The Herd Archives

Friday, November 24, 2017

Interview w/ Sophia Rose-- A historical handful & what she accidentally baked!


Hey Guys! We've got Sophia joining us today! I think a lot of yall know Sophia as a blogger from over at Delighted Reader but she's an author, too! Which is why she's here today :) Yall give her a nice warm welcome!

Sophia!!! *waves madly* 
Howdy, Anna!!!  *shyly, but with some excitement, returns the wave*
Welcome to the blog! Well, welcome to the blog as author-you. How cool is that? It's so fun seeing you all authorly.
This is surreal.  I’ve adored your blog for four years- five?  Many times when I needed a pick-me-up after work or couldn’t sleep… there was Herding Cats with a boisterous discussion, delish cooking project, snortingly good Tags, and entertaining reviews that helped strain my book wish list even more.
But, yes this is weird and wonderful to be sitting in the ‘author’ chair looking across at you.  Big dream come true (erm, being an author, that is- not that a visit with you isn’t exciting, too…)
::snort:: I can't believe we've known each other that long! It's amazing how time flies when you're talking books and food, isn't it? Okay, I'm ready for some book scoop. *rubs hands together*
You’re making me nervous.  I think it was the cackle of amusement.
Heh always! Alright, *serious blogger face* for your part of the anthology you're featuring Northanger Abbey's General Tilney. For those of us not in the Austen-know could you tell us a little backstory?
Amazon
Northanger Abbey is the story of a young, innocent English girl who sets out from her country village to discover adventure.  She is hyped up on gothic tales and her head is full of romance when she encounters two different families in Bath- the Tilneys and the Thorpes.  Catherine becomes besties with Isabella Thorpe who is so not BFF material and crushes her little heart on Henry Tilney, who was definitely worthy of her shipping him.  
General Tilney is Henry’s father and he is ambitious for his children to marry well and he prizes high connections.  Through a tip from someone with ulterior motives, the General is led to believe Catherine is an heiress so he goes all out to get Miss Catherine for Henry even going so far as to invite her to leave Bath and go for a visit to his home, Northanger Abbey.  He learns the truth about her humble connections and dowry so he breaks up the family party and kicks Catherine to the curb to find her own way home.  Thankfully, his daughter was able to slip the poor girl some coach fare.  Earlier, he had featured as Catherine’s idea of a gothic villain who murdered his own wife.  Now he has become that in her mind.
So… the task my editor, Christina Boyd, set before me was to tell this man’s story, but with as little alteration from the Northanger Abbey story as possible- fill in the gaps and take the clues about him from N.A. explaining what makes him think and act as he does.  It was a great challenge and I wanted to really bring this minor character to life.  I didn’t have to make it a romance- and several of the stories in Dangerous to Know are not- but my story, As Much As He Can is a love story.  
I kicked around whether I should go with older Tilney and a story contemporary to NA or come up with a backstory.  I thought about his youth, now there, I saw some possibilities.   So, then I had the joy of not just researching the Regency era, but an earlier Georgian era.  My dangling carrot to myself were lots of Pinterest and Googling of male high fashion and handsome soldier clothes preferably with the gents modeling these clothes.  Yep, historical man candy- worth the hours of figuring out if ‘X’ regiment was stationed in the right place at the right time, if ‘Y’ dance was around then, and was this idiom used back then…
Speaking of man candy, what about that cover, eh?
Oh goodness! Sounds like you had your work cut out for you. I might have to get back and read the original. Hmmm. And, yes! Love the cover!

No...what's the first thing that pops into your head about Tilney?
More than meets the eye.  
I had to dig for the clues from Northanger Abbey because General Tilney had a pivotal role, but he wasn’t a major player in the story.  His wife had even less page time since she was passed away several years already.  But, when I looked closely, the nuggets were there to be mined and gave me the bones to my story.
You do have me curious about his backstory! Were you a...nice author? Or did you make em really work for their hea? lol
There might have been few hiccups in their courtship.  After all, he was targeting an entirely different woman for the future Mrs. Tilney when the story got going…
I only had a few pages to work the story so I didn’t go wild with my conflict and we get a fast resolution.  So yeah, I was sweet as pie to our readers.  Heh heh.
Oh dear. Best laid plans. lol If General Tilney was a dessert how would you describe him?
Ooh, good one.  He is described as a very handsome and distinguished looking man.  Only associates with the best.  And he was an officer and a gentleman. So, I’m going with a box of fine Amaretto Chocolate Truffle.
Well. I'd take a bite of that! What originally hooked you on Austen or made you want to write in her world?
My love affair with Austen started as an eight year old settled into my bed at night listening to my mom reading Pride & Prejudice to me.  I fell in love with the hilarious over the top Mrs. Bennet and the family of five sisters.  As an adult reader, I came to admire the ready wit, keen observations about people, and a woman who wrote about themes well ahead of her time.
I had no plans to write Jane Austen retellings.  
I wrote as a hobby until a few years ago.  Social work can really drain one so they tell you to have some good outlets and support network to keep you from burning out.  Writing was one of mine.  
Anyhoot, I happened to spot a contest that Meryton Press was hosting.  Submit a short story with a combo of elements involving an Austen novel and summertime.  
It was a win-win even if I didn’t get picked to have my story published because it would be seen by an editor and I would get the benefit of an editor’s comments on my story.  
So, without much expectation, I submitted my modern retelling of Persuasion and got the shock of my life to be picked as the second place story that was published in SunKissed: Effusions of Summer.  Christina Boyd was the editor for that project and did a fab job of refining and polishing and encouraging.  
And here I am, four Austenesque stories later with Dangerous to Know, never having planned to write more Jane Austen retellings, but having a ball doing them and still benefiting from Christina’s guidance.
That's pretty dang exciting! You've been a blogger for years over with Delighted Reader. Did you find jumping into the authorly world easier or more challenging than you expected?
Both.  Mostly harder.
It was easier in the sense that I’ve had the opportunity to learn not just how to write better (reading for the purpose of writing a review makes us as bloggers critical readers and writing analysts), but blogging also taught me a bit about what else is involved beyond the story as I reviewed their books and interacted more with authors, author’s assistants, and publicists.  
But yeah, there was a ton that I had no clue about or I only knew enough to be dangerous.  The story is the easy part for me.  The real work begins with those saintly beta readers and the editors.  Let’s just say that grammar is not my superpower and I tend to be verbose and a passive voice writer.  Shocker, right?  You’ve seen my reviews…  
I’ve also found the team effort of an anthology brings to me the expertise of all those other authors and our editor who are gifted and talented and happy to share what they know and root each other on in this and other endeavors. 
Oh man, yeah I can imagine how that is. Since I do work for authors I see that side and goodness there's so much involved! Yay for a great team behind ya, though! Worth their weight in gold! Okay, before I let you go back to holiday festivities...a couple quickies!

Weirdest thing in your purse right now?
Let’s go with more embarrassing than weird.  My purse contents is as uninteresting as it gets. There’s a magnifying glass because I can’t read smaller print anymore and have had a few embarrassing and/or disturbing incidents when not seeing correctly got me into trouble.
I *so* wish I could say I don't know how that is. lol Getting old is hard! ha! Best "burning soup" moment? 
Let’s go with the time that I accidentally left a plastic cake lid on when I put the cake in the oven to bake an hour while I took a shower.   I’d made up the cake earlier and refrigerated it.  Then forgot to remove the top.
We had to leave the house open when we left (to attend the party the cake was for- and I had to swing by Kroger’s bakery dept on the way) before it was safe to breathe in there.  
I had a devil of a time scraping hardened plastic off the shelves and bottom of my oven.  And that dang smoke alarm kept screeching its warning for a few days after every time I thought it was safe to put the battery back in (because, you know, had to be safe in case of the next cooking disaster).
::snort:: I've done that with a bag of tortillas in the oven. Forgot they were in there. So bad!

I'm totally obsessed with...?

Bookmarks.  I will do mildly crazy or moderately time-consuming things just to procure a snazzy, new bookmark.  
Best food ever?
Chocolate.  No.  Lasagna.  No. Chocolate.  Yep, chocolate.
Girl! Combine them! Chocolate lasagna!

What's up next for you?
I plan to continue with my reviewing and visiting about the blogosphere.  But, I’ve got a novel or two in me, I just know it.  I’ve had one rejected twice over the past year, but I plan to keep working on fine tuning and submitting it.  There is a second one that is still in the work in progress stage.
Oo you can do it! I'm glad you aren't leaving the blogger side of things and can't wait to see what your novel is about. Thanks so much for dropping by the blog!
You betcha and thanks so much for inviting me, Anna!
“One has all the goodness, and the other all the appearance of it.” —Jane Austen

Jane Austen’s masterpieces are littered with unsuitable gentlemen—Willoughby, Wickham, Churchill, Crawford, Tilney, Elliot, et al.—adding color and depth to her plots but often barely sketched. Have you never wondered about the pasts of her rakes, rattles, and gentlemen rogues? Surely, there's more than one side to their stories.
It is a universal truth, we are captivated by smoldering looks, daring charms ... a happy-go-lucky, cool confidence. All the while, our loyal confidants are shouting on deaf ears: “He is a cad—a brute—all wrong!” But is that not how tender hearts are broken...by loving the undeserving? How did they become the men Jane Austen created?

In this romance anthology, eleven Austenesque authors expose the histories of Austen’s anti-heroes. "Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues" is a titillating collection of Georgian era short stories—a backstory or parallel tale off-stage of canon—whilst remaining steadfast to the characters we recognize in Austen’s great works.

What say you? Everyone may be attracted to a bad boy…even temporarily...but heaven help us if we marry one.

Amazon | Goodreads

Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate. Writing has been a compelling need since childhood. Being published is a dream come true.

Find Sophia Online!

Enter Rafflecopter to win fifteen books from the anthology authors! One winner. Fifteen books! Contest ends midnight, December 30, 2017. One “Grand Prize #1 winner” will be announced January 2, 2018.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow our “Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s #RakesAndGentlemenRogues” Blog Tour and comment on each stop to be eligible for #RakesAndGentlemenRogues Pleasures prize pack: ‘Pride & Prejudice’ Print, autographed by Colin Firth & Jennifer Ehle; Bingley’s Teas (Willoughby & The Colonel); Jane Austen playing cards; set of 6 Austen postcards; and ‘The Compleat Housewife’ notecards set. (All guest comments will be entered in drawing to win. Comment at each site to increase your odds.) Contest ends midnight, December 30, 2017. One “Grand Prize #2 winner” will be announced January 2, 2018.

THE #RakesAndGentlemenRogues BLOG TOUR
Monday, November 6: REVIEW: Margie's Must Reads
Thursday, November 9: REVIEW, Obsessed with Mr. Darcy 
Monday, November 13: REVIEW, Austenesque Reviews
Tuesday, November 14: REVIEW, Olga of ROSIE AMBER team
Wednesday, November 15: (release day) REVIEW, Just Jane1813
Thursday, November 16: REVIEW, Diary of an Eccentric  
Monday, November 20: FEATURE w/Katie Oliver (George Wickham), From Pemberley to Milton
Wednesday, November 22: FEATURE w/Joana Starnes (Willoughby),Babblings of a Bookworm
Friday, November 24: FEATURE w/Sophia Rose, (General Tilney), Herding Cats & Burning Soup
Monday, November 27: FEATURE w/Amy D'Orazio (Captain Tilney), My Jane Austen Book Club
Wednesday, November 29: FEATURE w/Brooke West (Henry Crawford),VVB32 Reads
Thursday, November 30: FEATURE w/Lona Manning (Tom Bertram), Lit 4 Ladies
Friday, December 1: REVIEW, Lit 4 Ladies
Monday, December 4: FEATURE w/Beau North  (Colonel Fitzwilliam),Obsessed with Mr. Darcy
Thursday, December 7: FEATURE w/J. Marie Croft (John Thorpe), Harry Rodell blog/ROSIE AMBER team
Friday, December 8: REVIEW, From Pemberley to Milton 
Monday, December 11: FEATURE w/Jenetta James Hannah McSorley (William Elliot), Austenesque Reviews 
Thursday, December 14: FEATURE w/Karen M Cox (Frank Churchill),Darcyholic Diversions
Monday, December 17: FEATURE w/Christina Morland (Sir Walter Elliot), Of Pens & Pages


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~Anna