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7/21/2010

Welcome romance author Selena Robins!

I'm so thrilled to have Samhain author Selena Robins on the blog today. I met Selena after I read her recent release, What A Girl Wants. I might not have heard of the book if I hadn't been paying attention to the Samhain loop on WAGW's release day. Selena posted some amazing excerpts and I HAD to get the book. It was longer than I usually read on my computer (I rarely use my e-reader) but I went for it. And am I glad I did! I loved What A Girl Wants! It's funny and sexy and suspenseful and you feel the characters' emotions right along with them. It made me an insta-fan of Selena's work and whatever she writes in the future, I'll be sure to buy. And probably read on release day, just like WAGW. ;) I'm really excited she agreed to an interview!

Welcome Selena!

1. Your latest release, What A Girl Wants, is sexy, funny, exciting, and emotional and contains elements of romantic suspense. Did you intend to write such a genre-defying book?

Thank you, I’m thrilled you enjoyed the book and I love the “genre-defying” tag.

My taste for books is the same as my passion for chocolate. I like them assorted, bittersweet, sinfully sexy and with a bite of suspense—as I never look at the chocolate box guide before diving in.

When I write, I’m not conscious of any one genre as my goal is to write the best book I can and hopefully give reader a good bang (no pun intended) for their hard earned dollar.

2. What was your inspiration for What A Girl Wants?

The friends-to-lovers storyline has always been a favorite of mine. Do I think that all female/male friendships end in true love? No. However, I do believe that a strong friendship which has an underlying sexual attraction that both people ignore for whatever reason can be the foundation for a rich-long-lasting love affair (marriage). Even with all the screw-ups and internal conflicts they have to encounter along their emotional roller coaster ride. I love the idea that even with all the baggage, personal demons, careers that test their loyalty to not only their friendship but to their love, they have to work hard at recognizing their love, and maintaining the fun, chemistry, sexual tension and excitement that brought them together in the first place—a unique-bonding-friendship.

(P.S. I married my best friend, but really, I’m nothing like the heroine, as I’m much more reserved and shy.) :)

3. There are lots of "shoulds" and "have tos" in this business. What one piece of advice would you advise an unpublished author NOT to follow?

“Write what you know.” I’ve read this advice for writers in a lot of places, and in my opinion, it’s one that cannot possibly be followed and can stunt a writer’s learning curve and growth.

Has anyone actually met a vampire, angel or a fairy? (Okay, I’m sure there is some society out there who claims they have, but I’m talking about the “norm”). The same goes for hero’s we love to read and write about such as police, firemen, and Navy Seals for example. We love to write about them, but most of us haven’t been in these professions. The same goes for the villains we love to hate; mobsters, high-powered cranky talk show hosts, crooked judges, etc. If we “should” only write what we know, then we couldn’t write characters with the aforementioned professions or even delve into writing about fantasy and horror.

I would tell aspiring writers to fire up their imaginations with the emotions they  have experienced in life: first crushes, heartbreak, love, even hate, losses, gains, thrill of that first job, the kick in the gut when you’ve been fired, or betrayed, the different seasons, traveling, etc. Emotion is what I believe develops great characters and we’ve all experienced one or more of the different emotions from the time we’re born. As for the plot and the technical aspects of the novel, that we have not experienced, that’s where research comes in handy. Even if a writer has never traveled outside their own city or town, and they want to write about a foreign land, then they could still do it by fictionalizing the setting. In What A Girl Wants, there is a song the heroine loves to sing, I’ve never written a song in my life, but knowing the way she thinks, and acts, helped me to create a song for her.

I’ve heard from readers who wrote to me to tell me how they related to the heroine in WAGH (Maddie) in an emotional way and wished they could have said and done some of the things she’s said and done. I haven’t known any woman who would actually do what she did, (okay maybe some of her stunts, and I will admit to nothing) but I have experienced some of her emotions, and that’s what a writer needs to draw from, emotions they recognize and then exacerbate the feelings and situations.

4. What keeps you at the keyboard when you're not sure if you should keep going?

It’s cheaper than therapy. LOL My passion and love of books keeps me at the keyboard and also, all these characters taking up space in my head who want their stories told, I need more room up there so I have to get them out.

5. Do you have a "dream" genre or book of your heart you'd love to write?

Since my creativity challenges targeting any one genre, I don’t have a “dream” genre but I do have a book of my heart that I have somewhat started. I’d love to finish writing a story based loosely on my parents journey from Italy to Canada, growing up in Little Italy and extracting the humor from the various people in my life. My parents were extremely funny people, only they didn’t realize it, and their sharp wit (something else they didn’t realize they had) makes great fodder. Not to mention, mom was about to take her vows to become a nun, until my motorcycle riding dad in a leather jacket whisked her away (there’s a story right there). I could still hear my mother blaming her overcooked lasagna noodles on the fact that she was being punished for leaving the convent and marrying a renegade agnostic (again more fodder).

6. What are you working on right now?

I'm in the middle of finishing a suspense/romance/murder mystery set in Chicago, with an alpha-hero-undercover cop, mafia princess heroine, criminal families vs police families, quirky hookers, a variety of villains and killing characters (yes, even beloved ones). It’s probably the hardest book I’m writing, mainly because there are more twists than in a bag of pretzels, and I keep adding more. Also, this is the first hard-core alpha hero I’ve ever written. My other hero’s are 50/50 alpha/beta. The plotting is tough as this book dictates a tight plot with enough mystery to keep the reader guessing, enough suspense to keep them at the edge of their seat, and mounds of sexual tension to drive the hero and heroine insane. Even with all the challenges I face with this book, I love these characters and their story. I’m also enjoying the villain in this book a little too much (something that scares my husband, which is okay, keeps him on his toes).

BLURB
WHAT A GIRL WANTS

Her business is mischief, his 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.

Warning: Side effects may include but not limited to, spontaneous, uncontrollable laughter, hot flashes and dangerous chocolate cravings. Contents include: one kick-ass heroine and a sex-on-legs hero whose kiss could singe the eyebrows off a mannequin. Can be read in bed with someone special or a BOB (battery operated boyfriend). Please note: Batteries not included.


Selena Robins Website:
http://www.selenarobins.com/
 
You Tube Video of Book Trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EWfVEqsOz4&feature=related

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Reserved and shy!!! Not a chance!!! Selena is a fabulous story teller with a wicked sense of humour and an incredible imagination.

She's inspired me to continue writing, even if it is just for myself.

Terry Parker

Brandi Evans said...

Such a great interview, Selena!

"It's cheaper than therapy."

So LOVED this line! Keep it up, girl! ;-)

Lisa said...

The book sounds great! Awesome interview!

Jenni said...

Loved What A Girl Wants! Can't wait to read more from Selena Robins!

dreabecraft said...

Awesome Interview Cari and Lena!

I really need to get this book! I keep meaning to do it and then something happens lol.

But I can't wait to readt it!

Have a great day you two!

Selena Robins said...

Terry, you made me blush...see I told you I was shy. :) Thanks for stopping by.

Brandi, Lisa, Jenni, Drea, thanks for your support and your comments.

Wishing you all a great-chocolate-filled Wednesday :)

Selena

Amber Skyze said...

Great interview Ladies!

"It's cheaper than therapy" - I love this!!! :)

Looking forward to reading What a Girl Wants.

Kari Thomas said...

HI Selena! LOL--cheaper than therapy! Ive lost count how many times Ive told someone that about my writing!

LOVE that Cover and the Blurb sounds great too! Got it on my TBB list!

HUGS! Kari Thomas, www.authorkari.com

Helen Hardt said...

Great to meet you, Selena -- best of luck. The cover is amazing!

Cari Quinn said...

Thanks to Selena for the awesome interview and thanks to everyone for stopping by! :)

Selena Robins said...

I appreciate you stopping by, Amber, Kari and Helen and for your good wishes and kind words.

Helen, Natalie Winters created the cover, and I also love it. It's always a bit scary before the cover comes out, but I am very pleased.

Amber and Kari, I really do think reading and writing is a form of therapy...especially if one indulges in some chocolate while doing it. Releasing all those endorphins :)

Cari, THANK YOU again for inviting me to your blog, and so happy we met, as you know, I'm a fan of yours as well. Almost done with Ex Appeal....VERY HOT!! Such a fun read.

Selena

Shelley Munro said...

It's great to meet you Selena, and your book sounds like lot of fun. :)

Sarah Simas said...

HI Selena and Cari!

Wonderful cover and loved the "Warnings". LOL Thanks for making me laugh!

陳璇竹陳璇竹 said...

No one knows the weight of anothers burden. ..................................................

Selena Robins said...

Hi, Shelly and Sarah, nice to meet you and thank you for stopping by.

It was a lot of fun coming up with that Warning...well, it also is a bit true even as I wrote it and re-read the whole book a few times. LOL

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