– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Escaping With Her Saxon Enemy’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
Sarah Rodi has always been a hopeless romantic. She grew up watching old, romantic movies recommended by her grandad, or devouring love stories from the local library. Sarah lives in the village of Cookham in Berkshire, where she enjoys walking along the River Thames with her husband, her two daughters and their dog. She has been a magazine journalist for over 20 years, but it has been her lifelong dream to write romance for Mills & Boon. Sarah believes everyone deserves to find their happy ever after.
Her tempting enemy
is a chink in her armour!
Viking shield maiden, Svea Ivarsson, would far rather face Saxon warriors than be on the run with the fiercely captivating Lord Ashford Stanton, protector to the Saxon King. Reaching Ash’s family castle, Svea must swap her chainmail for life as a Lady. She can wield a sword like an expert, but no training has prepared her for craving the touch of her greatest enemy…
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’m Sarah Rodi, I’m 41, married to Chris and we have two girls. I’ve worked on magazines for 20 years, sourcing, writing and editing stories, but I’ve wanted to write romance for Mills & Boon for even longer than that! It’s always been a passion of mine. Over the years, I’ve joined the RNA New Writers’ Scheme, been on various writing retreats, kept on submitting and pitched to the Mills & Boon Editors at the RNA Annual Conference… and in 2021, they accepted my first book, The Viking’s Stolen Princess. This month, my second book, Escaping With Her Saxon Enemy, is out.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I still love reading Mills & Boon Modern and Historical romances – you can’t beat them. You know what you’re going to get, and you experience that feeling of falling in love when you read them. As a young adult I loved the Making Out series by Katherine Applegate – and I’ve saved them all for when my girls are older. Maybe I’ll read them again too!
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Sharon Kendrick. She has written over 100 books for Mills & Boon and I would love to do the same. I’d also love to speak to Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the musical Hamilton. Have you seen it? It’s incredible. It really speaks to you. I’d love to understand how he went about learning the history, writing the words, getting the emotion in there…
Jane Austen too – as she had the best characters and ideas, didn’t she?
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I would love to have my heroine, Svea, in Escaping With Her Saxon Enemy, over for tea. The name Svea is of Scandinavian origin and means ‘spear’. This was apt, as my Viking shield maiden’s feisty personality smashes everyone’s ideas of how a woman should look and behave. Her non-conformity in terms of how she dresses and how she acts, in addition to her prowess on the battlefield, makes her a character to aspire to, and one who becomes more complex as the truth about her past unravels…
I also have a major crush on the Icelandic actor who plays Sigtryggr in The Last Kingdom… he can come to tea any time!
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I work full time on magazines, so my writing time is in the evenings after I’ve put my two girls to bed. I switch on the kettle and pour myself a nice cup of coffee and open up a large bar of Cadbury Dairy Milk. I like to read over what I wrote the night before, to get me back into the story, before starting to write. I also light my wax melt burner and use the Devonwick Viking scent… it helps to get me in the mood!
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
My characters aren’t based on real people, but a turn of phrase or the way someone moves or reacts can inspire a thought, or a characteristic for my characters and my story. I did fall in love with Brand and Ash, the heroes in my first two books, – and perhaps there are elements in Anne and Svea, the heroines, that are like me. I guess you can’t help but put some of your personality into them. I like visiting historical places, such as Sutton Hoo in Suffolk, Lindisfarne in Northumberland or Viking Bay in Kent for research.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I like to know the outline of my story before I begin and where it’s going, but that’s about as far as it goes. When I start to write, that’s when the characters take on a mind of their own and the ideas really start to flow, so I guess I do pant my way through my books, especially the raunchy bits!
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Never give up, despite any rejections you might get. Every “no” comes with useful feedback, helping you become a better writer. Go on as many courses as you can, join writing groups and talk to people, join the RNA, apply for their New Writers’ Scheme and don’t miss the conference. Always make time to write. Enjoy the journey and adventure you’re having trying to achieve your goal.
What are your future plans as an author?
My second novel, Escaping With Her Saxon Enemy, is out this month. I’ve just written book number three and submitted it to my editor, which will be out later in the year, and I’m about to start number four. The dream has always been to write for Mills & Boon and I should love to continue to do so.
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
‘So, what do you think?’ he asked, giving her a playful nudge.
He pointed to the sea. ‘A late-night swim.’
‘What?’ She laughed nervously.
‘You can swim, can’t you?’ he asked, goading her.
‘Of course I can,’ she said. ‘Actually, I’ve wanted to swim since we got here, but I wasn’t sure if it was the done thing here in Braewood. In Kald, we swim all the time.’
‘Well, you’ll be pleased to know we do too.’
‘Even at this time of night?’
He shrugged. ‘We need to wash all this flour off. And at least no one else will be around to see. We’ll have the place to ourselves.’
When they reached the sand Ash began to pull off his boots, and then his tunic. He stopped when he realised Svea was just standing there, her eyes wide, staring at his large muscled chest, chewing on her bottom lip. A look of confusion crossed her face, and he stilled. Was he making her uncomfortable? That was the last thing he wanted to do. He’d thought they were having fun. He’d thought they both needed this. But perhaps his large body was off-putting—especially covered in its tapestry of scars.
‘I can’t swim in this dress. I’ll sink!’ she said, turning her attention away from him and focusing on her skirts.
Well, she wasn’t saying she didn’t want to go in…
He looked her up and down and realised she was right. She could go in naked, but he had a feeling she wouldn’t agree to that.
‘Here,’ he said, passing her his discarded tunic. ‘Put this on.’
She gripped the material tight, holding it to her chest. She still wasn’t sure, and he wanted to
‘It’s just a swim, Svea.’
‘Then turn around,’ she said, and he grinned.
He had known she wasn’t one to shirk a challenge.
So he did as he was told, even though they were cloaked in the late-night darkness, so he could barely see her anyway. He listened as she tussled with her gown, and then heard it drop to the sand. The response in his groin was instant. Damn. What he wouldn’t give to turn around, stride over to her and take her bare body in his arms. But he knew he mustn’t. He had said it was to be ‘just a swim’ and
he would stick to his word.
He knew he had to take this slowly. He couldn’t be sure what Crowe had done, or just how badly it
had affected her. It made him feel sick, just thinking about that man laying his hands on her. He guessed he had caused her some serious damage, given the way she held herself, the way she behaved, and he needed to build her trust—especially where her body was concerned.
‘Ready,’ she said, stalking past him and running into the water.
The material of his tunic barely reached the top of her thighs, and the sight made him harder. He followed her, laughing. The thought dawned on him that he would follow her anywhere…
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Sarah Rodi.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!