Monday, April 23, 2012

Q&A with Author Stefanie Sloane

The Stiletto Gang had a few questions for romance author Stefanie Sloane, who kindly visited the blog today to answer them.

Stiletto Gang: Why did you choose to write romances? Were you a romance reader first?

Stefanie: I didn’t set out to write. Originally, my plan was to either be a museum curator or a music journalist. But when I fell asleep in my first college art history class and realized that writing for Rollingstone would more than likely involve lots of late nights drinking, being offered various drugs, and getting hit on by everyone but the lead singer, I changed my mind. Running a bookstore seemed more my speed, which is how I ended up at Amazon.com. Yes, it’s a virtual bookstore, but the job still offered retail experience and a crash course in surviving a start-up—an experience I’ll never forget.

And when not one of the Amazon.com editors volunteered to cover the Romance category? I jumped at the chance. After over five years of working with publishers and writers, I figured out that being an author was a pretty sweet deal.

Stiletto Gang: Are love scenes difficult for you to write? Or are they the most fun part of the book?

Stefanie: Honestly, it’s the worst! I think it’s in the mechanics of the scene. As an author, you not only have to consider the sensuality and general fabulousness of the lovemaking, but you also have to pay attention to each move your characters make—literally. And when you slow the scene down in order to analyze and double-check, well, it kind of strips all the sexiness away. The hope, though, is that you do your job and the reader only sees the glorious, glittering scene on the stage rather than the chaos underway backstage.

Stiletto Gang: What's The Saint Who Stole My Heart about (in a nutshell)?

Stefanie: A notorious scoundrel, the right Honorable Nicholas Bourne has spent years in the East Indies amassing a fortune through questionable means. Still, his loyalty to his older brother Langdon and his dear childhood friends remains true and trusted. But when Lady Sophia Southwell, the woman promised to his brother, seeks his help on a dangerous mission, he is troubled—and torn. Unable to dissuade her from her quest to find a killer, he vows to keep her safe. This makes his mission the hardest test of his wits, honor, and skill. For Sophia is the secret love of his life.

For years, Sophia has planned her daring act of revenge against her mother’s killer. She has painstakingly prepared herself by studying the criminal mind. Now she knows the moment is right and that Nicholas is the man to help her. But she doesn’t count on the reckless temptation of his rugged sensuality or the captivating intensity in his deep eyes. When desire and emotion intoxicate her as they venture together into the darkest corners of London’s underbelly, Sophia must contend with a yearning even more powerful than vengeance: love.

Stiletto Gang: How was it going from the Amazon Books editorial department to being an author? Did it help as far as dealing with reviews?

Stefanie: I think it helped in every way. Authors are expected to not only know how to write a book, but sell it. The time that I spent working with publicists, marketing, buying, editorial, etc… gave me valuable experience that directly relates to what I’m doing now. I possess an edge that someone outside of publishing and bookselling wouldn’t necessarily have.

Stiletto Gang: What's next for you?

Stefanie: I’m just starting work on the sixth book in my Regency Rogues series, tentatively titled The Wicked Widow Meets Her Match. Here’s a bit about the book:

Langdon Bourne, the Duke of Stonecliffe, sees little left in life to recommend itself. He’d loved Sophia Afton and she’d left him for his brother, effectively destroying all that was to be Langdon’s future. Such betrayal finds him weighing the worth of what he’s devoted his time to, namely the Young Corinthians—and coming up short. Until his brother and former fiancĂ©e ask the impossible of him: Track down the man who had ordered the killing of Sophia’s mother fifteen years before and finally secure the peace they’d all longed for nearly their entire lives.

Langdon cannot deny that he’s wished for nothing else his entire Corinthian career, and so he agrees to undertake the task armed with the little that is known about the man and one strategic ally: the infamous Dr. Rupert Crowther’s widow, Grace. Rumor has it that the lady’s father lost her in a card game to the dastardly doctor and her fortune had only deteriorated from there. Crowther was a brute made even more so by his involvement with a nefarious gang known as the Kingsmen. And when he dies in their bed, a small stipend from a distant cousin is all that stands between Grace and the poor house. Faced with such a future, she reluctantly agrees to supply Langdon with what she knows of the Kingsmen.
Grace could not be any more different from Sophie Afton if she tried. Exiled from polite society and wiser than Langdon feels he is himself, the widow is heartbreakingly vulnerable yet surprisingly resilient. Her strength and weakness call to him like a siren’s song, forcing him to realize that he’s never really known love—until now. Grace attempts to resist temptation, having sworn off men forever. But the earl speaks to her body and mind like no other, urging her to give herself completely to him.

Despite the stalwart support of the Corinthians, Langdon and Grace find themselves caught in a deadly web that threatens to consume them alive. Will they escape to realize the love that can save them both?

****Stefanie is giving away all four of her Regency Rogues books to one winner. Leave a comment for a chance to win!

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A native Northwesterner with the pale skin to prove it, Stefanie credits her parents’ eclectic reading habits—not to mention their decision to live in the middle of nowhere—for her love of books. A childhood spent lost in the pages of countless novels led Stefanie to college where she majored in English. No one was more surprised than Stefanie when she actually put her degree to use and landed a job in Amazon.com’s Books editorial department. She spent over five years reading for a living before retiring to concentrate on her own stories. Stefanie currently resides with her family in Seattle.

9 comments:

  1. :O your next book sounds so exciting!:)
    can't wait to read your latest Stefanie ;)

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  2. Hi Monika, thanks so much! I can't wait for you to read it either!:)

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  3. Awww, Langdon, what a sweetheart!! I think the next book is going to be so heartbreaking for him, but I can't wait to read #6, it sounds so good! Thank you for the excerpt, I can't wait to see how this plays out.

    thank you for the contest!

    inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

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  4. Stephanie, I enjoy reading your books. thanks for the giveaway.

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  5. Hi, Stefanie: I know you mentioned that writing about the mechanics of lovemaking can be difficult to do so is it also difficult to mix writing romance and intrigue at the same time? In addition, do you have to do lots of research before writing a new novel to ensure the type of intrigue you want to put in the book goes along with that particular time period? Sorry to ask such hard questions, but I so admire how you are able to do these things to make your novels come together so beautifully.

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  6. Hi, Stefanie! Thanks for joining us at the Stiletto Gang and for giving away your books to a lucky Stiletto reader. Best of luck with your newest release. :-)

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  7. Hello Stefanie, my fellow RITA finalist!! I'm so thrilled you're here!! I LOVED your Q&A, such great insight!! I look forward to meeting you in California in July!!

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  8. Great interview. Congratulations on the book! It sounds very good.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  9. Hi, All! Yellowrose is the winner of Stefanie's book giveaway! (Thanks to my cat, Diego, who helped picked.) Yellowrose, please contact me at maggie.barbieri@att.net and send me your name/address and I'll let Stefanie know where to send your prize. Maggie

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