Caroline Linden on historical erotica and the sexual mores of an earlier era

81hNUf6s7IL._SL1500_One of my favorite books of 2013 is Caroline Linden’s Love and Other Scandals. It’s the first in a series in which young women discover an erotic serial called 50 Ways to Sin. Ms. Linden wrote a blog post about the inspiration for the book for Amazon. I wanted to know more and she graciously agreed to answer my questions about the racy side of the Regency world. Continue reading

An interview with Courtney Milan (and a giveaway!)

Countess ConspiracyI am a Courtney Milan fan. I’ve read all her novels and novellas. She shines for me in two very clear ways. One, she is a superb novella writer. Two, she incorporates science into her books seamlessly and accurately.

I contacted Ms. Milan via a mutual Twitter friend and asked if she’d answer a few questions. She graciously agreed to do so. Continue reading

Sarah MacLean talks about romance, the New York Times, and upending tropes

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Sarah, this fall the New York Times Book Review published a “Sex” issue that lacked any coverage of the romance or erotica genre. (I read it and steam came out of my ears.) You sent a lovely letter to the editors taking them to task which they published. In it, you wrote:

“I was dismayed to see that of the 15 authors asked to discuss writing about sex in the “Naughty Bits” roundup, none write romance novels —the genre best known for its naughty bits.

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Jill Sorenson Interviews Suzanne Brockmann, Part II – and a Giveaway!

They’re back! Today Suzanne Brockmann and Jill Sorenson have more to say about writing, diversity, privilege and more. If you missed Part I, you can find that here. And – after the interview, you will find details for a Sorenson/Brockmann giveaway to enter. – Lynn

(JS) I appreciate the fact that you write characters of color and embrace diversity. I live in the San Diego area, near Camp Pendleton, and it’s a very diverse community. It’s jarring for me to read a military romance (or a football romance, for another example) without characters of color. We live in an increasingly multicultural society and I want my books to reflect that.

(SB) Oh, I’m so with you, there! I, too, have a house outside of Boston, in a town that is extremely multicultural. I believe that diversity is what makes America great. We started out as a melting pot, and we still very much are. Continue reading

Jill Sorenson Interviews Suzanne Brockmann, Part I

passionandperil Not too long ago, I wrote a piece discussing how, among other things, I wished that I could see more authors speaking publicly and candidly about books and the romance genre. Now we here at AAR are very happy to be running this interview between Jill Sorenson and Suzanne Brockmann(whose works will be appearing together later this month in Passion and Peril) in which they talk about writing and a variety of topics in romance. – Lynn

(JS) Thanks so much for agreeing to this interview! I’ve enjoyed so many of your books, especially the Troubleshooters series, and I’m very excited about our upcoming release, Passion and Peril. It’s a dream come true to get bundled with you.

(SB) Thanks, Jill! I’m jazzed about this 2-in-1, too! I think it’s a really fun pairing!

(JS) I wanted to interview you for a couple of reasons. We have a book to promote, so there’s that. You’ve also been a huge inspiration to me, and I thought you might have some helpful insights for anyone interested in writing diverse characters.

Let’s start with secondary characters. I loved the geeky teen romance in The Unsung Hero. The drunken hookup between Sam and Alyssa took my breath away. I’ll never forget Jules and Robin’s first kiss. You have a knack for creating a strong supporting cast, and sometimes I’ve been more invested in them than the main players. Readers have said this about my books as well. Do you think writers should try to limit the influence of secondary characters? Continue reading

Shannon McKenna talks alpha males and uber villians

Fatal StrikeShannon McKenna’s latest release, Fatal Strike, is the tenth in her McCloud and Friends series.  The books feature seriously macho heroes, really awful bad guys, and scorching sex scenes. She has a devoted fan base–the ninth book in the series, One Wrong Move, is #143 on USA Today’s Bestseller List. Shannon graciously agreed to chat with me about her books, her ideas, and what’s up next for the manly McClouds. Continue reading

An interview with Sherry Thomas, YA author

The Burning SkyReaders love Sherry Thomas’s historical romances. Of the seven she’s published, three are Desert Island Keepers here at AAR and three others garnered a B+. She is a two-time winner of Romance Writers of America’s RITA® Award.

When I heard Sherry was releasing a Young Adult novel, The Burning Sky, I requested an ARC and gobbled it up. I know Sherry through Twitter. I contacted her and asked if I could interview her for AAR. Despite being in the midst of a book tour–The Burning Sky comes out tomorrow–she graciously said yes.
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An Interview with Alexis Hall

glitterland Alexis Hall has just released his debut novel, Glitterland, to wide acclaim. It’s a four and a half star read on Goodreads. Library Journal gave it a starred review and deemed it “Highly recommended.” Alexis and I are Twitter pals so I asked him if he’d be willing to be interviewed for AAR. He said yes. I sent him my questions and, though he was on vacation and typing on his phone, he sent me the following resplendent replies.

1) I’ve rarely read a romance with such polar opposite leads. Both men fascinated me. Can you tell me a bit about how you came up with Darian and Ash? Who came first? 

It’s pretty straightforward actually: Darian came first. Last year, there was a contestant on the UK X Factor called Rylan Clark who was this, well, sparkling glitter pirate of a man. Obviously Darian isn’t Rylan Clark, because that would be deeply weird, but he was a strong inspiration for the character. The thing is, that type of person does show up in fiction fairly regularly but usually as a background character or a gay best friend, and he tends to be played for laughs. So I decided I wanted to write a book where he was the hero because I think it’s so easy to dismiss people who seem shallow or frivolous or camp or, basically, just not like you. And that meant I needed a context in which he could shine, and also be taken seriously for who he is. Continue reading