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Interview with SaraLynn Hoyt, author of Heaven Made

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Tell us about Heaven Made

London, 1905 Desperate and penniless, Sabrina Tremaine must flee her grand home with her daughter before her brother-in-law mistreats them both. Little Alice believes her papa’s ghost is helping the two find a new home.

Ford Northcliffe is an absent minded scientist only concerned with his experiments. His house in chaos since his mother’s death, he desperately needs a fine lady to run things. The employment agency that brought them together is in cahoots with a local psychic, Madame Lou.

The medium is under strict instructions from the spirit world to make a match of these two regardless of the obstacles they face, including a deathbed vow and murder most foul.

With the help of the mystical matchmaker, the two have fallen into the trap of a forbidden passion and a consuming love that neither can deny. But there are insurmountable obstacles in the way of their happiness and it will be up to the spirits of the dead to guide their destiny.

What genre is it?
Historical Romance with a touch of paranormal.

Historical romance with a touch of paranormal? That’s surely a niche genre, or is it not?
Probably, but I think its always been around in some form or another. Bram Stoker’s Dracula comes to mind.  And because my paranormal is a medium talking to ghosts, it seems like a very natural phenomenon for the time period I choose.

What kind of readers will it appeal to?
Romance readers who like outside the box historical romance.

How long did it take to write?
10 months or 10 years depending on how you want to look at it.

What was the most challenging part of your creative process?
Finding the time to write and then making the commitment to do all the other work writing a book requires.

Did you have to do a lot of research, or is that not important?
A ton! and its important to me. I agonize over period maps and how long it would take to ride a horse X number of miles. I’m constantly fact checking and rechecking. I spent weeks trying to find the right motorcar for this book and trying to figure out what driving was like back then. Same with the scene with the telephone. Could the call have been made? Where in the house would the phone be?  My best friend and critique partner works for the library and she always has great ideas and resources to suggest.

You were recently featured in a Time magazine article on self-publishing (subscription required) . How did that come about?
I’ve been attending RT Booklover’s conventions off and on for over 10 years and in 2011 I attended a few self-publishing workshops. I had almost given up the idea that NY would ever publish my ‘outside the box’ romances and suddenly I thought, this might work. So I spent the next year researching self-publishing and then ultimately going for it. I had two books self-published by the 2012 convention and I guess in my own excitement, I must have stood out. Andrew (the reporter) approached me and asked if I had ever been traditionally published. When I said no, he handed me his business card and asked if he could interview me. He had already talked to all the traditionally published people who went Indie, but not from someone who had taken this route after failing with NY.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
For my day job I’m a manager at a financial firm, in my mid forties, and live with my husband who I’ve known since high school and our cats, near Seattle. I mostly enjoy reading and that is how I first decided to actually sit down and write a novel. I had my favorite authors, but they couldn’t write fast enough for me and I found myself wishing for a ‘different’ type of book. That is when I decided to just write it myself. I love the process of creating the story in my mind and then watching it grow into something tangible.

Do you have a blog where readers can keep up with your work?
Yes, but I’m pretty new at this, so still a work in progress. http://sherylhoyt.com/blog/.

Do you use social media?
Yes (@SaraLynnHoyt), and I’m really lame at it. I have to work very hard to use it well. I think I have a total of 53 tweets, half of which were done in the last week or two.

And where can we buy Heaven Made?
Online everywhere that smashwords sells, Barnes and Noble, and of course Amazon ( US , UK ).

What’s next?
I’m working on a novella that is actually a contemporary romance.

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Enjoyed this interview? Then check out our conversation with Kathrin Rudland.

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4 Comments

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