Jen: This week we are pleased to have Sophia Nash join us. Sophia, will you please share a short bio with us?
Sophia: Sophia Nash’s first three novels won eight national awards including the prestigious RITA Award and a spot on the American Library Association’s “Top Ten Romances of the Year.” Sophia was born in Switzerland, raised in France and the United States, but says her heart resides in Regency England. Her ancestor, an infamous French admiral who traded epic cannon fire with the British Royal Navy, is surely turning in his grave. Before pursuing her long held dream of writing Historicals, Sophia was an award winning television producer for CBS, a congressional speechwriter, and a nonprofit CEO.
Jen: Tell us about Four Dukes and a Devil and where it’s available.
Sophia: Four Dukes and a Devil is an Avon anthology featuring novellas by Cathy Maxwell, Tracy Anne Warren, Elaine Fox, Jeaniene Frost and me. Three historical dukes, one contemporary duke, and one paranormal devil will be individually featured in this exciting new anthology to be released June 30, 2009. In my novella, Catch of the Century, the most eligible gentleman in London’s marriage mart reluctantly rescues a stranded school mistress. When the duke is forced to go heart-to-heart with the spirited siren, the well-documented Catch of the Century finds out she’s the only one he can’t have.
The book will be available in bookstores and online venues.
Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Sophia: I discovered that I loved the creative process of putting together a story during my first job out of college. For four years I wrote and produced television stories for PM Magazine and the news division at the CBS affiliate in Miami.
Re the call: I entered A Secret Passion in several minor contests and the RWA Golden Heart contest in 2001. Finalists were announced in March 2002 and I was lucky enough to have the story chosen. The final judge, Hilary Ross from Signet, asked for revisions, which I completed several months later. She offered me a 2 book contract and that first story was published February 2004. The funny thing about the “call” was that I almost didn’t return Hilary Ross’s call that Friday afternoon because I was sure she would reject the revisions and I didn’t want it to ruin my weekend. One of my writer friends told me I was insane because editors only call when they are ready to offer you a contract. She was right.
Jen: Have you noticed your writer’s voice has changed over the years due to your experience? If so, how?
Sophia: I think it’s nearly impossible to completely change your innate writer’s voice. But, I do think it can evolve. Writing is a little like everything else: the more you practice, the more you learn. I keep adding to my “writing toolbox.” But it is hard to be specific as to what has changed over the years. I think you’d get a better answer from my editor.
Jen: Do you have a writing routine? Do you have a specific time or place that you write?
Sophia: I write 6 days a week about 5 hours a day. During that time I’m writing new pages, revising those pages, drafting new story ideas, copy editing, etc. But I do not stop-except for 1 month each summer! And I’ve learned to write everywhere. Usually I’m either at Starbucks or at home, but during deadlines I’ve been known to write at the carpool line-up, the MVA, and even the DC Dept. of Taxation!
Jen: How do you pick the character’s names?
Sophia: I have two enormous charts of ancestors (some dating back to the 1600s). When I’m searching for character names I often pick names from those charts. I’ve also been known to name housekeepers and children after my girlfriends!
Jen: What is it about the romance genre that appeals to you?
Sophia: I worked in news so I know all about writing headlines such as: Five Dead at Dadeland Mall Drug shootout. More at 11. I had my fill of writing about the chilling reality of the bad side of life. I prefer to focus on the positive side when writing fiction. And is there anything more fulfilling than love?
Jen: What did you do to celebrate the sale of your first book?
Sophia: After the call, I went back to sorting laundry. A half minute later I started laughing uncontrollably, and took the rest of the day off. Oh yes, perhaps alcohol was involved. Veuve Cliquot.
Jen: Who has inspired you as an author?
Sophia: I draw inspiration from so many things: Movies, books, newspapers, my family and friends. The real question is where I do not find ideas! The more I write, the more ideas the process inspires.
Jen: If your story in Four Dukes and a Devil was made into a movie, which actors would you choose to play the hero and heroine?
Sophia: For the novella, I would pick Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman.
Jen: If you could travel back in time for one year, what time and place would you choose? And if you could only take 3 things with you, what would they be?
Sophia: I would choose Regency era London—of course! I would bring medicine, money, and a camera. Funny, that’s what I pack for all vacations.
Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Sophia: One day I received two letters via snail mail that were remarkably similar. Both readers really loved the characters of the series, and the stories. Each asked how I knew what it was like to feel/be the ages of the characters in the stories (age ranging from 18 to 78). It was eerie because each reader kindly suggested I had captured the essence of the characters. The first reader mentioned that she was 18 years old and the second that she was 78 years young!
Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Sophia: Most of the time I am in carpool—at least that is what it feels like! But during the summer, we all take a break. For a good month we are with family in France, and we sit on the beach, eat lots of fattening food, surf, and completely disconnect from all electronic devices, including computers, tv—everything!
Jen: What’s next for you?
Sophia: I’ve just finished writing the next book in the widows club series: SECRETS OF A SCANDALOUS BRIDE. I’m very excited about this book. It will feature Elizabeth Ashburton and the anti-hero, Rowland Manning. I’ve had so many people write to ask about this particular story! All of my stories are stand-alone books, meaning they do not need to be read in any particular order.
Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Sophia: My website is www.sophianash.com. I’m also on Facebook and Twitter. The latter I find particularly amusing!
Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Sophia: What is your favorite sort of heroine?
Jen: Readers, Sophia is giving away a signed copy of A Dangerous Beauty to a random commenter. To enter, first leave a comment answering Sophia’s question or asking her one. Then you must either leave your email address in your comment or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org letting us know you want to enter the contest. The winner will be chosen on Thursday, July 2 around 5 pm Pacific.