1. I wrote Come Back To Me under the pen name Mila Gray because it is with a different publisher to my young adult books and we wanted to make sure that people didn’t pick up a copy thinking it was going to be Young Adult and then get the shock of their lives when they read the sexy parts!
2. Come Back To Me is set in Oceanside which is also where Hunting Lila is set. In fact a lot of the story echoes that book. It is about two guys who are Marines and best friends and one falls in love with the other one’s sister. But that is where the similarities end! Come Back To Me is much more adult and there are no supernatural powers.
3. Despite the sexy times in the book, my US publisher (Simon & Schuster) are marketing it as young adult… (and with a really beige cover).
4. I begged my parents not to read it but my dad went ahead and read it anyway. When I saw him he asked me if I ‘planned on writing any more erotica’. I wanted the ground to open and swallow me whole. My mum has never even mentioned the book to me so I gather from that she does not approve!
5. However, I am OK with that because the reviews have been so amazing and many, many people have commented on how beautiful and non-gratuitous the sex scenes are. I really wanted to get away from what I consider the really negative aspects of new adult – of violent alpha males with chiselled cheekbones– and show that an attractive man isn’t one who is violent and aggressive and controlling and possessive. I hope readers find in Kit a better romantic role model – because men like him do exist (I know, I’m married to one).
6. Kit is half-Portuguese and that was in honour of a book I read by a Marine embassy guard who was caught up in a suicide bomb attack. That book really helped me understand the training and the life of a Marine Embassy Guard and also gave me a great insight to post traumatic stress disorder.
7. I quote a beautiful poem in the book by a girl – Finn Butler – who actually grew up not too far from me. She wrote it when she was 17. I asked her permission to include it because I think it so perfectly summed up the characters in the book and what they were going through.
“Everyone who terrifies you is sixty-five percent water.
And everyone you love is made of stardust, and I know sometimes you cannot even breathe deeply, and the night sky is no home, and you have cried yourself to sleep enough times that you are down to your last two percent, but
Nothing is infinite, Not even loss.
You are made of the sea and the stars, and one day you are going to find yourself again.”
8. I am already writing the second Mila Gray book. It’s titled THIS ONE MOMENT which is influenced by a TS Eliot line of poetry. This book focuses on Didi, Jessa’s best friend from Come Back To Me. It’s set in the Wounded Warrior Centre where she’s a psychology intern. I wanted to look at romantic ideals of both war and love and explore the reality behind them both. I think it might end up being sadder than Come Back To Me.
9. I wrote the book in just 6 weeks. I was commissioned to write it in mid-December and given a deadline of the end of January so we could hit a summer publication date. I was really lucky that I didn’t have any other work on and could just focus on that and I’m also a very fast writer. It normally takes me only six – eight weeks to write a book.
10. I write under a few pen names, besides Sarah Alderson and Mila Gray, and I also write screenplays (under my own name Sarah Alderson). I’ve written a comedy romance with the author Becky Wicks under the name Lola Salt. And I also have an erotic romance novel on Amazon that I self-published but only a handful of people know what that pen name is and I’m not telling anyone. If my dad ever read that book I wouldn’t just want the ground to swallow me whole – that wouldn’t be enough – I’d want the world to implode.
Summary from Goodreads
Home on leave in sunny California, Marine and local lothario Kit Ryan finds himself dangerously drawn to his best friend’s sister, Jessa – the one girl he can’t have.
But Kit’s not about to let a few obstacles stand in his way and soon Jessa’s falling for his irresistible charms.
What starts out as a summer romance of secret hook-ups and magical first times quickly develops into a passionate love affair that turns both their worlds upside down.
When summer’s over and it’s time for Kit to redeploy, neither Kit nor Jessa are ready to say goodbye. Jessa’s finally following her dreams and Kit’s discovered there’s someone he’d sacrifice everything for.
Jessa’s prepared to wait for Kit no matter what. But when something more than distance and time rips them apart they’re forced to decide whether what they have is really worth fighting for.
A breathtaking, scorchingly hot story about love, friendship, family and finding your way back from the edge of heartbreak.
Originally from London she has lived in Bali for the last four years with her husband and daughter.
As well as writing young adult fiction under the name Sarah Alderson and adult fiction under the name Mila Gray, she also writes screenplays.