Friday, March 6, 2009

Bonjour to Madame Sophia Nash and her Tres Merry Widows!

by Anna Campbell

It is my huge pleasure to introduce one of my favorite people in Romancelandia, the RITA-winning, endlessly witty, stunningly intelligent, gorgeously attractive Sophia Nash!

Sophia, I hope you're soaking all this up - I certainly don't say it to your face. To your face, I call you a Tim Tam hound, which is also true!

Sophia writes sparkling, emotional historical romance for Avon. The latest instalment in Sophia's THE WIDOWS' CLUB has just been released. You can find out more about Sophia and her books at her website:

Sophia, welcome to the lair. I think you're going to fit right in. Yeah, I saw you steal that margarita from that cabana boy. And all with a smile on your face! Grand larceny, yikes! The latest in your wonderful Widows Club series hit the stands at the end of February. Could you tell us about LOVE WITH A PERFECT SCOUNDREL?

This is the third book in the series I've had so much fun creating for Avon. The book’s back cover blurb follows:

Twice jilted in the last two years, the achingly beautiful yet stoic Grace, Countess of Sheffield has given up on love. Now she's no longer capable of maintaining the elegant, serene facade with the members of the Duchess of Helston's secret circle of friends. And so she flees… only to encounter wretched disaster during the carriage ride north. But little does Grace know that once she faces all fate has tossed her way, she will find a new life…with a tall, rugged stranger who not only saves her life but forces her to dig deep into her hidden reserves of desire and fortitude to blossom into the woman she was destined to become—a lady willing to sacrifice all for a mysterious, yet powerful man who insists he is nothing more than a perfect scoundrel.

Sounds delicious! Where next for your wonderful widows?

There will be an anthology: FOUR DUKES AND A DEVIL which arrives in book stores June 30th. In this stand alone novella, the most eligible gentleman in London’s marriage mart reluctantly rescues a stranded school mistress. When the duke is forced to go heart-to-heart with the spirited siren, (Victoria Givan introduced briefly in LOVE WITH THE PERFECT SCOUNDREL, the well-documented Catch of the Century finds out she’s the only one he can’t have.

And after the novella, the final book in the Widows Club quartet, which I'm currently writing, will be on shelves. Although...there might be another widow or other liar lurking about in mourning if the powers that be have a say... You just never know!

Can you tell us about your writing journey?

Journey? I was NOT one of those writers who started scribbling stories in the 1st grade. But I did love to read as did my father. We would sit like two zombies on the couch until my mother dragged us to the dinner table each night. But I did figure out that I liked to “create” when I worked at PM Magazine in WTVJ-Miami after college. I loved writing and producing stories. I spent many years in television, then as a congressional speech writer, and head of a non-profit. But when my father was very ill, he made me promise I would do what he and I had always talked about: write a book. He edited parts of A SECRET PASSION before he died, but I’m sorry to say he didn’t see it published.

You won a RITA award for your Regency A PASSIONATE ENDEAVOR. Congratulations! Can you tell us about that experience? Just in case, you know, a Bandita has to appear with panache and style on that stage one day. Also what is your feeling about awards? Do you think they help a writer’s career?

I recently wrote about this subject, but it’s one I always like to tackle, because my take on awards surprises many people. While the initial glow of winning any award is lovely, I've also learned the hard way not to take any of it seriously. Author Anne Lamott wrote something like, "whenever the world throws rose petals at you, beware the cosmic banana peel right behind." This could not be more true in my case. Right after the RITA and having a book named "Top Ten Romance of the Year" by Booklist, the Signet Regency line closed, I struggled with a proposal that flopped, changed agents, wrote a new proposal, etc. ad nauseum before FINALLY, my stories found a new home. And of course the opposite is true re my Banana Peel View on winning awards: All the writers who don’t win awards are the ones with the last laugh since they're being offered "significant" deals and selling television rights to HBO, right?

You write luscious heroes. Do you want to give us the lowdown on the men in the Widows’ Club?

Luc, Quinn, Michael . . . and coming soon: John and Rowland. They are a big, bad bunch except Quinn, the only Beta male of the group. He was the toughest to write because he is so calm, serious, and has a heart of gold, not a hot-headed, brute like Luc, who knows his power and uses it, or Michael who is capable of seducing half the female population at first glance.

I will admit that I love writing in the hero’s point of view and writing about male posturing between them. I was an only child surrounded by a huge number of French and American male cousins. All of them are very good looking, funny alpha males. I watched them blaze a trail littered with broken hearts on two coasts. I also watched what sort of women brought them to their knees (as in “Will you marry me?”). It was a wonderful education especially for writing romance!

It looks like when the series is finished there will be: 2 dukes, 1 earl, 1 marquis, 1 viscount, and a “gentleman” (or not). How is that for leaving a loophole?

Ooh, la la! You’re half French and I really feel there is a strong European influence in your writing. Do you draw on your French heritage in your work?

I think writers draw on everything they’ve got, don’t you? But, yes, I have so many paintings and beautiful crumbling photographs of my French ancestors surrounding me in my house, and I swear that while I’m writing, I have the ghosts of the lot of them looking over my shoulder (kind of like those dead ancestors hanging over Mulan’s shoulder in that Disney movie ). But you see, I also have an American father, with British roots. And those Brit ghosts are always keeping a stiff upper lip and trying not to tell the frogs where to go. So when I’m writing scenes in the ballroom, the Brit/American voice inserts itself, and beyond the bedroom door? Well, there’s a reason it’s called French kissing;-}

Where do you find your inspiration?

In the strangest places, like most writers. Sometimes it’s as simple as a movie, or a newspaper article, or a conversation with a friend. The entire concept of the widows club came from a ladies lunch when I asked the group what they would do if they lost their husbands (one absent friend had just lost her husband.) Each lady had a different answer . . . and a series was born. The plot for Love With the Perfect Scoundrel came to me after driving 1,200 miles through a gazillion hair-raising roundabouts in England. I arrived in Derbyshire--right into the teeth of a freak snowstorm. And I wondered....what if Grace Sheffey got caught in a blizzard in Derbyshire?

Thanks, Sophia! What great answers! I can't wait to read LOVE WITH THE PERFECT SCOUNDREL. It sounds fantastic.

We're giving one lucky commenter a chance to win Sophia's latest. So good luck, Bandita buddies. Sophia, do you have a question to get the conversational ball rolling?

When reading a romance, do you have a favorite point of view? Do you prefer to be in the heroine’s head or the hero’s head, and why? What about during a love scene?


limecello said...


Helen said...

Well he is staying with you again limecello you must have lots of things for him to do have fun with him

Great interview Sophia and Anna I have this book on order and I should have it next week can't wait to read it I have loved the others in the series, I really have a soft spot for Luc and that scene on the boat.

When reading a romance I like all points of view I like the story to be both the hero and heroines but with the love scences I guess I like to be in the heroines shoes because your heros just know how to treat a Lady and boy would I love to be that Lady LOL.

Have Fun

Leslie said...

Thank you Sophia and Anna for the wonderful interview.

I usually prefer being in the heroine's head, especially in a love scene. I enjoy being in the hero's head when he's getting into trouble with the heroine. :)

limecello you're on a roll with that GR!

jo robertson said...

Hi, Sophia, welcome to the Lair! Your Widows Club series sounds fabulous. Does one have to begin with the first book in the series, or does it matter if we read them in any order?

Are all of the heroines actually widows? No blushing virgins in the lot?

I love reading primarily in the hero's point of view. Somehow it seems much sexier to me. I do, however, like a smart, sassy and strong heroine.

I swear to goodness, Limecello, you are on one big run with the rooster! Congratulations! Again!

limecello said...

Sophia and Anna - what a great post! And Sophia, I'm a Tim Tam hound too - though they're hard for me to get/find! Thanks for visiting with us today. :) I really like the premise of your series- and how interesting that the lunch was what prompted it. I'm so glad you kept on writing - and my, have you done a lot of things!
Heh - I always love a good loophole - gentleman or not, I'm sure he'll be a great hero.
As for my favorite point of view - I'm as always, fickle. I want *both* the characters' thoughts. I like getting in everyone's head ;) Even for love scenes - I think it really helps develop the character's personalities. Seeing both sides on the character's thoughts, what they focus on - mixing it up is always good for me. :)

Helen said...


I have loved both the books in the series so far the first one is about Luc and Rosamunde and as I mentioned before there is a wonderful love scene on a boat it had me melting it is so good. And The Kiss is just as good I loved Georgiana and Quinns story I loved Georgianas notes and I really am looking forward to Grace's story and I love Ata she is one great Lady.

Have Fun

Jane said...

Welcome Sophia,
Congrats on the new release. It doesn't matter if the story is told primary from the hero or heroine's point of view. I like seeing the story from both their views. Same goes with love scenes.

Congrats on the GR, Limecello.

flchen1 said...

Thanks for the terrific interview, Sophia and Anna! As for point of view, I like to get both perspectives--as Limecello said, I like how I'm able to get a better feel for both characters that way. And it's fun to feel as if I'm getting some inside scoop by being in the hero's head ;)

Hee! on the cosmic banana peel theory of Lamott--I'm glad you've landed on your feet after that one!

And congrats on the GR, Lime!

Annie West said...


Thanks for this post. Your books sound intriguing and I'm making a mental note to go and look for them. I've seen the titles of course but have tried not to add to the TBR pile lately. That will have to change.

Smiling at your ghosts hanging around to help you write. At least they don't get in the way or argue.

Commisserations on the cosmic banana skin and mega congratulations on the RITA. Great to hear about your upcoming books and know that you're back on track.


Natalie Hatch said...

I absolutely LOVE that white shirt Sophia is wearing in the photo with you Anna. I want one!
I must say this is a new author for me, but then I'm relatively new to romance so that's not much to go on. I will have to get reading! And snaffle that shirt off her. LOL

Tawny said...

Sophia, welcome to the Lair. Anna, what a wonderful interview.

I admit, I'm an equal opportunity POV'er. I love the heroine's POV. I love the heroes POV. I'm all for secondary POV's. As long as they are introduced fairly early. If the story has been only the heroine's POV in all the scenes, even with the hero, for over half the story, then suddenly we start getting the heroes POV, it jars me. I guess I'm a fuddy duddy that way LOL.

And love scenes? Ooooh baby, let me see both pov's please!! That is, if I've been seeing them through the rest of the book too LOL.

Anna Campbell said...

Limecello, you're on a run with the rooster at the moment! Clearly he must like you!

Helen, what a saucy answer, you naughty wench ;-) Yes, the boat scene with Luc is RATHER special, isn't it? Snork!

Leslie, how interesting about loving the heroine's POV for the love scenes.

I'm of an age where I remember the old Mills & Boons (Harlequins in America). They were told completely from the heroine's point of view. So the last chapter was the hero telling the heroine in great detail the entire plot of the book but from his point of view. "I wasn't angry with you there. I thought you just didn't love me." What was hilarious about this is that the hero was often taciturn to the point of absolute silence so his sudden urge to spill his guts to the woman in his life always struck me as rather odd! We're lucky now that we have male point of view in romances that we're saved from too many of those scenes!

Anna Campbell said...

Jo, I must say I love the hero's point of view too. I love writing hero's POV!

Hey, Limecello, another vote for mixing it up! Did you manage to track down any Tim Tams this winter? Target were supposedly selling them but I know they weren't available everywhere. Sophia's hilarious when you mention Tim Tams. She gets this glassy look in her eye!

Anna Campbell said...

Jane, another either or girl! Yay, you! I must say I like both points of views in love scenes (or one love scene in one POV and the next in the other) because the characters are naked emotionally as well as physically at such moments and it gives me a chance to really get closer to them and their emotions (and other things, snort!).

Fedora, the banana peel theory is a great one, isn't it?

Annie, Sophia's story is amazing, isn't it? I knew she'd have an interesting take on the whole awards thing! Thanks for coming by.

Anna Campbell said...

Natalie, I have to say, I wander around with a paper bag over my person when I'm with Sophia. She's so gorgeous and such an elegant creature. Not to mention she's about a foot taller than I am. I told her once I feel like Gimli with Legolas when I'm with her!

Tawny, I must say I baulk at lots of secondary points of view. I find it upsets the intimacy of my relationship with the main characters. I've seen it used really effectively - I've just done a review of Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie for RNTV which is going up on 13th March. JC is a master at taking us into various heads and keeping the focus tight. But she's a master!

flchen1 said...

BTW, I can understand getting a bit glassy-eyed over Tim Tams--I have yet to track them down at our local Targets! Grrr!

Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled programming ;)

Helen said...

Sorry you all can't get Tim Tams I won't rub it in but I bought some more today to stock the pantry up the weather has turned a bit autumny (yay) great reading weather and Tim Tams and reading just go together in my house LOL

Anna what I wouldn't give to be some of the heroines in some of the stories I have read I think I need a fan.

Have Fun

Minna said...

Great post!
Like limecello, I like getting in everyone's head!

Enigma - Beyond the Invisible

Minna said...

Great post!
Like limecello, I like getting in everyone's head!

Enigma - Beyond the Invisible

Eva S said...

Thanks for the great interview!
This is a book I've been waiting for,
the other two in the series are waiting for company on my keeper shelf! And the coming anthology with four dukes!!

I love reading the books in the hero's point of view....Perhaps I've read so many from the heroine's point.

Laurie said...

I agree that nowadays,it really depends on the storyline. But I loved the earlier romances so I guess I tend to favor the heroine's POV.

I'm looking forward to reading your books Anna.

Maureen said...

Congratulations Sophia on your new book. It looks like a great story and I'm definitely going to be looking for it when I go book shopping. I like to read scenes from both characters point of view. It is always fun to see how differently the hero and heroine look at the same situation.

Anna Sugden said...

Welcome to the Lair, Sophia - I see you've already made yourself at home with the cabana boys!

Anna, great interview!

I love that Anne Lamott quote - I wonder if it works the other way. I seem to have had more banana skins than rose petals lately!

*sigh* I love widows' stories. One of my favourite books ever is Rhonda Nelson's The Future Widows Club. And now, my tottering TBR mountain, looks like it will have some more additions. The series sounds wonderful.

Go you on braving our English roundabouts ... and Derbyshire at any time, let alone a snow storm! (though Cambridge in s snowstormn is no better! Speaks the gal who survived 6 NJ winters!)*g*. As a Brit - I love that the genetic urge to give the Frogs their due is within you! LOL.

Anna Sugden said...

Oops forgot to answer the question - I'm like Tawny ;) I'm all for equal opprtunity PoV. I love both perspectives. Other than Nora, I find head-hopping a pain.

Funnily enough, I find writing in the hero's PoV is often easier than the heroine's.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

When reading a romance, do you have a favorite point of view?
I can't say I have a favorite, like Leslie it depends on what is happening in the story.

Do you prefer to be in the heroine’s head or the hero’s head, and why?
When it comes to being in the Hero's head it is fun when he is at the point of "a deer in the headlights", he knows he has messed up and I like to know what is happening in his head right then.

What about during a love scene?
I like it when you get insight into both of them then.

limecello, what is going on over there with you and the GR? Do we need to get our wedding clothes out?

Dianna Love said...

Great interview Anna.

Hi Sophia - I missed you at the last national (don't know if you were there or if we just didn't pass in the crowds) so I hope to see you in DC this year. I love that you shared the "other side of the story" about awards and high notes. I believe in celebrating the day you get an award or great contract, but then it's back to work the next day. I've encountered similar setbacks after something wonderful has happened so I feel for you on having to regroup and kudos on being a trooper who bounces back.

I'm a historical reading fan (would never try to write one) so I've read some of your others and look forward to this new one.

Christie Kelley said...

limecello, what are you feeding him? He obviously loves your place. Congrats again.

Christie Kelley said...

Welcome to the lair, Sophia! I really enjoyed A Dangerous Beauty.

I love to read both the hero and heroine's point of view. I need to find out what's going on in both heads, especially in love scenes. I want to see how both parties involved feel about is happening.

Joan said...

Good morning all, and good morning and welcome Sophia!

Your WIDOW'S CLUB sounds wonderful and will have to be added to the TBR pile.

I think most times I favor the hero's POV. Maybe that's why when the concept for my PATRICIAN series came to me it came as the Jared, Damon and Bran....the girls TRIED to say "It's my story" but my three alpha males nixed that...and in the most delightful way :-)

I feel myself already drawn to Luc.... LOL

Gannon Carr said...

Hi, Sophia! I can't wait to read your latest! It's in my ever growing stack of TBR!

Oh, I love both POV's, hero and heroine. It's great to get inside both of their heads. As for love scenes, give me both POV's! ;)

Sophia, I share your love of Tim Tams. Of course, now that I found a Target that carries them (1 1/2 hours away), it's dangerous to my waistline. I gave some to my sister and nieces for Valentine's Day, and now they're hooked, too! We are all partial to the caramel ones. Yummmm!

Limecello, the GR must really like your house. :)

Sophia Nash said...

Hi everyone!
I guess I've found the right place to roost...with all of you night owls ;-} Shoulda checked in last night! But, I've just had my 3rd cup of coffee after the carpool hang-on-to-your-lunchbox rounds and I'm ready to partay with my dearest freind from OZ and the rest of the fabulous bandits.

Sophia Nash said...

Hi, Limecello.
Like your point!

Hmmm. So you like to be in the heroine's head during the love scenes? I go back and forth on this point. I keep thinking of Briget Jones and how all she was worried about was if her date thought she was too fat, and those grandmother panties, or leopard print knickers, etc. Versus, from the hero's head, he just wanted the sexy woman in front of him, grandmother panties and all--and that can warm your heart!

Sophia Nash said...

Hi Leslie,
Great to see you here! What do you think about the comment I just made to Helen and you re Briget Jones POV?

Sophia Nash said...

Hi Jo,

No, you do not have to read the books in order at all. In fact I would say that over 50% of the readers who have contacted me have said that they started the series with the 2nd book--The Kiss. One funny thing is that it seems that most people have a very definate idea of their own favorite of the series. Some love Luc in A Dangerous Beauty, others liked Quinn in The Kiss, and now there's Michael...

Re the virgin question: She's just around the corner . . . in the novella I wrote for the July anthology "Four Dukes and a Devil." For those of you who read Love With the Perfect Scoundrel, the heroine in the novella is introduced in this new book. Her name is Victoria Givan. She's a fiery schoolmistress who has lived her whole life at the foundling home. And she's about to encounter the "Catch of the Century" the most sought after bachelor duke in all of Christendom! If you like smart, sassy heroine's this is the book for you--this summer!

Susan Sey said...

Hi, Sophia! Welcome to the lair!

I have to say, I'm a sucker for the male POV. I think Suzanne Brockman in particular does it so well.

And by well, I don't mean accurately, because I sort of fear that men don't really articulate their feelings about love very often, even in the privacy of their own heads.

I mean more that she completely captures my cherished fantasy of how I'd like to believe men think about the women they love. It's like getting a thrilling little window into a mysterious place--the male psyche--and being rewarded with the knowledge that not only is my beloved paying attention to me, he's as deeply involved in the love affair as I am.

*big, happy sigh*

Congrats on the new release! I'll be sure to pick it up, as I'm a sucker for lord, ladies & series about them. :-)

thanks, Anna C. for bringing Sophia to us today!

Sophia Nash said...

Yes, I've had to leave myself a huge gaping loophole for the current manuscript. Rowland Manning is proving to be the most reluctant, recalcitrant hero I've ever had the, ahem, pleasure to meet. But you know the old saying: The harder they fight, the harder they fall! When Rowland Manning falls I have a feeling the island of England will suffer just the smallest little earthquake.

Sophia Nash said...

Ah, I'm so glad you liked Luc and Quinn's two stories. I will be curious to hear what you think of Michael and Grace's book! Some books are harder to write than others. Love With the Perfect Scoundrel was an easier book becasue there was such great chemistry between the H/H. The Kiss was another story altogether--one of the hardest books to write ever for me...

Sophia Nash said...

Jane and flchen1,
Sounds like you both have the same likes concerning POV. I usually don't like books told from only one POV, but then I remember that Pride and Prejudice is told from Elizabeth Bennett's POV only--so there went that theory. And I just read one of Lisa Kleypas' contemporaries told only from the woman's POV...So I guess I've got to re-examine all my theories.

Sophia Nash said...

Hi Annie!
Yes, the cosmic banana peel thing is actually a good thing. Makes you happy if you win or not! And the funny thing is that winning an award NEVER changes a darn thing about your life. I don't know why but I always find myself folding a waist high pile of laundry every time I've win something...

And those ghosts? They are shouting at me right now to go and write the next chapter in the work in non-progress--while Rowland Manning snickers in my other ear.

Sophia Nash said...

That darn shirt is SUCH a pain in the neck. Why? Because you cannot lower your head in it when you're wearing lipstick! And it's impossibly expensive to clean. So I wear it once a year when I have a stiff neck from writing too long!
So I just checked the label if you really are on the hunt for it. Found it on sale at Lord & Taylor a year or so ago: Adrianna Papell.

Louisa Cornell said...

Hello Sophia ! Great interview La Campbell.

I love your books, Sophia and can't wait to read this next one.

Ladies, Sophia is as lovely in person as she is online. And she is TALL. I have a photo of myself with her at Nationals and I look like a hobbit!

I like a mixture when it comes to POV. I want to know what BOTH the hero and heroine are thinking as the romance unfolds. And when it comes to love scenes I tend to write the love scene in one POV and the aftermath in the other. And I mix this up as well. One scene might be hero then heroine and the next scene might be heroine then hero. I love writing the hero's POV when he is COMPLETELY confused by what just happened and what he feels about it.

Sophia Nash said...

Oh, Tawny,
I love your detailed explanation. I am going to have to remember that. I've only ever had a secondary character's POV in a scene--that was in A Dangerous Beauty--during a key scene. I kept seesawing back and forth on whether or not to have it in the secondary character's POV...

terrio said...

Hello there, Sophia!

What a great interview/blog! Well done, both of you. In regards to the question, I very much like to get the hero's POV when I'm reading. What I really need is both POV's, but I've found that more often than naught, an author will stay in the herione's mind much more than the hero almost as if she's forgotten about him or his POV isn't as important. To me, his POV is always important. There are two people falling in love here, and I want to be with both of them as it happens.

Sophia Nash said...

Glassy eyed? Who, me? Never... Just because I admitted going to that ridiculous basement foreign film theatre that only shows grainy--impossibly sad and nearly incomprehensible dutch films, all to get my hands on TimTams (it's the only place I've found that sells them here)...I knew I'd never hear the end of it. I'm atually starting to understand the appeal of those movies--you know, the ones where the heroines die of some ghastly disease, the smoking and coffee drinking in cold little cafes, and the unshaven men have sex with everything that moves? But then again, I'm an insomniac and all those awful plots are guaranteed to put me right to sleep. But I'll do anything for a TimTam...

Sophia Nash said...

Minna (love the name!)

I see you are like the majority-- you like a little from both POVs... What about a villian's POV?

Sophia Nash said...

I'm honored my books are on your keeper shelf! I do hope you enjoy Grace and Michael's story. She deserved the best hero, don't you think? And I love writing from the hero's POV...

Sophia Nash said...

Hi Laurie,

Anna is one of the best historical romance voices out there today! If you haven't read one of hers, try Tempt the Devil first!

Sophia Nash said...

Hi Anna.
You are SO lucky to live in England. I keep hoping I will one day find a way to live there for a year at the very least.
And re the frogs vs. Brits thing. One of the funniest stories my father ever told me was the day he met/had lunch with his future in-laws. My French grandfather told this long drawn out story about his ancestor Admiral du Quesne who had whipped the , ahem, arses off the Royal Navy during his career--at which point my father said, "yes, but my forefather had the bloody final word now, didn't he?" Apparently, the two families were arch enemies for generations... As a child, I'd follow them on the golf course, and you've never heard so much cursing, under their breath, of course!

Sophia Nash said...

The hero's deer in the headlights moment...Is that not the best moment in a book? Nothing like putting those alpha males in that sort of situation. Produces the best dialogue--or non-dialogue ever!

Sophia Nash said...

Dianna Love!
Great to hear from you...Yeah, I was a complete cave-dweller at the last RWA. I was stuck in my room, trying to meet a tight revision deadline (for this book!) I am praying I won't be in the same situation this summer. RWA is in my backyard afterall! I can't wait to see you...

Sophia Nash said...

Hi, Christie and Joan!
Glad you liked A Dangerous Beauty. That was my first full length historical--so it is near and dear to my heart. There is something about Luc that tears at my heart. Out of all my heroes, he is the one whose personality resonates the most with me. Quinn in The Kiss is the best "all around" person. He's the one you want in the courtroom on your side. Michael is the one you want to guard your heart. And Rowland? He's the best and the worst of all of them combined!

Sophia Nash said...

Caramel Tim Tams? I think Anna has been holding out on me. The only ones they have at that Dutch foreign film theatre are chocolate covered with chocolate cream in between the biscuits. Caramel sounds very dangerous...

Sophia Nash said...

You expressed perfectly what ALL romance writers try to capture...And re men not articulating their love well--I'm a firm believer in watching what a man DOES as opposed to what he says or doesn't say. I think the French side of me learned that since French men rarely like to say "I love you" (in general) vs. American men who say it much more often ( I think)--but then again, remember the adage my family pinned on me (and I pin on the dowager duchess of the club) "Often wrong, never in doubt!"

Terry Odell said...

I'm definitely in the both hero and heroine's pov camp, but one at a time, please. I read a lot of romantic suspense, and I don't like a villain's POV - I want to solve a mystery.

Love scenes? Same goes. I want to see both hero and heroine, but again, one at a time. Nothing like reading and going, "Wait! When did SHE get one of THOSE?" Most of my love scenes cover enough so h/h get to take turns as POV characters. I don't bounce back and forth.

POV is a major tool of the author, and done well, it controls pacing, reveals (or doesn't reveal) clues and character traits.

Sophia Nash said...

You are so funny. I am not that tall. I'll have you know that I'm beginning to feel like the midget in my own family. My 16 year old daughter now has 2 inches on me and could take me down in a nano second. And my husband is 5 inches taller than me... And now my 13 year old son is gaining on me fast...They've all taken to calling me Shorty. I kid you not.

Sophia Nash said...

Hi Terrio,
You've nailed my thoughts exactly. What I love about having two POVs is that it is amazing how one conversation can be taken apart by one character in a completely different way than the other character--kind of like an argument of any kind between 2 people. Both think they are right--and in a way, many times they ARE both right. It kind of teaches you a lesson in empathy don't you think? Of course that never helps in the heat of the moment!

RachieG said...

Yea! Sophia Nash, One of the best historical authors out there! I love the way you write, some authors want to put a lot of mystery in and it could get boring...or some want to put way to much description of scenery and it could get boring, but you have almost a perfect balance which is nice to read. Hopefully you know what I'm trying to say!

I love to read things from the heroine's point of view. Not super sure why, but I guess I just think it's her story and I want to hear it from her point of view. I do like sometimes though, when a couple pages are from the hero's point of view just to find what he's thinking. :)

Thanks for blogging!

Sophia Nash said...

Interesting point regarding a villian's POV. For the first time I'm contemplating this--although in letter form. I'm trying it on for size--and it might end up in the trash bin! I don't like the standard mustache twirling villian...I'm trying to make this one just the opposite.

Sophia Nash said...

Wow, you really know how to make an author's day! And your post is the perfect one to keep in mind for the next hour or so as I finally bow to the writing gods and pay my penance by beating my forehead against the computer screen as I eek out the next scene.

As I looked through the comments the one thing I did not see was anyone saying they liked a novel written ONLY in the hero's POV. Hmmm. I wonder if that's been done in a traditional romance. Anyone know?

Janga said...

Greetings, Sophia!

I've read Love with the Perfect Scoundrel, and it's already joined A Dangerous Beauty and The Kiss on my keeper shelf. This whole series has been wonderful reading, and I look forward to the novella and beyond. The Kiss is my favorite because I love Beta heroes. I fear they are becoming an endangered species, so I cherish those I do find. Quinn has joined my list of all-time favorite heroes.

As for POV, I don't have a preference. I've loved books that have used everything from first person to multiple POVs. It all depends on the writer's skill.

terrio said...

Sophia - that's exactly right about the two different perceptions of the same thing. It is so important that we empathize and relate to the characters so when one (usually the hero) does something stupid or mean, we have trouble empathizing. Only when we get in their heads and understand *why* they did or said what they did can we really love them.

This is why we need to be able to read men's minds in real life. LOL!

Donna MacMeans said...

Sophia - Thank you for being with us today (and thank you Anna for the invite). The series sounds wickedly fascinating. Thank you as well for reminding us busy writers to take time to have lunch with friends (smile), one never knows when the next plot idea will crook its finger.

Cassondra said...


*heavy sigh*

Another series to get. *heavy sigh* My TBR pile is getting out of control. It's piled on the floor now beside my bed because the shelf is full.

Sophia, a huge welcome to the lair. We've all heard so much about you from Anna, it's great to have you here. I love historical series. And I admit that I'm completely spoiled to wanting both Points of View. ESPECIALLY in a love scene. I guess it's the female need to know the man is actually involved with more than just his body. Most of us have had the unpleasant experience to teach us that men aren't always involved beyond the physical, and that really leaves me cold--on a lot of levels. I often fall for the hero because of what happens in his POV. If I didn't have it, I'd hate him.

Just as Susan put it so perfectly, it's the dream of what we want men to be, and most of the time they aren't, but then, that's part of why we read romance isn't it?

I notice a lot of historical authors start out writing virgins and then go to widows. One friend of mine put it this way..she said you can only write that first reaction so many times without getting tired of writing it. There's not a lot of variation to it usually.

Did you go this route? Have you found writing widows to be more...well..liberating in that way? Has it given you more room to play with characters and love scenes?

Cassondra said...

Terry Odell said:

Nothing like reading and going, "Wait! When did SHE get one of THOSE?"

Okay, Cranberry tea on the monitor. Snork! OMG! Snork!

catslady said...

I'm really sorry to say I haven't read any of your books and I really need to remedy that! Your books sound wonderful and historicals are my favorite reads. As to your questions - I like a variety so I'm happy from all points of view.

Keira Soleore said...

Limcello, you do! Congrats!

Excellent interview Fo and Sophia. A huge welcome to The Lair, Sophia.

In love scenes, I like to have the hero's, heroine's, and the omniscent POV. It's such a seminal scene in the book that more information about their thoughts and emotions is always better than less.

Anna Campbell said...

Minna, another equal opportunity reader!

Eva, great to see you're a fan already!

Laurie, interesting about the earlier books leaving their marks on you. And I hope you enjoy my books when you get them!

Terry Odell said...

Cassondra, at least I didn't ruin your keyboard. Cranberry tea sounds good -- I have some pomegranate roobios.

But be it head-hopping or omniscient, POV in love scenes needs to have very clear transitions -- which is why I prefer to write 'separate' scenes when my characters get to that point. I want the reader to know what's going on in each of their heads, but I like each to savor the moment.

Anna Campbell said...

Maureen, that's one of the reasons I love dual point of view stories. The reader is really in the box seat and they KNOW how wrongly these people are interpreting the other one's actions. It's huge fun!

Anna, those British roundabouts are a cultural institution, aren't they?

Dianna, I too am wondering if Limecello and the GR have picked out a china pattern! Mind you, wouldn't it be fun if we all got together for a big event like a wedding? I bar the prettiest cabana boy as my date!

Anna Campbell said...

Dianna, it's great to get the 'other' side of the awards story, isn't it? Thanks for coming by!

Christie, another equal opportunity gal!

Anna Campbell said...

JT, usually my stories are hero-centric too. All except for Tempt the Devil and it took me a whole first draft to work out that Olivia was the one with the longest, hardest journey to make. She ended up being my favorite heroine so I guess that says something.

Gannon, I've never been able to move on from the classic ones. I must try the caramel ones on your recommendation. How cool you found a Target nearby that stocks them!

Anna Campbell said...

Sophia, seeing you brought up Mummy Pants, I wonder if you could tell us about your writing process. I wanted to ask you in the interview but we'd waxed loquacious about other stuff and I ran out of room. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you rewrite as you go or do a dirty draft?

Anna Campbell said...

Another question I have for you, Sophia, is - are you interested in writing anything other than Regency romance? Or is this where your heart lies?

Anna Campbell said...

Susan, your response made me laugh! I often wonder, too, how accurate the male POV I write is. It's certainly how I'd like to believe men think. I suspect really though they're thinking about football scores, their next meal and boobs! Perhaps not in that order! But the fantasy of this intense inner life is very appealing! ;-)

Sophia, Rowland sounds delish!

Louisa, writing the utterly bamboozled male is one of the fun bits, isn't it?

Anna Campbell said...

Terrio, I think that's the crux for me - I'm greedy, I want to watch both of them tumble into love! Glad you enjoyed the interview. Thank you!

Actually, Sophia, I have to laugh at the Dutch films thing. I went out with a guy once who loved Dutch films - largely because they were full of kinky love scenes - so I got to see a lot of them, including a lot of early Paul Verhoeven stuff. And as you say, the woman always dies in the most hideous of ways! What's with that?

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Sophia, you're being nice to me now? Thank you!

Sophia, what a hilarious story! You're sort of like Juliet, aren't you? Except with a happier ending! The Montagues and the Capulets only come to blows on the golf course!

Anna Campbell said...

Sophia, do you know Australia was about a week short of being claimed by the French? La Perouse sailed into Sydney Harbour just as Governor Phillip was setting up the first settlement. I often wonder what the place would be like if it was the other way around. Would we be eating croissants and drinking red wine? Well, actually that's what happened anyway!

Anna Campbell said...

Sophia, you have to go to the Russian cinema for the caramel Tim Tams ;-) Then everybody, not just the girls, dies horribly!

Terry, good point about POV and pacing!

Sophia, I boggle at the idea of you being shorty! I grew up in a tall family - German and Scandinavian genes. Sadly I inherited the well padded Scandinavian figure and my Scottish grandmother's height. Not a great combination. Anyway, Mum was 5'11", Dad was 6' and my brother shot up to about 6'5". All the conversation took place about a foot above my head!

Barbara Monajem said...

If I have a preference, it's for the hero's point of view. I already know what it's like to be a girl! As for love scenes, I don't take them very seriously, and I enjoy them most when the POV shifts midsteam (misspelling intended).

Anna Campbell said...

Rachie, thanks for visiting the lair. Is this your first time? Um, suddenly I'm channeling Sophia's virginal heroine... Anyway, welcome and pull up a cabana boy if Sophia has left any of them unmolested? She hasn't? Oh, well, have a margarita. We found the secret barrel out the back. Sophia's been at the ones under the bar too! She's a wild woman, our SN!

Sophia, Harlequin did a few only in the hero's POV books a few years ago. I think they were popular - Marion Lennox from Oz did one, I know.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Janga, great to see you're already a fan of Sophia's stuff!

Donna, that's true about the next good idea coming absolutely from left field, isn't it? It's another of the fun things about being a writer. Makes life exciting!

Cassondra, don't tell Sophia I say nice things about her behind her back! I've got her quivering in terror of me and you'll spoil the impression I've worked so hard to build up!

Nancy said...

Limecello, congrats on snagging the bird!

Hi, Sophia and Anna--thanks for a wonderful interview!

I like having both points of view, more in a romance than in other genres, where the emotion isn't so much the focal point. That includes loves scenes. I like knowing what lovemaking means to both characters.

Anna Campbell said...

Catslady, you'll love Sophia's books! Sophia, I'm pretty sure all the Widows' Club books have been Romantic Times Top Picks, haven't they? Yay, you!

Keira, I thought you'd enjoy Sophia's interview! Thanks for saying you liked it!

Barbara, mid-STEAM???!!! I love it!

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, Sophia fits right into the lair, doesn't she?

Phew, caught up!

Sophia, we're really enjoying your visit! I hope it will only be the first of many!

Beth said...

Welcome to the lair, Sophia! Your series sounds wonderful! I'm going to have to stop writing so I'll have more reading time *g*

I don't have a favorite POV - I enjoy them all :-)

I'm going to ask you the same question I asked Colleen Gleason yesterday *g*

Do you have any tips you can share on writing a series? How did you stay organized?

Can you tell I'm plotting out a series? :-)

PJ said...

Terrific interview you two!

Welcome, Sophia. I've read all three of the Merry Widow books and loved each one of them. I was telling someone the other day that I wasn't sure if I'd like Grace's book as well as the first two because I hadn't warmed up to her at all in the first two books but I should have had more faith in you. Not only did I adore Love with the Perfect Scoundrel but I really liked Grace a lot and I fell head over heels for Michael. I've already read the book twice!

Count me among the equal opportunity POV ladies. I like to see inside both the hero and heroine's heads and hearts. Taking the journey with both of them gives me a much richer reading experience.

I read a romantic suspense once that included the villain's POV and it was darn scary. I'm not sure I'd want to get inside the heads of bad guys that often. I'm really pretty much of a wimp at heart. lol

Thanks to Gannon, I've had the pleasure of devouring two boxes of Tim Tams. Yep, all by my lonesome. I didn't share a single one. :) The caramels were good but I prefer the chocolate creme.

Anna Campbell said...

Beth, what a great question! I'd love to hear Sophia's answer.

Has Gannon turned into a Tim Tam pusher, PJ? Oh, the shame of it!!! LOL! I tend to think if you've got a classic, you don't mess with it and that original Tim Tam is definitely a classic. I noticed in our local Coles supermarket the other day that there's about a dozen new varieties including strawberry which strikes me as a travesty! Yeah, clearly, I would have had my head lopped off in the French Revolution or been shot in the Russian Revolution. I'm a hopeless reactionary! Long live la Tim Tam Classique!

Virginia said...

Congrats limecello, you got him again!

Great interview Sophia! I love a good historical romance! I like to get into both heads hero and heroiens when I am reading, I like to know what makes them tick so to speak. During the love scenes I want to be in the heroeins head and pretend its me. Hey a lady can wish can't she? Your books are awesome so I would love to read your new book.

Anna Campbell said...

Virgina, I'm with you!

Oh, and just in case any of you want to buy Sophia's books, all you have to do is click on the covers in the blog and that takes you straight to Amazon.

Sophia Nash said...

I am laughing because you are right! I did write about virgins the first few books. And I'll never forget when I wrote about the virgin widow and a critique partner rolled her eyes and said, "Oh God, not another virgin widow." I had no idea this was a tired plot device! But guess what? It was the first book that sold to an editor--A Secret Passion.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

*WAVING MADLY* Hi Sophia!!! I'm just popping on fast to say hello. I see you've been languishing and lonely over here on the blog - a mere 90 comments - so I knew I had to pop in. Grins.

Off to prep for speaking to WRW tomorrow, so I can't, alas, read all the wonderful comments. *pout*

See you at Starbucks, Sophia!

Sophia Nash said...

You know, it's editor and I talked about plotting for series at the last RWA conference. I don't have any brilliant advice, but I can tell you a few things I do. First, I try to always focus on the main couple--it is very easy to let the other future characters take up too much of the "face time." One joke I have with another writer is about the importance of "sending away" some of the characters. Then I try not to reveal too much of the past of any future character because then you are stuck with that past--even if you change your mind about the character much later--unless you are a brilliant, multi-book plotter which I am NOT! I only look forward 1 book as I'm writing the one before it. So for example, in Love With the Perfect Scoundrel, I've been forshadowing tiny hints of Elizabeth's past. What I'm finding is that it gets harder and harder as the books go along because all the past characters I've grown to love want more face time than I can give them... Make sense?

Sophia Nash said...

I had been biting my nails down to the quick WAITING for reader's reactions to Grace and Michael's story--and you were one of the first to tell me you enjoyed it. That night was the first good night's sleep I had had in awhile! Really, I don't really mind if some people don't like the story--but as long as there is 1 person who was touched by the book--I feel like I've done something right! Thank you so much...

Karin said...

Great interview! Being surrounded by all those male cousins sounds like it was plenty interesting growing up. lol

I don't really have a preference between the hero and heroine's point of view when I'm reading. I know there are certain times when one perspective is more appropriate than the other and I enjoy them both. So, as long as the point of view works in the overall story or scene, I'm happy with it.

Sophia Nash said...

OK-- I want to know how Jeanne "The Duchesse" got her title....Duchess of Starbucks? Yeah, we both reign there--in those hard to come by comfy chairs. Did you all know Jeanne and I live about 3 minutes from each other? And if any of you have read Elaine Fox's books, she gre up about 10 houses away from me!

Anna Campbell said...

Sophia, I know it makes people roll their eyes but I must admit a sneaking fondness for virgin widow plots. They're like the plots where the widow hasn't had any really good nookie and then Mr. Right turns up. I certainly used that one in Untouched.

Oh, Jeanne, I'm jealous! I want to get together with you girls tomorrow.

Anna Campbell said...

Sophia, what great advice about writing a series!

Karin, the male cousins do sound interesting, don't they?

Jeanne, how DID the duchesse thing come about? I've forgotten. I can remember we were teasing you about something. Yeah, like that never happens in the lair!

Beth said...

Sophia, your advice makes perfect sense *g*

Thanks so much!

And I have to say I'm envious of authors who not only have other authors close by but also a Starbucks! The closest starbucks is 45 min away from me :-)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

*haughtily* I, if you must know, am Le Duchesse de Snorkville, my darling Sophia. My estates are vast and legendary. :> Our most ancient name derives from our tendency to SNORK with laughter at moments both appropriate as well as those occasions when it's not. (The latter often causing damage to keyboards, clothing etc. because it it generally done in context with a liquid refreshment being spewed when said laughter - snorking - occurs)


My darling friend, Louisa, the Duchess (English, you know, rather than French) of Hotdayum probably has already made an appearance.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

BTW, Anna, it is SUCH fun to meet with or run into Sophia at our regular Starbucks hangout. We've also run into such luminary lights as Sally MacKensie (The Naked Books), Merry Banerji who, I believe, writes as Meredith Bond, and other illustrious WRW Members.


Pat Cochran said...

Thanks for your visit to the Lair,
Sophia, and thanks to our Miss Anna
for hosting today's gathering!

I was surprised to see you here
today, especially since I've been
visiting you and your website over
the last couple of days! One visit
was made after tracking down a
comment of yours in the Avon "From
the Heart" newsletter.

I try to see a romance from both
sides, hero and heroine, except
for the love scenes. Like Helen,
I would like to be the object of
the hero's affections for those
few moments!! LOL!

Pat Cochran

limecello said...

LOL Anna - (and Dianna - eek!) :P I think my run is about to end - 3 days is pretty good, right?
But anyway - Tim Tams, no, there weren't any at the Target stores around me. Or in MA, CA, DC, or MO, where I had friends check. O_O (I think I might rival Sophia in her Tim Tam love. I had a cross country cookie/biscuit hunt.) I've been known to dance around the house clutching a packet of Tim Tams.
I was, however, kind enough to receive a pack from the marketing rep when I waxed poetic about Tim Tams on a blog post. Sadly, no more were or have been forthcoming :P

Anna Campbell said...

Ah, the Duchess of Hotdayum! I'd forgotten our Louisa's aristocratic connections! Jeanne, I'd forgotten the Duchesse de Snorkville but you're right! Gosh, that was way back when we first got together. We've all been through so much since then, haven't we? And we're still snorking!

Pat, are you following our Sophia around? I'm sure she'll like that!

Limecello, I'm laughing at you doing a States-wide search for the glorious glittering Tim Tams. You'll just have to move to Australia. They're on sale everywhere here!

Sophia Nash said...

Hi Pat--
So which Avon mystery quote was it? The one about my most embarrassing moment? The one in Spanish 101 at UCLA?

Anna Campbell said...

Sophia, not sure if in the mad chat fest, you missed my questions - but I wondered about your writing process and also if you had the urge to write anything other than Regency romance. Interesting parties want to know! ;-)

Sophia Nash said...

Jeanne and Anna--
Love the titles. Duchess of Hotdayum? Snorkville? If I pay off the correct one of you with Dutch foreign film theatre slightly-stale Tim Tams can I be Vicomtesse de Maximus Bullonius?

Anna Campbell said...

Not you, my dear, you are la Princesse de Superbus Prosius.

Sophia Nash said...

Hmmm... anything other than regency-set romances? Well, I have written one paranormal novella for charity: Bewitched Bothered and Bevampyred. The title was: Crunching Scientist, Hidden Dragon. I'm not kidding. It had a host of great authors headlined by Mary Jo Putney, Mary Janice Davidson, Pat Rice, Gena Showalter and on and on... I'll admit that I had way too much fun writing it.

And then on occasion I've tried writing a few pages of a contemporary about a television reporter--draw on your own experience, right?--but it invariably peters out.
The thing is that I have so many ideas--for a screenplay, and most especially a children's book--but right now, I love writing what I'm writing, and I doubt that will change because I feel most at home in a historical setting. But I've learned it's better to not say "never."

Sophia Nash said...

Anna said, "don't tell Sophia I say nice things behind her back! I've got her quivering in terror of me and you'll spoil the impression I've worked so hard to build up."
Sophia's reply-- Yeah, I almost died of fright when you mentioned the RT Top Picks and explained how to click to order my books.

jo robertson said...

Thanks for the info on the stories, Helen. I ordered Luc's story, figuring I'd start at the beginning!

Thanks, Sophia, Victoria sounds perfect!

Sophia Nash said...

I am shaking my head about the writing process question. For about 2 years I used to stop every author I met to beg them to explain their writing process. I kept thinking if I asked enough people I'd be able to figure out a better way than my own. Everyone was a pantzer (seat of the pants writer) or a plotter (outliner). That's when I coined the absolutely horrible term for what I am and so many other writers in the closet: pantiliner. Yes, it'll go on my gravestone.
I am most comfortable writing and plotting a nice long, terrifyingly complicated synopsis. Then I start writing the story and nothing goes according to the synopsis I spent months plotting. BUT--when I really get stuck, I do review the synopsis and frequesntly it will help me consider what is wrong or where I might go. But mostly that awful synopsis is a security blanket.

Sophia Nash said...

Hi Janga.
Great to see you here! And I am SO glad you liked this new book... You are not alone re your fondness for Beta heroes. I'm always so surprised that half the readers prefer Luc the alpha male and half prefer Quinn. With such an even split, you'd think there would be more Beta males in romance.
I've written 2 (maybe 3) Beta males. Apart from Quinn, there was also Nicholas from A Passionate Endeavor--the book that won the Rita. I mention this only because when I wrote that book and it was released, I left town. Literally. I was certain it was going to be universally disliked. When my editor at the time read the bad, bad, bad synopsis, she said, "That hero is NOT going to work." And I tried to change him, but he was determined to be Beta...Each book teaches me something--and that second book taught me to trust the process.

Sophia Nash said...

I actually do know a little about the history of Australia. After watching Australia (the movie) my son decided to do a HUGE report on the country and so I had to listen to him tell me about a million facts about Oz. That's when he told me the one place he was determined to visit was Australia. We made a bargain that we'd go together one day.
All I can say is that the French really missed the boat on getting their fingers on Oz. But there is always Guadaloupe and those other little glittering islands in the sun!

Sophia Nash said...

Re visiting other countries...the other place I've always wanted to visit is Corsica. I want to see what sort of land produced a man like Napoleon.

Anna Campbell said...

Sophia, interesting about you feeling at home in a historical setting. I must say I feel the same! It mightn't always be Regency but it's some time in the past!

OMG! I thought pantser was bad enough. Now I have to cope with people wanting to call themselves pantiliners! The mind boggles! Actually after much talk and experimentation and cogitation, I've decided I have an awful process but it's the best process for me. Sigh.

Hey, cool! Between your son and the Tim Tams, we'll get you down here one day!

Anna Campbell said...

Sophia, you've been an amazing guest in the lair. I was serious when I said I hope you'll come back and see us again! Good luck with LOVE WITH THE PROPER STRANGER. I'm sure it's going to be another hit!

Thank you to everyone who commented. It's been a great day in the Bandita lair.

People, don't forget to check back in the next day or so to see who won the signed copy of LOVE WITH A PROPER STRANGER. Good luck!

Renee said...

My favorite POV during sex scenes is from the hero. For some reason it makes the scene that more intense and emotional.


Pat Cochran said...

I believe the comment had to do
with excessive research! It was in the Avon newsletter which arrived this week.

Pat Cochran

Karen H in NC said...

Hi Sophia,

Great interview and love the little nuggets of info you drop about upcoming books. I must say too, that I can't wait to get my hands on LWAPS. Sounds like another wonderful story.

I think I prefer the heroine POV overall, but I like to read the hero POV story too. And love scenes, well either will do just so long as it's HOT!

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