Friday, March 5, 2010

Interview with Sarah M. Eden author of Courting Miss Lancaster

I made a wonderful discovery the other day as I was blogging around. I found Sarah M. Eden's blog site. She's an author I've only met through the blogosphere. Her blog is great fun to read. I learned she has a new book coming out this month. It's a regency and looks wonderful. I thought you might like to get to know her and learn about her new book. If her novel is anything like her blog you're in for a great read.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Oddly enough, no. I went through a lot of “what I wanna be when I grow up” phases. For a long time I wanted to be an architect, until I realized just how many math classes I would have to take. I also dreamed of being the President of the United States, an Olympic gymnast, a physics teacher. Only after realizing about six years ago that not everyone's head is swimming with characters and stories and plot ideas did I give being an author any serious consideration.

Tell us a little bit about your new book.
Courting Miss Lancaster is a romance set in the Regency era of English history—this was the time of Jane Austen, Napoleon and Mad King George.

Harry Windover has fallen head over heals in love with Athena Lancaster. He, however, is essentially penniless and, in a society where marriages are most often made for financial or social advancement, a man without wealth is entirely ineligible. When Harry is coerced into helping Athena find a husband, he hatches a scheme in an attempt to postpone the inevitable: he only introduces her to men who are so ridiculous that she couldn't possibly choose any of them.

The comedy of errors that ensues is both hilarious and, at times, heartbreaking. What will Athena do if his plot is revealed? How will Harry endure loosing her when Athena eventually choses a husband?

Tell us about your other books.
All of my books are Regency romances. They run the gamut from light and entertaining, to touching and tender. I try to create characters who, despite living two-hundred years ago, today's reader can relate to. I think no matter when a person lives or the circumstances of their life, we all experience the same human emotions, and that is what readers like to find in a book—the reassurance that we are all connected.

What inspires you and motivates you to write the very most?
The very most, huh? I should probably pick something profound. Saying “It's a good excuse to avoid housework” might make me sound too much like a dork, true though the statement may be.

What inspires me to write in the Regency era is my deep love of history. The more I learn about these fascinating two decades, the more I want to write about it and explore the struggles they had and the vast changes that were happening throughout the world.

My motivation comes from the fact that when I don't write my mind gets clogged up with ideas and thoughts that drive me mad until I get them down on paper. Writing, for me, is a sanity saver.

Is there an established writer you admire and emulate in your writing? Do you have a writing mentor?
I think anyone who writes Regency romances tries to emulate the late Georgette Heyer. She wrote historical romances at the beginning of the 20th Century and is heralded as the mother of historical romances. A great many of her works were set in the Regency era and she had a knack for recreating the language and quirks of the time period in a way that still blows writers and historians away.

As far as current authors, there are two I consider mentors:

• Janette Rallison, who writes absolutely delightful young adult novels, has become one of my go-to people when I need help with my writing. She has given me advice and direction that has proven invaluable. (And she's an absolute riot!)

• Annette Lyon, who writes historical fiction and women's fiction, is simply fantastic and, in my opinion, under-recognized as an author. She is not only extremely talented, but perhaps the most generous person I know when it comes to mentoring fledgling authors like myself.

Location and life experience can sprinkle their influence in your writing. Tell us about where you grew up and a little about where you live now - city? Suburb? Country? Farm? If you could live anywhere you want to live, where would that be?
I grew up in Glendale, Arizona—a city that borders on Phoenix. I lived there more-or-less my entire life up until the very end of 2009 when I moved to a fun university town in the mountains of northern Utah. I have a feeling that desperately cold weather and buckets of snow are going to begin sneaking into my writing. This Arizona girl is still in a little bit of shock—did you know that it is possible for the current temperature to only have ONE number in it? Single digits, who knew?

Bring us into your home and set the scene for us when you are writing. What does it look like? On the couch, laptop, desk? Music? Lighting, handwriting?
I have three places I regularly write. If I'm not in a rush or under a deadline, I write on the couch in my living room. If I'm having trouble staying focused or need to get a lot of work done in a short amount of time I either move to my desk in our little home office nook or I take a trip to our local library and find a table in a quiet corner.

I always listen to music and I very carefully pick music that compliments the type of scene I'm writing—soft, soothing music for low-key scenes, more intense music for scenes with more tension, etc.

My laptop and I are pretty much physically attached to one another. I generally only hand write my work if I am away from the computer (which is why I always carry a notepad—just in case.)

Do you watch television or movies? If so, what are your favorites? Do they inspire your writing?
I don't watch a lot of televison. I realized a couple years ago that it had become too much of a time drain for me. So now I pick and choose what I watch and have found I don't really miss it much.

I'm a romantic comedy kind of girl when it comes to movies. I also am pretty picky. I don't go for sex scenes or innuendo or -shudder- badly written screen plays. Give me a good, family-friendly, well-written romance and I'm there!

How has being published changed your life?
I'm a lot busier. It has been a great deal of work and big time investment, but it has been spectacular. Not to mention it has seriously increased my enthusiasm for writing.

Do you have any book signings, tours or special events planned to promote your book that readers might be interested in attending? If so, when and where? Also tell us about your blog and website.
I actually have quite a few signings in the next two months. All of these locations are in Utah.

• March 12th
A 3-author Launch Party, with Annette Lyon and Julie Coulter Bellon; Orem Deseret Book 6-8pm

• March 20th
Book signing; Orem Seagull (State St), 11-1pm

• March 27th
Book signing, in conjunction with the “Celebrating Sisterhood” event; Lindon Seagull 10-12pm

• April 10th
Book signing; Provo East Bay Seagull, 11-1pm

• April 17th
Spanish Fork Seagull, 11-1pm

My website, www.sarahmeden.com, is the place to go for updates and entertaining anecdotes about my experiences as an author. The most popular part of the site is my recurring segment, “I Need Friends Friday,” in which I interview people from all walks of life, find out interesting things about them, play games and even draw them a stick-figure portrait of themselves.

10 comments:

  1. Great interview! Sounds like an awesome book - I look forward to it :)

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  2. Jemi: I'm looking forward to reading it as well. Sarah has such a fun personality, I think her book will be a winner.

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  3. love the interview and can't wait to read the new book!

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  4. Good interview. Thanks for posting it! And I'd like to check out her blog ... did I miss the link for it? I'll have to check again.

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  5. Sarah! You're the first writer I've met that also writes on their living room couch! =D

    I'm really looking forward to her book (and signing with Julie and Annette because that's a stellar cast, right there.)

    Thanks for the great interview, Kathy!

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  6. Thanks for stopping by, Julie. Sarah's book looks great. I can't wait to read it, too.

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  7. Cindy, try her website sarahmeden.com. Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  8. L.T., three great writers at one store. What a deal! Thanks for stopping by L.T. :)

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  9. Great interview! (This makes it harder to come up with questions for MY interview . . . hm . . .)

    I'm flattered to be mentioned. Sarah's an absolute sweetheart and dear friend.

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  10. Thanks for stopping by, Annette. Sarah is a sweetheart. I look forward to meeting her at the LDStorymakers Conference.

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