- Do I have to read the books in order? And what is the correct order for each series?
- Why do you write under more than one name?
- Will you ever write another Deborah Martin or Deborah Nicholas book?
- Can’t you write any faster? How long does it take you to write a book, anyway?
- Will there be a book for the triplets from The Dangerous Lord, the children of the Hellions, more heiresses from Charlotte’s school, etc.?
- Will [insert favorite character] get a book?
- Did you know you made an error in To Pleasure a Prince? Keats, not Chaucer, wrote “La Belle Dame Sans Merci.”
- When will Once a Rake, Always a Rake be published? I read the excerpt in the back of Let Sleeping Rogues Lie, and I want to read the book.
- How can I become a romance writer?
- How can I get on one of your book covers? (asked by models and their representatives)
- How can I become a romance writer?
- Where do you get your ideas? Can I pay you to write up my idea for me?
- Could you please read my book and give me some advice/feedback?
Do I have to read the books in order? And what is the correct order for each series?
The Lord Trilogy doesn’t have to be read in order.
The Swanlea Spinsters series is more connected, especially the first three books. The last two stand alone pretty well.
The Royal Brotherhood series books stand alone fairly well, although you will enjoy them more if you read them in order, since you see the three half-brothers progress from being mere acquaintances to being a real family. But you won’t be confused if you read them out of order.
The School for Heiresses series can be read in any order if you ignore the epigrams at the beginning of each chapter. Those detail the relationship between Charlotte, the headmistress of the school, and “Cousin Michael,” the anonymous benefactor of the school, whose identity isn’t revealed until the last book, Wed Him Before You Bed Him. Once again, you might enjoy them more in order, but you won’t be confused.
The Hellions series is best read in order, unless you’re just reading for the romances, in which case, it doesn’t matter. But if you also want to follow the ongoing mystery of how the Hellions’ parents really died, then you would want to read them in order.
The Dukes Men series is probably best read in order, but it’s fine if you read them out of order, too.
The Sinful Suitors series is meant to be open-ended. Characters will appear and disappear and there’s no overarching narrative to keep up with. So those are definitely fine if you read them out of order.
I tend to connect some of my series in small ways. For example, After the Abduction is tied to an event that happens in The Pirate Lord of The Lord Trilogy. Not reading both books will not prove a problem, but for those who’ve read both, there’s a little extra recognition of those characters.
As for the order of the various series, the last three series are most enjoyable when read in order, but they absolutely do not have to be read that way.
I really try to make all of my books stand-alone (the only exception to this is the first three books of The Swanlea Spinster series), but I also enjoy the added punch of connecting them in small or subtle ways.
Why do you write under more than one name?
To distinguish between my different styles of writing. My various publishers preferred to make it easy for readers to know which sort of book they were getting, which is why I took pseudonyms. Although these days I write only as Sabrina Jeffries, I’m slowly editing my older books and making them available digitally.
My Sabrina Jeffries books are lighter, sexier historical romances than my Deborah Martin books. They have more dialogue and more sensuality, but less adventure and historical events.
My Deborah Nicholas books (now out of print) were contemporary paranormal romantic suspense books, so they were miles apart from my current books. One day I will make those available digitally, too.
Will you ever write another Deborah Martin or Deborah Nicholas book?
I couldn’t write a Deborah Martin book now even if I wanted to. My style has evolved because of changes in my own interests and the sort of book I want to write, and I doubt I could ever go back. But my publisher is reissuing them, so I’ve been revising them to a small extent (i.e., not changing plot or character but tightening them and tweaking things).
Before I would choose to write more Deborah Nicholas books, I’d reissue the earlier ones. That’s something I’m still considering, since they would require substantial revision (they were written before the days of cell phones and the internet, so they have things like cops using radios and payphones). Revisions on that level would take time away from writing my new books. But they are out of print, so it might be nice to resurrect them for a new reading audience.
Can’t you write any faster? How long does it take you to write a book, anyway?
My publisher keeps asking me the same question! And happy as I am that some readers want my books more often, the sad answer is that I’m writing as fast as I can. I’ve written books in as little as four and a half months and as much as a year, but I’m most comfortable writing a book every six to seven months. And, my current publisher is happy to publish me at roughly that rate. If you see books from me more frequently than that, they are probably reissued early titles.
Will there be a book for the triplets from The Dangerous Lord, the children of the Hellions, more heiresses from Charlotte’s school, etc.?
I don’t have any planned at present, but who knows what the future holds? If readers ask often enough, I might just decide to write one!
Will [insert favorite character] get a book?
Some will, some won’t. But my readers will be the first to know.
Did you know you made an error in To Pleasure a Prince? Keats, not Chaucer, wrote “La Belle Dame Sans Merci.”
Actually, I didn’t make an error. I simply put my academic hat on and over-thought something. Yes, Keats wrote a poem entitled “La Belle Dame Sans Merci.” But he wasn’t the only one, and he wasn’t the first one. Since his poem hadn’t yet been written at the time my story took place and since Keats based his poem on a Chaucer translation of an Alain Chartier poem (at the time of the Regency, it was believed to be a Chaucer original), I decided to use the phrase and reference the earlier work. That opened a huge can of worms! In my zeal to maintain the correct time sequence while still using the phrase I loved (my book is set in 1814; Keats wrote his poem in 1817), I confused everyone. People still write me about it.
When will Once a Rake, Always a Rake be published? I read the excerpt in the back of Let Sleeping Rogues Lie, and I want to read the book.
The short answer is, it already has been. Someone made a mistake and mis-titled that excerpt. It was actually for “When Sparks Fly,” my novella in the anthology, Snowy Night With a Stranger. The good news is, it came out November 2008, so the book is widely available. If you buy it in a store, be sure to look under Jane Feather, since she’s the main author name on it. The story is also available digitally as a stand-alone under its original story title, “When Sparks Fly.”
The title Once a Rake, Always a Rake was my working title for Let Sleeping Rogues Lie, which Pocket chose not to use. I still don’t know HOW my working title ended up on that excerpt at the back of Let Sleeping Rogues Lie. It was never the title for the novella.
How can I get on one of your book covers? (asked by models and their representatives)
My publisher, Simon and Schuster, chooses models and develops my covers, so you’d have to contact them.
How can I become a romance writer?
I’m often asked this. As the old joke about how you get to Carnegie Hall goes: “Practice, practice, practice.”
In my case, I wrote, wrote, wrote.
I also read, read, read.
More importantly I joined Romance Writers of America, where I found my agent and learned to hone my craft. My best advice to aspiring romance writers would be to run, not walk, to this organization for novices and professionals, the published and the unpublished.
Samuel Johnson once said: “What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.” So if you’re embarking on a writing career, good luck, and may your writing always be read with pleasure.
Where do you get your ideas? Can I pay you to write up my idea for me?
I get my ideas from a leprechaun who secretly joins me for coffee every morning; he gets very annoyed if I take anyone else’s ideas to work on! Seriously, though, anything I read or watch or experience can be fodder for a novel. Sometimes a scene or an exchange of dialogue just leaps into my head. Or a character shows up out of nowhere. In fact, my problem is generally that I have too many ideas for books, not too few. Which is why I’m not interested in fleshing out anybody’s ideas but my own.
Could you please read my book and give me some advice/feedback?
I’m afraid not. In these litigious times, my agent asks that I not read unpublished material for legal reasons. But thanks for thinking of me!