Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Writers Wednesday: Debut Author Sasha Cottman



Please help me welcome debut author Sasha Cottman, whose Regency LETTER FROM A RAKE was released in mid July. I do like Regencies, Sasha. Please tell us a little about the book.

LETTER FROM A RAKE is set in London in 1817. The unconventional Miss Millie Ashton, recently arrived from India, finds England a cold and dismal place. The fashionable ladies of London society look down their noses at her and it isn't long before Millie is planning her return to the country she considers home.

When Millie befriends the high-spirited Lucy Radley, she also meets Lucy's handsome brother, 'Alex the Great' and things take a turn for the better. Alex, the Marquess of Brooke, is considered the most eligible bachelor in London, yet he appears fascinated by the independent Millie.  Against the odds, their unlikely friendship deepens. But Alex has a secret and when a love letter goes astray, it threatens to destroy all their happiness...

What drew you to this story? 

I have read a lot of Regency stories and I found myself always drawn to the less than perfect hero. In Alex’s case he is thought to be the alpha male of the ton, yet he is deeply flawed and some of the things he does in the story are more in line with a beta male.

Millie is the foreign born outsider who struggles to fit into 19th century London society. She has the right connections and wealth, but still considers herself Indian in her way of thinking. Part of the story is Millie’s journey in finding acceptance within the ton.

I like the idea of a story that deals with the journeys of a less-than-perfect hero who must work through his flaws and a heroine who must struggle for acceptance. What’s your next project?

I am currently writing the next book in the Radley family series. This new story picks up just after the end of LETTER FROM A RAKE. I have always enjoyed stories that end with the opening to a new story, they are great fun.

Oh, I do too, but then it’s so difficult to wait for that new book. How do your stories ‘come to you’ at first--through characters, setting, story line?

Characters have always been the first thing which comes to me. Snippets of dialogue tend to pop into my head at odd times, so I always have a pen and small notebook with me to jot them down. I know of one famous author who keeps a note book next to her bed just so she can make notes when stories creep into her dreams.

Do you have challenges with finding writing time?

I work full time in a senior financial role with a major company, so finding time to write has always been a juggling act. Most nights I write for an hour or so and then on the weekends I might do a couple of hours each day. As long as the word count is moving up I don’t try to get too stressed my writing.

What one tip would you offer writers?

Remember that the publishing business is just that, a business. You have to maintain a professional relationship with editors, bloggers and reviewers.  Even in the short time I have been in the writing world I have seen other authors damage their careers and reputations by letting emotions get the better of them. Save your venting for the quiet of your writing space or the ear of a trusted partner.

Thanks so much for being here today. I hope you’ll come back again. Before you go, would you share an excerpt from LETTER FROM A RAKE?

Certainly. This excerpt is from early on in the story. Alex, Lord Brooke has publicly humiliated Millie at a ball and now tries to make amends.

He stepped in closer and spoke so only she could hear. ‘Please; I need to know how I can make this up to you. I need you to—’

‘Need me to what?’ she interrupted, raising her eyebrows.

Alex looked over her shoulder, seeming to search the landscape for an answer. She heard him take a deep breath and swallow before he spoke.
 
‘I need you to like me. I like you. I know I was a complete ass at the party, and I am terribly sorry. I did not know what to do or how to talk to you. To be honest, I still don’t know. You have taken me completely by surprise.’

Millie’s world tilted on its axis and she blinked as she waited for it to right itself. But instead, it stayed exactly where it was, slightly off-centre and a little out of focus.

Now it was her turn to struggle for air and be utterly lost for words. She shook her head; this could not be happening. She reminded herself that he was Lord Brooke, the man she had spent the past few days intensely disliking. His only redeeming feature was his lovely sister. Why should he care about what she thought of him? Her mouth opened and closed twice, but nothing came out.

He smiled at her and his whole face lit up. His magnificent green eyes sparkled.

Oh god, you are so beautiful. Is this how you hold sway over everyone: break them down and then make them like you? This is going to end badly, I just know it.


You can find LETTER FROM A RAKE here:  
Also available at Google Play, Readcloud, Angus & Robertson and Booki.sh
You can follow Sasha and find out more about her and her books on her website: http://www.sashacottman.com

Her Regency Kitchen blog, follows her attempts to recreate recipes from the Regency period, but be warned she says she is not the world’s best cook. www.sashacottman.com/blog
Follow her on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/sashacottman
Destiny Romance. www.destinyromance.com

About Sasha
Born in England, but raised in Australia, Sasha has a love for both countries. Having her heart in two places has created a love for travel, which at last count was to over 55 countries. A travel guide is always on her pile of new books to read.
Five years ago, Sasha accidentally enrolled in a romance writing course. Other than PRIDE AND PREJUDICE she had never read a romance book before. She soon discovered that the world of historical romance allowed her to combine her love of history with the passion of romance writing.




22 comments:

  1. Welcome, Sasha. And congratulations on your debut. How exciting. Best of luck.

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    1. Thanks so much for having me over to your blog Barbara, its always great fun to have a chat with another author, especially one who now has her novel out. Good luck with Silverhawk, I can't wait to read it.

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  2. Congrats on your debut, Sasha! Love Regencies. The book sounds great.

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    1. Hi SD, I'm another Regency fan, and LETTER FROM A RAKE does sound wonderful.

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    2. Thanks SD, I am such a Regency fan, it is the best fun to read and write about all those wonderful characters.

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  3. Ella's comments didn't post, so I'm sharing it here"

    What a lovely interview. This book is on my TBR list. Tweeted and FBd.

    Regards,
    Ella Quinn | ella@ellaq.com

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    1. Thanks Ella, from another Regency fan. :) Your Tweets and Facebook shares are very welcome. Good luck with your own upcoming release.

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    2. Thanks Ella, I still amazed that people are reading my book and loving the characters.

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  4. This story sounds wonderful. I, too, love deeply flawed alpha males who need that also flawed female to give him a swift kick when he needs it.

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    1. Hi Carolyn, don't you love it when the alpha male is shown that he is not really superman? Give me a feisty heroine every time.

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  5. LOL. Yep, our flawed heroines have to be able to give them those swift kicks. :) Thanks, Carolyn.

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  6. Great post, ladies! Sounds like an entertaining read!

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    1. Thanks Lana! Best of luck on your book, too.

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    2. Thanks Lana, good luck with your new release!

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  7. Great post about one of my favorite Aussie Regency authors. Thanks Sasha and Barbara.

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    1. Hi Suzi, thanks for saying hi, Barbara's blog is a very busy place, and it was lovely of her to invite me over.

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  8. Loved the excerpt, Sasha. Letter From A Rake is currently on my kindle waiting to be read... must finish current novel so I can catch up on yours, though I think a long flight to Perth might be the perfect time

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    1. Hi Elle, I promise not to try and read over your shoulder, though I might send a glass of champagne your way.

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  9. Enjoyed the post and loved your excerpt, Sasha. Congratulations on your wonderful new Regency. Like Elle, it is on my e-reader to be read. Good luck with the sales and with the new book!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Joanna, I hope you enjoy Letter from a Rake.

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  10. Thanks for a great post Barbara and Sasha. I've just finished reading 'Letter from a Rake' Sasha and loved it!! A fantastic debut :D. Alpha males with lots of beta qualities like Alex are my favourite types of heroes...And Millie was a breath of fresh air. Go the curvaceous heroine!

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    1. Thanks Jennifer, Alex is like that brother you love so dearly but at times you want to strangle him. So glad you enjoyed the book.
      sasha

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