ER: Welcome to Embracing Romance, Sally. Congratulations on the publication of your debut novel, THE RAKE’S HANDBOOK: INCLUDING FIELD GUIDE, the first in a three-book deal to Sourcebooks. Can you give us a brief series synopsis?
Thank you for having me today. I’m delighted to be here.
When three friends write and publish The Rake’s Handbook, Including Field Guide on a lark, they never realized all of London would be in a twitter. One year after the publication, the three friends find their lives changed forever. Ross Thornbury wrote the handbook and will discover he must learn to negotiate with women like a proper gentleman, without using masculine wiles. Lord Boyce Parker published the handbook, but his honorable father is offended, so he must discover a way to win back his father’s respect. George Drexel, the rake who used his vast experience with women to write the Field Guide, is now chased by every female in London hoping to elevate their position in the Field Guide to “Happy Goer.” All three men are surprised that one light-hearted tome could plunge their lives into such serious havoc.
Thank heavens “The Call” was left on my answering machine, or I’d have a deaf editor. Of course, I have yet to erase the message. Not that I have ever listened to it again, you understand.
ER: What two things would surprise your fans the most about you?
- I’m addicted to handbags.
- I once had a conversation with Jim Watson, of Watson and Crick fame.
ER: You spent thirty years in medical research, specializing in the discovery of gene function. How in the world did you go from that to writing historical novels?
A friend challenged me to write a book. I had no idea about how hard it would be. But once I got started, it was just too much fun to stop.
ER: Are you a plotter or a pantster, and do you have any unique writing habits?
I’m a plotter with lots of excel files. I also like to write the first draft in a recliner. As a result, I have recliners stashed all around the house and outside.
ER: What kind of heroes to you like to write—alpha, gamma, or beta, and why?
Frankly, I like them all. Each one has its challenges, but I think betas are the hardest to write. Betas are also undervalued in my opinion. But many are just as swoon-worthy as those stomping alphas.
- Drive a Veyron.
- Return to Venice and the Italian lakes.
- Tour the Scottish highlands.
ER: What’s next for Sally Orr, and would you be willing to share a little about works-in-progress, or an upcoming book?
A really fun book titled: When a Rake Falls. It’s what authors call “The book of my heart.” It’s about a hero who enters a daring race to Paris to impress his father. While the heroine helps her scientist father perform experiments on the atmosphere. Of course when the balloon lifts off, only the hero and heroine are on board. So they decided to perform the experiments together. Hmm, I wonder if they ever reach Paris?
ER: Thanks for stopping by EmbracingRomance.com today and congratulations on your nomination for RT’s 2014 Best First Historical Romance ~ The Rake’s Handbook.
Five favorites (Please choose five of the following to answer with one word
- Favorite animal? Whippets
- Favorite vacation spot? London
- Favorite food? Prime rib
- Favorite drink? Vintage port
- Favorite movie? “I Know Where I’m Going.”
The definitive guide to seduction…
The Rake’s Handbook was written on a dare. Now its author, Ross Thornbury, is publicly reviled by the ladies—who are, of course, forbidden to read the handbook—but privately revered by the gentlemen. Ross’s notoriety works against him, so he flees London, painfully aware of the shortcomings of his own jaded heart.
Spirited young widow Elinor Colton lives next to Ross’s country estate. She’s appalled not only by his rakish reputation, but also by his progressive industrial plans. Elinor is sure she is immune to Ross’s seductive ways. But he keeps coming around…impressing her with his vision for England’s future and stunning her with his smiles.
How does one resist the man who wrote the manual on love?
Excerpt: The Rake’s Handbook: Including Field Guide
“You really are a rake,” she whispered, the sight and feel of their joined hands warming her cheeks. “A proper gentleman would never hold a lady thus. I have been warned about your charms. Perhaps I too should write everything down. Pen a handbook to instruct my widowed sisters what to expect upon attempted seduction and how to fight it.”
“Factual or satirical?”
She bit her lower lip to stop an indelicate reply.
“I could write that handbook too.”
His boast made her smile. “I seem to have found another trait of a rake.”
“Humph. I’d be delighted to show you all of my traits. Perhaps start with chapter one?” The determination in his voice indicated he was quite willing to comply.
“Please do, sir,” she replied in a facetious tone, tugging her hand free. “But I can already tell that I’ll stop reading your book after the table of contents. You know, all of those funny pages in the front of the book numbered v and i.”
He chuckled softly, then stared at her until he captured her gaze. “My handbook starts with fine eyes.” He reached up and swept back a ringlet that had fallen over her eye and carefully tucked the curl under her bonnet.
Her heartbeat raced.
“The eyes are followed by a notable vee.” His gaze lowered to the upper edge of her bodice and lingered in the center.
“Oh my, if that’s the table of contents, I don’t dare read chapter one.”
“I’d be pleased to read you all of the chapters. There are a total of . . .” He glanced at her leisurely, from the top of her leghorn bonnet down to her sensible half boots. His focus returned up to her neck—almost. His chest broadened as he inhaled. “Ten.”
He gave her a smoldering look from under heavy lashes. “Ten in volume one,” he continued in a silky baritone. “Let’s start with chapter one.”
Sally Orr worked for thirty years in medical research, specializing in the discovery of gene function. After joining an English history message board, she posted many, many examples of absolute tomfoolery. As a result, a cyber-friend challenged her to write a novel. Since she is a hopeless Anglophile, it’s not surprising that her first book is a Regency-era romance. Sally lives with her husband in San Diego, surrounded by too many nonfiction books and not enough old English cars.
Connect with Sally:
For our readers playing Romantic Pursuit:
Sally is addicted to ________.
Sally’s question of the day (for comments below): What romance makes you laugh?