Interview with Sally MacKenzie!

Today is the final day of my Zebra Blog Party and today’s guest is the talented, Sally MacKenzie!! 
First, here is more about her upcoming release, The Naked Gentleman…available this April! 

the_naked_gentleman.jpgJohn Parker-Roth cannot believe that marriage is necessary for his happiness. He would far rather pursue his interest in horticulture, but if one day he should find a female who shared his passion for flowers–a level-headed, calm sort of female–he might reconsider. Certainly the lovely young woman who has just tumbled into his lap will not do, as she possesses neither of these admirable qualities.  Yet Miss Margaret Peterson does have many things in her favor. To begin with, she is a true English rose, blushing a delectable pink. And she is not entirely clothed. Her full mouth begs to be kissed.  If only she would not wriggle so…oh, dear. He cannot ignore the sudden vision of her in his bed, but he must.

What? Is Meg actually asking him to kiss her?  Well, well, well. John Parker-Roth is a gentleman, first and foremost.  And he cannot turn down a lady’s request…

And now here is my interview with Sally… 

Please tell us about your books.
naked_duke2.jpgThe Naked books are funny, hot stories (though not erotica hot!) set in Regency England from about 1816 to 1820 (just after the Napoleonic Wars to the year the Prince Regent ascended the throne to become King George IV).   The first three–The Naked Duke, The Naked Marquis, mednakedmarquis.jpgand The Naked Earl–are available now.  The fourth book–The Naked Gentleman–will be released April 1.  (No fooling;))   

Are the books connected in any way–besides the Naked title, of course?
But of course!  The Naked Duke introduces three male friends who become–you guessed it–the duke, the marquis, and the earl of Naked fame.  But there are more connections.  The Naked Earl’s heroine is the duke’s sister (and The Naked Duke’s heroine is the earl’s cousin).  The Naked Gentleman’s heroine is the sister of The Naked Marquis’s heroine and the best friend of The Naked Earl’s heroine.  (Are you all still following me, LOL?)  And many of the secondary characters appear in morethe_naked_earl.jpg than one book.  The English ton (sort of the upper crust) was a pretty small group, so I think it makes sense to have the same people bumping into each other.  Plus I discovered I enjoy thinking about my characters over time and discovering more things about them.  Writing this way also gives me a jumping off place for my next book.  

So the books have to be read in order?
No!  Of course, I hope readers will fall in love with my characters and want to explore the Naked world, but I’ve tried very hard to make each book completely independent.   

What inspired the stories?
A mix of reading and life.  I’ve probably read hundreds of romances set in the Regency, starting when I was still in grade school with Georgette Heyer.  And I’ve raised four sons–I really had fun with the babies in The Naked Gentleman 😉   

What are your favorite parts of being a writer?
Typing “The End”!!  Or maybe I should say sending the book off to my editor, because I usually have many more days of revision between “The End” and hitting “Send.”  I also love holding the published book in my hand–though I don’t usually read it then for fear of finding typos I missed–and hearing from readers who have enjoyed my stories.   

The least favorite? 
Starting a new book for me is a leap into the darkness.  And I’m not terribly fond of the promotion process.   

What would you like to tell aspiring writers?
To steal Nike’s slogan–Just Do It!  (I wrote this before I read Paula Reed’s interview–I always knew Paula was brilliant.)  Sit down in the chair, put your fingers on the keyboard, and write the d*mn book.  Then revise it.  Then start the next book.  It may feel like a real slog at times, but don’t give up.   Also there’s no one way to write a book.  Some people outline; some people don’t.  Some people have critique groups; some people don’t.  Some people write from page 1 to the end; some people don’t.  Just wade on in there and do it!   

Would you like to write in another genre?
When I sold The Naked Duke, I was five or so chapters into a futuristic romance.  I’d like to get back to it some day–I actually had a plot developed!  But for the foreseeable future, it looks like I’ll be writing Naked Regencies 😉 

Describe yourself in three words.
Hmm.   How about “recovering-worrier” (I have four pretty-much grown sons and I’m a writer…need I say more?  Sometimes you just have to rein in that imagination.); “detail-oriented” (Some might say anal–I go over each word of my books multiple times.); and funny (Well, I try.). 

What is next for you?
I’ve already written The Naked Baron–it will be out sometime in 2009.  I’ve started a novella, The Naked Laird (my working title) which will also be released in 2009.  Then I’m contracted for two more books, The Naked Viscount and The Naked…somebody else (both titles subject to change.) 

Is there anything you’d like to ask readers?
Sure!   What is your dream hero like?  Tall, dark, and handsome?  Tortured or not?  A knight in shining armor or a bad boy?  Brownie points if you’ve read the Naked guys and can say which of them is your favorite and why. 

Thank you so much Sally for that great interview! 

Readers, you can learn more about Sally and her “Naked” books by visiting her website: 

Readers, go ahead and answer Sally’s questions… 

Remember, today is the last day to enter the giveaway…details here!  Winners will be announced this weekend!


32 Responses to Interview with Sally MacKenzie!

  1. Helen says:

    Another great interview and some more books to add to my must get list.
    As for my hero all of the above I love them all. I loose out on the brownie points but not for long I am going to get these books.

    Jennifer thank you for a wonderful month I have loved all of the interviews your guests have been wonderful this blog has been added to my favourites and is one of the first places I visit daily my must get list has grown heaps but you can never have too many books to read LOL.

    Have Fun

  2. JSL says:

    Hi Sally!
    Great interview- I admit, my head started to spin halfway through the connections you wrote about. I have to admit, I haven’t read the Naked Earl yet :X. I read the Naked Duke/Marquis right after Marquis came out and I remember going to the library constantly to see if the next book had come out yet. Now I realize I should have just checked online…
    I’m rambling, but that’s probably because its 3:30 am. Oh the life of a student. I’m a fan of the tall dark and handsome hero – a Raoul Bova clone, if you will :-D. I like a multifaceted hero. Tortured can be good, if it’s not overboard. Or overbearing, because then I start to lose sympathy and move towards active dislike. So many heroes are tortured that sometimes I like reading about a hero who had a happy and well adjusted childhood. (Isn’t that interesting how that’s unique for heroes?) Most of all, however, I like an alpha hero. He has to be competent and able to handle whatever situation is thrown at him. (I will give him some leeway with relationships, because, well you know – guys and emotions… it’s tough for them ;-).)
    Finally – my favorite naked hero? I can’t pick! And I’m so excited you’ll be writing more. Yay!

    Jennifer – I second Helen’s comment. Thanks so much for the blog party! I say this a lot, but it’s because it’s true. You rock!

    p.s. – please excuse all typos. It is, after all 3:30 am

  3. Sue A. says:

    Hi Sally! Thanks for the great interview! And I like my heroes, Tall, dark and handsome (preferably ruggedly handsome rather than pretty boy looks). Definitely tortured. I like my books full of angst. And lastly a bad boy but redeemable.

    Jennifer, you did an amazing job organizing this great get together of Zebra authors! Kudos to you! My only regret is that February is so short and that it’s come to an end.

  4. Eva S says:

    Thanks for the interview and for giving me more books to my TBB list! I haven’t yet read any of them but I will!!
    I agree with the others about the hero, tall, dark, tortured alpha male, that’s my kind of hero.

    Thanks Jennifer for a wonderful month, I’ve got a very long book list right now!! Can’t wait to see what you will do next…

  5. brownone says:

    Thank you Jennifer for entertaining me so thoroughly this month and introducing me to new authors!

    I’d say I like to mix it up. The only hero I really don’t care for is the whiney one that feels sorry for himself and lets it out on everyone else. But tall is a definate preference. I don’t mind if he’s golden or dark.

  6. Ack!! I just wrote a long post…and it vanished!! I HATE it when that happens.

    Anyway, I’m down here in Atlanta, Georgia for the ACC men’s swimming championships. My “baby” is swimming–he’s a college freshman. I’ve got to go over to the pool shortly, but I’ll check in here again this afternoon.

    I’m all for a tall hero, too, but then, I’m 5’8″–not that tall, really, but it does seem to mean that anyone under 6′ feels like they are my height. Of course, my sons I have a skewed sense in this regard–well, not so surprising since my dh and four boys are all around 6’2″.

    In writing, I try not to give too many details about the hero so I leave room for my readers to picture him the way they most want. I don’t have a visual “inspiration” like an actor or model in mind like some of my writer pals do. Sadly many of the guys they think are hunks just remind me of my sons. The joys of being a little older. I do love my heroes, though.

    And now I’m going to post this before it vanishes and I have to head to the pool–so apologies for any typos and I’ll see you all later.

  7. fedora says:

    Hi, Sally! Thanks to you (and Jennifer!) for a great interview today!

    For my dream hero, I used to be really into blonds, but my preference tends towards tall, intelligent, and competent. If they’re handsome, great, but if they’re confident and have got great character, that’ll make me weak in the knees 😉 As for tortured, I’ve read some I’ve really enjoyed, and other times that’s just too dark for me. And I love a somewhat reformed bad boy! Several of the Naked guys are in my TBR, but I can’t say which of them is my favorite yet–I’ll have to get back to you 😉

    And thank you, Jennifer–what an awesome month, especially for the burgeoning pile of “read-me-firsts!”

  8. peggy says:

    nice interview.tall dark and handsome with a little mystery to htm.

  9. Jane says:

    Hi Sally,
    I love a tall, dark and handsome hero. I like to read about tortured heroes, but I don’t think I want my real life hero to be a tortured soul, too much drama for me. I’ve only read “The Naked Marquis” so I guess Charles is my favorite Naked hero for now, although I think the Naked laird might usurp that honor. I love Scottish heroes.

  10. ThatBrunette says:

    What makes the men in your books ‘naked’? I looked on your FAQ and didn’t see anything about the nakedness of your characters.

    I’m 5’3″ so, tall is relative. Although, I like a man who appears tall. That sounds a bit odd but, some people appear taller because of the way they carry themselves. It is part of their presence more than their physical make up.

    I do like my men dark, intelligent and passionate. I want something to look at when I am having a rousing conversation.

  11. Beth R says:

    I like handsome bad boys can’t help myself.

  12. Jennifer Y says:

    Hi Sally and All!

    Sally, how are you enjoying our crazy Georgia weather? I hope you have a great trip!

  13. Minna says:

    I like all kinds of heroes. Even the nerdy heroes, like those in Vicki Lewis Thompson’s nerd books.

  14. Amelia says:

    Great interview! I enjoy all types of heroes especially the tall, dark, handsome, and caring ones. 🙂 I haven’t read your books, so I am looking forward to them now.

  15. Hi, everyone! I’m back from prelims–the kid swam a best time, so he’s happy. I was thrilled when he came over to me (I was timing) and suggested we go out to lunch…until I realized his main motivation came from his mistaken thought that I had a car! We bummed a ride with a friend’s family and all’s good–but I’m moderately stuffed. (We went to Agnes & Muriel’s, if that rings a bell, Jennifer.)

    Fedora–yes, I agree. Intelligent and competent are key–and a great character. I think this connects to That Brunette’s comment that some men just appear taller–it’s their presence. (Of course, I have on occasion told my husband to stand up straight. I do try to stop myself, though, because he’s not my son, obviously, but more, I hated it whem my mom said that to me.) I bet an author could (I’m sure has) written a great hero who might be short and maybe not so attractive, but you forget about that because he’s such a wonderful, dynamic person.

    Jane, I so agree–I wouldn’t really care for a real life tortured hero. Actually, I think my book heroes aren’t terribly tortured. Nor are they terribly alpha. I wanted to write guys I’d like to be around–not jerks, LOL! But I write light and funny, so I think that all works out.

    Good question, That Brunette and one I should definitely add to my FAQ. The Naked title thing got started with my first book, The Naked Duke. I actually had a hideous title at first and a friend of mine who used to be an editor and read an early draft pointed this out to me. So I thought…what sells? Sex and power, right? Well, the hero was a duke–that’s power. And the first time the heroine meets him, he IS naked, so that’s the sexy. Now the Naked thing is more of a brand–telling folks this is one of “those” books. All the guys get naked eventually, of course–these aren’t sweet romances–but they aren’t all naked in the first chapter. The Naked Earl, however, does start off in the first paragraphy with the earl leaping naked out a window.

    Jennifer, all I can say is thank God for Some folks just brought summer clothes. I checked and saw Atlanta was actually colder than DC when I flew down on Wednesday. It’s warmed up a bit and I have layers, so I’m good.

    Okay, fingers crossed the internet gods let this post!

  16. Whew, it posted–though that should be paragraph, not paragraphy, obviously.

    I just hate it when I write a long post, hit send, and the internet eats it, LOL!

  17. Cindi Hoppes says:

    I loved this interview. Her books sound great! I have two sons and I can’t imagine any more. My aunt had five sons. My sons are great, but mentally and physically, I am not sure I would have made it!!!!! My kind of hero is a rough, ragged handsome. I don’t do baby faces. I like them to be somewhat bad, but have respect for women. Thanks,Cindi

  18. Helen says:

    Sally congrats to your Son on his swim

    Have Fun

  19. Jennifer Y says:

    Yeah, Georgia’s weather has been crazy the last few weeks…tornadoes and near 80 temps last week and earlier this week and cold weather the last few days. Hard to know how to dress when you go from 80 to 20 in one week’s time.

  20. Jennifer Y says:

    Oh, and congrats to your son!!! YAY!!!

  21. ThatBrunette says:

    (waving to Sally from Suburban Maryland)

    It thought my last post was HTML and didn’t include the text.

  22. Virginia H. says:

    Hi Sally, great interview. I go for the Knight in shinning armor. You know kind of like the fairy tails. Although I do like them highlanders. Sorry I haven’t read Naked Guys yet, but am going to put it on my list.

  23. Cindi Hoppes–yes, living in a house full of men is…different. Can you believe the MOMENT my fourth son was born–yes, I was still on the delivery table–the ob/gyn said, well, are you going to be back next year to finish your basketball team? I told him I’d let my dh play. I love my guys, but four babies was as many as I could handle…and sometimes more than, but I think everyone with kids feels that sometimes.

  24. Thanks, Helen and Jennifer for the congrats–and Jennifer, I’ll take this weather over tornadoes ANY day. This is good, actually–it won’t be such a big adjustment when I get home Sunday.

    Hey, That Brunette–yeehaw for suburban Maryland! I’m a Montgomery Countian–well, born in DC, but came home to MoCo and have pretty much lived there ever since–with a time away for college and (brief) law school stint–and a first year of marriage spent in suburban VA.

  25. Teresa W. says:

    He’s got to have a great smile and a sense of humor. Dark hair with green eyes and a nice buut is always nice. Glad to have you here today and good luck on your upcoming release!

  26. Jolene says:

    Thanks Jennifer for introducing me to so many wonderful new to me authors.. they all sound so good..

  27. Nathalie says:

    Hi Sally, I have read two of the Naked books and loved them 🙂
    Thanks for blogging!

  28. tasha t says:

    tall ,dark handsome, dangerous, deep voiced, nice hands ,sexy smile

  29. Thanks for stopping by, everyone–and mega thanks to Jennifer for hosting me. I’m off to bed now,but I’ll try to peek in in the morning in case anyone comes by later. Then off to another session of the swim meet! Thanks again–and happy leap day!

  30. danette says:

    Those are some catchy titles! I like the simplicity of them.

    Sweet end to the party Jennifer.

    Hugs, Danette

  31. Thanks, Danette. Usually authors don’t get to keep their titles, but I guess I had a real brainstorm with The Naked Duke. Have to say, my friends and I are a bit bemused to think of me as the “Naked” lady, but I’ve tried to embrace my inner “Nakedness,” LOL.

    Again, thanks so much for inviting me here, Jennifer, and thanks also to all the readers for stopping by. Now it’s back to the pool for me. The kid swims the 200 fly today!

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