Thursday, March 26

Birthday Book Club

OMG, girlies, as promised, I've got the inside scoop from the veriest of authors, Sarah MacLean! Isn't that just the bestest birthday present ever?
Not only that, but Sarah has given me a signed copy of her FABULICIOUS book, "The Season," which I will be passing along to the winner of my 6 word memoir contest.
Whoever it was that said that it's better to give than to receive CLEARLY never had access to the best of both worlds, right?
Sarah won me over with her writing skills, but she sealed the deal with her love of lip balm and sunglasses. Girl knows about looking sharp! So without further ado, here's Sarah:

Hello Sarah! Thanks and smooches for agreeing to stop by in honor of my birthday! You're the bestest!
I've just started reading "The Season" and *love, love, love* the idea that teen girls deal with the same drama (I mean...srsly!) no matter when and where in time we find ourselves. It's obvs that you agree, so I have to ask--what was it that first attracted you to historical fiction?

Hey Spence, I'm so excited to hang out! And...thanks for the love for "The Season!" You're totally doesn't matter when or where...teen girls are always going to have drama, whether from boys, or parents, or besties.

That's probably part of the reason why I love historical fiction--the sense that I'm not alone...and that I haven't been alone for centuries. Romeo & Juliet had unrequited love, Elizabeth & Darcy struggled to find each other, and don't even get me started on the Cupid & Psyche family drama. Great historical fiction takes you out of your everyday and plops you down in a new time and a new place...with characters who fast become great friends because you understand them so well.

Oh, and, sure, all great books do this...but historical fiction has the added bonus of hot boys in cravats and riding boots. or armor. or togas. yum.

Yum indeed! So, in what ways is writing a historical romance different than writing a contemporary romance, in your opinion? How much research did you have to do in order to stay true to period details? Did anything you learned while researching surprise you?

I'm of the school that, at its core, romance is romance...whether Regency or Medieval or Modern Day, it's about capturing that tension between two characters who are destined to be together and showing the growth and the evolution of one of the most amazing things in the world--love. It doesn't matter if the hero is Mr. Knightley or the boy next door. Although, for the record, Knightley was the boy next door. I meant the boy next door to you. Now.

But, the biggest difference (more than the lack of texting, IMing and cellphones) is the clandestine nature of historical romance. In contemporary romance the hero and heroine can go on a date, or smooch in public, or dance more than three dances in an evening without making the cover of US Weekly and being forced to marry. Immediately. In historical, smooching has to happen under the radar...which can make it way more fun.

I spent most of my life reading books either from or about the Regency, so the history came pretty easily for me, but whenever I had a question, thanks to the magic of the Internet and some remarkable nonfiction authors who came long before me, answers were never too far away. I did spend some incredible time in the New York Public Library reading the Times of London from the Spring and Summer of 1815, which turned up WAY more fascinating story ideas than I could ever use!

Ooh, scandalicious, no doubt! What's the most romantical thing a guy has ever done for you?

My husband and I met at a wedding, but he lived in Cali and I lived here in NYC, and despite my having a serious crush on him, we struck up a long-distance friendship over IM. For years. Three of them. We never talked by phone or saw each other...we just IMed. Every day. Like losers.

And then, September 11th happened. And Eric wasn't sure where I worked in New York, and the phone lines were down, and I wasn't online and he couldn't find me. And on September 13th he called me to tell me that he was through not knowing where I was. And that he was moving to New York. To be with me.

I think that was pretty romantical.

Squee! I'll say! I cannot EVEN! Well, you've got the perfect guy, obvs, so what's your idea of the perfect date?

I'm easy. A yummy dinner out and a long walk home filled with conversation and laughter and smooching.

That sounds like a winning combo, def! What are some of your fave romance novels--the ones you could read over and over again? hard! I could make a seriously obnoxiously long list...but I will stick to my fave five. Warning...some of these are naughtier than others.

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen. Owen is adorable. I want to cuddle him.
Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas. Sebastian is wicked. Yes, Please.
The Black Lyon by Jude Deveraux. Oh, my, Medieval Knight.
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. Mr. Darcy can ardently admire and love me any time he wants.
5. T
he Duke and I by Julia Quinn. The first in Julia's Bridgerton Series, which is charming and funny and exactly what Regency romance should be.

Thanks for the recommendations! We Bradford girlies like things naughty, you know! And as you may also know, I'm the distant relative of the ORIGINAL Golden Girl, Grace Kelly. Since you're CLEARLY a romance buff, do you have a favorite Grace Kelly love scene? If so, which one is it, and why?

Oh, the scene in the dark in TO CATCH A THIEF when she kisses the tips of Cary Grant's fingers. Hands down. Oh. My.

Le sigh. Le swoon. Good choice! And finally, who would you choose as the "Most Iconic Couple" of all time? (Mine would be Princess Grace and Prince Albert, for obvious reasons. ;) )

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. My favorite quote of all time is his response to a question about infidelity: "Why go out for hamburger when you have steak at home?" Why, indeed?

Well, I while I'm not particularly advocating comparing your girl to a piece of meat, it's true that that's definitely the sentiment a gal wants from her dude. Thanks again to Sarah, for stopping by and weighing in on books, boys, and romance--three of my favorite things in honor of my special day!




YA Book Realm said...

Loved the interview! I really want to read The Season so bad. And OMG this has to be one of THE cutest/romantic way of getting together. HE moved to NY for her. AWW! lol

PS. I love Owen too and it helps he has an array of musical taste, just like moi. ;)