Sarah MacLean was so kind and answered a bunch of questions for Garden of Books! She is the author of the fabulous "The Season." If you haven't already read it, I suggest it!
.What inspired you to write “The Season”?
Alex wouldn’t leave me alone. She popped into my head one morning, complaining about the dress fitting that would become the first chapter of the book. And she wouldn’t leave me alone until I’d met Vivi and Ella and Blackmoor of course . . . and then . . . I had to write it all down.
.What is the hardest part of writing a novel for you?
Actually sitting down and writing. It’s a lonely road—especially in the middle, when you’re far from the beginning and far from the ending and you’re not quite sure where you’re going or if you’ll end up where you’d planned to.
.Have you written any unpublished works?
Sure . . . I’ve got loads of first chapters . . . even some first few chapters. Sometimes you start with fantastic characters but they just can’t get it together enough to have a real story, and sometimes you start with a great story and the characters just aren’t into it. The magic happens when your characters are excited about their story.
.Are any of your characters based on real people? If so, why did you choose them?
I dedicated the book to the women in my life . . . because the truth is that all the women in the book, from Alex and Vivi and Ella to Nicola and the Duchess and Eliza are based, loosely on a patchwork of the women in my life. I guess I chose them all because you write what you know. And I know some wonderful women.
Oh, there are so many reasons . . . the manners, the clothing, the politics, the society, the titles, the men in cravats . . . but really it’s Jane Austen who started me down this road. So . . . I blame Jane.
.Do you have any tips for teens that want to become authors?
Writing is not an innate talent. It’s a learned, practiced skill. Write every day, even if it’s only 10 words. Read even more than that.
.Are you planning on writing any more books, and if so, are you planning on writing sequels to “The Season?” I know that if you do, I will read them!
I actually have three adult romances coming from Avon/HarperCollins next year...the first one is due to my editor in April...so I can tell you about that one! It's a Regency-set romance...the heroine is a 27-year-old spinster who has spent her whole life dreaming of adventure and romance...and finally decides to take matters into her own hands. She makes a list of the 9 things she would do if she didn't have to face society...or the consequences. And then she does them. Oh, and there's a dreamy rake in there, too.
As for sequels to The Season, I’d really like to tell Vivi and Ella’s stories sometime soon! I’m glad you’ll be looking for them!
.Which of your characters do you relate to the most?
Ella. She's bookish and klutzy and, also, a little bit clueless despite her complete and utter desire to be the cleverest person in the room. I’m a little like that. J