April 15, 2010

Thursday Authorial: Sarah M. Eden

Welcome to this week's Thursday Authorial! I've invited Sarah M. Eden, author of Regency Romance and quirky blogness, to be my guest here today. Sarah is one of my new favorite authors and I'm thrilled to have her on my blog.

K: Thank you, Sarah, for gracing my blog with your lively presence. Tell me, are you as funny in real life as you are on your blog? Because, seriously, your INFF feature is my favorite laugh-out-loud blog feature anywhere. The picture alone… I start smiling just clicking on the link.
It's a little creepy; am I right?

Sarah: Is the picture creepy? Absolutely. That's why I picked it. Nothing says, "come read my blog" like a picture of a creepy kid.
So... am I as funny in real life? I'm abnormal, which is a flavor of funny, I suppose. And I'm goofy... that's sort of like a topping on the ice cream sundae of funniness. So, yeah. I guess I'm pretty funny.

K: You're making me hungry for ice cream. We should go get some after the interview. Tell us a few more things about yourself.

Sarah: I tried out for the volleyball team in Jr. High, but when I showed up at try-outs and was able to walk under -- yeah, that's under -- the net, the coach gave me a very commiserating look, and I figured I probably wouldn't make the team. I didn't. But I'm okay with that. 

K: That's tough... and cute. I'm glad you got over it, though, and hardly think of it, ever. I'm sure they missed out on one spunky player.

Sarah: I decided to write for the school newspaper instead.
According to the Mother's Day card my daughter gave me when she was in preschool, my favorite thing to do is "not cook."

K: Kids pick up on the darndest things. And the school newspaper seems like a great fit. What is your favorite part of the writing process? What was a surprise?

Sarah: Favorite part... junk food. I eat a lot of it while I write. And, yeah, that was kind of a surprise. Even more of a surprise was the "expansion" that junk food lead to. Luckily, I put my creative genius to work inventing a means of arranging a setup that allows me to type on the computer while working out on my elliptical. That has done wonders.

K: That is genius! I rigged the same kind of thing, only I just spin around the room on my office chair until I get dizzy. Do you have any “magic moments” as an author you would like to share?

Sarah: Being a finalist for a Whitney Award last year was an absolutely amazing experience. Not only did I get some exposure to potential readers, it gave me a much-needed boost of confidence. That award also put me in a position to meet people in the industry and set in motion the events that lead to my manuscript, "Courting Miss Lancaster," being read by an editor at Covenant and eventually being published.

K: Excellent magic moment! Gives me chills (I still want ice cream, though). I can’t imagine you getting discouraged or stuck about anything, but do you have any tips for aspiring authors?

Sarah: Getting stuck is an unavoidable part of writing. Writing is a surprisingly intensive undertaking and brains get burned out. An author once told me... okay, I read it in a book, but I felt like it was a personal bit of advice... that when you are stuck on or sick of a manuscript, the most effective thing you can do is walk away. Do something completely different for a while--sometimes weeks or more. This gives your brain a chance to rest while working on it in the back of your thoughts. It has always worked for me.

K: Your newest book "Courting Miss Lancaster", is now available through Covenant Communications (Yay!) and I have one word for it: DELIGHTFUL. In lots of words, here is a portion of my Goodreads review (5 stars): Wonderful. I am absolutely delighted I found Sarah M. Eden through a blog post. I will read this again, and my daughter will read it. And then she'll give it back and if I don't have another Eden book yet I will read it again. It's funny, sweet, touching, and I didn't get enough. 
The language was perfect, the dialogue (and silences) compelling, quick, and sexy. Sarah M. Eden, I will be first in line for your future books. And it's clean! Now, tell us about it so we can rush madly to the bookstore.

Sarah: From the back cover: Harry Windover adores blonde, green-eyed Athena Lancaster, but alas, a penniless man like himself has no hope of winning a young noblewoman's hand. To add insult to injury, Athena's brother-in-law and guardian, the Duke of Kielder, has asked Harry to assist Athena in finding the gentleman of her dreams. But the lovesick Harry is cunning as well: as the weeks pass, he introduces Athena to suitors who are horrifically boring, alarmingly attached to their mothers, downright rude, astoundingly self-absorbed, and utterly ridiculous.
Athena can't comprehend why she is having so little success meeting eligible and acceptable gentlemen. Indeed, her circle of admirers couldn't be less admirable--nothing like the loyal, gentle friend she's found in Harry. But how long can Harry's scheme be hidden before it is discovered? And what will Athena do when she uncovers Harry's deception?
Escape into a charming regency world in this delightfully romantic comedy of manners that will entertain you to the very last word.

Sounds great, huh?!

K: It sounds perfect. I have to admit I didn’t know you or your books until recently (a sad commentary on how widespread LDS fiction is NOT) and I was surprised to see how many books you’ve had published, and I moaned out loud when I found out most were already out of print. How is "Courting Miss Lancaster" different from other things you’ve written, and will we be able to get our hands on your other works?

Sarah: All of my previous works are Regency Romances, so in that respect, Courting Miss Lancaster fits right in. Each book has a different couple traversing the path of love. While they all stand alone, you will certainly see characters from other books make appearances. Several of the books are part of a series that follows the romantic adventures of a family of seven brothers.
Estimated Date of Republication: Um... I don't know yet. Is that a totally lame answer, or what? Covenant is certainly interested in them and there's stuff (again, lame and vague) going on behind the scenes right now that should start setting that up, but I can't offer much more than that. *shrugs* I'm a dork, but that's all I can say.

K: Very mysterous. If writing and submitting are teaching me anything, it is PATIENCE. I will wait PATIENTLY. What drew you to writing Regency Romance?

Sarah: A tendency toward insanity.

K: Hee. Tell us a little about the research you do.

Sarah: I have always been something of a history fanatic.  I love watching documentaries and reading historical accounts, especially first-hand accounts from people who actually lived what they are retelling.  Even before setting out to write my very first Regency, I was elbow-deep in history texts, 19th Century journals, Parliamentary minutes from this time period—yes, people, I have read dry-as-a-bone records of government business (like I said, insanity)—paintings and drawings and love letters. I especially liked the love letters. I can walk blindfolded directly to the section of the library where the books from this era are shelved.

I have studied maps of London, the toll roads, the Great North Road.  I have read law books on inheritance, marriage, guardianship.  I have studied playbills for London theaters, accounts of London's Season and Society.

I research like an obsessive, reclusive, insomniac.  And I love every minute of it.

K: It shows (not the obsessive, reclusive, insomniac part. You look pretty stable to me). Are you currently working on something new? (Crossing fingers, whispering, “Please say yes, please say yes...”)

Sarah: I certainly am! I am actually writing a book starring a character who was in "Courting Miss Lancaster". Hmm. Mysterious. Pssst... this book is gonna be da bomb diggity! Wow. That really made me sound like a loser. I need to work on that. 

K: Here, spin around the room on your office chair with me. We can be losers together. (Krista and Sarah raise their arms in the air and spin around the room shouting "Weeeeeeeee..."
Okay, (out of breath) I think I just had an epiphany of who the mysterious new character might be. We'll talk later. Where can we find your book?

Sarah (not so out of breath because she uses the elliptical): There are links galor at my website www.sarahmeden.com or you can go directly to http://deseretbook.com/item/5043081/Courting_Miss_Lancaster   It is also available at all Deseret Book stores, Seagull book stores and in most book stores in Utah.

K: I just received a DB catalog in the mail and Courting Miss Lancaster was in there. I showed my kids. They though it was da bomb diggity.
I found you through a blog of a blog, or maybe it was a comment you left on a blog. How has blogging and social networking (Twitter, Facebook) influenced you as a writer?

Sarah: I think I can sum up my experience with blogging in 4 words: "I Need Friends Friday." This recurring interview segment has allowed to "meet" so many different people. Like you, this has connected me with books and authors, especially, that I probably would never have heard of otherwise.

K: And don't forget characters. Your revealing interviews with Edward Cullen and Jacob Black almost made me fall out of my spinny exercise elliptical chair. Final question: If you could be a character in any book, who would you be?

Sarah: I'm not sure I would want to be a character in a book. The really good authors with great plots and character arcs do some pretty cruel things to their main characters. If I had to choose, I'd definitely go with a character in a romance because they get the happy endings and the hot guys. I'd probably go with Marion from "Drops of Gold" --that's one of my books that is currently out of print-- because she's a lot of fun, and a redhead, and the guy she ends up with is not only fabulously good-looking, but is based in a lot of ways on my husband and I think he's a great catch!

K: It sounds like a perfect match! Thank you so much for sharing your talent with us. I'm ready for ice cream! But first, I'll put in a word for the contest Sarah is hosting on her blog. Go check it out! It's full of mystery and anticipation and I almost don't want to share it with other readers, but I must.

Sarah: Thank you!

K: You are so welcome.

Places Sarah M. Eden can be found:


Annette Lyon said...

Great interview! I LOVE Sarah's work!

And now I both want ice cream and feel guilty for not exercising.

Elana Johnson said...

Wow, what a great interview! I need to add these books to my TBR pile. I'm with Annette on the whole exercising-guilt thing. Sheesh. :)

Donna Hatch said...

I love love LOVE Sarahs' books and I can't wait to read this newest one. I hope it's wildly successful!!!!

M. Gray said...

I love Sarah and I haven't even met her. I read Seeking Persephone and knew I would keep reading her stuff. I'll grab a copy of CML when I'm in Utah next week!

Good interview, Krista. Good depth. SME was too hilarious on my blog to answer some of my questions truthfully. :)

Krista said...

Oh, wow, M, I just searched your blog and read that hilarious interview! You offer to go for ice cream at the end!!! That's wiggin me out! Mmmmm... ice cream...

Annette and Elana, I know. I took my dog on an EXTRA long walk today.

Donna, I just can't see it NOT successful!
Thanks for stopping by, fellow Sarah fans!

L.T. Elliot said...

Dude, I want that rigged exercise equipment. Sarah, you should totally put up the specs on your website.

Great interview, Krista! I really want to read this book. =D

Shanda said...

Great interview- been hearing lots of good things about this book!

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