When is your birthday?
July 9th! I’m the most stereotypical Cancer out there—I’m moody and reclusive and I go great with butter, as all crabs do.
Why did you choose to write for the genre that you do?
I used to write traditionally published Young Adult under a different name, and while I loved doing that, there’s something really elemental about romance. I think there’s so much freedom to examine issues of feminism and class and queerness, and to do it with a sense of joy and optimism. All romances end with a Happily Ever After, and there’s something so magnetic about that idea, since we live in a world where hardly anyone gets an HEA.
If you could go anywhere in the universe, where would you go, and why?
I love every corner of Ireland and the UK that I’ve visited, but there’s one spot smack in the middle of England, near Bakewell. It’s a medieval manor house called Haddon Hall, and there’s a shallow, splashing river and grim looking stone walls and tumbledown gardens spilling over with the biggest roses you’ve ever seen in your life. I would live there the rest of my life if they’d let me.
What are three things that you always keep handy at all times?
My phone—loaded with tons of books, I read on the toilet and in line at the grocery store and at stoplights—five extra hairbands on my wrist, and some emergency scotch.
What is one thing that most people do not know about you?
I have narcolepsy! It’s a sleep disorder that gives me very vivid dreams and makes me constantly tired. I don’t have cataplexy (in other words, I don’t drop like a fainting goat) but I do have pretty frequent sleep attacks, and I do really need lots of sleep.
What is the weirdest thing that you have ever googled?
Well, there’s been lots of them, LOL. How long does it take blood to congeal? What household items make emergency lube? Did ancient Romans tweeze or wax their buttholes? Did Lyndon Johnson yell at people while he pooped in the Oval Office bathroom?
What is your most favorite time in History?
My favorite time to live would be right now, actually because deodorant! Vibrators! Great British Bake Off! But my favorite time to read novels about is generally located between 1000 CE and the 1940s (I love historical fiction.) My favorite time to read nonfiction is like ancient, ancient times. Paleolithic through the Iron Age.
Who are three women in time, real or imaginary, worth looking up to?
Michelle Obama, Malala Yousafzai, and Jane Eyre
What is the most attractive, and the first thing you notice, about a person?
If it’s a man, it’s either the hands or the throat. There’s something about a pair of big, capable-looking hands, or a strong throat with that adam’s apple pitched in the middle. If it’s a woman, it’s her mouth—the curve of her lips, the way she smiles and talks…
What kind of drunk person do you turn into when you drink?
A TALKATIVE ONE. Oh man, if you ever hang out with me at a hotel bar during a signing weekend, you are in for more Sierra chatter than you’ll know what to do with!
What is your favorite 90’s throwback jam?
Woman by White Town. It’s so playful with queerness and gender and I love it. Also anything by Blur or Placebo or Oasis. (Clearly I have a 90s British fetish!)
Do you eat your feelings, or starve them?
I DRINK THEM.
What is your biggest baddest guilty pleasure?
Bad porn. Like I pay money for lots of gorgeous, ethically sourced porn (I really recommend Trenchcoat X and A Four Chambered Heart) but every once in a while, I just want a fraternity gangbang or something with a stepbrother.
If only one of your books could be turned into a movie, which one would you choose and why?
I think my current series, The New Camelot Trilogy, would make a good miniseries on a premium cable channel that was open to lots of sex! But in general, I get shy when I think about movie adaptations because there’s so much that can go wrong, and also my books are so heavy on the sex and the internal angst, I’m not sure they’d translate well to the screen!
Who is your favorite author, and/or what is your favorite book?
Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre. Every time I re-read it, I find something new. It’s smart and angsty and gorgeous and brooding and stirring. It’s everything.
Do you ever hide secrets in your books that only a few people would find?
I’m never sure who will catch what, but I love to put in a sly reference to my other books here and there. In American Prince, there’s a reference to Logan O’Toole from Porn Star, and in American Queen, Ash and Greer are married by Father Jordan Brady, who is a character from Priest.
What was the hardest scene, or book, for you to write?
American King for sure has been the hardest book I’ve ever written! It’s the longest, and it’s also the first time I’ve ever attempted a trilogy of full-length books, and I was so worried I wouldn’t be able to pull it off. (I’m still not sure I did, haha!)
What is your most favorite quote or lyric?
Oh man, I have too many to tell! But this one has been on my mind a lot lately:
“I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too.” –Queen Elizabeth I
If you were forced to open a bakery, what would you name it?
Would You Rather…
Know the history of everything you touch, or be able to speak to animals?
The history of everything I could touch! And then I would retire early and travel the world touching literally everything I wanted. Stonehenge. Cave paintings and ancient temples. Michael Fassbender’s bed.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on Sinner, which is the companion/sequel to Priest, and featuring Father Bell’s brother Sean and a young nun.
What other plans do you have with your writing?
I’m most excited about 2018—I am going to be writing for the Misadventures series from Waterhouse Books and I think those stories are going to be a blast!
When is your next book possibly going to release?
I’m looking at late January or February for Sinner. Fingers crossed!
About Sierra Simone
Sierra Simone is a former librarian who spent too much time reading romance novels at the information desk. She lives with her husband and family in Kansas City. You can stalk her on Facebook, tumblr and pinterest. You can also email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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