I find Roxanne St. Claire one of the most exciting romance authors writing today. Her thrilling romantic suspense series have garnered loads of well-deserved awards, but much more than that, she’s simply one of the most open, friendliest authors out there.
If you want to see how awesome she is, read her bio on her website. Funny and down-to earth – you’ll see what I mean. Plus, she’s a Bruin, and there’s nothing better to be. *ahem*
She’s giving away a copy of her upcoming release Barefoot in the Sand – which I just finished reading and LOVED. Welcome, Rocki!
Oh, thank you so much! How sweet you are to say all that and, yes, go UCLA!!!
1. You’re truly a multi-talented woman. This year, you’re branching out into new genres – contemporary romance and YA. What made you decide to go for it? And once you’ve conquered these new genres, will you tackle historicals and paranormals?
While writing the Guardian Angelinos books, I was playing with an idea for a contemporary series set on a fictional island. When I turned in the last book on my romantic suspense contract, my publisher said they were hungry for more small-town contemps.
I sent them the proposal and they loved it, and I was really ready for a change to a new genre. Also while writing the Angelinos, I had an idea for a YA that took me by the throat and wouldn’t let go. (It’s my favorite genre to read.) I sold that concept to Random House/Delacorte and wrote the book (and helped with the screenplay – it’s been optioned for film!) right after I finished my last romantic suspense.
I think that story tells you that my creative juices were just ready to be poured into another glass. I’ve written a lot of romantic suspense and will certainly write more, but I needed a change and I’ve certainly enjoyed making it.
2. What excites you most about writing these new genres?
Young Adult fiction is just so fresh in terms of voice and attitude and boundary-breaking. I have teenagers and they are always around (they tend to move in packs) and I just love the way they work. (Or don’t, as the case may be.) Writing DON’T YOU WISH was a blast from beginning to end.
The contemporary romances (I’ve written two of the four now) were a little more challenging. Having written so much suspense, I like a fast paced, action heavy plot, which is not the actual nature of an emotional, angsty (and yet still light and fun) small town romance.
The first book really challenged me but I’m very happy with the final product. I just finished the second one, which was a little easier to write, and I’ve really let my story get deeply emotional. I think I’m giving away Kleenex instead of bookmarks with that one!
3. In a previous life, you were Senior Vice President at the world’s largest public relations firm. What did you learn in PR that’s been the most useful in your writing career?
I was! It sounds so lofty, doesn’t it? I worked at Hill & Knowlton for many years and climbing the corporate ladder was great fun and very rewarding. Everyone assumes that makes me a super promoter of my books — not true! I’m the worst at doing my own publicity. But working in PR did teach me how to write on deadline, how to take criticism and edit (clients will kill you on a press release), and how to take arcane information and make it interesting to the masses.
All that has helped tremendously in this career. But I don’t miss panty hose, office politics, or endless meetings, that’s for sure.
4. I’ve lost count of how many books you have coming out this year, yet your quality never suffers. How long does it take you to write a book, and how do you organize your day to get everything done?
I average three books a year, but have had years with just one or two and a novella. Thank you for saying the quality doesn’t suffer — all the credit goes to the amazing editors I’ve had along the way.
It takes as long as it takes to write a book…which is to say, every story is different. One book can be a “gimme” that more or less writes itself and needs no revisions, another can rip your soul to shreds and require three complete rewrites to nail the story.
I work every day, all day, and rarely take even a weekend off. I do my best work under deadline and pressure, which is nice, since that’s pretty much my entire life. I have a VERY supportive husband who does all the shopping, cooking, house management, and child chauffeuring. He is my secret superpower!
5. One of your pre-novelist careers was in acting. Please tell me your appearance on Bosom Buddies exists somewhere online.
Uh, yeah, it does. It’ll cost a lot of drinks to get it out of me. But I can be bought.
Rocki’s giving away a copy of her new release, Barefoot in the Sand, to one lucky person who leaves a comment below. I’ll randomly select the winner on Tuesday May 1st.