by Anna Campbell
It is my huge pleasure to invite back one of our most popular guests and a brilliant writer too, Sarah MacLean. Make sure you comment today because Sarah has very generously offered one of our buddies the chance to win signed copies of the ENTIRE LOVE BY NUMBERS TRILOGY!
Wow, wonder if hostesses are eligible! If not, can I adopt a false name? A moustache? Get botox?
What? You still recognize me? Sheesh! Being a master criminal isn't as easy as it used to be!
Sarah's latest historical romance from Avon ELEVEN SCANDALS TO START TO WIN A DUKE'S HEART is out on the 26th April (clearly an auspicious day for book releases, snicker!) and is dominating the bestseller lists as we speak. It's also garnering rave reviews, including a Top Pick review from RT Book Reviews, where Kathe Robin said:
The third book in the Love by Numbers series is a fast-paced, funny and tender read. You’ll love watching MacLean’s well-developed characters fall in love and define their relationship and enjoy the cameo appearances of her first two couples in this unforgettable story.
Here's the very cute trailer for ELEVEN SCANDALS:
You can find out more about Sarah and her fabulous romance novels on her website.
So without further ado, here's Sarah!
Thanks so much for having me, Anna! You know how much I like the pina coladas over here at the Bandits. *hic!* No more until the interview is over, though.
Sarah, put down that cabana boy! You can't have your dessert until you eat your vegetables! As you know I loved NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE. But I think I loved TEN WAYS TO BE ADORED WHEN LANDING A LORD even more. I was entranced by the characters in that story. Now ELEVEN SCANDALS TO START TO WIN A DUKE’S HEART has hit the stands (and my bedside table). Can you tell us about this story?
You have no idea how much it means to have *you* say such lovely things about my books...I am such a HUGE Anna Campbell fan...HUGE.
(Anna Campbell preens like a swan! Well, maybe like a goose, but she's a goose who likes to think she's a swan!)
As for Eleven’s story...this is the one that everyone has been waiting for. The heroine, Juliana Fiori, is the scandalous Italian half-sister of the heroes of the first two books, and she’s been slowly coming out of her shell while her brothers have been busy finding love. Readers have also met the hero, Simon, Duke of Leighton, who is the worst kind of cold, immovable, autocratic duke. Just ripe for a dressing down. And I mean that in all possible ways.
When scandal meets propriety, sparks fly...and that’s where Eleven lives.
Ooh, love it. I actually love immovable object, irresistible force romances and this sounds like a fantastic example! What’s next for Sarah MacLean?
My next series, THE FALLEN ANGEL quartet, follows four aristocrats, cast from society by scandal, now partners in London’s most notorious gaming hell--The Fallen Angel. The first book, A ROGUE BY ANY OTHER NAME, tells the story of Michael Lawler, Marquess of Bourne, who will do anything to rebuild his lands and fortune--including marrying a woman who is entirely too innocent for his wicked ways.
Sounds delicious! What made you choose the Regency as your setting? You obviously have a passion for early 19th century Great Britain!
I blame Johanna Lindsey and Judith McNaught. When you’re a kid growing up in Rhode Island, and someone puts WHITNEY, MY LOVE or GENTLE ROGUE in your hands...you never go back. It was only a matter of time before I was reading any Regency-set (the traditional Regencies were too tame for my teenaged self) historical I could get my hands on. By the time Stephanie Laurens and Julia Quinn and Eloisa James and Lisa Kleypas came along, I was already an addict...and they just made it worse.
So, when I finally set pen to paper to write my first book, Regency-set is what came out. And I knew better than to fight it.
You’ve been published now for a little over a year with FOUR books out in that time (“Where’s my hartshorn?” she shrieks in best Regency fashion). It must have been a total whirl. What do you wish you’d known before you published that you know now? Were there any surprises along the way?
LOL! I’m not sure I know anything more now than I did then! But here are three things that I have written on notecards in my office that I find help (or, at least, make me feel better!):
1) Every book is different. (This one helps when I think, “But the beginning of *that* book was so *easy*! I thought I *mastered* beginnings! Why does *this* beginning suck?!?”)
2) The darkest hour is before the dawn. (This one is necessary for the moment you get 300 pages into a manuscript and think, Oh, my God. What was I *thinking*? Usually it takes me a week of noodling and fixing and going back to the beginning before I break through and sprint to the finish.)
3) Someone will love this book. Someone will also hate it. (This one is for those stupid moments when you are a dumb author and look at reviews.)
Can you take us through a typical Sarah MacLean day?
I’m not sure you can handle the excitement of my days, honestly. Brace yourselves.
8:30 - Alarm goes off. Snooze hit.
8:42 - Alarm goes off again. Snooze hit again.
8:44 - Dog stands over head, whining.
8:44:25 - I say, “No. Go away,” in firmest, most masterful voice possible (there has to be some cosmic problem with the fact that my first words most mornings are “No. Go away,” but let’s leave that for another time).
8:44:27 - Dog starts whining again.
8:45 - Husband’s alarm goes off. I give up on sleep.
10:00 - Teeth brushed, dog fed, tea poured, email checked, Facebook checked, Twitter checked. Husband gone, dog walked. Time to write.
11:00 - Spent additional hour on Facebook, reading Anna Campbell’s midnight posts and pretending to do important “authory” stuff. Really, though. Time to write. Receive new email. Sale at The Gap!
12:00 - Have bought new clothes, despite the fact that I spend all day in yoga pants and a tank top. *Now* must write. Turn off Internet (I have no willpower, whatsoever) for three hours. Write.
12:30 - Make more tea. Write.
1:00 - Time for lunch break. Telephone call with a) my best friend, b) my sister, c) my mother or d) all of the above.
1:30 - Write. Possibly, something worth reading.
2:30 - Dog begins whining. Time for a break, anyway. What can you really do in 30 minutes?
3:00 - Have done God knows what, but lost 30 minutes doing it. Back to computer. Time to write. Oh! Look! Internet is back. I’ll just check email for two quick minutes. Ooh! Sale at Nine West!
4:30 - Have checked every website known to man, bought shoes and twitpic’d dog doing something adorable, like sleeping on a stuffed hedgehog. Oy. Back to work. Internet off for another three hours. Write.
5:30 - Have I showered today? Shower.
6:30 - Consider the possibility that husband might want dinner. Sort takeaway menus. Return to desk. Write.
7:45 - Husband comes home. I realize that I was actually working and did not notice a) the Internet returning, b) the sun setting, or c) the fact that the house is now in a state of complete blackness. This means I actually got work done! Huzzah!
8:00 - Husband asks how day was. I tell the truth. I worked very very hard. And was extremely productive.
8:30 - Takeaway arrives. We watch an episode of The West Wing, which by now we could do without a television since we know all the words anyway.
9:30 - I return to office to write. Ooh! Anna Campbell is awake in Australia!
10:00 - Anna is a wicked, evil distraction, sent to ruin my writing career. Internet off. Write.
12:00 - To Bedfordshire.
Bwahahahaha! My evil plan is working... Hold on, if you don't write, I don't get any new books from you. Goose Campbell returns to barn to ponder a NEW plan! Perhaps I should email Sarah and ask her how she thinks I should proceed - oh, that's right, she's buying shoes at Nine West and isn't on the Internet (snork! Or perhaps as I'm now a goose, honk?).
Sarah, do you have anything you want to ask the Bandits? And no, requesting a recipe for roast goose is not appropriate!
I just confessed that Johanna Lindsey and Judith McNaught were my gateway drugs to romance. Those Malorys! Those Westmorelands! I mean, seriously? How’s a girl to resist? So...time for you to fess up! Who were the authors (or what were the books) that got you hooked on romance? One commenter will win signed copies of the entire LOVE BY NUMBERS trilogy!