in a town like Wetumpka, which is where I live. You and my dear friend, Anna Campbell, need to write more quickly!!! Hmmm. Could you imagine a Regency rake in Mossy Creek?

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, g'day, Doglady!!! Lovely to see you here!

doglady said...

G'day to you, my friend!! Just finished knocking out 1000 words so I rewarded myself by stopping by the Bandits' blog. I'm a big fan of SJ!! Glad to hear the move went well. Trying to obey orders and "Finish the damned book!!"

Anna Campbell said...

Good luck with finishing the book, my friend!

Sabrina, thanks for dropping by. It's been a hoot!

Cherie J said...

Hi Sabrina!

I think it is great when an author tries out other genres. Some of my favorite authors have done this already and I have been happy to try some of their other works. To me, it is the writing style that is important more than the genre.

Sabrina said...

Just wanted to say thanks for having me yesterday, ladies. It was enormous fun!