SPECIAL INTERVIEW WITH SABRINA JEFFRIES
Sabrina Jeffries is a multi-award winning New York Times best selling author. Every time this reader reads one of her novels she truly feels she has been transported back to Regency England!
Sabrina Jeffries’s romances have a loyal following that makes them a fan favorite and an ‘automatic’ buy. But how does she come up with her ideas and who inspires her charming characters?
When I had the fortuitous opportunity to ask her, I jumped at the chance!
And here is what this gracious author said.
1) As a New York Times bestselling author do you often get recognized by avid fans? What is the most memorable fan mail you have received?
Sabrina Jeffries: I only get recognized at conferences, I’m afraid. My most memorable fan letters are the ones where readers tell me wonderful, heartfelt stories about how reading my books helped them get through cancer or a death in the family or some other trauma. But I also do love the presents sent to me by readers. I’ve received everything from miniature items for my Will and Jane comic to cookies in shapes representative of my Hellions series to pirate items to hand-beaded or crocheted bookmarks. I love my readers!
2) Well, we obviously love you back! I that what keeps you writing? Do you ever run out of ideas? How do you deal with tight deadlines?
Sabrina Jeffries: The joy of writing and being read keeps me writing. Oh, and coffee. Lots of coffee.
So far I haven’t run out of ideas. I suppose it could happen but I doubt it. Every time I read something or see the news and watch a movie or go out in the world, I get two or three ideas.
I deal with tight deadlines with coffee. Lots of coffee.
3) When you write a book do you already have the entire storyline mapped out or do the characters sometimes take over and tell you what to do!?
Sabrina Jeffries: It’s a little of both these days. I map out the plot first, though if I have characters who are somewhat fixed when I begin (like the Hellions), I make sure the plot accommodates what I know about them. I always have certain things I know I want to happen. I just CAN'T know my characters until I start writing the book. It takes me a few chapters to really feel like I know them, and once I do, they start taking over and altering the plot, not a lot, but enough that it’s always different from my initial “plan.”
4) Can you tell us about your next book? Will characters from your latest series, the Hellions of Halstead Hall, return?
Sabrina Jeffries: My next book, ’Twas the Night after Christmas, is about Pierce Waverly, the Earl of Devonmont, who was Virginia Waverly’s cousin in two of the Hellions books, so that’s one of the characters who will return. A couple of other characters from the Hellions series also appear.
Here’s the summary of the story: Pierce Waverly, the Earl of Devonmont, has led an unabashed rogue’s life, letting no woman near his heart. Inexplicably abandoned as a child to be raised by distant relatives, he never forgave his parents, refusing to read any of his mother’s letters after his father’s death. Then comes a letter from his mother’s companion, Mrs. Camilla Stuart, implying that his mother is dying. It shakes his resolve and sends him on a Christmas visit to Montcliff, which might prove his last chance to discover the truth of his past and come to terms with the stranger he calls “mother.”
But two surprises await him at Montcliff. His mother is perfectly healthy. The second is Camilla herself, a lively vicar’s widow, too bright and beautiful not to arouse the scoundrel in Pierce. Though she alone is reason enough to prolong his stay, he is soon faced with other tantalizing riddles: what secrets lie in his mother’s past to explain his childhood abandonment? Why is the captivating Mrs. Stuart so determined to mend the breach between mother and son? Meanwhile, Camilla herself is caught up in love’s complications since the arrival of the irresistible earl. As his bold flirtation and suggestive whispers draw her dangerously close, can anything protect her vulnerable heart? If they are destined to share real happiness, there must be honesty between them—yet telling him the truth about her own life may shatter that chance.
5) Oh! Can’t wait! If you could name your sentimental favorite, which character would that be and why? What book has been your funniest book to write?
Sabrina Jeffries: This changes with my mood, to be honest. But my latest tends to be my favorite--I'm not sure why. I always think that the one I just finished is the best one . . . until the next comes along. Minerva’s book probably had me laughing the most, although my latest, first in the Duke’s Men series (about the Duke of Lyons, one of Celia’s suitors) has turned out to be far funnier than I first envisioned.
6) Regency romances are one of my favorite genres to read! What appeals to you about the Regency era? Will you ever write a Victorian based historical romance?
Sabrina Jeffries: I love the Regency because of the love of fine wit, the bawdy character of some of the aristocracy, and the wonderful costumes. Also, it was a time of great change in English society, which always makes for wonderful dramatic material. The Victorian period is a bit too humorless for me, but lately I’ve been edging into Victorian so I suppose there’s a chance I could still write in that period. I’d really love to write a book set in the Edwardian period (the same period as the first season of Downton Abbey). Don’t know if I ever will, though.
7) I hope you do! With your obviouc love of Regency England, do you often visit London for inspiration? What places do you love the most? Do you often have tea, scones and cucumber sandwiches with your friends?!
Sabrina Jeffries: I’ve been to England twice as an adult, and only one of those trips did I actually stay in London and tour it (rather than flying in and going somewhere else). I would go more often if I could, but our autistic adult son still lives with us. We don’t like to be away from him for too long. I love the Sir John Soane’s Museum in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and Hyde Park, among other things. Although honestly, I liked everything I visited in London.
Sadly, I never have tea with friends. I’m a coffee drinker! I do like cucumber sandwiches and scones, but I don’t get many chances to have them.
8) You are having a reprint, After the Abduction, coming out in 2012. Are there edits to the original story? Are you ever tempted to make changes? How do you feel you writing has evolved over the years?
Sabrina Jeffries: My Avon reprints are not re-edited (and my upcoming one is Dance of Seduction, coming out April 30, 2013), but Pocket is reissuing some of my Deborah Martin titles, and I am revising those. Yes, I would like to make changes in every book I ever wrote. Sadly, if I did, I’d never have time to do anything else!
I think my writing has become tighter through the years and a lot more sophisticated. And funnier, too. At least, I hope so!
9) I notice you write many series. Is it more difficult to interconnect characters or do you enjoy having well-loved characters return? Has there ever been a character you felt was slightly unfinished and would like to write more about?
Sabrina Jeffries: I LOVE writing series. I love revisiting a world. Two characters I’d like to write more about are Charles Godwin and Captain Rafael, both from the Heiress series. Maybe one day!
10) The series is a great series, I’m sure fans wouldn’t mind if you did... please?! Okay, give us a hint, what upcoming books are you excited to write about?
Sabrina Jeffries: As mentioned above, ’Twas The Night after Christmas will be out October 30, 2012.
The reworked version of By Love Unveiled written under my Deborah Martin pseudonym will be out February 26, 2013. Here’s what it’s about: Marianne Winchilsea is running for her life from those who think she was involved in an attempt to kill the king. Forced to disguise herself, she trusts no one—especially Garrett Lockwood, the Earl of Falkham, the man who usurped her family home and who seems to be her most dangerous enemy. Beneath her disguise, Garrett sees a beautiful half-gypsy who is enrobed in mystery, deception, and secrets. A woman he should avoid at all costs. In a world of treachery and passion, of sweet seduction and whispered betrayals, each must learn to trust one another as desire turns into a passionate love that all the powers of the world cannot defeat.
My upcoming series is titled The Duke’s Men, but I’m not quite ready to talk about that one!
Thank you for spending your generous time with us!! It is always such a pleasure.
Sabrina Jeffries: Thank you for having me! I’m always delighted to talk to readers.
Interviewed by Steph from the Bookaholics Romance Book Club
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Upcoming and Recent Books by Sabrina Jeffries
A Lady Never Surrenders -Jan. 2012
This youngest hellion uncovers a long-held secret . . . and the mystery of love.
With two months left to find a husband to fulfill her grandmother’s ultimatum, Lady Celia Sharpe sets her sights on three eligible bachelors. Becoming betrothed to one of these wealthy, high-ranking men will surely prove her capable of getting married, so hopefully the wedding itself won’t be necessary for Celia and her siblings to receive their inheritance. Step two of her audacious plan is hiring the dangerously compelling Bow Street Runner Jackson Pinter to investigate the three men she’s chosen. But with Lady Celia bedeviling Jackson’s days and nights, the last thing he wants is to help her find a husband. And when she recalls shadowed memories that lead his investigation into her parents’ mysterious deaths in a new direction—putting her in danger—Jackson realizes the only man he wants Celia to marry is himself!
To Wed a Wild Lord -Nov. 2011
To fulfill his grandmother’s ultimatum, Lord Gabriel Sharpe pursues a spitfire he believes desperately needs him. Then the tables are turned....
Like everything daredevil Gabriel Sharpe does,pursuing Virginia Waverly is a high-stakes game. Ever since her brother Roger died racing Lord Gabriel, Virginia has yearned to take her revenge on the reckless lord by beating him at his own sport. But when she challenges Lord Gabriel to a race, the hellion who has always embraced his dark reputation as the “Angel of Death” counters with a marriage proposal!
Gabe knows Virginia's family is in dire financial straits—why shouldn’t she marry him and solve both their problems? She claims to be appalled by his proposal, but her response to his kisses says otherwise. So when the two of them begin to unravel the truth behind Roger’s death, Gabe takes the greatest gamble of all, offering the cunning and courageous beauty something more precious than any inheritance: true love.
How to Woo a Reluctant Lady -Jan. 2011
Lady Minerva Sharpe has the perfect plan to thwart her grandmother’s demand that she marry by year’s end: become engaged to a rogue! Surely Gran would rather release her inheritance than see her wed a scoundrel.
And who better to play the part of Minerva’s would-be husband than wild barrister Giles Masters, the very inspiration for the handsome spy in the popular gothic novels she writes? The memory of his passionate kiss on her nineteenth birthday has lingered with Minerva, though she has no intention of falling for such a rakehell, much less marrying him!
Little does she know, Giles really is a covert government operative. When the two team up to investigate the mystery behind her parents’ deaths, their fake betrothal leads to red-hot desire. Then Minerva discovers Giles’s secret double life, and he must use all the cunning tricks of his trade to find his way back to her heart.
A Hellion in Her Bed -Sept. 2010
Furious at his grandmother’s ultimatum to marry or lose his inheritance, Lord Jarret Sharpe wagers his luck—and his heart—at the card table against a most unlikely opponent.
Mired in scandal after his parents’ mysterious deaths, notorious gambler Lord Jarret Sharpe agrees to tamely run the family’s brewery for a year if his Machiavellian grandmother rescinds her ultimatum that he marry. But the gambler in him can’t resist when beguiling Annabel Lake proposes a wager. If she wins their card game, he must help save her family’s foundering brewery. But if he wins, she must spend a night in his bed. The outcome sets off a chain of events that threatens to destroy all his plans…and unveils the secret Annabel has held for so long. When Jarret discovers the darker reason behind her wager, he forces her into another one—and this time he intends to win not just her body, but her heart.
The Truth About Lord Stoneville -Jan. 2010
By the time Sabrina was done seeding her New York Times bestselling series The School for Heiresses with red herrings to hide the identify of Cousin Michael, she had a treasure trove of leftover heroes. One of those men now graces this, the first book of her new series, The Hellions of Halstead Hall.
The oldest of the scandalous Sharpes—five hell-raising siblings tainted still by the gossip surrounding the “accidental” deaths of their parents two decades ago-—Oliver Sharpe, the Marquess of Stoneville, like his brothers and sisters, has lived life on his own terms. In his case, as an unrepentant rakehell. Or so life had played out until Grandmother Hetty got a bee in her bonnet. Now the five Sharpe siblings face a daunting ultimatum: Marry by year’s end—or kiss their inheritance good-bye.
Oliver vows to fulfill the bargain in true Sharpe style—by bringing home a fake fiancé from a brothel! But his scheme backfires when he foils a robbery and rescues an American beauty instead. Maria Butterfield came to London to find her missing fiancé, but her prior engagement won’t stop Oliver from getting what he wants: Maria in his bed. His rebellious charade may just call Hetty’s bluff, but not before it become all too real—stirring up a love that tempts him to be a hellion no more.