Monday, May 16, 2011
Today's Special -- An Interview with Stefanie Sloane
As you all know, we here at The Romance Dish love debut authors. Well, do we have a special treat for you today! Not only does historical author Stefanie Sloane's debut book come out next week (I've read it and loved it!), but she has back-to-back-to-back releases! How's that for starting out with a bang?! This English major from Seattle has always loved to read and credits her parents for that. That degree helped her land a job with Amazon's editorial department before she decided to write her own stories of happily-ever-afters. Please help me welcome Stefanie to the blog!
Andrea: Hi, Stefanie! We are thrilled to have you visiting with us today at the Romance Dish. :) Thanks so much for being here.
Stefanie: Thanks so much for inviting me to join you. I have to say, one of the best parts of my job so far has been meeting all of the wonderful bloggers and reviewers out there in Romancelandia. You’re such a fun bunch!
Andrea: Aww, thanks! Huge congratulations on your debut book, The Devil in Disguise, which comes out next Tuesday! (Folks, I’ve read it and you don’t want to miss it!) What is the story about?
Stefanie: William Randall, the Duke of Clairemont, is a wicked rake with little regard for society—a most unlikely suitor for the prim and proper Lady Lucinda Gray. But his latest assignment for the Young Corinthians, an elite spy organization, involves protecting her from a kidnapping plot and to do this, the notorious “Iron Will” must get close to Lucinda, and convince her that he’s a man worthy of her attention. It is a simple enough task to use his devilish charm to seduce her, but William never would have guessed that he’d become enthralled by the lovely Lady Grey—or that he’d lose his own heart in the bargain.
Beautiful and fiercely intelligent, Lucinda has managed to gracefully sidestep even the most persistent suitors. Until the Duke of Clairemont, that is. His rugged features, sinfully sensuous mouth, and piercing eyes are as alluring as the champion thoroughbred he tantalizingly offers in exchange for the honor of courting her, and she finds it hard to resist either temptation. The feelings he stirs in her both excite and arouse, urging her on despite the very real danger he represents. But when the truth is revealed, will Lucinda risk her heart and her life for a chance at everlasting love?
Andrea: Ah, I simply adored Iron Will and can see why Lucinda did, too. *g* The Devil in Disguise is the start of a series called The Regency Rogues. How are these books connected? And how many will there be?
Stefanie: All of the delicious heroes in the Regency Rogues books are members of the Young Corinthians, an elite spy organization that serves king and country with complete and utter devotion. Think James Bond in breeches! As for how many books there will be in the series, I’m contracted to write books four, five, and six. After that, well, if the readers love the first six, hopefully there will be more!
Andrea: Congrats on four, five, and six! I’m sure this series will sell well. Okay, back to The Devil in Disguise. Before Will and Lucinda meet, both are dead set against courtship or marriage. Yet, after they meet and get to know one another, they actually begin to consider it. Why is that? Specifically, what is it about each that makes the other finally contemplate it?
Stefanie: I think it’s that indescribable yet totally consuming quality that love possesses. The quality that opens your eyes and forces you to realize that, despite everything you thought to the contrary, there really is someone on earth who not only understands you, but loves you completely and without judgment.
Andrea: Very well said, Stefanie. I totally felt that love between them. And speaking of love, Lucinda’s love of horses is a key point of the story. Do you share her love of horses? How much research did you have to do?
Stefanie: I absolutely do share Lucinda’s love of horses. I owned a beautiful Egyptian Arabian when I was a girl and have long admired the equine for its stamina, grace, nobility, and intelligence. I volunteered for quite some time with a horse rescue organization and interacted on a daily basis with these amazing animals, so my research was all hands-on experience—the best kind!
Andrea: Oh, wow! That's definitely the best kind of research. In addition to horses, Lucinda also dearly loves her aunts, the “Furies”, and I adored them, too! They are fiercely loyal and funny to boot. Are they based on anyone you know?
Stefanie: No one that I know, but many characters played by Maggie Smith fit the bill. Well, any of Maggie Smith’s characters blown out of proportion then enlarged personality-wise by a factor of ten.
Andrea: Maggie Smith is a great choice! I love her. Okay, since The Devil in Disguise is your debut, and we all love a good call story, can you tell us about the day you received “the call”?
Stefanie: I’ll warn you: it’s a rather unglamorous story. I was scouring my kitchen sink when my agent called. Then one of my dogs started barking, then I emailed my mom with the news—while still on the phone with my agent. Then the second dog started barking, I instant messaged my husband, and somewhere in there I began to cry. Loud, unglamorous, but it’s all mine.
Andrea: That’s plenty glamorous! Any time that you can get out of doing housework is glamorous. *wink* So, have you always liked to write? What prompted you to pick up the pen?
Stefanie: I entered college with plans of becoming a museum curator. When I slept my way through one of my core art classes, I thought it would be prudent to investigate other career paths. So I looked around for a major that would allow me to do what I loved to do best: reading. Thankfully, I didn’t fall asleep in any of my writing classes, and in fact, finally figured out what I wanted to do with my life.
Andrea: And here you are—a published author! Another thing we like to talk about here at the Romance Dish is comfort reads. We all have them. What are some of yours?
Stefanie: There are too many to list, but a few favorites are Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels, Julia Quinn’s The Duke and I, and any of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books.
Andrea: Julia Quinn is a popular comfort read author as her The Viscount Who Loved Me is tops on my list. *g* On your website it states that you are a working mom to two active girls. How do you balance writing and family? What is a typical writing day like for you?
Stefanie: You know the performer in the circus who balances spinning plates with her nose, balls with her feet, and small animals with her hands? That’s kind of what my typical day looks like. My girls come first, so I do most of my writing during the day when they’re at school. And if I get behind—which, um, I am right now—I wait until after they go to bed to pick up the pen. My family always comes first and thankfully, I have a job that allows for this.
Andrea: LOL! I can so picture that as I have two kids, too, and they and my husband always come first. :) Since you write historical romance, if you could go back in time to when your characters lived, what one item would you insist on taking with you?
Stefanie: It’s silly and hardly the one and only thing someone in such a situation should think about, but a toothbrush—you know, a real one. Not a twig or some woody apparatus. I’m pretty sure that my dentist is smiling right about now.
Andrea: I am so with you on the toothbrush. If you hosted a small dinner party and could invite anyone you wanted (real or fictional, past or present), who would you invite and why?
Stefanie: As I’m still thinking about the recent royal wedding, I would like to put together a rather English grouping, including:
Colin Firth. I think the “why” is obvious.
Queen Victoria. A fascinating woman who lived during one of the most interesting periods in English history.
The Clash. They are one of my all-time favorite bands and sorely missed. Perhaps, if I begged, they’d play “London Calling” during dessert.
Alan Rickman. An amazing actor whose voice would soothe the situation should a fight break out between The Clash and Queen Victoria—which I’m fairly sure it would.
Will and Kate, because they’re just so cute.
Andrea: What great dinner conversation you would have! Since we’re on the subject of food, I see on your website that you love Mexican food (but don’t like to cook it). Me, too! To both, LOL! What your favorite Mexican dish?
Stefanie: Well, I love a good tamale. And then there’s guacamole—this doesn’t count as a dish, right? It’s more of a sauce or garnish, so I can have both, yes?
Andrea: Absolutely you can have both! Personally, I love spinach quesadillas...to which my family looks at me funny. LOL! Can you give us a sneak peek of what’s up next for you?
Stefanie: In June The Angel in My Arms will be published:
When it comes to suitors, Sarah’s lush curves and perfectly kissable lips aren’t enough to compensate for her outspoken and willful nature. Sarah’s tasted disappointment before, and she long ago decided that she’s better off without an overbearing husband. Still, flirting with the sinfully handsome Marcus is a pastime worth savoring—even when it leads to wicked pleasures. But when Sarah’s life is in jeopardy, Marcus discovers that the fire between them can no longer be denied—and that he’ll do anything to keep her in his arms.
Andrea: I cannot wait for this one! Quick Six time!
Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds, though chocolate would trump.
Soup or salad? Salad if it’s warm outside, soup if it’s cold. Strange, but true.
Alpha or beta? Oh, I’m an alpha girl. All the way.
Mountains or beach? Since the view from my house is of the Olympic Mountain range, I’ll go with mountains.
Plotter or pantster? Plotter with a capital “P.”
Chocolate or vanilla? See question #1.
Andrea: Thanks so much for answering all of my many questions, Stefanie. Now it’s your turn—is there a question you’d like to ask our readers?
Stefanie: Thanks again for having me! Such fun questions to answer. Now, dear readers, I’d like to ask you a question: If you are a person who enjoys series, how long do you prefer your series to be? Six books? Thirty books? Is there typically a point at which you’d like to see something new from the author?
Answer my question in the comment thread and you’ll automatically be entered to win a signed copy of my debut book, The Devil in Disguise.
Thank you, Stefanie!