Suspense Spiked with Romance: Rolynn Anderson

  1. FADEOUT’S heroine, Jan Solvang, just might be YOUR funeral planner.  What’s one phrase about you she MUST include in your obituary?
  2. (Answer in our comment section for a chance to win an e-copy of FADEOUT, the new romantic suspense novel by Rolynn Anderson!)

Hmm…I guess mine would be: Sarah Andre always felt tremendous joy when a friend achieved the dream of publishing a novel.

And it’s true (although that question was harder than I expected!) For me, the coolest part of being a writer is connecting with others, watching their careers launch and applauding their successes. 

So picture this: Spanking New Writer goes to a conference and lines up to pitch to her first agent. (Translated: uncontrollable trembling, dry mouth, clammy hands, whispering the blurb over and over.) Smiling Writer behind her introduces herself and chats so amiably New Writer almost forgets her anxiety, which ultimately makes for a much better first pitch.

You guessed it! Rolynn Andreson stood behind me at the Desert Rose RWA chapter’s Desert Dreams Conference waaay back in 2006. And we’ve reconnected at that conference every time since. So imagine my thrill this year when she told me she’s now published! It is an absolute pleasure to introduce you to my friend, Rolynn Anderson.

Hi Rolynn, thanks for joining us today! In your debut novel, LAST RESORT how did you come up with a terror plot involving the Winter Olympics (which is plotted out realistically enough to give me the chills!) 

Rumor has it this huge, posh fishing resort in Big Bay, B.C., was once owned by drug lords.  Now it’s owned by London Drugs!  I mean the place HAD to be written about. The other rumor I heard from the locals: CBS was going to house its crew at the big lodge for the Winter Olympics and fly them to Whistler by helicopter.  That never happened…except in my novel.  Don’t you love rumors? 

 Is there another novel in the works involving any of the primary or secondary characters from this story?

Not yet, but I’d love to give Rena another adventure with Nora riding shotgun.

Your newest release FADEOUT: Again…how did you come up with a series surrounding a funeral planner?

My father died of Alheimer’s in 2005.  My sister, brothers and I were planning his funeral in a traditional way until I realized how many young children were attending the memorial.  We dumped old rituals in order to properly honor my father and teach the children gently about death.  The event was so successful, I began thinking about the value of a ‘boutique’ (my term) funeral planner.  Jan Solvang’s story emerged, and of course I had to add suspense and romance to the mix. Jan’s got a fainting disorder called Syncope and she’s inherited a Scottish terrier (Elwood) with some quirks, too.

Who are your favorite RS authors?  Linda Howard, Suzanne Brockman.

SWOON, the second in the funeral planner series, comes out November 15th.  Can you give us a sneak peek?

Jan’s been a boutique funeral planner for over a year, and her dead clients still refuse to rest in peace.  She’s supposed to bury a missing woman and an infamous man, but her research on them disturbs family secrets, unmasks killers and imperils her relationship with Roman. 

Wow! Sounds terrific. (Reader, please note Brenda Novak’s testimonial for Swoon below!)

Rolynn, tell our readers a bit about your fascinating retirement (summer adventures.)

My husband and I spend the four summer months living on our boat (a 46 foot trawler), cruising from Washington State, up the breathtaking Inside Passage, all the way to Alaska and back.  We fish for shrimp, Dungeness Crab, rockfish, salmon and halibut, but mostly we enjoy the beauty of the area and the friends we reconnect with every year.

Do you ever get ideas for a story from those summer months?

Absolutely.  I’ve just finished a double murder mystery called LIE CATCHER that takes place in Petersburg, Alaska.  Liv, the main character, is a “Tlingwegian”…great grandma was a Tlingit Indian; great grandpop was a rough and tough Norwegian fisherman.

How do you spend your winter months besides writing?

We love to travel in the U.S. as well as abroad, but I also enjoy my half acre of fruit trees and garden in Central Coast California.  I golf once or twice a week and I’m tournament chair of our golf club, as well.

Favorite food?  Peanut butter and chocolate.

If you had a career do-over and had not been a teacher/principal…what profession would you choose?

A wine-maker; an athlete (golf?); a CEO.


Don’t miss SWOON by Rolynn Anderson! If you like an interesting cast of characters, a heavy dose of mystery and a lot of fabulous surprises, you’ll be happily turning pages late into the night.”

~ Brenda Novak, NYT and USA Bestselling Author of WHEN LIGHTNING STRIKES

Don’t forget to leave a comment below:

What phrase should funeral planner, Jan Solvang include in YOUR obituary?

Stop back Thursday to see if you’ve won an e-copy of FADEOUT.


LAST RESORT-print and digital at Amazon:
FADEOUT- print (digital soon) at Amazon: 


About Sarah Andre

Romantic Suspense That Keeps You Up All Night! I live in sunny FL, love daydreaming, reading and chocolate. I write in the wee hours of the morning before my helpless hubby and 2 male Pomeranian pups awaken with their demands. :) My debut LOCKED, LOADED and LYING is available now.

Posted on October 23, 2012, in Author Interview, Sarah Andre and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 58 Comments.

  1. Well, this topic gets us in the Halloween mood, huh?

    Thanks for joining us today, Rolynn…and what phrase would Jan Solvang write in YOUR obituary?

  2. Sarah, great post! Rolynne, so nice to meet you. The idea of a funeral planner is awesome. Love it, and just love your covers (I’m a total cover geek). Best wishes on all your great sounding books coming out. As for what I’d want said about me when I’m gone…shiver, I just don’t want to go there. LOL.

  3. What a wonderful premise for a series! I can’t wait to read your books, Rolynne and am so happy for your success. But to be honest, I have no idea what should be included in my obituary. I’m just hoping it’s more positive than negative and that someone actually shows up. LOL.

  4. I think the idea of tailoring the funeral for the children attending was really inspired, Rolynne. All I want people to say about me is that she loved, she was loved, and she will be remembered.

    Great post as usual, Sarah!


    • Well, that is succinct and wonderful, Diana!

      I wonder how you taylor a funeral for children though…more details, Rolynn?

      • I included the children in the eulogy. I had some stand up to represent the ages of my dad at different milestones in his life (this is in the novel)…I had others pop up in the audience to deliver favorite sayings of my dad. So they were in the script, including a two year old who jumped up when I gave her the eye and said “Uff Da!” one of my dad’s favorite sayings.

  5. Sarah, thanks for a fabulous introduction! It’s wonderful to be joining Kiss and Thrill today, and to hear your obit bits. Lena, I’m smiling at your phrase because it’s like mine: ‘She wasn’t finished.’ Sharon, I think lots of us are worried no one would show at our memorials. But Jan, my funeral planner, will make sure you get a crowd! 🙂

  6. Love the titles for the series! FADEOUT and SWOON pique my interest before I even get to the back cover blurb. Does the series take place in the Pacific northwest?

  7. Hi Rolynn, thanks for joining us.

    As a resident of Washington state, I love the idea of a summer spent on a boat going up the inside passage. Sounds wonderful. Do you start in the San Juans?

    Hugs for losing your father to Alzheimer’s. My mother has Alzheimer’s and it’s such a brutal, relentless disease.

    As far as my obit, I have no idea. I’ll think about it today and post later if I come up with something. 🙂

  8. Diana, loved your Obit Bit. Very sweet…and a wish all of us have, to be remembered as lovable. Krista, Jan, my main character, is from Seattle, but got roped into helping her dad with the funeral planning business in California. So the Central Coast of CA is the setting. Rachel, nice to meet another Washingtonian. I taught English and was a high school principal in WA. We keep our boat in Anacortes and consider the San Juans our background jewels. Now, Rachel, I’ll wait patiently for your obit bit…I know it’s a little weird, but you can do it!

    • Girls. You’re creative writers! Come up with a phrase already…(it can be funny.)

    • Ohhh – a fellow Washingtonian – I thought you were in the Southwest and didn’t realize you lived/live here. 🙂 I live on the Kitsap Peninsula.

      I wish we could get up to the San Juans more – it’s one of my favorite places in the world, but it’s a two ferry trip to get there for me, so I haven’t been in many years. I did my archaeological field school at British Camp on San Juan. It was an amazing summer of whale watching, hiking, camping, and making new friends.

  9. That I was a good person

  10. Rolynn: I kept reading your post and thinking “me too”. 😉 I lived in Santa Maria for 3.5 years, and went to grad school at Cal Poly while my husband was stationed at Vandenberg. Love the Central Coast! And peanut butter and chocolate, Suzanne Brockmann, travel…

    The books sound great. Such a unique premise, with fabulous titles and covers.

    I hate thinking about my obit, but Stephen Covey always encouraged his readers to “begin with the end in mind”, so I’ve given it some thought. Ultimately, I’d like Jan to say that I followed my dreams and died without regrets.

    Thanks for joining us today!

  11. Hi Rolynn! It’s so good to have you, and congrats on your new releases! Super fun idea- so fresh having a series built around a funeral director!

    My tombstone should say, “Now she wishes she’d said yes to dessert!”

  12. Rolynn,
    Brenda Novak tried to comment but WordPress wasn’t allowing her thru. She emailed me to tell you:

    Hi Rolynn–
    So great to see you at KissAndThrill! I loved the interview, and you already know I envy your lifestyle. LOL I would love to head to Alaska and think I just might do it next summer.
    I enjoy your work and wish you much, much success!
    Brenda Novak

    • Oh, Sarah, how sweet of you to bring Brenda into the conversation. Truly, she is so generous with her time and energy, the model of a bestselling author…I want to grow up and be just like her! Her support means everything to me. Lovely, wasn’t it…you and I sitting with her that eve with a bottle of wine…we are lucky women!

  13. PS: Quick heads up too. Brenda’s second book in her Small Town series released today.
    “When Snow Falls.” I just checked out her website, the plot sounds intriguing.

  14. Sarah, what a nice introduction for Rolynn, and even better because it shows how supportive romance writers are of each other. Rolynn–must be a story behind your name, I’m thinking–love the premise of these books. Thanks for your service as a H.S. principal. I taught in hs in another life and later became an elementary principal.

    Early in our marriage, my husband and I worked with the church high school youth group. I remember us having a guest speaker one time, who asked us to write our own obituaries. Quite an experience. So many years ago now, I don’t have a memory of what I wrote then, but it’s good to start thinking about those things. We never know when our time is up. It’s actually a gift we can give to our kids to have some of what we want in the service (or no service) to look like. My mother had done that for me. Truly a gift.

    As for what should be in the obit: A creative person who you could count on in a crisis.
    I don’t know. You can tell from the lenghth of this post, if I write the obit, it will be long. Maybe it should be: She never met a word she didn’t like. 🙂

    • Or “she may still be writing in heaven…”

      Thanks as always for stopping by, Marsha!

      I agree (on a serious note) that it IS a gift for a parent to hand to a child. My father has thoroughly planned and pre-paid for EVERYTHING for himself and my mom. My poor husband’s parents did not, and in our 14 year marriage that was the most anxious I have ever seen him: trying to find information and interview colleagues of his Dad’s to get the obit right and to make sure he honored his father. Took 3 days and it’s all he worked on.

      • Oh, that’s funny, Sarah. More than likely I’ll be telling people how things should be. 🙂
        And about the obit, your poor husband was trying to do that when he was emotionally strung out. It’s so sad. Glad your folks have done that for you.

    • Yay! Another principal…I’m 20 years younger than I look as a result of that job. Just kidding…I love teenagers! You won’t be surprised that I taught a unit in HS English on how to write an obit. Loved your obit bits! A long obit is a good and happy life!

  15. In my obid, I want one of those picture from when I was about twenty-four and trying to get a job with the airlines.

    Phrase I’d like to have in it. Maybe…
    She isn’t taking her secrets to the grave. LOL ( might make people wonder.)

  16. Congrats on the book! Nice interview.

    Maybe the word kind

  17. Okay, everyone. Read back over all the comments above and you’ll concoct an obituary that would make anyone proud. Now you can see the value of a boutique funeral planner. If I had time I start the business I envisioned for Jan in FADEOUT. She fills out her obit in SWOON…wish mine could be so exciting!

  18. Said Jan Solvang at Mr. Wharton’s chic boutique funeral: “Here lies dear departed Steve. He slipped on a banana, and had to leave.”

  19. What a lovely interview, Rolynn. I would love to travel by boat to Alaska! You asked for an obit, so I thought this one for a loving dog owner might fit the bill…

    Here lies Sam. Well loved and well licked.

    Congrats and hope I win!

  20. Thanks for joining the fun, Calisa. Great to have a Rose in the conversation. Loved your obit bit!

  21. My Obit will definitely have something along the lines of “She read, therefore she was” There isn’t much to say about me other than she loved family, friends, travel and books.

    Fairly new to the blog and it is nice to meet you Rolynn!

  22. Thank you Lena for the welcome and telling me about Kiss and Thrill.. Been checking it out for a few days just had to participate in this conversation. Starting to feel like you can write a stalker RS book about me. LOL

  23. Wow! 48 comments and it’s 10:00 at night! Let’s hit the sack, friends. Had a great time at Kiss and Thrill with Sarah as a crackerjack hostess. I hope you’ll invite me back! Rolynn

  24. Love this interview, Rolynn and Sarah! Jan the funeral planner (I can’t wait to read Fadeout) inspired me to think differently about obits. Here’s a line from mine:

    This time, the best trip planner we know booked herself a one-way flight. We think she’s in heaven, or as she calls it: France.

    • Ha, ha! Oh Pat, that was hilarious. Thanks for commenting. (You do know Lark’s heading for Paris…er, Heaven, next month?)

  25. What a great obit, Pat. I pleased I could put some lightness into obits for you. A life well-lived…who can’t be happy about that? I’m glad I still have people dropping in. As far as I’m concerned, the game is on until Sarah says another guest is coming. Keep those obit bits coming!

  26. I told you that my obit bit will read: “She wasn’t finished.” Does that mean I get the last word? 🙂 Seriously, I don’t know how to keep my brain from going a mile a minute. Soooo Type A. Sorry.

  27. I’d say you got the last word, Rolynn!
    Thank you again for your wit and 3 great releases.

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