Sarah Hogle talks Old Flames and New Fortunes in our amazing interview

Sarah Hogle talked about her latest release, Old Flames and New Fortunes with us.
Old Flames and New Fortunes by Sarah Hogle. Image Credit to G.P. Putnam's Sons.
Old Flames and New Fortunes by Sarah Hogle. Image Credit to G.P. Putnam's Sons. /

Let me just start by saying that Sarah Hogle is easily my favorite romance author. She writes a book and I am dropping everything to read it as I did with Old Flames and New Fortunes.

That's why I was SO excited when Putnam said I could interview her. Of course, I tried to play it totally cool yet Nicole knew my fangirl was coming out. Thankfully, it was only an email interview so Sarah Hogle didn't have to see me freak out.

Either way, getting to ask Sarah Hogle about Old Flames and New Fortunes along with what's next from her was a delight. Plus she sent my questions back almost immediately which was much appreciated so I wanted to return the favor and post this as a treat over the weekend.

Whether you're ready to pick up this book or need another reason to love Sarah Hogle, our interview will do the trick.

Loved Old Flames and New Fortunes? Don't skip our interview with Sarah Hogle.

Sarah Hogle
Sarah Hogle Author Photo. Image Credit to Marcus Hogle. /

Culturess: Old Flames and New Fortunes feels like something completely new for you in the best way. How did it feel to branch out into the cozy/witchy space?

Sarah Hogle: The witchy/cozy space feels like home to me, and I've been inching toward this territory for a while. Twice Shy was whimsical with its daydream sequences, and then Just Like Magic included magical elements, so with my fourth book I felt I was on a good track to show something more fantastical to readers and have it not feel like a sharp, unexpected turn from my debut novel, which didn't have any magic in it. Most of my favorite books contain magic, and I have always, always loved witchy stories. Joining those ranks feels very much like, "Ahhh yes, finally! This is where I'm meant to be." I shaped Moonville to be the sort of place I'd want to live in, with the forest and the rivers and the colorful shops. I could happily spend every day in The Magick Happens. That's why this world has a cozy feel to it—if I was going to spend months/years writing and editing this place, then I wanted it to be a cozy burrow of comfort I'd be happy to return to over and over.

Culturess: . One thing I adore about your writing is how you can tackle such tough topics amidst such a romantic story. How was it to balance Romina's past trauma with her romance with Alex?

Sarah Hogle: It's sometimes a tricky balance to portray enough of a character's traumas so that readers understand why that character behaves and feels the way that they do, but not so much of it that the past bogs down what's going on in present day. Romina's relationship with Alex stirs up many of her worst fears, but being with him feels simultaneously inevitable and wonderful, so this creates a lot of internal conflict. When writing romcoms, I want to sandwich somber moments between levity, and make sure angst never takes up too much room. I want my stories to make readers laugh more than they make them cry. A low moment needs to be immediately followed by humor.

Culturess: Speaking of Alex, he begins the book as a somewhat reluctant and grumpy hero. However, he ended up being so gone for Romina. Would you consider him a cinnamon hero in the end?

Sarah Hogle: I think Alex was always a cinnamon roll all along, but he had to hide it. He and Romina didn't reunite on the best of terms, and there was still so much heated emotion between them that each thought they'd tamped down, and never expected to confront ever again. His aloofness was to protect himself. By the time we get to the end of the book, they've built trust and love again, so he's able to be his vulnerable, cinnamon-y self and discard the starchy facade. I loooove a cinnamon roll!

Culturess: Old Flames and New Fortunes is easily your spiciest book to date. What did you decide to include more open-door scenes?

Sarah Hogle: In all honesty, I did not plan for the spice and it simply got out of hand! There's a scene about midway through the book that came from NOWHERE; I think I'd planned for Romina and Alex to make out a little in that scene, maybe feel each other up, and then it just...escalated. I thought my editor would end up asking me to take most of it out, since it's such a deviation from the spice level in my other books, but she was a fan of it instead and now I have several pages that I'll need to rip out of the book before giving copies to family members. I will say that I had a lot of fun with those scenes. Since I was writing off the cuff and didn't think most of that content would make the final cut, I really went for it. From book to book, I have a hard time guessing at the outset what the spice is going to be like—whatever happens is organic and flows from the moment.

Culturess: I'm sure everyone is asking and wondering but do you plan on writing books for Luna and Zelda?

Sarah Hogle: I do! I've always wanted to publish a series, and I love Moonville and the Tempests so dearly that I could keep writing about this world forever. From the beginning, it's always been my goal to write a book for each sister, and each book will have its own distinct tone.

Culturess: Last but not least, can you tell us what project you're working on next?

Sarah Hogle: Right now, the first draft of the next Moonville book is with my editor. I hope to be able to share more news about that in the coming months. :)

Old Flames and New Fortunes by Sarah Hogle is out now where books are sold.

Honestly, this interview felt like I was walking on a cloud and I think it cements that Sarah Hogle and I are meant to be besties. Either way, I'd like to thank both Sarah Hogle and Nicole for putting this together and for all their time and effort.

dark. Next. Old Flames and New Fortunes is a dreamy romance from Sarah Hogle. Old Flames and New Fortunes is a dreamy romance from Sarah Hogle