Thanks Leisl. It’s great to be here.
LL: Your debut novel, Letter from a Rake, a fabulous Regency period romance, was just released this week. Tell us a little bit about it.
SC: An odd, feisty girl recently arrived from India turns the head of one of the gods of the ton. Millie is nothing like Alex has ever seen before and she takes him completely by surprise. The charm of Alex is that while he is an alpha male, he has an uncanny ability to make a mess of things at times. Millie on the other hand is no diamond of the first water, but she has her own appeal which makes me love her.
LL: I’ve just finished reading it. It was a fabulous Regency read that swept me away in the world of Millie Ashton ( I got nothing done last Saturday until I’d finished it – luckily it was a rainy, miserable cold day here in Melbourne, so I didn’t feel too guilty as I sat and read and ignored everything that needed to be done!) I love reading historical romances, but I wouldn’t be brave enough to write one. What inspires you to write historical romance?
SC: I was never a reader of romance novels until I accidently enrolled in a writers course a few years ago and fell under the spell of the incredibly talented Anne Gracie. I had always been a history buff and the only romance book I had ever read was Pride and Prejudice in English Literature at school. Historical romance just seemed to click for me.
LL: That’s not hard to believe. You write so fluidly in that time period. I love stories about Rakes, as do most readers who read in this genre. What do you think is their appeal to lovers of historical romance?
SC: A man in tight buckskin pants, money, titles, need I say more? I think is the universal appeal of the bad boy who we all secretly think we can tame. Contemporary romance writers have the modern equivalent with the billionaire….or the popstar.
LL: As you would see in my novel, Killing Me Softly – a bit of rockstar action there. I’d never drawn that parallel before, but you’re absolutely right. The bad boy – wanting to make him good, or at least good for the heroine is a big draw.
You have mentioned that in researching this novel, you’ve done a fair bit of experimental cooking with recipes from that era. Can you share your most successful dish and the biggest flop with us?
SC: I am slowly working my way through a number of 18th and 19th century cookbooks and detail my exploits on my website. (Secretly plots to lure Leisl over to make a pie or two…)
Surprisingly, considering how terrible a cook I am I have not ruined any dishes…yet. Though I must admit I have attempted easy recipes and I am inclined to cheat wherever possible. The best tasting dish was apple dumplings and custard, the recipe is on the blog.
LL: Looks yummy – a bit like struedle and I love struedle.
Aside from being a writer of historical romance, who is Sasha Cottman? What do you do? What hobbies do you have? What gets you up in the morning and going every day?
SC: I work fulltime as a finance executive which is a very busy career. I am usually in the office by 7am, but I try to be heading home by just after 5pm.
Hobbies? Writers don’t have hobbies, they eat, sleep and write. Though I do know of some authors who manage to fit in Candy Crush and Pinterest, I don’t know how they do it.
LL: I know many historical authors travel a fair bit to research. Have you done this? If no, tell us about your favourite holiday destination anyway.
SC: I haven’t travelled much for research, but I have booked a trip to England next year and plan to visit lots of the remaining Regency places in London as well as taking hundreds of photos.
LL: Sounds wonderful. I’m a little jealous. You’ll have to pop back and let us know what you discovered when you get back, share some photos etc.
What’s Sasha Cottman’s pet peeve? What’s your favourite thing?
SC: Bad Internet connection, it is the bane of my life. Favourite thing and I know this sounds weird, but I love the sensation when a big jumbo jet takes off. It takes all my strength not to put my arms in the air and call out ‘Wheee’.
LL: I love hearing authors ‘call stories’. Tell us about when you got ‘The Call’.
SC: I was on another call at the time working on a business acquisition. I saw the number, and not recognising it, actually ‘killed’ the call. It was only later that I went into voicemail and realised it was Carol George from Penguin and my heart stopped. I had to go for a very long walk after that.
LL: I can imagine. So, what’s been the most surprising aspect of getting that call and being a published author?
SC: That it happened so quickly, not so long ago, I was still writing Letter from a Rake. The amount of marketing involved. Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and Blogs all take time to get a handle on. It makes you appreciate your writing time that much more.
LL: I’m with you there. So what’s up next for you? Any projects on the boil?
SC: I’m currently working on the next book in the Radley family series. Readers of Letter from a Rake will have a pretty good idea who is the hero and heroine in this one.
LL: Can’t wait to read it – I thought there might be a story brewing there, glad to hear my hunch was right!
Thank you so much for being a guest on my blog today, Sasha. It was fun finding out a little bit more about you and your writing.
Sasha is wanting to give a copy of her debut novel away. Just answer the following question and leave your comment and you will go into the draw to win a kindle version of the book.
Q: If you could take one thing from the 21st century back to the Regency what would it be and why?
You can buy Sasha’s novel, Letter from a Rake, from:
Also available at Google Play, Readcloud, Angus & Robertson and Booki.sh
About the Author
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 accidently 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.
Letter from a Rake is Sasha’s debut book.
You can find out more about Sasha at:
Follow her on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/sashacottman