Please welcome historical romance author Linda Rae Sande to the Clog Blog. Welcome Linda Rae, you have so many novels, how do you make time to write?
Thanks, Tina! My favorite time to write is at night, and my favorite places to write are at local restaurants that have bars or cantinas. I bring my old iPad and keyboard and either sit at the bar or a small table. I can usually write an entire chapter while I enjoy dinner and a drink.
Q: Why did you decide to write Historicals?
About twenty years ago, I started helping my mother with genealogical research. At the time, I was more interested in finding the names and dates than I was in learning what was happening to those people. How and where they lived was so important! Those that lived during the Regency era were the most interesting.
Although I was reading science fiction at the time, I soon started reading Regencies. I thought they would be “lighter fare”, and some were, but most of the stories had very dark themes. Mistreated women, poverty, prison, illegitimate children—I actually wrote one and found I just didn’t enjoy the process until I realized I could write a lighter story and include some humor. Now I’m always looking for ways to add humor to the overall story.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for this series?
My series have all been about the relatives of those who make up the aristocrats in Regency England. I’ve written about the daughters, the sons, the cousins, and the sisters, so it made sense to do the brothers next.
I love writing male characters, and with “The Brothers of the Aristocracy” centered on men, I concentrated on using characters I’ve mentioned in the past as well as created some new ones.
Each book in this series has a theme. THE LOVE OF A RAKE is about two men who are confirmed bachelors and who happen to enjoy bedding women. One realizes he wants to be married while the other swears he won’t ever. Two days is all it takes for plans to change. THE CARESS OF A COMMANDER centers on two bastard brothers who are each at a crossroads in their lives, one determined to find a lost love and marry her while the other just wants to be accepted in London society. THE EPIPHANY OF AN EXPLORER will feature Harry Tennison, Earl of Everly. He’s been in several books as a background character, and it’s finally time for this world explorer and naturalist to get bit by the marriage bug.
Q: To date which of your books was the hardest to write and why?
THE PROMISE OF A GENTLEMAN. The story takes place in 1802 and involves three couples, a huge cast of background characters, and several plots and subplots. Although none of the main characters are aristocrats themselves, they’re related to some either directly or by marriage. Since it was my first foray into writing in that period, I spent far more time researching than I did writing, and so it took two years to complete the first draft. At 740 pages in print, it’s also my longest book. I love the characters, though. They make up the half-generation that comes before those featured in most of my books (and they make occasional guest appearances in the other books).
Q: Who designed the covers?
Karen Gee at KGee Designs in Cody, WY. My early discussions with her centered on developing a common theme and color schemes to use for each series. Since I already had five Regencies written before the first one was published, it was easy to establish a consistent look and use it for all the titles. The photographs are from a number of sources including RomanceNovelCovers.com, Period Images, Inc., Novelstock, Inc. and HotDamn!
Q: Like many successful authors, it looks like you have dipped your toe into the self-publishing waters. What can you tell us about this process vs. working with a publisher? What are some of the benefits and challenges?
I’ve only ever been self-published. Even when I worked with a publisher (briefly), I had such a frustrating experience, I decided I was better off going it alone. I haven’t regretted it. It does mean I have to keep track of everything (expenses, royalties and book signing and convention arrangements), and I have to do my own marketing (my least favorite part of the job). However, I like making the decisions about my cover photos, doing my own book design for the print versions (I used to make books for a living), and creating the ePub and Mobi files for the ebook versions of my titles. Of course, it’s on me to get everything right, but I try really hard to post updated versions as quickly as possible when errors are pointed out to me. Even with an editor and a proofreader, errors slip through, which leads to my biggest frustration—finding good editors. I’m not sure if it’s just historicals or if it’s all genres in general, but finding a good editor has been a challenge for many of my fellow authors.
Q: What do you feel is the most important aspect for all new authors to remember when writing or creating their own stories?
Don’t get discouraged! This is one of the most difficult times to get “discovered” as a writer. There are just so many books out there vying for readers. As long as you don’t expect to sell thousands of books your first year or two, and you don’t expect to sell to friends and family—you are on your own when it comes to finding readers—you can quietly keep writing and publishing until you have proven you can do it. By publishing on a regular basis, you’ll soon have a collection of books for readers to discover and enjoy. Oh, and series fiction seems to sell better than single titles. We like our sequels as much in books as we do in movies because we come to care about certain characters and want to know more about their story.
Q: What books can we expect to see in the near future?
THE CARESS OF A COMMANDER will be followed by THE EPIPHANY OF AN EXPLORER this summer, and the next book in “The Cousins of the Aristocracy”, THE PRIDE OF A GENTLEMAN, will be out later this year.
Q: Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Join me on Saturday as we read an excerpt from Linda’s latest release “The Caress of a Commander” ~Tina