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Author interview with Sandra Sookoo

The Devil’s Game comes out tomorrow! Sandra was kind enough to answer some questions for us.

You can get your copy of this delightful regency romance HERE!

What is the most inspiring place you’ve visited and has it shown up in one of your books?

Egypt. I would absolutely love to visit that country someday. It’s featured in more than a few of my Regency romances.

How much research do you do into the time period and places you write about? Do you have any experience dressing in character?

I do copious amounts of research on every book I write. It’s crucial. In fact, today, just to write a paragraph describing someone’s residence, I had to look up floorplans of English cottages and gardens. Also, I had to research what Regency-era women wore to church. Very interesting stuff. Have I ever dressed in period clothing? A few times. One Halloween I dressed as Evvie from Brendan Frasier’s The Mummy. And once, at a book signing, I wore a Regency era dress and petticoat.

What drew you to the era you write in?

I published my first Regency romance in 2012. Before that time, I’d only stuck to Victorian romance, but a good friend encouraged me to try my hand at Regency romances. Also, I’d read copious amounts of them, and I just didn’t jive with the predictable plots and very young characters. I knew I wanted to do something different and to put my own stamp on the genre. Was it an uphill battle to even break through let alone gain a foothold? You bet, and at times, it’s still a fight, but by 2018, I’d hit my stride and settled in with the types of characters and the types of stories I wanted to tell. I wanted to shift the Regency genre to focus on inclusion, and I think I’m doing a great job of that.

What are your favorite kind of characters to write? Do you have a specific trope that you’re drawn to?

My favorite kinds of characters are those with experience of life and who are broken in some way or another. My all-time favorite trope is second chance romance, followed by brother’s best friend.

Which comes first for you: the plot or the characters?

That largely depends on the book. Sometimes the stories are character driven. Sometimes they’re plot driven.

Do you know where the story is going before you begin, or does it come to you as you write? Do scenes come to you fully formed or are you as surprised as the reader?

I am a die-hard outliner/plotter. I absolutely know how my books will begin, and yes scenes come to me fully formed. I do a detailed chapter outline of each book. Usually, I’ll not outline the last quarter until most of the book has been written, and especially if I’m doing romantic suspense, I won’t know how the book ends until I get to that last quarter.

Do you write better in the morning or evening? How do you handle the distractions of working from home, especially if you’re sharing the space with others?

I’m a “writing first” kind of writer. Nothing else gets done until the daily writing wad is finished. A writer needs tremendous willpower and dedication not to let things distract them. That means staying off the internet, not getting bogged down with phone calls, email, etc. Respect the writing time, because it’s a job, just like any other.

From all your books, who is your favorite hero and why?

Oh, dear, that is a difficult question. Let’s see. There’s Colin from Clad in Midnight. He’s a broken-down former spy who thought he could never love again. Then there’s Harcourt from One Little Indiscretion. He’s a duke engaged out of obligation but fell in love with his best friend’s little sister. Oh, and then there’s Finn from The Heart of a Storme. He’s in a wheelchair and struggles with depression, has an emotional support kitty and thinks no one will ever love him as he is now. He might be my favorite… unless it’s Graham from Guarding the Widow Pellingham. He struggles with a speech impediment and has to try and keep his family from unravelling from scandal. What do all these men have in common? They are honorable, strong, fight against injustice, are protective of the women in their lives, and ultimately fall in love hard, damn the consequences.

What do you like to read when you’re not reading in your genre? Did you have a favorite book or series when you were growing up?

I really try to read stuff not in the same genre I write in, so usually it’s cozy mysteries. However, at the moment I’m gravitating back to well loved books that are like comfort food. Anything by Elizabeth Peters, and every spring I re-read the whole Anne of Green Gables series.