Annie's Book Stop of Worcester

The little bookstore that's bigger on the inside

Stephanie Laurens

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is very happy to shine our Friday spotlight on best-selling Historical Romance Author Stephanie Laurens. When asked to tell us briefly a little bit about herself and her writing, this was her response:

I’ve been a published author for 30 years, and have steadily published historical romances throughout that time, with 40 New York Times bestsellers, and one #1 NYT. I am currently working on my 78th title, and have recently released the latest in my Cynster Next Generation novels.

Next question: Where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester–though they should totally check here first!)

All my titles – from the 1st to the 77th – are readily available online, as digital, print, and audio editions, and print editions for most titles are also available via bookstores. We have good news for readers wanting print editions – we’re moving to Ingrams as a distributor for our print editions, so bookstores everywhere will have easier access to all our latest and upcoming titles.

How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?

The best source of information is my website: www.stephanielaurens.com which is kept up to date with a monthly Letter to Readers, as well as descriptions and details for all my titles, existing and upcoming. There’s also a link to register for my email newsletter, which carries the most up to date info plus links for contests. We’re also on Facebook www.facebook.com/AuthorStephanieLaurens/

For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write?  What can readers expect from you?

I write historical romances which always include a mystery, an intrigue, or an adventure of some sort. The setting is usually England or Scotland – although I have written 2 quartets, one of which, The Adventurers, is set in East Africa, and the other, the Black Cobra Quartet, follows 4 separate journeys from India to England. The time period ranges from 1780 to 1852 – essentially Georgian, Regency, and early Victorian. Most of my works are set in what is generally considered “Regency” – 1810 to early 1820s. My books are usually standalones that form part of a larger ongoing series. In the case of my best known and most widely lauded works, The Cynster Novels, which have now expanded into The Cynster Next Generation Novels, the stories are connected via the family, with the heroes and heroines from one book appearing in the background of other volumes. Other series include The Bastion Club Novels (a group of 8 returning secret agents) and The Casebook of Barnaby Adair Novels, which revolve about a couple who are adept at solving crimes, especially those within the upper echelons of society. Later this year, I will complete the quartet of The Cavanaughs – another family related to the Cynsters – and will also publish the fourth volume in the more lighthearted Lady Osbaldestone’s Christmas Chronicles. (See below for book 1 covers)

Cynster cover

What draws you to the particular genre or style that you write? What do you think draws readers to these kinds of books?

I started writing this particular brand of historical romance because those were the books I enjoyed reading myself. As a research scientist having to read dry scientific works all day, I used to reach for a historical romance to unwind. I’ve always said that it was my sheer good luck that what I enjoyed reading and writing about was exactly what a lot of other readers enjoyed reading! In many ways, it really was that simple, and a 30 years career has followed. I firmly believe that being able to escape the pressures of modern daily life by stepping into a world that, while easily recognizable and peopled by characters we can relate to, is nevertheless totally divorced from our here and now, being able to follow those characters through challenges to a happy ending, whatever that ending might be, is what draws readers to historical romance and also historical mysteries.

What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?

To build a career and reach an audience, you have to persevere. That means you have to keep writing and publishing books over many years. Success rarely comes quickly (and if it does, it’s more likely to be a flash in the pan). However, continuing to write doesn’t mean writing the same thing, the same sort of book, over and over again – keep evolving and follow your instincts and write the books you really want to write. Chances are, some readers at least will really want to read them.

Writers very often have furry or feathered or otherwise non-human companions to “help” them through their work.  Do you? What do you have? How do they “help” (or, “not-help”) with your writing?

I have a black labradoodle named Clio (the muse of history). She’s now 2 years old and keeps me in line. She gets me out for a walk first thing in the morning, then she sleeps while I write, but keeps an eyes on me to make sure I get up and have my morning tea. I can’t work longer than 1:00pm without her being beside me, nudging me to get me up for our long lunchtime walk. Then she naps again until it’s time for my afternoon tea—and her dinner. She starts reminding me about 3:00pm. And then she naps again until about 6:00, when she’s back by my side nudging me to close down the computer and go cook dinner. Not that she gets anything for that – she just has it fixed in her head that come that time of day, I should leave the office and go into the kitchen! She is ultra-rigid about routine and me doing what she believes I should!

Stephanie, thanks so much for taking the time out of your very busy writing schedule to answer our questions!

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