Welcome, today we are talking with Selena Robins! I would like to thank you for taking time out of your busy writing schedule to answer a few questions. First, let’s delve into who you are. Some of the questions may be untraditional, but you’d be surprised at what readers connect to, and sometimes the simplest ‘I can relate to that’ grabs their interest where nothing else can.
Can you share a little something about Selena Robins that’s not mentioned in your bio on your website?
Though I am an FBI (full-blooded Italian), you’d never guess that I’ve actually never had a cup of Italy’s national drink; coffee. Another little-known fact is that I dislike mortadella, Nutella, and oregano. Before someone threatens to take away my Italian card, I do hold dear my heritage and our strong emphasis on family values. If I drink enough wine, I’ll confess to taking accordion lessons as a child and teen, but you don’t want to hear me play it.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I would make up stories for my teddy bears and dolls. They were an attentive audience and always gave good reviews. Writing has been part of my career since all positions in the job market that I’ve held required writing (non-fiction), so transitioning to fiction was a natural next step, and easy transition to writing of a livelier kind, namely fiction where anything is possible.
What have you found most challenging about it?
I love creating new worlds for the characters I bring to life, but the biggest challenge is the business side of writing; promotion, learning about managing ads, marketing, and navigating it through social media. Self-doubt used to be a considerable challenge, but I’ve learned to turn that into a positive tool. I embrace it so that when I doubt myself, that’s when I can edit with my head, and not my heart, and ensure that I produce the best possible story that I can.
What does writing do for you? Is it fun, cathartic, do you get emotional?
Writing is challenging, but it’s also enjoyable and a necessary outlet for a right-brain creative. It’s fulfilling and exciting to create worlds and people, delve into each detail, and create three-dimensional shaped characters. I get emotional and laugh, cry, and at times get mad at the characters. I analyze those emotions to further create their dimensions, so they come to life for the reader. Writing is also cheaper than therapy.
Describe what your writing routine looks like. Are you disciplined with a strict schedule, or do you have to be in the mood?
When life isn’t throwing me a curve ball and taking me away from a strict writing schedule, I set up a plan to write 2,000 words per day, four days per week. I don’t write in drafts, I edit and polish as I finish each chapter, so I allocate the other days to research, editing, and polishing to ensure plot and character consistency.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Read a lot and borrowing Nike’s slogan—Just Do it.
Did you go into writing thinking that it would be a hobby or a job?
I think it’s both. It’s a job in terms of professionalism, meeting goals, and deadlines, setting up marketing and promotional strategies, and at the same time, as with any hobby, it is self-fulfilling and fun, which writing is to me.
Let’s move on and give readers some insight into your personal life.
What are your pet peeves?
I have quite a few, but bullying, mean and rude people are on the top of my list, and drivers who won’t use their signal lights are a close second.
Who is your hero?
My late husband was and still is my hero. He was the most selfless, loving, and positive person I’ve ever met, even when facing hardships and medical challenges. I work hard at carrying his legacy of maintaining a warrior attitude and living my life in a way he’d be proud of.
Give us one thing on your bucket list.
Traveling to the English countryside and indulging in a quintessentially British afternoon tea.
What would readers find surprising about you?
I’ve never owned a watch or clock, and I am an extroverted introvert.
If you could go to heaven, who would you visit?
My husband. I would like to think he’s waiting at Heaven’s gates, and I’d jump into his arms as Jesus gives us a thumbs up, and then he’d lead me to my parents, his parents, and our dogs, who have all joined him.
Now that our readers know who Selena Robins is, let’s get down to the business of your book, Once Upon a Kiss.
Please tell us a little bit about, Once Upon a Kiss.
ONCE UPON A KISS is an uplifting and reflective romantic comedy with a sprinkle of mysticism. The story takes place in a fictional small town in Vermont and follows the lives of two people who are complete opposites in terms of their lifestyles and backgrounds
They probably would never have connected for it, not for a mistaken identity incident. As the story unfolds, they are each forced to deal with unresolved grief, and they must make difficult life choices. They also discover that sometimes fate and destiny play a more prominent role in one’s life than ever imagined.
I’ve incorporated comedy, sexual tension, sensuality, a touch of magic, unexpected twists, and a witty hero and heroine. She’s a sassy survivor, and he’s charming, intelligent, and looks like he stepped off the cover of GQ magazine but is going undercover as a handyman, albeit an inept one.
They are both flawed, and it is in each of their flaws that they connect, learn about themselves, each other, true love and how to get through hardships and how they are connected more than they thought possible, given the circumstances of their meeting and their lifestyles.
What was your hardest challenge writing this book?
Writing the emotional climax (the black moment).
What kind of research did you have to do?
I researched the hospitality industry and flair bartending.
What, in your opinion, makes good chemistry between your leading characters?
Creating palpable tension and increasing the stakes of will they or won’t they. Creating messy and relatable characters with flaws, goals, passion, and characters that make mistakes in life and love but learn from those mistakes and can move forward in a selfless manner that allows them to connect to each other, thereby allowing the reader to connect with them as well. The main characters need to be able to work through their own problems and feel all the emotions that go with sexual attractiveness, chemistry, and love. The more this happens, the hotter the chemistry.
Any other works in progress?
I’m working on a Romantic Comedy Mystery about a divorced Italian/Irish heroine who heads a honey trap agency to catch adulterers. It’s a thriving business until she’s on a catfish date with a client’s husband, and he’s murdered. Her long-time nemesis, Detective Smoke-Show, arrests her in front of her rambunctious family. If that isn’t traumatic enough, she discovers the Russian mob has ordered a hit on her, and she has no clue why.
Thank you for this opportunity to introduce myself and my book to your readers. With our daily reality hitting us with a lot of challenging and negative news, my goal and hope is that as an author, I give readers a few hours of escapism with love and laughter.
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