Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday + Author Interview

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selections are:

Courting Miss Lancaster
By Sarah M EdenRelease
Date: March 1, 2010

Synopsis: 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?

Why I’m Waiting: I’ve been wanting to read a Sarah Eden book for ages now, and luckily she has a brand new book coming out next week, March 1st. I’m excited to read about Athena and Harry, the plot sounds like a lot of fun and of course I’m a sucker for a regency setting! Sarah was nice enough to give me an interview, it was fun getting to know her better and I can’t wait until next week when I can read her book! Thanks again Sarah!!

Interview with Sarah Eden:

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
According to my drivers license, I am 5-feet tall and 120lbs. Both of these numbers are slightly optimistic versions of the truth. According to the Mother's Day card I received from my youngest child when she was in preschool, my favorite thing to do is “not cook.” Did I mention I like to write?

It seems like a lot (or maybe all?) your books take place in the regency setting. What made you chose this setting for your novels?
I absolutely love the Regency era in English history. So much was going on! The American Revolution and the French Revolution had undermined the very foundation of class distinctions throughout the western world and England began to see their own social structure being to shift. Within a matter of decades, the Industrial Revolution would be in full swing and the seeds of this massive change in the economy began taking root during the Regency era. The King was descending further and further into madness. The social elite lived lives of frivolity, the celebrities of their day. The idea of marriages made for money and connections collided with the burgeoning idea of marriage for love. Napoleon had declared himself Emperor of France and set out to conquer all of Europe, who in turn joined forces to oppose him. How could you not love two decades filled with all that?! Talk about endless plot opportunities.

How did you chose your characters names?
Some characters tell me there names—that makes me sound schizophrenic, doesn't it? In “Courting Miss Lancaster,” the main character's names were chosen very deliberately. Athena's father is a scholar of all things Greek and named all of his children after characters from Greek mythology. I chose Athena as the name for the heroine because she was the Greek goddess of strategic warfare and Athena Lancaster's attempts at finding a husband turn into something of a strategic battle, as well. Harry, the hero, needed a name that was very, very English but also very common. He is poor, untitled and sees himself as unworthy in a lot of ways. I felt like the less unique and exotic his name, the better suited it would be.

What is the hardest part in writing a book? Where do you get your inspiration?
The hardest part? The necessary and constant intake of empty calories. I absolutely require junk food while writing and that wreaks havoc with my waistline. Thankfully my elliptical machine helps me out with that. Inspiration comes from everywhere! Just the historical context of the books provides ample ideas. Sometimes I'll overhear someone say something or see someone do something that triggers an idea. So, consider this fair warning, anything you say or do could end up in my next novel.

What do you think of the cover? Did you play a role in choosing the cover?
I love the cover. I am pretty sure my heart stopped beating momentarily when my editor sent me the file. If it had turned out ugly or, heaven forbid, historically inaccurate, I would have been forced into self-imposed exile. Thankfully, the situation did not turn out that desperate. I really didn't have much say in the final cover. I did, however, submit to the designers a very, very, very detailed description of the main characters as well as multiple pages worth of information on fashions, hairstyles, etc. of the Regency era (including a “What Not To Wear” section).

What three words would you use to describe Courting Miss Lancaster?
Future. Best. Seller. (Are you listening New York Times?)

The book is based around Miss Lancaster finding a husband. What’s the best advice you’ve received about dating or marriage? And the worst?
Poverty builds character. That was some good advice. When my husband and I were first married we lived in an apartment so small it had collapsible counter tops because you couldn't move in the kitchen if both (yes, there were only 2) counter tops were up. And that was one of the apartment's better features. While our financial situation has improved since then, we learned very early-on to appreciate what we have and not get caught up on things that don't really matter. Worst dating advice? Something about taking a guy to see a Jane Austen movie because it'll scare them off. My husband watched Emma with me while we were dating and, while I don't think it would have been his first choice, the fact that he was willing and didn't complain was definitely a point in his favor.

Courting Miss Lancaster will be released March 1st; do you have any teasers for our readers?
Harry Windover adores Athena Lancaster, but alas, a penniless gentleman 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. As the weeks pass, love-sick, but cunnning Harry introduces Athena to suitors who are horrifically boring, alarmingly attached to their mothers, astoundingly self-absorbed, and utterly ridiculous. 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.

If Courting Miss Lancaster were to be made into a movie, who would you cast as your leading characters?
Wow. I get to assemble a dream cast, eh?

I'd definitely go for British actors—nothing kills a movie faster than a horrific accent (think Kevin Kostner as Robin Hood or Keanu Reeves as Don Carlos). If I wanted to guarantee the film's success, I'd request Robert Pattinson. But, while he does have the correct accent, he doesn't really fit the cheerful, funny hero of “Courting Miss Lancaster.”

I'd love to see Christina Cole in the role of Athena Lancaster. She is pretty and blonde—definite musts for Athena—but also has a fantastic sense of comedic timing. I've never seen her play anything but the mean-spirited, kinda jerky foil to the heroine, but I think she could pull it off.
Dan Stevens from BBC's 2008 adaptation of “Sense and Sensibility” would make a great Harry Windover. He has that boy-next-door kind of charm about him and a set of fabulous blue eyes (which Harry does, as well). He's also a great actor and I think he could handle the wide spectrum of emotions Harry goes through during the course of the story.

In the minor, but fantastic, role of Harry's sister, Jane, I would cast myself. I would need to work on my somewhat lousy British accent, but I'm certain a few trips to England—strictly for research purposes—would do the trick.

Do you have a particular place to write? Do you like peace & quite, or prefer to have music playing?
I always have music playing while I write. I am very deliberate in my choice of music. The feel of the music has to match the feel of what I'm writing.

I divide my writing time between my desk at my house and quiet corners at various libraries. If I'm struggling to stay focused, I pick the library. If I'm short on time, I stay at home.

Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?
My favorite book of all time is “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. Of course, I L-O-V-E Jane Austen. I reread one of hers every summer (and often end up reading multiple Austens once I remember how much I love them).

More recent discoveries (as in, since I reached adulthood) include “Ender's Game” by Orson Scott Card, pretty much anything by Janette Rallison and this fabulous new author Sarah M. Eden—ever heard of her?

And for those of us (mostly me) who are eager to read your previous works, when will they be re-released, any dates?
I don't have any dates yet. A lot depends on how well “Courting Miss Lancaster” does. Once I have something definitive, I'll be sure to post it on my website!

Can you tell us about any current projects your working on?
In “Courting Miss Lancaster” we meet Athena's sisters, including Daphne, who is several years younger than Athena. The book I am working on right now is Daphne's book. She is quiet and shy, but remarkably intelligent and very tender hearted. Like her sister before her, the course of true love does not run smooth for Daphne Lancaster.

Where can we find you?

4 comments:

  1. This sounds like such a quaint pick. I haven't heard of it before so thanks for sharing.

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  2. Thanks for the interview! After reading my answers, I find myself wondering, "Does this interview make me look crazy?" Hmmm...

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  3. Looks like an interesting read. Here's Mine.

    @Sarah M Eden - no it doesn't make you look crazy, just human. :)Here's Mine.

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  4. I love regency romance. I will definitely need to look out for this one.

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