Thursday, February 24, 2011

Author Spotlight - Lynsay Sands

Meet Lynsay

From her official website -

I was born in 1142 which is why my first love is historicals. I’ll let you guess why I love stories of immortals…er…well, vampires to you people. When I first started writing the family history, everyone was up in arms, afraid I was revealing too much, but I explained they were being published as fiction and I wouldn’t use real names. Of course, that was before I found I just couldn’t write the stories with other names… Just kidding! I couldn’t resist. Of course, I’m not a vampire. I wouldn’t mind being one. It would be a heck of a diet and I’m always looking for a successful diet, but despite not being a vampire…well…a gal can dream can’t she? And that’s what books are; waking dreams or stories, tales to amuse, entertain and distract us from everyday life. I love books. Reading books takes me away to other worlds and on grand adventures I just couldn’t have otherwise. Writing them does the same, but also lets me play God for a bit. I know that sounds weird, but when writing my stories, I decide who lives and dies, who succeeds or fails and so on. I can give the good guys the happy endings they deserve and be sure the bad guys lose and get their comeuppance. Unfortunately, that’s something that doesn’t always happen in real life. Perhaps that’s why writers write. Maybe we writers are all secret control freaks, wanting to control the world. Or maybe we’re just dreamers lucky enough to be able to make a living at dreaming. Either way I love writing and would do it whether I was paid for it or not. But I’m very very grateful to be able to share these stories with you. I hope they help you escape your troubles and trials if only for a little bit, and I hope they make you smile…You can be certain I’m often chuckling myself silly while writing them. Enjoy!

One thing I love when I'm reading my romance is when the author throws in healthy dollops of humor and Lynsay Sands does it with real style. When she released THE COUNTESS last month, I couldn't wait to read it and had so much fun with it. I also got to be part of her interview with The Romance Reviews and couldn't wait to share it with you guys. Hope you like it :)

Q: THE COUNTESS is the first book from your new historical romance series, The Madison Sisters. What can you tell us about THE COUNTESS that would give readers a quick glimpse of what to expect?

THE COUNTESS is about the oldest sister, Christiana Madison. Christiana is married to Dick (Richard) Fairgrave. Dick isn't the Prince Charming he presented himself to be to woo Christiana into marriage and has set a whole host of troubles on the Madisons. It's almost a relief when he turns up dead only he doesn't stay dead. ‘Dead Dicky' reappears in robust form and he also doesn't seem like himself… he actually seems almost nice. But as the saying goes, ‘Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.' So as Christiana tries to figure out what's up Richard's sleeve, Richard tries to figure out if his wife has her sight set on his early demise.

Q: You have THE COUNTESS set in a different time period from your other books. What kind of research did you have to do to write the story?

Actually, I've written several regency period stories in the past, and have done so much research for them that normally I don't have to do too much these days. But for THE COUNTESS, I had to do some research on Renaissance era kitchens and cooking utensils as there's a scene where multiple cooking utensils were acquired by multiple parties as makeshift weapons.

Q: I loved the idea of the twin brothers, Richard and George, and the betrayal of stealing identities for wealth and power. How did you come up with the storyline for THE COUNTESS? Was there anything in specific that interested or inspired you?

A couple of close friends of mine went through some pretty nasty breakups and I think they were fodder for this book. It's the old adage ‘buyer beware' but on a relationship level.

Q: When it came to developing the main characters Richard and Christiana, what were some important character traits you wanted to give them and why? How did you decide the dynamics between the couple?

They had to be strong and fair-minded. They were both betrayed by someone that they wouldn't have expected and were put into hard situations that they had to overcome in order to get their lives back. And they had to be resilient enough not to become embittered and blame the wrong people. Christiana had to learn to trust herself again and Richard had to open enough to get to know Christiana.

Q: Between Richard and Christiana, who was the easiest to write and why?

Ooooo… that's a good question. I guess I found it easier to write about Richard. It got a little complicated, and once you read the story you'll understand what I mean when I say two's company but three's a crowd, because literally juggling characters (or at least a body) was… uh… interesting. And with Christiana, it's hard for me to write about any character that is in a miserable situation. She was stuck between a rock and a hard place because the man she'd thought she'd married didn't exist.

Q: There were some incredibly romantic moments throughout THE COUNTESS as well as some that made me chuckle. For one, I loved the scenes with Christiana talking to her sisters about needing to see Dicky's strawberry. Can you share with us the scene or scenes you loved the most while writing the story and why they're your favorite?

I, too, enjoyed writing about finding Dicky's strawberry. I also thoroughly enjoyed Suzette's uninhibited behavior and unladylike remarks. Suzette would say things that Christiana wished she could say but was just too polite and reserved by marriage to Dicky to do so. And of course Suzette and Daniel's mini tristes were quite funny.

Q: Can you share with us something romantic that Richard said to Christiana, something that made you sigh and smile after you've written it?

I really enjoyed how Richard asked Christiana if they could continue their relationship officially. He fumbled over his words and gave her the freedom to choose and space to decide for herself what she wanted as opposed to deciding what was best for her.

Q: Was there something funny or unique behind the scenes experience you can share as you were writing THE COUNTESS or plotting this series?

I had so much fun killing off Dicky and the trials everyone went through moving him back and forth from one place to another. So the original name I gave THE COUNTESS was Dead Dicky… it just stuck for me though I knew it wouldn't make it past the editorial process.

Q: What future plans do you have for the Madison sisters?

As described above, THE COUNTESS is Christiana Madison's story coming out in January 25th. The next book after it, called THE HEIRESS, is about the middle sister, Suzette Madison, and it's coming out Feb 22nd.

Suzette has decided she needs to find a husband NOW. The Madisons are in dire financial straits so anyone would do and the poorer the better. Her only stipulation is that her potential husband be happy and pliable so she can access her substantial dowry to help pay off her father's overwhelming gambling debts. Daniel seemed to fit the bill to a 't' and their obvious chemistry was an added bonus. Now the only issue would be to try to stay alive and keep their hands off each other long enough to keep Suzette's virtue intact until they make it to Gretna Green.

The three stories in the series show each of the sisters dealing with and surmounting the troubles and wolves set on them by Dick's death. Fortunately, they have each other, and some true Prince Charmings to help them through.

Q: What can fans expect from you in 2011?

As stated above, the first two books in the new Madison sisters series are coming out in February and in March.

Other than that, I just finished three stories in my Argeneau/Rogue Hunter series. One is called THE RELUCTANT VAMPIRE, which is coming out May 31st. This is about Harper Stoyan who was one of Elvi's potential suitors in The Accidental Vampire.

And another Argeneau/Rogue Hunter story I just completed is about Christian Notte, Margeurite's son, who readers met in A Bite To Remember, and Vampire, Interrupted. It should be out in December.

Oh… and the other story was an anthology about Teddy, the police captain of Port Henry whom we also met in The Accidental Vampire. That is coming out at the end of October.

Thanks a lot, Lynsay! We enjoyed having you here, not to mention the insights you shared regarding Richard and Christiana in THE COUNTESS.

To read my review, click HERE


Dana Alma said...

Hey Belinda,
Terrific piece with Lynsay Sands, talk about funny. Thanks for letting us tag along with ya!
See ya,
Readaholics Anonymous

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Exchange Host said...

Nice interview! Enjoyed reading it!