A native Northwesterner with the pale skin to prove it, Stefanie Sloane credits her parents’ eclectic reading habits—not to mention their decision to live in the middle of nowhere—for her love of books. A childhood spent lost in the pages of countless novels led Stefanie to college where she majored in English. No one was more surprised than Stefanie when she actually put her degree to use and landed a job in Amazon.com’s Books editorial department. She spent over five years reading for a living before retiring to concentrate on her own stories. Stefanie currently resides with her family in Seattle.
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First off, can you tell us a bit about you?
I hail from Seattle, Washington, land of buckets o’ rain and comfortable fleece. Back in the day, I was the 30th Amazon employee hired and for a short period of time my office was two doors down from Jeff Bezos. Yes, his laugh really is that loud. After Amazon I moved on to child rearing and writing. My first book, The Devil in Disguise, was published in May 2011. And my next book, The Saint Who Stole My Heart, comes out April 24, 2012.
Did you always want to be a writer?
Lord, no. I wanted to either be a museum curator or a music journalist. Unfortunately, I fell asleep in my first art history class and did not have a penchant for overdrinking nor a desire to develop a drug habit, so both options were out. So then I thought I might own a bookshop, which is how I ended up at Amazon.com—virtual, yes. But still good experience under my belt. After over five years as the Romance and Women’s Fiction editor, I’d figured out that the whole author gig was a pretty sweet deal.
What kind of writer are you? Panster or Plotter?
Plotter all the way. I don’t leave home without directions. I can’t commit to engagements without consulting my calendar. And I will not write a book unless there’s a detailed outline.
Why plan a book in the Regency era? What about this era draws you in?
I’ve always loved history, the Regency period being a particular favorite. If one is going to spend a substantial amount of the workday in a fictional reality, why not set it in a period full of romance, pretty gowns, and enough sexual tension to peel the paint from the walls?
A la Twitter style, can you describe your book (or series) in 140 characters or less.
Smart, sexy, and sparkling with wit, the Regency Rogues will leave you breathless.
What are some of your favorite kinds of stories to read?
If you were to look at my book collection, my guess is that you’d wonder what they all had in common. I devour romances and mysteries, but also love biographies and memoirs, historical and literary fiction, and a wide variety of nonfiction. I’m attracted to a book not by its’ genre, but by the author’s voice. A clear, compelling voice can tell the story of paint drying and make it an enjoyable read.
Do you have a favorite book and if so what is it?
Too. Many. Books. But ones at the top of the list would include Jasper Ffordes’ Thursday Next novels, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris, and The Duke and I by Julia Quinn.
Belle of the Ball, Wallflower, or Widow?
Well, I’m just starting work on my sixth book which features a widow and she’s an incredibly interesting character to me. So I’m going with widow.
What are the scenes that are the hardest for you to write?
Sex scenes. Hands down. I don’t know why, considering I’ve had my fair share of amazing sex. I think it might be the mechanics of the scene. When you have to slow down and figure out which hand goes where, whether it’s his leg or hers wrapped about… Well, you get the idea. Something about the process tends to strip all of the sexiness right out of the moment for me.
If you could have dinner with any three book characters, who would you choose and why?
Who: Stephanie Plumb, Lulah, and Grandma Mazur from Janet Evanovich’s Plumb series. Why: there would be many margaritas consumed and mayhem would ensue, including knocking over a donut shop and an appearance by Morelli. Or Ranger. Either works.
If you could have dinner with any three authors, who would you choose and why?
Jasper Fforde, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Dorothy Parker. They’re all so frightfully intelligent and witty. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t manage to keep up. But damn would I have a good time trying.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I’d really like to say exercise, but that would be a lie. I spend a lot of my free time with two ill-behaved dogs, two fiercely strong-willed children, and only one husband. Together, we attempt many family activities with moderate success, including biking, game nights, and pretending to love brussel sprouts. (full disclosure: I adore brussel sprouts. It’s the other three who’ve failed to realize just how awesome this much-maligned vegetable truly is.)
I tend to shy away from naming a favorite anything. But I will say that Bridget Jones’s Diary is a movie that I watch with some frequency. The sly British humor slays me every time. And Colin Firth is fairly easy on the eyes, so what’s not to love?
Oh, this is impossible. I LOVE music of all kinds. Really, from hard rock to alternative, country to classical, even opera, if you can believe it. For better or worse, I somehow end up assigning albums to certain periods in my life—or really happenings and goings-on. Each one holds a special place in my mind and heart. One album I adore at the moment is the new Shins record. It reminds me of stuff I listened to as a teenager—all that angst, fears and thrills for the future, and plain old cluelessness. It’s an amazingly complex time and something in the Shin’s latest communicates it beautifully. At least for me. Who knows, it might be about nuclear war or processed foods. But that’s the great thing about music. It’s so subjective.
Gah, another favorite?! Well, I think it’s blue. Which makes me sound a bit melancholy. But there you are.
Last question, are you working on anything right now?
As I mentioned earlier, I am just beginning work on book six of my Regency Rogues series, tentatively titled The Wicked Widow Meets Her Match. I love a feisty widow, and this one really takes the cake!
Dashiell Matthews, Viscount Carrington, remembers little of Miss Elena Barnes beyond her slight build, mousy character, and bookish ways. Her unavoidable presence at Carrington House would be inconvenient, true, but a woman could hardly prove enough of a distraction to interfere with what was the most important case of Dash’s life—ferreting out the monster who’d murdered a dear friend’s mother many year before.
Dash would, of course, live to regret such an assumption.
As for Elena, a trip to London to retrieve a priceless book is troublesome, though not nearly as much as the feelings the viscount inspires in her. His touch elicits feelings from Elena that she’d only ever read about. Her skin tingles. Lord Hardwicke is as handsome as she remembered—actually, more so as he’d grown into his frame in a rather attractive manner—and as dim as a ha’penny tallow. Or is he? The more time Elena spends with the man, the greater her suspicions grow regarding his intellect and just what he might be up to as they’re thrown together in the search for an individual known only as the Bishop.
Can true love save the day? Find out in the exciting and enthralling fourth installment of the Regency Rogues.
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