Author Sarah MacLean won RT’s first Seal Of Excellence for her debut historical romance, Nine Rules To Break When Romancing A Rake. Now RT’s Whitney Sullivan gets all the insider info about MacLean’s upcoming release and the deal she just signed for four more historicals.
Whitney Sullivan: So Sarah, before anything else, I have to know: Will you be continuing your current series with these four new novels? How about your numbered titles?
Sarah MacLean: I’ve got two more books in what I refer to as the Ralston siblings series — Nick’s book, Ten Ways To Be Adored When Landing a Lord, will be out this October. It will be followed by Juliana’s story, Eleven Scandals To Start To Win A Duke’s Heart in July 2011!
In early 2012, I’m giving up numbered, rhyming titles for a new series! It’s set in the same world as Nine, Ten and Eleven, so readers will see some familiar faces alongside a host of new characters. I can’t say much more, as my editor has sworn me to secrecy, but I can tell you that I’m calling it my Fallen Angels series and the heroes are already keeping me up at night ... and I like it!
WS: So you say we know some of your upcoming characters already?
SM: After Ten Ways, Juliana wreaks her havoc on London and on a certain, unflappable hero ... and I think fans of Nine Rules will be very happy with both the who and the how!
My Fallen Angels are new heroes, none of whom you’ve met ... yet. But you’ll meet them all in the first book of the series, and you’ll (hopefully) root for them each to find love. The best part? I think I’ve come up with a surprise or two that will keep readers on their toes as the series goes on.
WS: Okay, before I swoon in excitement, let’s focus on the title I can get my hands on next: Ten Ways To Be Adored When Landing A Lord. What was something unexpected that you learned from your experience writing Nine Rules?
SM: Sometimes the character that you really really want to write is exactly the character that other people really really want to read. Callie was so close to me ... and I still can’t quite believe how much people took to her. That’s an amazing experience.
WS: Callie, the heroine of Nine Rules, is definitely a fan favorite around here as well. We are all wondering what type of heroine will be a match for Nick. Can you share a detail about Isabel?
SM: There’s a fabulous Eleanor Roosevelt quote: “A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water.” That’s Isabel.
I like to write heroines who feel real — women in whom we can see ourselves ... or [in] our best friends. Callie was a plain Jane who needed to take action to prove her mettle. Isabel is a woman who doubts her strength even as she’s tackling every challenge I sent her way: her father has just died leaving nothing behind; her brother is a child Earl; and she’s got a houseful of secrets and a terribly leaky roof.
She feels like she’s holding everything together by a thread. Haven’t we all felt this way at one point or another? And then, to make matters worse (or a whole lot better, depending upon your perspective), a stranger comes to town — a tall, dark, irresistible stranger named Nicholas St. John.
WS: I know that Ten Ways hero, Nick, is the younger twin brother of Gabriel St. John from Nine Rules hero, how do you illustrate that relationship in Ten Ways?
SM: In Ten Ways, Ralston finally gets to watch as Nick falls head over heels for a distracting, difficult female ... and he enjoys every bit of his baby brother’s torture. I think fans of Nine Rules will get a kick out of the way the tables have turned on poor Nick — I definitely did!
WS: We all know how much you love Regencies. But, by the end of your last Fallen Angels novel, it will be your eighth story set in period. So I have to ask, if you could be transported to the Regency era (and still be a writer) would you do it?
SM: No way. Unless we’re talking about a day or two and I could bring a full course of antibiotics.
I love the Regency. I love the fashion and the balls and the ton and London ... I love George IV in all his debauched wonder, and I really love knee breeches.
But I just can’t get past the lack of public sewage systems, the fact that drinking a glass of water wasn’t simply unpleasant but downright dangerous, the chamber pots, the infrequent bathing, the bloodletting ... you get the picture.
Of course, my characters never have to use the necessary, their clothes are clean and smell like lemon and lavender, their doctors have very modern sensibilities, and they almost never get cholera — something that can really pull a person out of a love story.
WS: Ahh, yes the diseases and stench, are the two big reasons not to live in the Regency era ... And, I’d hate to think of you there unable to continue writing more delicious Regencies for all of us. So before I let you go, could you share a detail that RT readers can look for while they are devouring the pages of Ten Ways To Be Adored When Landing A Lord?
SM: Because it’s Nick’s story, I think readers will be excited to have their questions about him answered — they’ll obviously discover how he got his scar, and what his childhood was like, and they’ll meet a few of his (unbearably good looking) friends. But Nick has some special talents without which this whole story would be for naught ... not the least of which is his knowledge of antiquities. Look out for a marble or two that don’t seem at all old or dusty when he’s nearby.
WS: Thanks so much Sarah!
If you are still jonesing (like I am) for more MacLean goodies, be sure to check out her website, follow her on Twitter and friend her on Facebook. And you will be able to get your hands on Sarah MacLean’s next novel, Ten Ways To Be Adored When Landing A Lord, on October 26th, 2010. Until then, you can join me in feasting your eyes on this: