Posted by Sharon Wray
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!
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!