I’m happy to have Zoe Archer at Smexy today talking about her new series, The Blades of The Rose. Book one, Warrior releases September 7th.
Who is Zoe Archer? Give us the lowdown.
She’s a sassy minx! She also doesn’t speak of herself in third person (that she will admit to), so she’s switching to first person now. Ahem. I’ve been a reader since the age of four, and I started writing pretty much right after that. Oh, there were some permutations and a variety of career options, including illustrator, costume designer, dramaturge and academic, but it always came back to writing. I have an MFA in Fiction, though, by pursuing a career in romance, I’ve become the pink sheep of my schmancy Masters Program. I live in Los Angeles with my husband and, yes, we have a cat. He’s curled up on the floor beside my desk right now, totally indifferent that the woman who feeds him and cleans his litter box is a literary genius.
Starting with Warrior, The Blades of The Rose series is going to see four books published in four consecutive months. Was it hard to sit down and write and complete four books before the first one was even released?
Fortunately, I didn’t have to write four books in a row. I actually wrote three books in a row, since WARRIOR was completed when I sold the proposed series to Kensington. Admittedly, it was a little strange, writing into the vacuum, knowing that the books weren’t actually going to be on shelves for over a year after completing them. But I didn’t mind, honestly, because I’d never written on contract before (both of my earlier historical romances, LADY X’S COWBOY and LOVE IN A BOTTLE were written on spec). I know many authors can get grumpy under deadline, but I was thrilled. I was getting paid for books I hadn’t even written yet! Of course, I’m under deadline now (for my forthcoming HELLRAISERS series), so talk to me in six months and we’ll see how cheerful I am.
Per your bio, You write what you love to read - high adventure romance. What are some of your favorite books?
In the adventure genre, I skew toward the classics. King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard, The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle, Captain Blood and Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini. In all honesty, while I love romance novels, I’ve never found a romance novel that combined high adventure and romance in a way that completely satisfied me, so I had to write them myself!
I adore all four covers in this series. Did you have any input? Do they represent the books well?
Most of the credit goes to my fabulous editor, Megan Records, and the art department at Kensington. Megan went to bat for the covers, pushing to have them use original illustrations rather than stock images. When I first saw the cover for WARRIOR, I gasped. It was perfect! The hat, the rifle, the boots…mmm…boots…. What? I drifted off there for a moment. Anyway…I think they do a phenomenal job of representing the books. At the very least, the covers are so different from everything else out there, that readers will know right away just from looking at the cover that they are about to read something totally new and unique.
Warrior is set in Mongolia, Scoundrel is set in the Greek Islands, etc. Have you traveled? Where is one place you would love to visit?
I have traveled, mostly in the U.S. and in Europe, but I really, really want to travel more. It’s so difficult to narrow down my potential destinations. I have a huge list of places I want to go, or return to: Norway, Japan, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Mongolia (I’ve never been, but the more I researched it, the more I wanted to go), Greece (ditto). Too many to count or relate here. Aside from cost, the biggest obstacle is that I get motion sick at the drop of a hat (or sway of the boat, or rock of the train), which is so annoying–and gross.
If The Blades of the Rose were real, would you have the skills to be a member? Can you ride a horse (or a camel:), shoot a weapon, and outmaneuver The Heirs?
It’s called "wish fulfillment" for a reason. Heh. About the only skill I have that the Blades of the Rose might make use of is my baking ability. I’d be in the kitchen of their Southampton headquarters, baking cakes and pies for hungry adventurers. And if any of them got hungry for me…. Wait, I’m married. Never mind. I’d just bake and send them off with an encouraging wave.
Speaking of baking, I often see baking tweets pop up from you on Twitter. If I came over for breakfast, what would you fix for me?
That depends on whether or not you gave me advance notice. If I knew the day before that you were coming over, I might make sticky buns or maybe even some danish–I’m partial to cherry almond danish. If you just popped over without telling me (thanks, by the way), I’d make a sour cream cinnamon coffee cake. Maybe maple streusel muffins, too. I actually love breakfast pastries, so I’d have to rein myself in from doing too much. And there would be plenty of coffee. The old stereotype of drunk writers is totally bogus. It’s coffee (and Diet Coke and Coke Zero) that get books written.
Expect a knock on your door! Any plans for release night?
Probably a nice dinner. All the big events at my house are marked by celebratory meals. You can bet that chocolate will somehow be involved. There’s a See’s Candy just down the street from me, but I keep myself from weighing a metric ton by saving them for special occasions. Release date of the series I’ve been dreaming of for years is definitely a special occasion.
What is next for Zoe Archer?
I’m working on a new paranormal historical romance series called THE HELLRAISERS. It’s a trilogy of books about a group of 18th century rakes who inadvertently free the Devil from his prison and literally raise hell. It’s going to be dark and sexy, and I love working on it. The release dates haven’t been determined yet, but you can be sure I’ll let everyone know when to expect my very bad boys. Expect plenty of hot men in frock coats and tall boots. Why yes, I do have a fetish for men in tall boots, why do you ask? (I seriously just spent an hour on the internet searching for good images of men in tall boots and couldn’t find a damn one! If you find any, please post them in the comments!)
And because you are at Smexy, it must be asked – chest hair – yay or nay. Think carefully before answering ;)
My husband is half Greek and half Italian, so I’m going to have to say yea to chest hair. Hi, hirsute honey!
Thanks Zoe!! As a bonus, Zoe has offered a copy of Warrior to one lucky commenter.
To enter, leave Zoe a comment – or even a picture of a man in tall boots!
Open to US/Canada through Monday August 30th. I will announce the winner on Tuesday.