New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sarah MacLean grew up in Rhode Island, obsessed with historical romance. Her love of all things historical helped to earn her degrees from Smith College and Harvard University before she finally set pen to paper and wrote her first book. Sarah now lives in New York City with her husband, their dog, and a ridiculously large collection of romance novels.
That’s the short version.
Those of you who are looking for the gory details, read on:
As the daughter of a former British spy (yes…that kind of British spy) and a jet-setting Italian who met in Paris and lived, at one point or another, in Rome, London, San Francisco, and New York, I feel that I should tell you that I’m a real-life Lara Croft who spends her days haggling in the bazaars of Marrakech, shopping on the Champs-Élysées, riding a motorbike across the Gobi desert, and scaling ancient Mayan temples.
Unfortunately for all of us, however, that would be a gross untruth. My parents settled down in Lincoln, Rhode Island long before I was born and left me little choice but to turn to books to find my own romance and adventure.
By high school, thanks to my older (and much wiser) sister, I was thoroughly obsessed with historical fiction. I would become enamored of whole eras and read any- and everything I could get my hands on that related to them. I went through phases—Medieval England, the Vikings, the Italian Renaissance.
Then I found Jane Austen. And I was hooked. Here was an author (a woman no less!) who went against everything that had been written before and who birthed a genre of literature. She cast aside the melodramatic gothic romance that the Brontë sisters (whom I could never quite stomach) would make famous and made romance fun . . . and funny . . . and real. Her heroines were cheeky and ironic, her heroes dark and brooding and arrogant to a marvelous fault. The combination of the two, for the teenager I was then and the thirty-year-old I am now, was electric.
That’s when I fell in love with Regency England. I imagine that I—and everyone around me—thought it was just another one of my historical phases . . . but this was one I never grew out of. I spent much of my teenage years, nose buried in historical romances, bemoaning the fact that I was born two centuries too late to enter the swirling beau monde that waltzed its way through the glittering ballrooms of London for my own season.
Is it any wonder that when I finally put pen to paper, I wrote a book about the Regency? The Season, a YA romance published in March 2009, tells the story of three best friends who love Jane as much as I do (even though they don’t know her name).
Through a stroke of very good luck I found myself at Smith College, where I was free to explore my wild obsessions. I had a group of friends who shared my love of historical fiction; we traded romances, talked Austen, and imagined what it would be like to be courted . . . really courted. I majored in history and somewhere along the way learned a rhyme that lists the Kings and Queens of England in order. After graduation, I went on a trip across Britain with my mother that only served to solidify my love for the rich history of the region.
Next, I found my way to New York, where I took a job in publishing and all those years of reading paid off. I bounced through several jobs and a graduate degree, amassing an unfathomably large collection of regency fiction along the way, which fills the bookshelves of my Brooklyn home to bursting. I am lucky to have a husband and dog who overlook my eccentricities and, sometimes, love me better for them.
And now, I’m happy to say that, through writing, I have the chance to put my crazy, eclectic life to good use and, while I may never be able to live up to the British spy and the jet-setting Italian, my characters are certainly making a go of it.
My first book, a YA historical romance called The Season, is available in the YA section of your local bookstore. My adult historical romances, Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake and Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord are in the romance section; they’ll be joined in April by the third book in my Love by Numbers series, Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart.
Are You Doing a School Project on Sarah?