XOXOAD is excited to feature our first XOXpert author interview! Read on to see what XOXpert Kimberly Costa found out when she talked to New York Times bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries!
Sabrina Jeffries has long been an author on my auto-buy list. My love affair with her work began when I first discovered The School for Heiresses, and I have been devouring her books ever since. My favorite series by far is the Duke’s Men: suspense, swoon-worthy heroes and feisty heroines took me on great adventures. I was very excited to see that the Sinful Suitors series has characters from the Duke’s Men. Jeffries often does this with characters and I love the opportunity to revisit them. Today I have the profound pleasure of interviewing Ms. Jeffries, so grab a cup of coffee and one of these muffins I made…
Kimberly: Good morning, Ms. Jeffries! I am delighted for this chance to sit down and chat with you. I cannot begin this interview without first thanking you for many hours spent laughing, swooning and sometimes even shouting at your characters. Your female characters are among some of my favorites, from Hetty Plumtree, the grandmother of the Hellions of Halstead to Isabella from When the Rogue Returns.
Sabrina Jeffries: Thank you so much for having me and for supporting my books. I’m pleased that you like my female characters. Hetty definitely has a special place in my heart.
Kimberly: I recently finished The Art of Sinning and loved reading about our American artist Jeremy. However, I have to tell you, I have a little thing for Edwin Barlow, the Earl of Blakeborough. This quiet, stodgy Earl has really captured my heart. Can you tell us when we’ll read Edwin’s story?
Sabrina Jeffries: You aren’t alone in wanting Edwin’s story, believe me! Fortunately, it’s my next full novel, The Study of Seduction, which comes out in April of 2016. But between now and then, there will also be a novella from the series, involving Jeremy’s sister Amanda, in a Christmas anthology release at the end of October 2015.
Kimberly: I look forward to the holiday novella. One of my favorite tropes is the “arrangement,” particularly because the characters are strong-minded and think they know exactly how events will unfold. Inevitably, nothing goes as planned and I love watching it all unravel. What are some of your favorite tropes to use in your writing?
Sabrina Jeffries: I love using “the arrangement” myself because it’s a power exchange between the hero and heroine where they get more than they bargained for. Another favorite of mine is the hero or heroine pretending to be something they’re not. I do it a lot—Isabella masquerading as a widow with a different name, Max masquerading as Lisette’s husband. The trope appeals to me because it deals with everyone’s desire to be accepted for themselves. Usually, in the course of the masquerade, the character discovers his or her truest self.
Kimberly: Your recent novels have had a little mystery/suspense of sorts to solve, which often occupies equal page time with the romance. The Art of Sinning does not. Will there be any in the Sinful Suitors series? If no, was this a conscious decision?
Sabrina Jeffries: Edwin’s book has a villain, so there’s a bit of suspense, but it’s less of a focus. I did feel that in Duke’s Men I veered away from what I enjoy most—developing the relationship between the hero and heroine—so I wanted to go back to that in this series.
Kimberly: Can you tell us a little about the overall story arc for Sinful Suitors?
Sabrina Jeffries: There really isn’t one. I know I’ve done those a lot, and I enjoy them, but I wanted to try an open-ended series where each book stood alone a bit more and I could go in whatever direction I wanted, instead of being constrained by a story arc I’d set up at the beginning. Making everything fit into that story arc gets harder and harder the further you get away from the first book because the characters evolve through the series. So I wanted more freedom to let them grow organically. If it doesn’t work, though, you’ll know soon enough, because I’ll have to start a new series!
Kimberly: I truly enjoy historical romance, particularly those set in the Regency era. What made you choose this period for your stories? Would you consider spending a year in that era?
Sabrina Jeffries: I fell in love with the Regency era while reading Barbara Cartland romances in high school, Jane Austen romances in college, and romances by Judith McNaught, Amanda Quick, and Johanna Lindsey (the Malorys!) in grad school. And yes, I would love spending a year in that era, especially if I could be a duchess married to a clever and amusing duke. J Talk about firsthand research! I could write a hundred novels after that experience.
Kimberly: Yes, I think I could get used to being a duchess, and I love many of the authors you mentioned. Are there any characters in the Sinful Suitors series whose stories you cannot wait to share?
Sabrina Jeffries: Edwin’s and Warren’s. I’m writing Edwin’s now, and I’m looking forward to writing Warren’s.
Kimberly: I cannot wait for The Study of Seduction, the second book. Can you give us hints about the story?
Sabrina Jeffries: Yep! It’s the love story between Edwin and Lady Clarissa, who has more to her than anyone realizes, even Edwin. It’s part fake engagement, part marriage of convenience, and part suspense. With hot sex!
Kimberly: Oh, it sounds wonderful! Now, can you share a little about Sabrina Jeffries. With summer in full swing, can you describe your idea of a perfect summer day?
Sabrina Jeffries: First, I’d get up early to walk with my husband before the heat gets unbearable. Then we’d chill at Starbucks for a bit while I have my iced coffee. Next we’d pick up my son for lunch before bringing him back to his day program. My husband and I would take a nap and watch a movie at home before eating a leisurely dinner. And I’d do a puzzle until bedtime. Honestly, except for my daily walk, I’ve never been much of an outdoors person (other than looking at it from inside my cozy home). And since I’ve always lived in either the tropics or the South, I’m usually trying to beat the heat.
Kimberly: Your summer day sounds perfect! Thanks for stopping by XOXO After Dark and for answering my questions. If you promise to never stop writing, I promise to never stop reading. You have given me hours of joy! 🙂
Sabrina Jeffries: I’m happy to hear that! And trust me, I have no plans to retire anytime soon. Too many stories still in my head!
#Xoxpert Kimberly Costa: Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads everything fiction in YA, NA, and Adult. She is a self-professed Whovian, Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie; she enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post on her blog Caffeinated Book Reviewer. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat…