A Day with Roxanne St. Claire

Today we’re excited to welcome Roxanne St. Claire to Kiss and Thrill.

Roxanne St. Claire is a New York Times bestselling author of twenty-seven novels of suspense and romance, including her most recent release, Space In His Heart.  The author of two popular romantic suspense series (The Bullet Catchers and The Guardian Angelinos), Roxanne is launching a brand new contemporary romance series in 2012, called “Barefoot Bay” and set on a fictional island off the Gulf coast of Florida.  In addition, her first young adult novel, Don’t You Wish, will release in July, 2012.

In addition to being a five-time RITA nominee and one-time RITA winner, Roxanne’s novels have won the National Reader’s Choice Award for best romantic suspense for two consecutive years, as well as the Daphne du Maurier Award, the HOLT Medallion, the Maggie, Booksellers Best, Book Buyers Best, and many others.  Her books have been translated into dozens of languages and are routinely included as a Doubleday/Rhapsody Book Club Selection of the Month.

Roxanne lives in Florida with her husband and two teenagers (and one adorable Australian Terrier) and can be reached via her website, www.roxannestclaire.com, Twitter @roxannestclaire, or on her Facebook Reader page, www.facebook.com/roxannestclaire.

Thank you so much for having me today!  I love to stop by blogs like this, chat with the readers, and talk about books.  Fire the questions away and feel free to ask more in the comments!  I’ll answer anything!

SHARON: Great! So I’ll ask my favorite question first. What’s on your TBR pile?

ROCKI: LOTHAIRE by Kresley Cole, which is releasing this week.  While I’m waiting with the rest of the world for that fabulous book, I’m deep into a classic Francine Rivers (I know, talk about yin and yang – Francine is Inspirational; Kresley is inspirational in a whole different way.)

SHARON: I can’t wait to read Lothaire either! What other genres of fiction do you read?

ROCKI: I read everything, especially “outside” of contemporary and romantic suspense.  I went on a YA reading binge a few years ago — just couldn’t get enough.  So, it’s probably no surprise that I wrote one (DON’T YOU WISH, coming out this summer from Delacorte Press!).  I also read a lot of non-fiction and biographies.  I love to read about people who overcome obstacles.

SHARON: What made you decide to publish SPACE IN HIS HEART independently?

ROCKI: SPACE IN HIS HEART is my first manuscript, originally drafted ten years ago.  It never sold, but Pocket Books asked to read it after I sold them my second manuscript/first book, TROPICAL GETAWAY.  While my editor was reading what I lovingly called “my astronaut book,” tragedy struck the space shuttle program and Columbia was lost.  Since that accident eerily mirrored the suspense in the book, I pulled the manuscript from consideration and, quite honestly, didn’t think about it for years.  During that time, NASA and the space shuttle program changed so much, I felt the book couldn’t possibly be relevant anymore and I’d gone on to write two different series and other types of books.  Then, a few months ago, the shuttle program officially ended and I decided that the book could be revised as a flashback to the glory days of NASA.  When I re-read it (and, honestly, I tried to sell it for a few years, so it had been heavily revised and critiqued), I fell in love all over again.  The characters are two of my absolute favorites, the romance never fails to bring me to tears,  and the added dimension of “nostalgia” for space really makes the book special.  I couldn’t be happier with the story, and am overwhelmed that so many readers feel the same.

SPACE IN HIS HEART is an emotional “feel good” story about a PR superstar who has a plan to make NASA “popular” again and the astronaut who sends her heart to the moon.  I’ve been getting such amazing emails from readers, I know that something about this story has hit a chord.  It’s only $3.99 as an ebook, so treat yourself and let me know what you think!

SHARON: Will there be any more books about the Guardian Angelinos or the Bullet Catchers? Do you miss writing about them?

ROCKI: I do miss writing romantic suspense, as I’ve spent most of the last year writing a new contemporary series (Barefoot Bay, launching in April, 2012) and young adult.  But the change of voice and genre was really good for me creatively.  However, today I started a Bullet Catcher novella and that will be in a future anthology and, wow, was it ever fun to get back into that world.  I very much want to write a book that combines the two series (Gabe as a Bullet Catcher??).  I’m not sure when I’ll write that book — I have to meet contractual obligations this coming year.  But I will write more of those series, I promise.

SHARON: I’m very relieved! Any more Silhouette Desires in the future?

ROCKI: Not for the foreseeable future, but one of my favorite Desires, THE SINS OF HIS PAST, is being re-issued as part of anthology called “KISS ME, I’M IRISH” that hits stores this March.  My co-authors, Jill Shalvis and Maureen Child, are awesome writers and I’m sure readers will love all three stories.  My first single title contemporary novel, BAREFOOT IN THE SAND, comes out in April, and, in many ways, it has the tone and heart of some of my old Desires, only longer with lots more characters and subplots.  But no dead bodies or surprise villains, a change that was both fun and challenging.

SHARON: Have you ever wanted to write a historical romance?

ROCKI: Um…no.  Love to read them, would die if I had to do that kind of research.

SHARON: I loved your editing course you offered at the WRW retreat. (I swear that’s why I finaled in the GH last year!) Are you going to teach it again anytime soon?

ROCKI: Yay! Congrats on the final and what a great compliment!  I’ve got a half-day version of that workshop (called How Do You Mend A Broken Scene) that I give at RWA chapters around the country.  Writers like that class because I expose the soft underbelly of my rough and ugly first drafts and then walk through how and why I revised every line.  I think people are encouraged to learn that all writers have to revise!   Some of us even LOVE to revise!  Email me if you’d like me to come and talk to your group!

SHARON: Can you name one (or more) book(s) that changed your life?

ROCKI: Wow, what a great question.  Like so many of my peers, my earliest romance novels were penned by Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, and Danielle Steele, and they taught me a true appreciation for what some might call “the trashy novel.”  As I got older, I discovered Sandra Brown, LaVyrle Spencer, and Nora Roberts, and then, about twelve years ago, I read a book by Susan Elizabeth Phillips called NOBODY’S BABY BUT MINE.  I closed that novel, wiped my tears, and decided right that moment I wanted to write a book that would make someone else feel the way I felt that moment: transported, satisfied, weak-limbed with love.  I started writing what is now SPACE IN HIS HEART a few days later!

SHARON: Victoria Holt is still one of my all-time favorite authors! What is your favorite movie?

ROCKI: There are too many to name but my “comfort” movie of choice is Overboard — adorable!  I love a movie that just makes me feel so joyous at the end  — and that’s probably why I write a “feel good” book.

SHARON: Have you ever spent the entire day writing in your pajamas?

ROCKIE: Have I ever NOT spent the entire day writing in my pajamas is a better question.

SHARON: LOL! Okay, now for the three-part question because I can’t wait to read your debut YA novel DON’T YOU WISH.

Was that a huge change for you or something you’d been thinking about for a while?

Did having teenagers make you decide to write a YA?

When is the movie DON’T YOU WISH coming out!?

ROCKI: Talk about a feel good book — that is my feelgoodiest of all!  Yes, WISH was a huge change, definitely brought on by the YA reading binge I mentioned earlier and helped along by having teenagers of my own.  The story was inspired by a question my daughter asked me, one that, while contemplating the right answer, hit me with a bolt of creative lightning.  I started writing like a crazy person that very day, and had a 20 page synopsis done in record time.  (In first person!)  I sent it to my agent, she loved it, and we sold it with just three chapters.  Before I’d written another word, I had an offer to option the book for film, which was one of the most exciting things ever.  I finished the manuscript and then got to help consult on the movie script.  Right now, it’s being “shopped” and I say a lot of prayers that it lands on the right desk in Hollywood!

SHARON: How important has blogging become to your career?

ROCKI: I didn’t think I’d like blogging as much as I do!  I held off for a while, thinking I didn’t have much to say that wasn’t going in my books, but then the wonderful ladies at http://www.murdershewrites.com asked me to join their blog.  The beauty of a group blog is that we have new content every day, but with ten of us, we only have to create that new content twice a month.  I’ve discovered I love the platform to use my “real” voice to talk about so many aspects of the writing life.  I’m sure I’ve picked up a few new readers along the way, but I love to blog because it’s a creative outlet and a chance for me to really discuss this rollercoaster ride of publication.  And motherhood…I write about raising teenagers a lot, too.  One job is crazier than the other!

SHARON: What is your preferred source of caffeine? Coffee, tea, soda?

ROCKI: Coffee, light and sweet and plentiful!

A collection of 18 short stories, including one by Roxanne St. Claire, and every one with a Navy SEAL hero! All proceeds are pledged to the Veterans Research Corporation, a non-profit foundation supporting veterans’ medical research.

SHARON: Do you have any time management secrets you can share?

ROCKI: To do lists are a busy girl’s best friend.  I also like to get the “hard stuff” done first thing in the morning and have been known to physically deactivate my internet in order to stay focused on writing.  I write about three books a year — that takes a lot of discipline and the ability to resist the siren call of Twitter.  (Which I love!  Follow me at @roxannestclaire!)

SHARON: Thanks again, Rocki. I can only imagine how busy you are and I appreciate your time and participation.

ROCKI: Thank you! It’s an honor to be here and a pleasure to meet new readers! And I’m giving away a copy of SPACE IN HIS HEART – either an ebook or print – to one commenter.

SHARON: So, what questions do you have for Rocki? We’d both love to know. And don’t forget to come back tomorrow to find out who the winner is of Rocki’s latest release SPACE IN HIS HEART!

About Sharon Wray

Sharon is a librarian who once studied dress design in the couture houses of Paris and now writes novels of adventure, suspense and love for Sourcebooks. She's a wife, mother of twins, caretaker of Donut the One-Eyed Family Dog, and addicted to snapping photos and eating Oreos.

Posted on January 12, 2012, in Author Interview, Author Spotlight, book recommendations and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 38 Comments.

  1. Roxanne, so nice to see you here. I have always been a huge fan of your bullet catcher series – absolutely love it. Your books have a special blend of being uber sexy with just the right touch of suspense. I’m a bit sad that you are moving away from suspense right now, but I’m sure you’ll do amazingly well at any genre you write, and I’ll definitely give the ‘Barefoot Bay’ series a try. I haven’t had a chance to read your Guardian Angelino series yet. Would you mind giving me a high-level idea of what that series is about? Thank you.

  2. Roxanne: Thanks so much for being here today! You probably don’t remember meeting me at the GH certificate ceremony, but I was the one who was too starstruck to think of anything witty to say. 😉

    Your Bullet Catchers are some of the first RS books I read when I started reading and writing romance a few years ago, and I’ve been devouring whatever you write ever since.

    Good luck with the movie option and the new series!

  3. Thank you so much to Sharon and Kiss & Thrill for having me here today!

    And, hello, Lena! Thanks for the kind words. I’m actually writing a Bullet Catcher short story/novellette right now for an upcoming anthology and it is SUCH a blast to get back into the world. An opening scene with Lucy just makes me smile!

    The Guardian Angelinos is currently three books: EDGE OF SIGHT, SHIVER OF FEAR and FACE OF DANGER. It centers around a big Italian-American family of siblings and cousins who start a “shoe-string” security firm, drawing on all of their various law enforcement, military, and PI backgrounds. I wanted to capture the same kind of suspense stories that are in the Bullet Catchers, but challenge my characters to solve the crimes and take down the bad guys without benefit of private jets, international secret databases, and high level CIA connections. I love the books — especially FACE OF DANGER, which is really my favorite romantic suspense EVER! (That I’ve written — my REAL favorites are by the masters like Linda Howard and Sandra Brown.) All three books really DO stand alone and can be read in any order (although if you read SHIVER first, there are a few spoilers about EDGE since one assignment rolls out from another.)

    Probably more than you wanted! Thanks for stopping by! xo

  4. Hi Gwen! Of course I remember meeting you! Who ever forgets a moment of the GH/Rita certificate ceremony? I think that’s one of the highlights of the nomination!

    Thanks for the kind words and good wishes. I’m so excited about the movie deal — fantasizing about it happening is one of my favorite ways to procrastinate, LOL! xo

  5. Roxanne, Do you honestly feel that authors are jumping on the YA bandwagon too much? I sometimes find that the newer books are becoming more YA genre-based and find that some work well but others really don’t. Do you think that this is a trend that will eventually taper off? I love your work.

    • Hi Joanne! Great question! I certainly can’t answer for other authors, but I don’t feel that my own personal experience was bandwagon jumping. Years and years ago, I had dinner with Sue Grimshaw, then the romance buyers at Borders, and she asked what was my favorite genre to read. This was pre-Twilight…and yet, I had to admit, I was a YA junkie. There is something so touching to me about the teen life (especially romance) and I recall having one of those “oh my God did I really admit that to Sue Grimshaw” moments the next day.

      I certainly didn’t write a YA for “market” purposes; if I had, I wouldn’t have written this one. DON’T YOU WISH was rejected by many houses because they wanted dark & dystopian, and my book is light and optimistic. Plus, it’s a stand-alone book, not a series, and that is another strike against it. However, it only takes one editor to love a book and that’s what happened with WISH. The movie option was just icing on that chocolate cake!

      I don’t know if the YA trend will taper off. The Hunger Games movie is just going to heat it up again (and, wow, i LOVED that book!) and the market is always growing, as tweens keep growing into teens. (That happens! We feed them; they grow!) I love to see kids reading, that’s for sure!

      Thanks!

  6. Rocki,
    Like Nobody’s Baby But Mine, when I read Space in His Heart the tears were flowing…which is somewhat of a rare occurence for me (I use the waterworks as the measuring stick of how much I love a book!!). I will be forever grateful that you published it. I love the Guardian Angelino’s and the Bullet Catchers and hope one day we’ll see more, but I am also excited about your new contemp series!!

    • Oh, my heavens, thank you, Kris!!! I’m so touched and honored. There are scenes in that book that never fail to move me to tears, but I figure I’ve got so much invested in those characters. But to hear the same thing happens to readers, well, you just handed me a bag of gold. Thank you! xo

  7. I loved the bullet catchers and the Angelinos. I think romantic suspense is my favorite genre, but I do like straight contemporary too. Is it harder to write for suspense than just normal contemporary. Thanks for the giveaway. .)

    • I think the hardest thing to write is…whatever is due. LOL. I was SO excited to write contemporary and leave my complex, dead-body-riddled, surprise villain driven plots behind. But, wow, contemp is HARD, too. Things have to happen, but no one can be killed! I’ve written two of the series so far, and both were very, very tough and emotional books.

      I just started writing a Bullet Catcher short story and I have to say, it’s fun to be back in the romantic suspense house. Anything can happen! Bullets will fly! Cars will chase! Heroines will almost die! I feel like I’m home again, LOL!

      Thanks! xl

  8. Great interview, Roxanne! I’m pretty new to your writing, but have been hear good things from friends for years! Is there any genre of story that you haven’t tried your hand at yet that you’d like to one of these days? (It doesn’t sound like historical’s one of them ;)) Congrats on Space in His Heart–sounds right up my alley 🙂

    • You’re right – no historicals and no real paranormals. I’ve had a few quasi-paranormal stories: I wrote a novella called “Reason to Believe” and the heroine was psychic and my YA is a parallel universe story (but I really tried to base that on scientific fact and not magic). I simply do not have a vampire story in me…I leave that for the masters like Kresley Cole!

  9. Hi Roxanne,
    First thanks for being here with us today! Second, thanks for the great mend a scene workshop at RWA. I’ve been there and benefited greatly from it- though I must say I thought your “ugly” scenes were already rockin’ – they just got even better.

    Overboard is one of my favorite movies too and I watch periodically just to feel good. I think my favorite scene is the water fight with the hose….no… my favorite scene is any scene where Kurt Russell is not wearing a shirt!

    • LOL Kurt Russell with no shirt. Yeah. I think my favorite scene in Overboard is when she’s SO HAPPY to have a new washer. Also the last line. “A little girl?” Ahhhhh. I FEELS SO GOOD!!!!

      Glad you liked the workshop! I’m giving it this weekend in Tampa, so I need to go brush up on my speaking points! xo

  10. Yay! So glad you’re here Roxanne! I won a book from you on twitter a couple of years ago, which started me on a three month Bullet Catchers binge. Love those guys! Then of course I was hooked on the Angelinos. I hope you’ll be able to marry the two series together one of these days. Gabe would make a great bridge (and other things;)

    • Ha Ha Ha! I’ll cross THAT bridge…couldn’t resist. Actually, I am really thinking about bringing the two series together with Gabe as the hero. The real reason? I’m just dying to write a scene with Vivi and Lucy in the same room! They are POLAR opposites, yet completely alike. Every time I think about it, I get goose bumps!

      I may have to self-publish that book, I just don’t know. I can’t write it until I meet my contracted obligations in 2012 and I have some books in the future that I’m completely excited about writing. Stay tuned and thanks, Manda! xo

  11. Wow, Rocki, your To-Do lists must be amazingly effective! An indie book, new contemporary series, YA release with movie option, two RS series….Congrats on all your successful projects (and thank you for keeping my kindle full of good reads!) Hope you’ll get to add picking out a dress for the red carpet to your To-Do list 🙂

    Fun interview, Sharon!

  12. How soon or will there be a next Guardian Angelino Book? Still have to read The Bullet Catchers, though. Love your writing, Can’t wait til these new ones come out. Thanks.

    • You’ll have to work your way through the Bullet Catchers, Sue, because there won’t be another Angelino OR Bullet Catcher book for more than a year. At least, not a full length book. I’ll have a few short stories/novellas out this year. I’m really focused on the contemp series and my next YA, but after that, I’ll write another romantic suspense! Thanks! xo

    • Sue, you will absolutely LOVE the bullet catchers. I’ve re-read each one about three times!

  13. Roxanne, thank you so much for blogging with us today! Your books are wonderful. The little girl line from Overboard gets me every time. Love that flick!

    I always wonder about authors who write in multiple genres. Agents are constantly talking about branding, and I wondered how you managed to cross genres without upsetting editors, agents or readers? Would you cross genres again, or would you stick to one genre as your brand?

    I’m interested because I’m not sure I can. LOL.

    Great interview, Sharon.

    Hugs,
    Diana

    • Thanks, Diana, and great question. Branding certainly IS an issue and something that the former PR girl in me thinks about a lot. From early in my career, I branched out into multiple genres. Back in “the day” (2003!) publishers wouldn’t put out more than one book a year, so I started writing category romance to augment my romantic suspense income. I guess while my “brand” was still being formed, that allowed me to always say I wrote romance AND suspense. Then I wrote a chick lit, and it was published under “Rocki” St. Claire, just as differentiation. I’m sure the 17 people who read HIT REPLY didn’t care. (Still one of my ALL TIME FAVES, ever ever ever. Can you hear me whine?)

      I don’t think I’m upsetting anyone by writing in multiple genres. As long as I can deliver two or three books a year, my publishers are happy. I am going to be revamping my web site to reflect that I write in three genres, and that’s going to take some doing, but I count on the brilliant marketers at my publishing houses to make the genre clear by the cover. I don’t think anyone will confuse DON’T YOU WISH with my romantic suspense!

      Of course you can — you can do whatever you want!! xo

  14. Roxanne, I’ve always admired your vision and focus! And I only got to catch part of your editing workshop at RWA…but what I did catch was great!!!

    I wish you many more years of success–thanks for all the great stories and for being such an inspiration to me and so many writers!

    Hugs,

    Kieran :>)

  15. What a great interview! Roxanne, huge congratulations on the YA sale. Did you always plan on writing different genres? Is it a challenge to switch voices, or do you finish one book before tackling another?

    • Hi Gillian, thank you! I might have answered this up thread, but I wouldn’t say multi-genre writing was a “plan” but it works for my style and voice.

      I have to be honest — I don’t really switch “voices” in any genre. Even the YA, which is first person, present tense, and teen, my “voice” (whatever that is — a blog topic all by itself!) is my voice. It’s how I write. I change the story, the characters, the tone, the themes, absolutely. I change the plotting and the pace, yes. But I just don’t change my voice.

      I would love to finish one book before tackling the next, and I usually do, but I often have to put one down to do copyedits on another. This year, I may write one of mine in “two parts” because the deadlines collide. I just do what I have to do and hope I do it to the best of my ability! xo

    • Hi Gillian! It’s always so nice to see another “Duchess”! I’m so glad you stopped by.

  16. Roxanne, thank you so much for blogging with us today! I’ve enjoyed your Bullet Catcher series and I’m intrigued by your comment that FACE OF DANGER is your favorite RS you’ve written. Given your description of the series I’m anxious to read them all, but will be tempted to read the last book first.

    • Thanks, Rachel! You do not need to have read any of the previous books in either series to read FACE OF DANGER. It’s connected but I SWEAR ON MY LAST PAIR OF LOUBOUTINS that you will love the story even if you haven’t read any others.

      Okay, I don’t own Louboutins. But if I did, I swear on them.

      xo

  17. Rocki, I remember when you sold your first book! Your interview was fascinating, as usual.
    I can’t believe your kids are teens.
    Tell us about your current favorite purse.

    • Mary! You are so funny. Yes, my babies are teenagers (how did that happen? I’m no older!) and I do have a current favorite purse! It was given to me as a birthday gift by my two BFFs (Kristen Painter and Louisa Edwards – read their fabulous books!) – a stunning gun metal gray patent leather Coach tote with silver accents and a lavender silk lining. To DIE for! Ha! Great to hear from you, Mary! xo

      • Rocki, my daughter would love that purse. She is into older designer ones and knows which are fakes. I never do. My little girl is 39 and I’m not much older.(SNORT) Of course you are still young. Indie pubbing is hard work! I need to upload more out-of- date books for older readers.

  18. Waving and sending hugs to you friend. Lovely post and I can’t wait for your new contemporary series.

    • Hey there! I loved all of the Bullet Catchers and the Guardian Angelinos novels. I am so excited to hear about a book with Gabe in it! He is my favorite!!! I would love to see more of the Bullet Catchers and the Angelinos together. I just love your work so much!

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