My guest today is Arabella Sheen, Contemporary and Regency Historical Romance author.

Arabella Sheen is a British author of sensual, romantic love stories.

She likes nothing more than the challenge of a blank page, starting a new novel and seeing where the story takes her.

One of the many things Arabella loves to do is to read, and when she’s not reading or writing romance, she is either on her allotment sowing and planting with the seasons, or she is sat on the sofa pandering to the demands of her attention-seeking cat.

Having worked and lived in the city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands for nearly twenty years as a theatre nurse, she now lives in the South West of England with her family.

Paige: It is a great pleasure to welcome you to my blog, Arabella. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions and share a bit of your world with my readers.

Why do you write romance and what drew you into this genre before you started writing?

Arabella: Confession time…

As a young teenager, I went to the Saturday Outdoor Market and scoured most of the bookstands for cheap, second-hand romance novels. Searching between all the dog-eared, page torn crime thrillers and the flour-coated cookery books that were once lovingly given as Christmas presents, I discovered a bundle of Regency novels by the author Georgette Heyer, along with a selection of Mills and Boon timeless romances. I was hooked. And writing romance … well, I could never resist a challenge.

As a young teenager, I went to the Saturday Outdoor Market and scoured most of the bookstands for cheap, second-hand romance novels. Searching between all the dog-eared, page torn crime thrillers and the flour-coated cookery books that were once lovingly given as Christmas presents, I discovered a bundle of Regency novels by the author Georgette Heyer, along with a selection of Mills and Boon timeless romances. I was hooked. And writing romance … well, I could never resist a challenge.

Paige: Have you ever attended a writer’s retreat and where? If not, what would an ideal retreat look like for you?

Arabella: I’ve never been on a writer’s retreat so in theory, I shouldn’t knock it. But if honest, I don’t think I would enjoy a week away with a group of authors intent on one thing… the word count written for that day.

Although I’m a plotter and I like my chapters and storyline planned before I start the first paragraph of a new story, I’m also a bit of a pantser. To be tied to a routine of having breakfast with everyone and then sitting down to write, with the clock ticking in the background and the sound of fingernails frantically clicking on a high-tech laptop as the words flow, is something I prefer to forgo. (Thank you, but no thanks).

I’m disciplined, but not that disciplined. I need to stretch my legs, have a cuppa when the urge takes me, leave the work-in-progress, and then come back to it when the mood and the ideas strike. With a retreat, I have the impressions it’s sort of “glued to your writing desk” event until the lunchtime bell rings. I’d hate for my protagonists to be left in the lurch and the passionate kiss put on hold while the lasagna and salad were eaten.

Paige: What kind of work environment do you like to work in? What are some things you must have in order to stay focused and what kind of distractions bother you?

Arabella: Office door closed (but it never is completely closed) and a loud and clear “I’m on the computer” is shouted, meaning: DO NOT DISTURB.

Even with these precautions in place, the reality is, that in the middle of a love scene, you know, when he takes her in his arms and makes a move toward the bed, there come the inevitable knock on the front door and it’s a cute guy with a parcel delivery for the neighbour next door.

I don’t mind the break in the flow of thought, it’s just that I always lose track of the little things. Things like: Have they turned off the light? Is his shirt open? Has she doubted his “honorable” intentions toward her? etc. etc. etc.

Paige: Do you think you can change people with your stories and how?

Arabella: I doubt I could ever be that much of an influence to someone’s way of living, or doing, or thinking. And I don’t know that I would want to have that sort of power/effect on someone.

I hope that after reading my novels, my readers come away with a contented glow of satisfaction knowing that after an emotional roller-coaster of a ride, my characters have found love and a happy-ever-after ending.

Paige: Finding details for your book can be hard even if you have a whole storyline written down. Let’s talk about names. How do you find the names of your characters? Is this a difficult process for you, or do you keep it simple and just go with the first name that comes to mind?

Arabella: For my contemporary novels, the names of the protagonists have been randomly chosen. Practically everyone in the street where I live is in one of my books. Just their name, not their traits or habits or their jobs. And when in a hurry, with a character waiting to be named, I’ve even been reduced to reading the spines of the books on my bookshelves for inspiration. But for my Regency stories, I’ve taken a different approach. I’ve delved deeper with a Google search for the most popular boy/girl names of the 1800s.

Paige: Some writers enjoy writing dialogue, and some thrive on character descriptions and settings. In your process of writing, what do you enjoy writing about the most?

Arabella: I like writing about his/her inner conflict. The only problem is, I often find myself in a tangle as I try to sort out my characters’ emotions and their options on their journey to finding a resolution.

Paige: Is writer’s block real? What do you do when it hits and how do you stay prepared?

Arabella: For me, a change of genre is as good a rest. I write Contemporary and Historical romances, and switching between genres and heat levels can be refreshing.

I write “Tender love stories with a hint of passion… and more” but my publishers, Evernight Publishing and Beachwalk Press, usually bracket me in the “erotic” romance genre.

Paige: How difficult/easy is it for you to write characters from the opposite sex? Is it hard to get inside a man’s mind and write from his POV?

Arabella: Writing from a man’s Point Of View can be challenging, but as I’ve said before, I like a challenge.

Paige: If you could travel to any place in the world right now, where would it be and why?

Arabella: I love the coast and the taste of the salty sea air and the sound of the rolling waves as they crash to the shore. If it’s a warm, sunny day and there’s a chance to dip my toes in the sea… heaven.

Paige: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing? What did you learn along the way?

Arabella: My first novel was self-published. Although professionally edited, there were reviews that pointed out spelling errors and I took this critique to heart. Little did I realise that to some, REALIZE is the correct way to spell REALISE and COLOR is supposed to be COLOUR. It just depends on which side of the pond you live.

Paige: Share your morning/daily routine with us.

Arabella: 05:30 am either the alarm or the cat wakes me. I have a 9 to 5 day job and my writing time isn’t always my own. I have to squeeze in the creative writing, the edits, the promotional marketing, and all the other things a writer does when I can find the time or a window of opportunity appears.

Sleep time… never enough. 

Paige: Imagine yourself on a deserted island. All your basic human needs are met, such as food, water, and shelter. What two items would you want to have with you and why?

Arabella: My small 18 inch TV with a constant loop of Judge Judy. The woman is a learning curve legend.

Soundtrack to Pride and Prejudice 2005.

Paige: Name three things that you always carry in your bag.

Arabella: Pen, Paper, Reading Glasses

Paige: You just won $400 million. Would you still continue to write and why?

Arabella: I would, simply because being part of the writing world gives me a creative buzz every time one of my novels is released.

I’m linked to the publishing “families” of Evernight Publishing and Beachwalk Press, not to mention The Romantic Novelists’ Association. I’ve met in person and also via virtual links, so many wonderful, supportive people that should I suddenly decide to stop scribbling and leave the book publishing world, to lose these ‘writerly’ friends would be quite a loss.

Paige: And finally, how would you encourage someone to continue writing after they’ve received a rejection letter?

Arabella: A friend once told me it took her twenty years to become an overnight Best-Selling Author. Keep at it would be my suggestion. A few words a day eventually becomes a page and lots of pages become a chapter, and several chapters become a book.

Thank you for hosting me on your blog, Paige. And wishing everyone lots of happy-ever-after romance reading.

HIS MISTRESS is an Evernight Publishing On-The-Go-Romance story, offering a “quick, hot” erotic read.

Anna is horny, and when her best friend suggests they paint the town red, Anna goes along with the idea. Her seven-year-old son is away at a sleepover, and it could be her only chance to get laid.

Anna isn’t after a serious relationship or a romantic involvement with a guy. All she wants is a one-night stand and plenty of sex, and Dan Holland, a handsome stranger she meets at a bar, might be the solution to her problem.

Can Dan fulfill Anna’s physical needs or will he invade her emotional safe space and become entangled in her life?

Get HIS MISTRESS instantly right here:

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