Harlequin Author Interview
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Manga by Sarah Morgan
Sale or Return BridePreviewSee Details
THE MIDWIFE'S CHILDPreviewSee Details
Italian Doctor, Sleigh-Bell BridePreviewSee Details
Doukakis's ApprenticePreviewSee Details
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Could you please introduce yourself?
I'm Sarah Morgan! I live near London in the UK, and I've written over seventy-five books for Harlequin.
How did you become an author for Harlequin?
I trained as a nurse, and one day after a long shift I came home to find my flatmate reading a medical romance. I picked it up, read it and was hooked! I thought to myself I could write that, and so I did. I sent a couple of manuscripts to the Harlequin office in the UK and my third attempt was accepted. I've been writing for them ever since.
What made you want to become a writer? Have you always wanted to be one?
I always wanted to be a writer, but I didn't think it would be possible to make it my job. For years it was my hobby and I wrote in my free time, which is of course what many writers do. Now I'm lucky enough to write full-time and have readers around the globe.
Who are your favorite authors?
I love reading and have many favorite authors, but right at the top would be Nora Roberts, Sarah Addison Allen, and Jill Shalvis. I also enjoy historical fiction and love Georgette Heyer, Lisa Kleypas and Nicola Cornick.
What's your favorite book?
My favorite book changes all the time depending on my mood. I love To Kill a Mockingbird and Jane Eyre, and I often reread The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen.
Which of your books do you like most and why?
My favorite is always the one I'm writing at the moment because those are the characters I'm living with on a daily basis. Having said that, Sleigh Bells in the Snow will always be special to me because it was my first single title and the start of an exciting new direction to my career.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Inspiration is all around us! Ideas come from snippets of conversation overheard, from reading, television, movies, newspapers, interviews, etc. I ask myself the "what if" question, and that invariably triggers an interesting idea for a book.
How do you choose your characters' names?
It's important to give a character exactly the right name, and there have been times when I've written half a book and suddenly decided that the name I've chosen doesn't work. If that happens, I change it. Sometimes I ask readers for ideas on Facebook (I have a great Facebook page with very engaged readers); sometimes I trawl through names on the internet until I find the right one.
Have you ever read one of your stories as a manga? If so, what did you think of it?
I love the manga editions of my books. Because I've written more than seventy-five books for Harlequin, it isn't possible for me to keep a copy of every single foreign edition (I would have to move house!), but I have kept all my manga editions. I always read through them, and one of my favorites is Doukakis's Apprentice, my RITA® Award-winning book for Harlequin Presents.
How long does it take you to write a book?
It varies, and I give each book as long as it needs. Some are much faster and smoother than others, and I make sure I build enough time in my deadline. It usually takes me around eight weeks to write, revise and polish a Harlequin Presents. A single title is longer obviously because the word count is higher.
Do you have any advice to give aspiring authors?
Write every day. Many people think they would like to be a writer but don't have the self-discipline to sit down and do it. It takes a great deal of hard work and focus to finish a book.
How do you spend an average day?
There was a time when being a published writer meant that you wrote the book and that was all you did. That isn't the case now, and writers are expected to spend a significant amount of time on promotion, including social media. I set myself a weekly word count to keep myself on deadline, and I try to make sure I have written my words for the day before tackling interviews, social media, etc. I might also be talking to my editor, looking at covers from the art department, meeting with the marketing team or talking to my agent. The job certainly isn't all about writing.
Do you have any interests other than reading?
Because writing is largely an indoor job, I try to spend time outdoors whenever I can. I hike and go out on my mountain bike. Because I spend much of my time alone with my laptop, I like to catch up with friends and family. I love to cook, and I love music and movies.
Do you have a favorite place to write?
For years I wrote wherever I could find space, but now I'm lucky enough to have a beautiful office in the garden. It's secluded, shaded by apple trees, and my only visitors are squirrels, birds and bees. It's very peaceful, and I appreciate having protected writing space. I can stick my notes all over the wall and I don't have to move them. Readers can see pictures of my office on any of my social media pages.
Next Week's Interview>> Natsu Momose