author of Foreplay
Nine Naughty Questions
1. I wonder, is a romance writer born or made? Please tell us a little about your life before publication.
Well, this romance writer was born when she picked up her first Sweet Valley High novel in the seventh grade. From there, I read everything romance… and a lot outside the romance genre, too. I don’t know any writer that didn’t start out as an avid reader and the same can be said for me. Crossing the line from reader to writer isn’t such a leap once you start envisioning your own plots in your head.
2. For all the glitz and the glam associated with the idea of romance novels, writing about and from the heart is personal and very revealing. Do you think this is why romance readers are such devoted fans? And do you ever feel exposed?
Romance novels are about the emotions and growth of two people – individually and as a unit. Before the book can end, the hero and heroine have to get “real” with each other and themselves. This can lead to some raw, angst-ridden scenes. It’s very relatable, and that, I think, is partly why the genre is so popular. Yes, I’ve fallen in love. Yes, I’ve felt pain, fear, desperation, hope. Certainly, I’ve channeled these emotions when I write, but I write fiction, so I don’t really feel exposed on a personal level.
3. Please tell us about your latest novel…
Well, the summary for Foreplay says it best:
Pepper has been hopelessly in love with her best friend’s brother, Hunter, for, like, ever. He’s the key to everything she’s always craved: security, stability, family. But she needs Hunter to notice her as more than just a friend. Even though she’s kissed exactly one guy, she has the perfect plan to go from novice to rock star in the bedroom: take a few pointers from someone who knows what he’s doing.
Her college roommates have the perfect teacher in mind. But bartender Reece is nothing like the player Pepper expects. Yes, he’s beyond gorgeous, but he’s also dangerous and deep—with a troubled past. Soon what started as a lesson in attraction is turning both their worlds upside down, and showing them just what can happen when you go past foreplay and get to what’s real. . . .
Essentially, Foreplay is a combination of my college experience AND what I wish had been my college experience. 😉
4. Is the life of a published romance writer… well… romantic?
The life of a romance writer isn’t all fun and games – even though I wouldn’t want any other existence. It’s hard work. I write every day. I promote. I travel. There’s a lot of business to being a writer. And coffee. Copious amounts of coffee. Okay, well, lattes.
5. Of all of the romantic moments in your life is there one moment, more dear than all the rest, against which you judge all the romantic elements in your writing? If so can you tell us about that special moment?
There is one moment that stands out as memorable, and I’ve utilized to some degree in my books before. When I was dating my husband and things started getting serious, I started feeling a little vulnerable and nervous. It was my first grown-up relationship. Suddenly we were going from just dating to: “hey, are we in this for the long haul or what?” I was scared … but didn’t think he knew it. I thought I was putting on a good front. And then one day he looked me straight in the face and asked, “What are you so scared of?” It shocked me that he could see to the core of me so clearly. It’s this moment in a romance novel (and I’ve written many of them) that I try to capture. Where either the hero or heroine puts it all out there, takes a risk and offers up his/her heart and takes a leap of faith.
6. Sex in romance writing today ranges from ‘I can’t believe they’re allowed to publish this stuff’ explicit to ‘turn the light back on I can see something’ mild. How important do you think sex is in a romance novel?
How important is sex in a romance novel? About as important as it is in a real-life relationship. Very.
7. Romance writers are often romance readers – please tell us your five favourite (read and re-read) romance novels or five novels that influenced your work most?
1. Magic of You by Johanna Lindsay
2. Anything by Victoria Holt
3. The Black Lyon by Jude Deveraux
4. The Listening Sky by Dorothy Garlock
5. Brides of Prairie Gold by Maggie Osborne
8. Romance writing is ‘so hot right now’, do you have any thoughts on why?
I just think the increased interest in erotica speaks to the increased interest in romance – period. Readers crave escape more than ever. They want to read happily-ever-after stories that can sweep them away. Life is hard for a lot of people – especially these days. A reader may not be able to afford a trip to Hawaii, but they can escape in their own living room after a tough day at work.
9. Lastly, what advice do you give aspiring writers?
Aspiring writers: Read, read, read. Read everything in all genres. And be a smart TV/movie watcher. You can learn a lot about writing/plotting from smart shows like Breaking Bad and others.
Thanks for joining us Sophie!
Sophie Jordan grew up in the Texas hill country where she wove fantasies of dragons, warriors, and princesses. A former high school English teacher, she’s also the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Avon historical romances. She now lives in Houston with her family. Sophie also writes paranormal romances under the name Sharie Kohler.