Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Author Spotlight - Soraya Lane

New Zealander Soraya Lane, well known to everyone who lurks on the eHarlequin community forum, is celebrating the release of her debut Harlequin Romance, Soldier on her Doorstep. The book is out in June in the UK and July in the US. Her next book, The Army Ranger's Return, follows in quick succession with a July release in the UK.

1. Where were you in your writing career 5 years ago?
Five years ago, I’d been writing for about a year or so, and was trying to finish my first manuscript. I had started to enter a few romance writing competitions, but looking back now, that first manuscript was dreadful! But I was very committed to making a career as an author, and I truly believe that it’s belief in yourself and in your craft that gets you through the tough times.

2. Where did you get the idea from for this particular book?
My first two books are part of a mini-series called Heroes Come Home, and I was inspired by the many men and women around the world sacrificing so much to serve their countries. Soldier on her Doorstep explores the concept of guilt, forgiveness and second chance love – the heroine lost her husband to war, and has been left a single mom to their young daughter. The hero, Alex, visits Lisa to fulfill the wish of his dying comrade to make sure his wife and daughter are okay, but of course he doesn’t expect to fall in love with her!

I think it must be so incredibly difficult to transition from active duty soldier to civilian, and then face being redeployed again, so the challenge I gave myself was to really dig deep into the emotions of my characters.

3. Where do you hope to be in 5 years time?
In five years time, I hope to still be writing 3-4 books a year for Harlequin Romance/Mills & Boon Cherish. I’d also like to be writing for another Harlequin imprint, maybe HQN or Mira.

4. Which was the last book you read that you wish you'd written?
Oooh, this is a hard question! I like reading books that I wouldn’t necessarily want to write myself, such as thrillers by Harlan Coben or paranormal romance by Nalini Singh. I would have loved to have written The Wilderness series by Sara Donati if I had to choose!

5. Was there any particular author or book that made you want to be a writer?
I’ve always read widely, since I was a child, so there are many authors that have inspired me over the years. From The Saddle Club when I was a girl, to Lesley Pearce and Nora Roberts, there are so many wonderful authors to be inspired by!

6. Do you find writing love scenes giggle-worthy or cringe-worthy?
I don’t personally like to write hot or explicit love scenes, so I’ve really found the right fit for me with Harlequin Romance/Mills & Boon Cherish. We close the door before the exciting stuff starts! But in saying that, I feel that if a love scene is right for the characters, then an author should never feel embarrassed about writing them, so I guess I don’t find them cringe-worthy or giggle-worthy. Although there’s always that worry about your mother-in-law, grandmother or aunty reading them!!

7. What's the most romantic moment of your life so far?
When my husband proposed to me. He took me away to Sydney, Australia (we live in New Zealand) and after a lovely romantic dinner he proposed to me on the beach. Although sometimes it’s the little things that are the most romantic – like him getting up to look after our baby to let me sleep in!

8. What do you wish you'd known about being an author before you were pubbed?
When you’re unpublished you can sometimes think that it will get easier when you’re finally published. This is so not true! It gets harder, but it’s absolutely worth it. Suddenly you have an editor who constantly wants to push you to make your writing better with every book, and I personally put a lot of pressure on myself to deliver. Things like copy edits, writing proposals, doing art fact sheets and promotional material takes up a lot of time too, but I can’t say there’s anything I don’t like about it. Except that there’s never enough hours in the day!

9. What's the best writing advice you've ever been given?
If you’re truly a writer, giving up is not an option, and I believe that’s the best thing any author can tell an aspiring writer. I also believe in finishing a manuscript. You can polish and polish a chapter or two and even start to win contests, but you’ll never become an author if you can’t finish a manuscript. An editor will never buy a new author based on a fabulous first chapter, so make yourself write until you reach the end!

10. Tell us about your latest release.
This is the blurb about my mini-series, Heroes Come Home: “A love worth fighting for. They live extraordinary lives on the frontline, but back home they’re ordinary men looking for love and family."

Soldier on Her Doorstep, the first book, is about a soldier who’d promised his dying comrade he’d make sure his wife and daughter were okay. He was prepared for tears, but not for the beautiful woman who answered the door – or the little girl hiding behind her. Could Lisa and Lilly help to heal this hero’s heart?

In the The Army Ranger’s Return, Jessica’s best friend is soldier pen-pal Ryan, only she’s never met him in person before. Her letters have offered him comfort while he was away fighting for their country, but is he ready to fight for her heart.

11. What’s next for you?
My second book, The Army Ranger’s Return, is available in the UK in July, and August in the USA. I also have another release this year in November – Rodeo Daddy.

I’ve just turned in my fourth book to my editor, and I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be writing four more books for Harlequin Romance/Mills & Boon Cherish in the next year.

* * *

Thank you so much for having me! I’d like to give away a copy of one of my books – the winner can choose from either Soldier on Her Doorstep or The Army Ranger’s Return. Since I love writing about soldiers so much, tell me who your dream man in uniform is … soldier, Navy SEAL, policeman, fireman??? I’ll pick the winner at random!

Visit my website or blog for more information – or


Maya Blake said...

Super congrats on your debut, Soraya. I was lucky enough to read your Call Story on eharlequin and I wish you all the very best in your writing :)

Teresa Ashby said...

Congratulations on your debut, Soraya. I love the sound of your Heroes Come Home series and really enjoyed reading this post :)

Ju Dimello said...

Great to meet you, Soraya!!! Congrats on your release :) And I always love firemen...followed close by Navy SEALs...

Nas said...

Hi Soraya,

Thanks for sharing with us here today, I also read your call story on Harlequin subcare.

Congratulations on your release and all the best!

Soraya Lane - Romance Author said...

Hi Ladies! The only thing I don't like about being in NZ is the time difference, and of course the earthquakes, but that's a story for another day!

Thanks so much for having me here :)


lindsey hutchison @ United By Books said...

Hi Soraya and congrats on your release. I love the sound of this series and cant wait to check them out. After all who can resist a man in a uniform.


Cara Cooper said...

Sounds like a great series, good luck with it.

Maria said...

All the best with your book, Soraya!

Soraya Lane - Romance Author said...

Lindsey is the winner! Congrats Lindsey, I'll be in touch soon :)

Thanks for having me!

Soraya xxoo