Hello again, Coffee Time readers! Thank you for joining the party for it could be considered nothing else to have an intimate conversation with a writer of such caliber as Selena Robins. Get yourself a cup of coffee, have a seat and prepare to be as dazzled as I have been by Selena's witty conversation and introduction to the amazing novel, "What A Girl Wants."
Hello Selena, how are you doing this evening?
Doing well and thank you for this opportunity to showcase my work to your readers, I appreciate the support.
Thank you for taking the time to answer some question about your latest release What A Girl Wants. Why don’t you start off by telling us a little about the novel?
What a Girl Wants is a contemporary romance for readers who enjoy a tropical setting (Hawaii) a lot of spice, comedy, sexual innuendo, witty repartee, unexpected twists, sensual lovemaking scenes, and a splash of mystery in their books.
The heroine’s (Maddie) business is mischief….the hero’s (Alex) business is singe-the-eyebrows off a mannequin sex appeal and keeping secrets—together their businesses are booming—together they’re trouble—together they never expected their lives would spiral out of control and on a different path than they’d ever imagined.
What A Girl Want is really about friends who become so much more. I love the idea of falling in love with a friend and then easing into a more intense relationship. What made you pursue this as theme for a story?
In this book, the characters came to me before the theme, and in profiling each of them; their comradeship was so strong, that the friends-to-lovers plot emerged from that. I also believe that at the end of the day, after the initial butterflies, first kiss, first lovemaking, and the honeymoon stage settles into life and all that it has to offer (ups, downs, sideway moments) it’s the strong friendship we’ve established with our lover/husband that will get us through the years. The combination of a good friend who is also your life partner, I believe is truly a blessing.
P.S. I married my best friend. J
I believe that character development is crucial to a good book. What do you think readers would most enjoy about your characters in What A Girl Wants?
I agree characters are the most important elements of in a novel. From the feedback I’ve already received, readers enjoy the heroine’s quirkiness, the outrageous things that she says, but at the same time they appreciate her intelligence, passion and loyalty, and of course her antics. They loved her interaction not only with the hero, but with her girlfriend and the people she meets in her journey. Readers have also mentioned that they enjoyed reading about her relationship with her mother. I received a lot of feedback about the hero’s drool-worthiness of course, but even more than his good looks, they said they loved the way he respected the heroine, himself and the people around him. These characters are not perfect, they have many flaws, and that’s what I believe draws the reader in, as they can relate to the flaws and also dare to dream that maybe they can take life by the reigns and go after what you want.
The bio on your website is the most extensive I have seen; it gave insight into you. In it you said that your husband encouraged you to begin writing for the masses. Besides him who has been the person or persons who have supported you? How important is the support of others in the writing process?
My family, other writers who are also good friends and most of all the readers who not only embrace the romance genre, but are enthusiastic, supportive and eager to let a writer know how much they enjoy her work.
Support is crucial when pursuing a writing career or any art form for that matter. Creative people are highly sensitive and emotional, and also brave. We put our work out there and when the rejections come in or a bad review, we need to have a support system to listen to our rants and of course supply the red wine and chocolate.
Many writers say they are inspired to write by their dreams or the characters chattering away in their head. What inspires you to write the stories you create?
Throughout my life, even during the difficult times, I’ve always used my sense of humor to get me through the highs and lows we all face, and I think that humor comes out in my writing. As for inspiration, I wish I could give say something deeply profound that people will Twitter and use as a quote, but I really don’t know. I love books, I love the written word and I love people watching and storytelling, I guess those are all inspirations.
Do you have a method by which your write? Surrounded by music, dim lighting, snuggled on the couch, time of day, etc.
I’m a morning person, so I do my best writing in the morning. Again, I wish I could conjure up a great visual of soft music and lighting, burrowed away in a log cabin, surrounded by deer grazing in a beautiful forest. However, that’s not the case. I do however, like to light a fire in the winter months and in the summer sit outside to write.
The romance genre is on the rise and I know there are a lot of retreats out there for romance authors, aspiring writers and fans. Do you ever meet with other authors or readers to discuss romance writing? Are there any upcoming events we can find you at?
I belong to two writing groups in my city that meet once per month, and I also meet with a few writer friends over lunch. Other writers who live in different cities I’ve met through my publisher or on Facebook, and we’ve developed a relationship to talk about the business. My goal is to attend the RT Convention and International Thriller Writers Convention in 2011. In the past, I’ve attended RWA conferences and Book Expo America.
Since it appears that the hottest trend for authors today is to turn their books into movies. I have been trying to visualize different actors in the roles but find that your heroes and heroines are tough shoes to fill. Could you imagine any of your characters on the big screen? If so which ones and who would you get to play the part?
I know a lot of writers will actually base their characters on actors, but I haven’t done that with any of my characters. I have their image in my mind and then hopefully, am able to describe them enough for the reader to visualize them.
However, if I had to pick a cast for this book, this would be my wish list:
Maddie: Isla Fisher.
Alex: I can’t think of an actor for him, however, if George Clooney and Carter Oosterhouse were brothers, and they had another brother (in his 30’s) then he would look like my Alex…oops, I mean Maddie’s Alex, I swear I’m not in love with him…any more...*sigh*….I’ve moved on. (Disclaimer: All the romance authors I know fall in love with the hero).
Felicia Saunders: Kim Cattrell
Reece Anderson: Rachel McAdams (with her blonde hair)
Tim Graham: Simon Baker
Maxwell Hollister: Michael Nouri
Crystal Washington: Sanaa Lathan
Those are the main characters, now, all I need is for Hollywood to come knocking and we get a movie deal. J
I happen to love the romance genre. Are there any other genres you have written? Is there anything that you have not written but you would like to? Anything you would never even try to write?
Romance writers appreciate readers like you who love the genre as much as we love writing it. Thank you.
Outside of the romance genre, I’ve written children’s books. I would like to write mainstream women’s fiction, and also a book loosely based on my parents story. Short version: Both my parents were orphaned at a young age. My mom was raised in a convent, my dad had street smarts. Mom was about to take her vows as a nun, Dad (the agnostic, in a leather jacket and motorcycle) swept her off her feet. They moved from Italy to Canada, without knowing the language and raised five children. Up until the day she died, my mom would blame overcooked lasagna noodles on the fact that she left the convent. They had a great sense of humor in the darkest moments, only they had no idea they were so funny. Their story intrigues me and I want to write about it, even if it never gets published.
I don’t think I’d write anything to do with researching science or math; both those subjects gave me hives in high school.
Okay, I have looked at your bio and it would appear that you have been writing since you were a young girl. Do you remember the first story that you wrote? What gave you the inspiration to sit down and write the story?
The first short story I wrote was about two race horses. It was entered into a short story contest sponsored by the Human Society and won first prize.
The inspiration at the time: $25.00 award. Not wholly, but I don’t remember what inspired that story other than I loved writing and letting my imagination take over.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors out there who are looking to break into the romance genre and battle with all the competition?
Aspiring writers as well as published writers experience a lot of rejection, get pitch-slapped, and may be told that it’s impossible to get published, and if that discourages someone from entering into this business, then I would advise they take up something else. You have to block out all that negative noise, push through the self-doubts, and just sit down and write and don’t stress over the competition, the business aspect of publishing or writing to suit a particular market.
I love this quote from my good friend Denise A. Agnew: “You have to write what blows your skirt up.”
My own quote (advise): “Write with your heart. Edit with your head and NO ego.”
What projects are you working on that we should keep an eye out for in the future?
My WIP (work in progress) is a romantic suspense, which I’ve been working on for a few years and I’m also working on another romantic comedy, which will feature Maddie’s girlfriend Reece and four other women. Gives me an opportunity to revisit Maddie and Alex and catch up on what’s going on in their lives.
Selena, thank you for spending time with Coffee Time Romance today, your responses have been meaningful and gave myself and readers an opportunity to get to know you better.
Have a wonderful day!
Where you can find Selena Robins:
Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Download a free copy of Tempted by an Angel