Jen: Today we welcome Sophie Barnes as her blog tour makes a stop at Romancing the Book. Sophie, will you share a short bio with us?
Sophie: Born in Denmark, Sophie has spent her youth traveling with her parents to wonderful places all around the world. She has studied design in Paris and New York and has a bachelor’s degree from Parson’s School of design, but most impressive of all – she’s been married to the same man three times, in three different countries and in three different dresses.
While living in Africa, Sophie turned to her lifelong passion – writing.
When she’s not busy, dreaming up her next romance novel, Sophie enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, cooking, gardening, watching romantic comedies and, of course, reading.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Sophie: My newest release takes place at Thorncliff Manor – an extravagant estate, turned guest-house, for the elite that’s owned by the eccentric Countess of Duncaster. The idea for it came from a few different things, among other, the 1980’s series, “Love Boat”, the Pension Bertolini from “A Room With A View”, and the themed hotels in Las Vegas, which I turned into themed salons at Thorncliff.
Holidaying at Thorncliff, are the Heartlys: the Earl and Countess of Oakland and their seven children, who each find their special someone during their stay. First, it’s Christopher’s turn. He’s the eldest son, and a rather eligible bachelor considering he’s not just his father’s heir, but also Viscount Spencer with a fine property of his own and a fortune he’s earned from various investments. There’s just one tiny problem – he has no interest in love or marriage. Having suffered a broken heart before, he believes that women generally tend to be manipulative creatures who shouldn’t be trusted. But then he meets Lady Sarah. She’s made some poor choices in the past – mistakes that her family is trying desperately to cover up by marrying her off to the horrid Mr. Denison, whom she’s come to Thorncliff to meet. Loyal and honorable to the bone, Sarah is determined to do her duty. She certainly doesn’t want Chritopher to find out about her shameful transgressions. But, as is often the case, the truth will out. The question is whether or not Sarah’s developing friendship with Christopher and their chance for so much more, can withstand it, so that they can have the happily ever after that they both deserve.
Jen: Do you have a writing routine?
Sophie: Yes. It involves a lot of coffee =) On average, I like to write a couple of thousand words a day, but I have written a lot more than that too – especially during deadline. Writing each day is important. I find that if I don’t, it takes me about a week for the words to flow as easily as they did before I took a break.
Jen: Is there a genre you’d like to write? Is there one you’ll probably stay away from? Why?
Sophie: I’m toying with the idea of writing a children’s book. Finding the extra time is going to be hard though, so if it happens, it will probably be a long work in progress. I don’t think I’d ever want to write a sci-fi/paranormal novel. Don’t get me wrong, I love those kinds of movies, but as books, they just don’t grab me.
Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest? Most rewarding?
Sophie: I find that gradual character development – letting the character grow/reveal more of themselves as they overcome obstacles or gain someone’s trust – can be really difficult. The easiest part for me is coming up with the overall idea and writing dialogue – that’s a lot of fun! The most rewarding part is getting feedback from readers and seeing my books in stores. It’s a really special feeling =)
Jen: What’s been the highlight of you career to this point?
Sophie: A couple of years ago, I attended my first conference in Atlanta. It was also my very first book signing event and happened right before my print debut with The Trouble With Being A Duke. The excitement with which readers and reviewers greeted me really took my breath away. I’ll never forget it!
Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Sophie: In my free time I like to hang out with my husband and kids. We watch a lot of movies/tv shows together. If the weather’s good, we’ll be outside on the deck, barbecuing, talking and/or listening to music. This past winter has been pretty horrific so we’ve spent quite a bit of time indoors, beating each other at Lego Batman and Minecraft on the X-Box =)
Jen: What’s next for you?
Sophie: I’ve just finished my revisions for the second book in the series, which will be about Chloe Heartly (Lady Newbury) and the Earl of Woodford. This will be something of a spy novel with lots of intrigue and secret plots. While I wait to get the copyedits on it, I’ll be writing the third book about Christopher’s younger brother, Richard, who was betrayed during the Battle of Waterloo, captured and tortured by the French and who’s now back in England seeking revenge.