I interviewed Sophie Jordan at last year’s Romantic Times conference and what I remember most about the interview is how fast she said interesting things I was too slow to write down correctly. This time, I asked the questions and let her type the answers as she spoke them. The woman thinks a mile a minute and it was great fun to be able to just listen to her!
Dabney: You are now writing contemporary romance. Tell me about that.
Sophie: It just seemed like a natural transition moving from new adult fiction. I made a lot of great readers while I was writing in New Adult. They’re a vocal, viral, tapped-in group. When the Ivy Chronicles ended, they were so disappointed. I loved writing those books—I felt like I had hit my stride. In the same way, I feel like I found my voice in contemporary. I still love historical romance—I’m a one book a year historical writer. I’m excited to write contemporary.
Dabney: What are you going to be doing?
Sophie: The name of my new series is The Devil’s Rock series. The Devil’s Rock is a penitentiary and the heroes of the series have either served time there or are serving time there. There are three heroes—these books are hero centric. This is my first time writing hero-centric romance. I’m fascinated by the idea of a heroic man being imprisoned.
Dabney: What about that idea sparks you?
Sophie: It’s the fact that they’re almost reduced to animals but can still find their humanity. It’s even more difficult to find love and and happy ever after. It’s such a challenge. I’m drawn to, in romance, the most desperate situations. It’s been in the back of my head for a long time but I didn’t know if it would work. So glad Avon got behind me writing these books and even MORE excited with how the first book turned out.
Dabney: Are these heroes friends?
Sophie: Two are brothers and the third becomes their friend. It was important to me that each book feel unique. The first book is the only one where the hero is still in prison—and he stays there for the first third of the book. That book is called All Chained Up—it’s metaphorical. That’s how the hero feels. He meets the heroine but can’t act on his feelings for her. And even once he’s out, he’s still emotionally crippled.
Dabney: Do you see love as the redemption in these stories?
Sophie: Absolutely. It’s a combination of them feeling they can have love and that they deserve love. Places of employment are so limiting for people who have been convicted of a felony. The difficulty in supporting yourself or another, the shame, the guilt of their crime(s), these are things the hero has to overcome in order find his redemption.
When I was writing the epilogue for book one, I thought about how, even years later, the impact of the hero’s long—eight years–sentence is still a part of him.
Dabney: What else up are you up to?
Sophie: My historical, All All the Ways to Ruin a Rogue, is an enemies to lovers story. I always wanted to write one. And it was challenging! When you start off with two characters who hate each other, it’s hard to create empathy for both of them. I loved seeing my characters move past their beginning.
Dabney: Is this a Regency?
Sophie: It’s actually an early Victorian, but it’s close to Regency.
Dabney: Will you return to writing New Adult?
Sophie: I’m not going to say no but at this time I’m committed to the Devil’s Rock series. All Chained Up comes out in April and the second book in August of 2016. The third will come out in early 2017. But I do love New Adult. I’m hopeful and excited. I hope the readers that loved the New Adult will follow me into my contemporary romance!
Dabney: Thanks for talking to and typing for me!
Sophie: It was my pleasure.