Jen: Today we welcome Amy Sandas to Romancing the Book. Amy, will you share a short bio with us?
Amy: Amy Sandas’ love of romance began one summer when she stumbled across one of her mother’s Barbara Cartland books. Her affinity for writing began with sappy pre-teen poems and led to a Bachelor’s degree with an emphasis on Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She lives with her husband and children in Wisconsin.
Jen: Tell us a little about your newest release.
Amy: My newest release is The Untouchable Earl which came out on November 1. Here’s the blurb:
“Are you afraid?”
“Yes,” she replied in a soft voice. “But I love the way you frighten me.”
Lily Chadwick has spent her life playing by society’s rules. But when an unscrupulous moneylender snatches her off the street and puts her up for auction at a pleasure house, she finds herself in the possession of a man who makes her breathless with terror and impossible yearning…
Though the reclusive Earl of Harte claimed Lily with the highest bid, he hides a painful secret—one that has kept him from knowing the pleasure of a lover’s touch. Even the barest brush of skin brings him physical pain, and he’s spent his life keeping the world at arms’ length. But there’s something about Lily that maddens him, bewitches him, compels him…and drives him toward the one woman brave and kind enough to seek to heal his troubled heart.
Jen: What kind of research did you do for this book?
Amy: My most extensive research was in regard to Guillain-Barré syndrome. Although it was not described in medical literature until several decades after The Untouchable Earl takes place, I imagine there were cases that occurred prior to the syndrome being more widely understood. My hero is one of those cases. He lives with the resulting damage to the peripheral nerves of his upper body that left him extremely sensitive to touch.
I also looked into various theories on how the brain perceives of pain while simultaneously experiencing other stimuli, such as pleasure, especially within the realm of sexual desire. Fascinating stuff.
Jen: Who has influenced you as a writer?
Amy: I would say that my writing is most influenced by Johanna Lindsey and Lisa Kleypas. I have been reading them both for decades and their work has always resonated with me. They both have a way of creating characters who are relatable and exciting with intensely character driven plots that are rich in sensuality and emotional depth and really tap into a wide range of experiences for the reader. That is what I want to do.
Jen: If you were able to travel in time, where would you go and what 3 things would you take with you?
Amy: It’s probably because of the research I’ve been doing lately, but I would go back to the western territories of America in the later part of the 1800s. There is something thrilling about the idea of venturing beyond the edge of polite civilization to a land where the requirements of basic survival along with the pursuit of individual happiness challenged people in ways nothing else could.
First of all, I would bring a good supply of anti-biotics and other medicines that could cure most debilitating illnesses to help limit the potential of getting sick and dying. I would also bring a modern digital camera so I could properly record the experience in high definition. And lastly, I’d bring my husband. Not only would I get to share the adventure with him, but he’d also be an amazing asset as a hunter and protector and would no doubt prove to be very well-suited to the wilderness of the western territories.
Jen: Do you have a favorite character or one you most identify with?
Amy: My favorite character of those I’ve written is probably the youngest Chadwick sister in the Fallen Ladies series. Portia is so wonderfully unexpected. She is a modern woman trapped in a time when her independent sensibilities are seen as a liability, but she still refuses to compromise herself. She tends to say what she thinks and likes to push her sisters and herself beyond perceived limitations. She is basically the best friend everyone wishes they had.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Amy: My next project after the Fallen Ladies is a new series set in the American West of the 1880s. Starting with a story that will be included in a Christmas anthology scheduled to come out next fall and continuing with three full-length novels about women who travel from Boston’s elite social circles to find their happy ever after in the wild west.