Please welcome today’s special guest, Sarah Ballance! Sarah is here to chat about her latest historical romance Her Wicked Sin, and after the interview, enter for a chance to win a $50 gift card!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Sarah] Wife of amazing man. Accidental author. Perpetually frazzled homeschooling mom of six. Sprouts random gray hairs and calls them highlights.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Her Wicked Sin?
[Sarah] It’s set in Salem, MA 1692 during the Salem witch trials. The story kicks off when my heroine comes upon the hero fallen from his horse. She has enough sense to be wary of a stranger, but since he’s hurt she figures she’s got the upper hand if he tries anything. With that in mind, she takes him back to her nearby home to convalesce for the night. When she and the hero are subsequently caught in a compromising—albeit innocent—position, he takes a false identity, acting as her husband to protect her from accusations of adultery, the punishment for which was often death. What starts as a fake relationship leads to real feelings, but when the heroine is arrested for witchcraft, he’s got a terrible choice to make. Fighting for her freedom means revealing his true identity at a time when any association with a witch could lead to his own arrest, to say nothing of the ruin it would bring to his family and his business. Walking away means saving himself and his reputation—and possibly her life—but at an unbearable cost.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Sarah] ERMAGERD. Totally by accident. I saw a mention of Salem on the Entangled Scandalous submissions page, and, well, I love Salem. (Easy for me to say because no one tried to hang me there, right?) So I went caterwauling to my editor over how I should TOTALLY write a Salem historical one day. ONE DAY. She ignored that last part and asked the historical peeps if they wanted Salem. And they did, so my editor told me to write a story proposal. Erma, what? I’d never even attempted to write historical so I panicked a little, then spent some time balled up in a corner sobbing. And everything that happened after that moment has been an absolute blur. I didn’t even know what I was going to write until I saw it on the screen, but the ideas all stemmed from that one very strange moment when I said something in jest and ended up with a contract. (INORITE?)
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Lydia?
[Sarah] Decisive, persevering, and heartfelt.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Henry had a theme song, what would it be?
[Sarah] For this book, it’s got to be Hey Pretty Girl by Kip Moore.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Lydia is never without.
[Sarah] The burdens of her past. But if you meant something tangible, her medical bag. (She’s a midwife).
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find on Henry’s pocket?
[Sarah] Oh, MAN, this is tough. If he were a modern hero, I’d say you’d never find phone numbers from other women, so 300+ years ago I reckon you wouldn’t find him with directions to their houses, LOL. You’d also never find tobacco on him. And, erm, a riding crop. Not that a crop would fit in a pocket to begin with, but he wouldn’t carry one.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Lydia’s greatest regret?
[Sarah] The loss of her child.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Sarah] Talking with my editor about a story always gets me SO fired up. And music sets the mood and really propels me into a story, so whichever artist I’m hung up on at the moment gets credit. (Lately, that would be Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan). No single author or book, but reading also gets me going. When I read a great book, I’m incredibly inspired to write. Problem is, if it’s a great book I won’t want to put it down. J
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Sarah] This is probably the most boring answer ever, but here you go: my laptop (preferably with an internet connection for research), background noise (so I’m not distracted by the kids…but the background noise can’t BE the kids), and a drink (usually ice water).
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was your biggest distraction while working on Her Wicked Sin?
[Sarah] The research! I’d look for something like marriage rituals and end up reading about Puritan sex scandals. I mean, I’d barely come to terms with the fact Puritans HAD sex (they came across as so chaste when I was in school, lol) when I discovered all the naughty, freaky things they did. SO DISTRACTING!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Sarah] I’ve read so many great ones. I think the last one I could NOT stop reading was “Ripples Through Time” by Rosalie Stanton. Every chapter ends on a huge cliffhanger, so needless to say I was up all night. Amazing book.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Sarah] I’ve read fiendishly for as long as I can remember, so I can’t really say. But the first book that really affected my writing career was “Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch” by BJ Daniels. It was my first Harlequin Intrigue. I read it and immediately fell in love with romantic suspense, which is still my favorite genre to write.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Sarah] Boating (though writing ON the boat at the marina is amazing), hiking, walking, hanging out at the beach, or—don’t laugh—watching re-runs of The Golden Girls or Mama’s Family. I also love to cook, bake, decorate cakes, and ride around in the car. Traveling is fantastic (though not always feasible, lol), but when the kids are driving me NUTS I just love to throw them in the car and drive. (It’s legal—and required—to strap them down in the car. Doing so in the house is frowned upon. I’m just sayin’…)
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
Find HER WICKED SIN @ Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Goodreads, and if you like haunted asylums, stay tuned for my upcoming supernatural novella RUBY HILL, which releases September 30 from Entangled Publishing.
Thanks so very much for allowing my visit today!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you for stopping by!
Her Wicked Sin by Sarah Ballance
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Number of pages: 147
About the Author:
Sarah and her husband of what he calls “many long, long years” live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when they’re asleep.
She never dreamed of becoming an author, but as a homeschooling mom, she often jokes she writes fiction because if she wants anyone to listen to her, she has to make them up. (As it turns out, her characters aren’t much better than the kids).
When not buried under piles of laundry, she may be found adrift in the Atlantic (preferably on a boat) or seeking that ever-elusive perfect writing spot where not even the kids can find her.
She loves creating unforgettable stories while putting her characters through an unkind amount of torture—a hobby that has nothing to do with living with six children. (Really.) Though she adores nail-biting mystery and edge-of-your-seat thrillers, Sarah writes in many genres including contemporary and ghostly paranormal romance.
Enter for a chance to win a $50 gift card!