Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Cat Sebastian for stopping by today. Please give them a warm welcome.
Title: The Soldier’s Scoundrel
Author: Cat Sebastian
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: 09/20/2016
A scoundrel who lives in the shadows
Jack Turner grew up in the darkness of London’s slums, born into a life of crime and willing to do anything to keep his belly full and his siblings safe. Now he uses the tricks and schemes of the underworld to help those who need the kind of assistance only a scoundrel can provide. His distrust of the nobility runs deep and his services do not extend to the gorgeous high-born soldier who personifies everything Jack will never be.
A soldier untarnished by vice
After the chaos of war, Oliver Rivington craves the safe predictability of a gentleman’s life-one that doesn’t include sparring with a ne’er-do-well who flouts the law at every turn. But Jack tempts Oliver like no other man has before. Soon his yearning for the unapologetic criminal is only matched by Jack’s pleasure in watching his genteel polish crumble every time they’re together.
Two men only meant for each other
Talk about book, talk about characters: Jack Turner is a Regency-era fixer—he’s not exactly a Robin Hood, but he’s very happy to break the law in order to make things right for somebody who needs his help. Oliver Rivington, a former soldier and the son of an earl, has a lot of (misplaced) faith in law and order. It turns out he has reasons to feel this way, but he has to do a lot of growing before he sees eye to eye with Jack.
Talk about series: I wanted to write a series that uses the tropes and plot points we associate with m/f historical romance, but with same-sex couples. The three novels I’m writing for Avon are all m/m, but there will also be a f/f novella that I’ll probably put out for free, because the world needs more nineteenth century lesbian pickpockets.
What about The Soldier’s Scoundrel makes you proudest? Oliver’s injuries aren’t getting magically better through the power of true love. His happy ending very much contemplates a future in which he can’t walk much, and both he and Jack know it and plan for it. Actually, I’m not sure that’s what makes me proudest, but it’s the element of the story that felt most necessary to me. I’ve recently been coming to terms with the fact that my own mobility and chronic pain issue aren’t going to go away, and every time I encounter a character whose disability resolves in act three, I want to smash my kindle into a thousand sad pieces.
What’s next in series? (What’s next for characters?) I just finished writing the story of a confidence artist (Jack’s brother, Georgie) who falls in love with the man he’s supposed to be swindling (a reclusive inventor). I’m also working on an f/f novella featuring Molly Wilkins, a lady’s maid who appears briefly in The Soldier’s Scoundrel.
Advice to aspiring writers? Read. What’s the saying—you can’t pour water from an empty pitcher? For me, at least, I need to read for inspiration. Otherwise, I’ll wind up writing the very boring story of a woman whose day revolves around taking kids to swim class and getting the dogs out from under the bed. Nobody wants to read that (including me).
What part of a story comes to you first: characters or plot? Or does it vary? Usually I have an idea of a character in a certain predicament, and I go from there.
What part of a book is hardest to write? For me, the last 25% of a story is a mess. No matter how carefully I outline, I wind up throwing away a lot of the ending and coming up with something better. And even then, that’s the part that gets tweaked the most during revisions.
How important are secondary characters? Do you try to have women to balance it out? I’m so glad you asked this! Yes, in this book I tried to make most of the secondary characters not only women, but women who had a good deal of agency, and who are sort of taking matters into their own hands behind the scenes.
What book do you keep by your bed? I have my kindle, of course, but also a few library books. Right now I have a couple of biographies about Byron and his friends, because one of the heroes in the novel I’m plotting is a dissipated, amoral, spendthrift debauche.
Do you remember a character talking about a food that made you want it right now? God yes. Most recently, I read Sabrina Sol’s Delicious Temptation, which takes place in a Mexican bakery. By the end I would have committed a crime for some polvorones (Mexican wedding cookies). I still might—if you walked past me right now with a plate of polvorones, I could not guarantee your safety. Sorry.
What are you reading right now and what’s next on your TBR? Right now I’m rereading Harper Fox’s absolutely wonderful Brothers of the Wild North Sea. In case anyone hasn’t read it yet, it’s the story of a medieval monk who falls in love with a Viking, and it’s one of the books that comes up most often in historical LGBTQ recommendations. Next up I’m going to read one of the novellas in Gambled Away. I’ve been meting them out as rewards for finishing unpleasant tasks, so after I take the dogs to the vet and the kids to the dentist, I get to read Joanna Bourne’s novella.
Salt or pepper: Salt. Salt forever.
Favorite meal: Shakshuka, at the moment.
Call or text: Always text. I pretty much don’t answer my phone (sorry, Mom).
Coffee, black or doctored: No sugar, lots of non-dairy milk.
Cook or eat out: Eat out!
Favorite beverage: Usually coffee, but this summer has been brutally hot. Is it possible to overdose on La Croix? Asking for a friend.
Dogs or cats: I have two dogs: an aged and surly Jack Russel mix and a young and goofy mystery mix.
Mini van or SUV: I have a minivan. I had been driving my three kids around in a tiny VW Golf, and then it broke down and I let my friends and family convince me I needed a minivan. I’m so glad they did. It has a plug in the back to recharge the iPad!! This is what the future looks like.
What are you working on? What’s next? I just finished writing the story of a confidence artist (Jack’s brother, Georgie) who falls in love with the man he’s supposed to be swindling (a reclusive inventor). I’m also working on an f/f novella featuring Molly Wilkins, a lady’s maid who appears briefly in The Soldier’s Scoundrel.
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About the Author
Cat Sebastian lives in a swampy part of the South with her husband, three kids, and two dogs. Before her kids were born, she practiced law and taught high school and college writing. When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s doing crossword puzzles, bird watching, and wondering where she put her coffee cup.
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