I’m so happy to welcome one of my favorite authors and people in the writing world, Shana Galen. Shana writes historical romance full of intrigue, mystery, handsome men and intelligent women.
Today she is here to discuss her wonderful new release, Sapphires are an Earl’s Best Friend, the last in her Jewels of the Ton series.
Let’s talk to Shana and see what she’s up to.
When you began this series, Jewels of the Ton, did you know how the intrigue would flow from book to book? I guess what I’m asking is did you plot out each story as a whole, and weave the cohesive storyline into each book?
Thanks so much for hosting me, Nancy.
Honestly, I don’t even plot out one book, much less a series. I did know I needed to keep my villain, Lucifer, alive and a threat until book 3, but that was s much thinking ahead as I could do. Plotting was further complicated because I was writing the Jewels of the Ton books in-between the Lord and Lady Spy series books. So I would write a Jewels book then switch to the Lord and Lady Spy series then switch back again. I was happy just to keep the characters straight! But really, it’s a lot of fun to make a series come together. It’s like a puzzle.
Which of the three books in the series was the most difficult to write and why?
I would have to say the first one, When You Give a Duke a Diamond. I think it’s because when you start a new series there is so much to set up in terms of laying a foundation for the other books, but you can’t seem like you’re setting it all up because that’s boring to read. So I had to introduce the other characters but make them integral to the plot too and tell Will and Juliette’s story well. The other pressure when writing the first book in a series is that readers will decide if they want to read the other books in the series based on how much they like the first one. So if the first one isn’t really great, you’ve doomed books you haven’t even written yet!
Tell us please about the new release, Sapphires are an Earl’s Best Friend.
This is the third and final book in the Jewels of the Ton series, but all of the books stand alone (and if you read my answer to #1 you see why). Sapphires is the story of Lily and Andrew. Lily is the last of the Three Diamonds, three glamorous courtesans known as the Duchess of Dalliance, the Marchioness of Mystery, and the Countess of Charm. Lily is the Countess of Charm. She has a secret, which is she’s actually not a courtesan but a spy for the Crown. The role of courtesan provides a good cover for her. She has another secret too! She’s been in love with Andrew, the Earl of Darlington for years. He’s always been in love with her best friend. Things get interesting when Lily is assigned to investigate Andrew’s father, the lecherous Duke of Ravenscroft. Andrew and Lily are thrown together, and Andrew begins to see Lily in a different light.
What’s up next for you-I see you are researching ships. How much research goes into your novels, and what are your favorite research tools?
I do have a pirate book coming up. It’s called The Pirate Takes a Bride, and it will be out in May. It’s the last book in the Misadventures in Matrimony series I started years ago, and my readers have been asking and asking for it.
I don’t like research. When I’m writing a book, I want to write the book, not read research. I’m lucky that I’ve written so many Regency-set books that I know the period pretty well. I just have to look up details now. But when I write something that’s new to me—like a book set on a ship—that’s a whole other story. I did have to do a lot of research for that, and my dad was nice enough to help me.
My favorite book is English Women’s Clothing in the Nineteenth Century by C. Willett Cunnington. I have anew favorite website too. It’s pascalbonefant.com . It has lots of cant phrases from the period, and they’re so much fun. I printed the whole website to reference.
Thanks for having me. Readers, When you read historical romance do you identify with the heroine or do you read it for the hero?
Giveaway: Print copies of When You Give a Duke a Diamond and If You Give a Rake a Ruby. (U.S./Canada only)
Sapphires Are an Earl’s Best Friend
Careful, gentlemen—there’s more to this courtesan than meets the eye
What better disguise for a secret agent than that of a courtesan? Lily Dawson, dubbed the Countess of Charm, is a spy working for the Crown to uncover a traitor. Andrew Booth-Payne, Earl of Darlington, wants to hate Lily for taking up with his father, but something about Lily intrigues him. When he discovers there is more to her flirtation than greed, he knows he must help her uncover a traitor. Even if that traitor is his own father…
Author Bio: Shana Galen is the bestselling author of fast-paced adventurous Regency historicals, including the RT Reviewers’ Choice The Making of a Gentleman. Booklist says, “Galen expertly entwines espionage-flavored intrigue with sizzling passion,” and RT Bookreviews calls her “a grand mistress of the action/adventure subgenre.” She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston’s inner city. Now she writes full time. She’s happily married and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making.