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Thursday, December 17, 2020

Taking Charge Of The Characters

 “I want to wake up one morning and know how to write page one, or page 10, or page 250. But I never seem to know how to do it. Every book is different and takes a different structure, style, process, etc. And relearning how to write is where the insanity comes from” – Sarah MacLean


Born in Rhode Island on this date in 1978, MacLean aspired to be a Romance novelist as early as 15 but didn’t try her hand at the genre until she had first earned degrees from Smith and Harvard and worked in New York City as a literary publicist.    Even then, it wasn’t her first but second novel (after first writing a YA novel The Season).  But her book Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake not only hit the bestseller list but won numerous awards and put her firmly on the Romance genre map where she has stayed with her subsequent works.

She speaks widely on the intersection of feminism and the romance genre and also is well-known for her monthly romance review column in The Washington Post.   She said she enjoys the writing process and also likes “being in charge” of the books she authors.


“For the most part, my characters don't talk to me,” MacLean said.  “I like to lord over them like some kind of benevolent deity. And, for the most part, my characters go along with it. I write intense character sketches and long, play-like conversations between me and them, but they stay out of the book writing itself.”




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