Author Speed Date

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Jun 14 2011

The idea of speed dating is that you get 10 minutes to sit down with a prospective date and get to know them. In that spirit, we present Author Speed Date. A quick 10 minutes for you to get to know some of our clients. Today we’d like you to meet Sally MacKenzie.

BookEnds Author Speed Date

Name (the one you’re published under): Sally MacKenzie

Speed date Bio: Sally is the USA Today bestselling author of the funny, hot, Regency-set Naked Nobility series for Kensington Zebra. She’s a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (first class of women), Cornell Law School dropout (no JD, but an MRS ;)), former federal regulation writer (Ketchup as a vegetable anyone?), recovering parent volunteer (four sons!), and current Masters swimmer (middle of the pool—more a turtle than a hare).

Web Link: and her somewhat sporadic blog,

Next book, pub date: The Naked King, June 7, 2011

Agent: Jessica Faust

About Me

Real Name or Pseudonym: Sally MacKenzie

Currently Reading: Tiger Eye by Marjorie M. Liu and The Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes

Next on Your Reading List: My TBR pile is mountainous but probably My One and Only by Kristan Higgins and The Complete Servant by Samuel & Sarah Adams

Twitter: @Sally_MacKenzie

Three authors living or dead you would want to have dinner with: Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and Christopher Hibbert, who was the coeditor of The London Encyclopaedia and the author of many other books, including a biography of King George IV

Jet-setter or armchair traveler: Armchair traveler—have you ever tried to travel with four little boys? However, now that they’re grown, we’re getting out a bit more.

Glass ½ full or ½ empty: Sort of depends what’s in the glass.

Tea or Coffee: Two cups of Maxwell House International Suisse Mocha—one in the morning and one after lunch—and gallons of decaf tea, usually Bigelow’s Spiced Chai with milk. (Yes, I am a creature of habit.)

Live to write or Write to live: Write to live. I find writing lets me explore feelings and relationships and think about things in a way I don’t when I’m not writing. It helps focus me . . . when things are going well. But if we’re talking about making a living, let me just say I’m very glad no one’s next meal depends on my writing income.

About My Writing

When (time of day) I write: Daily, but the time of day varies depending on what else is on my schedule. Exercise is a priority, so on days I go to the gym, I start writing later in the morning. Days I swim at night, I try to write first thing. I’m happiest when I get some solid work done in the morning, but, sadly, some days I write morning, afternoon, and night to get three “good” hours in or five pages, my daily goal.

Writing soundtrack: While in theory I like the idea of writing to music—seems like music might act like Pavlov’s bell on dogs and get me down to work immediately—I actually write in silence.

Character Inspirations: With the Naked series, many of my characters are friends or siblings of characters in earlier books, so I get inspiration for them from musing about their families, occupations or avocations, and life experiences. And I suspect there’s a little bit of me in all of them, even the villains.

Plot Inspirations: My characters lead me where they want to go.

Setting Inspirations: Since I write Regencies—and even as a reader, I wasn’t a fan of exotic Regency settings—I stick pretty much to London (1816-1821) or the English countryside and great houses. Until last September, I hadn’t been to England since I backpacked through with my best friend the summer after our senior year of high school, which was, ahem, a few years ago. So I rely heavily on the Internet and a stack of reference books.

Plotter (carefully plot books) or Pantser (write from the seat of my pants): To my surprise, I’m pretty much a pantser.

8 responses to “Author Speed Date”

  1. Avatar Emily Dennis says:


    Congrats on the release of The Naked King! I've loved all of the Naked series. I really like The Age of Wonders–and it's also a great resource for us Regency writers.


  2. Avatar SJ Drum says:


    Thanks for participating in the Author Speed Date! I haven't read the Naked Series yet but now I think I'll pick it up.

    SJ Drum

  3. Thanks, Emily. I have to say I've made more progress reading the novels than the research books. And now I've forbidden myself any more novels–if I get into a story, I find I put my own writing aside to read. Very bad.

    SJ, I hope you'll give the Naked nobles a try–and turn into a Naked reader 😉

    I have to say the Naked thing has been very fun. My friend is having a book signing party tomorrow, and I've been trying to collect all kinds of Naked products–Naked Juice, wine from The Naked Grape–as door prizes. Once you go looking for Naked, you do find a surprising number of Naked things out there.

  4. Avatar Robena Grant says:

    Sally, how strange you should appear here today. : ) I had just finished an anthology, (which I got in a workshop goody bag) An Invitation to Sin, featuring Jo Beverly, Vanessa Kelly, Kaitlin O'Riley and of course yourself. I read your story The Naked Prince, and loved your voice.

    I mentioned this anthology yesterday at the Jenny Crusie Forums. I couldn't believe I had only read one of the four authors before. (I don't naturally gravitate to historicals but that's about to change.) You are all awesome. Each one of you has a very distinct voice, subtle humor, and great stories.

    Wishing you many more years of writing naked.

  5. Thanks so much, Robena!

  6. Love these speed dating posts. And, yes, Sally, there's lots of "Naked" out there! (Your book just got added to my TBR pile, btw.)

  7. Avatar Carrie says:

    I just read The Naked King's excerpt and I absolutely loved it. I can't wait to read the rest! 🙂

    Best of luck,

  8. Thank you, Debra Lynn and Carrie. I'm always a bit on edge when a new book releases, so it's especially nice to hear a kind word now.