courtesy of Amazon:
ROXANNE ST. CLAIRE is a New York Times Bestselling author of nearly thirty novels of romance and suspense. The author of two very popular suspense series, the Bullet Catchers and the Guardian Angelinos, her most recent release is a full-length stand-alone romantic suspense novel, Space In His Heart.
A five-time nominee and one-time winner of the prestigious RITA Award for the best in romantic fiction, Roxanne's books have also been awarded the National Readers Choice Award for best romantic suspense for two consecutive years as well as the Daphne du Maurier award, the Booksellers Best Award, the Award of Excellence, the Maggie, the Holt Medallion and many more. Her novel, The Sins of His Past, was selected as the Borders Top Pick in Romance for 2007, and will be reissued this March as part of the "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" trilogy from Harlequin. Roxanne's books have been published in dozens of countries and are routinely featured as selections in the Doubleday and Rhapsody book clubs.
Space In His Heart is her first independently published novel, a never-before-released thriller about a Navy fighter pilot turned astronaut and the PR superstar who sends his heart to the moon. This spring, a brand new contemporary romance series set on a fictional island off the coast of Florida begins with the April 2012 release of Barefoot In The Sand. In addition, Roxanne has stories in multiple anthologies throughout 2012 and her entire backlist is available in electronic versions. This summer, her first Young Adult novel, Don't You Wish, will be released in hardcover.
R: Hello, Roxanne - Rocki - and welcome!
RSC: Thank you Rocco. Thanks for inviting me here! Great blog and great interviews!
R: Thank you for those kind words, Meow. Now, tell us about your latest release. BAREFOOT IN THE RAIN. What was its inspiration?
RSC: BAREFOOT IN THE RAIN is the second book in my Barefoot Bay contemporary romance series, but it was actually this story that launched the series idea. Although Barefoot in the Rain story is a romance through and through — star crossed lovers reunite after fifteen years and must learn life’s most challenging lessons before their hearts can be open to that happy ever after — the tale is told against a backdrop of some universally tough issues.
Jocelyn Bloom’s father was physically and verbally abusive so when she left for college, she never looked back. That cost her Will Palmer, the boy she loved and any chance at a soft heart and new love. But a decade and a half later, Jocelyn is forced to go back to the island where she grew up. She discovers that her father is suffering from Alzheimer’s and the disease has not only changed the surly sheriff into a sweet ol’ pussycat, it has also wiped away any memory of who and what he was. Even worse, Will is in Barefoot Bay, too, and he — a man with a heart of gold and a few issues of his own — is taking care of Jocelyn’s father and still carrying a burning hot torch for her.
Jocelyn battles with whether or not she can forgive and forget, even knowing that she must do both before she can take the love that Will is offering. She also knows that if she forgives, she makes herself vulnerable, and nothing terrifies her more.
The story was inspired by my own desire to explore the concept of forgiveness by forcing a character to realize that she cannot love until she forgives someone who has done something unforgivable. Surprisingly, it was fun to write (but lots of tissues were involved) and still has a light, easy, breezy voice that my contemporary readers love so much.
R: You’ve written several series – do you have a favorite?
RSC: I really love the Bullet Catchers! That was my first series -- about a group of elite, high-end bodyguards run by a super dictatorial power-woman. The guys were hot, the stories were a blast, and the series was pure fun to write. There are eight books, three novellas, and a few short stories, but I hope there might be more.
R: If any one of your books could be made into a movie, which would you pick? Who would you like to see as the main characters?
RSC: One of my books has been optioned for film and some truly amazing actors are actually reading the script right now! The book is my one and only young adult novel, DON’T YOU WISH, and it’s in the hands of several ideal actors, which means I have my fingers crossed. I don’t even want to jinx it by saying who they are!
R: Which genre is your favorite to write in – romantic suspense, contemporary, or YA?
RSC: I love them all, to be honest. Each one taps into a different muse and out pops a slightly different voice. The contemporaries are considerably harder than I thought they’d be -- the stories are so emotional that the process can be creatively draining. I love the pace of the romantic suspense and writing YA was just plain AWESOME.
R: You’ve been an actress and a journalist/broadcaster. How would you compare those professions to being an author?
RSC: Every time I start a new scene, I’m stepping into a new character. I think acting has actually helped me more than any other job experience because I have to call on method skills to imagine what it feels like to experience something I have never done before. When I get a physical response to the scene (tears, increased heart rate, the occasional unbridled squeal of joy) then I know I nailed it...and that feels a lot like when you know you’ve nailed a character on the stage or screen.
R: Of course I love your nickname (Rocki). Is there a story behind it?
RSC: Thank you! I was supposed to be named Judy...but my mother read Cyrano de Bergerac in the very late stages of her pregnancy. (She has alternately claimed that it was the day she went in labor or the last month, so I don’t know -- but she fell in love with the name Roxanne.) Then she brought me home from the hospital and my big family of older siblings began to shorten the name...and my mother had a fit. Roxie, she said, sounded like a stripper. She insisted on Rocki, and it stuck. I’ve been called Rock or Rocki my entire life. I don’t think I’ve ever heard my father call me anything but Rock.
R: Is there a writing genre you have not yet attempted that you would like to try your hand at?
RSC: I’ve got a young adult epic fantasy brewing and have, in fact, written an exhaustive 25 page outline of that book...but the genre is daunting! We shall see!
R: Every writer has an “agent” story. How did you get your agent, and what is your advice to aspiring novelists querying agents?
RSC: I cold-called my current agent (not my first), totally prepare to leave a voice mail. I had written a script of the message. I was put on hold by her assistant, ready to read my script, when my agent picked up the phone and said, “I’ve been hoping you’d call.” There went the script and my heart right along with it. She’s AWESOME! My advice is never give up -- I got my first agent after a good 30 rejections.
R: If you had access to a time machine, what era would you visit and why?
RSC: I wouldn’t mind witnessing that Red Sea part for Moses! Can you imagine how cool that must have been to march into the Promised Land with walls of water on either side? Really, any biblical moment would be a great joy to experience.
R: What advice would you give new writers just starting out?
RSC: Read everything you can, write every single day, and meet as many writers as possible! Anything is possible, so don’t let rejections throw you into despair. Hope is the magic elixir and all you need is one editor who loves your work. Also, have lots of friends, thick skin, and don’t be afraid to try something different. And by different, I mean vodka instead of wine.
R: What’s a must have for you when you are writing? What aids the creative process?
RSC: A title and a picture of my hero. If I’m floundering around without a title, I can’t seem to get a grasp on my story. And I always give myself at least one full day (maybe more!) to search the internet for hot guys who look like my hero. Hey, it’s WORK!
R: What is the one thing readers would be most surprised to learn about you?
RSC: I hate to write. I mean, I absolutely ABHOR writing. There’s nothing that makes me as sick to my stomach as the words Chapter One. However, I love love love love love to revise. That is the only thing that saves me!
R: What are you working on now? What can we expect to see in the future?
RSC: I’m just starting (the worst part!) the fourth book in the Barefoot Bay series. You can expect two more of those books in 2013, a young adult thriller in 2014, and hopefully more romantic suspense novels peppered all the way through the next few years.
R: Finish this sentence: If I had just one wish, it would be: ________________________________________.
RSC: Clearly you haven’t read DON’T YOU WISH -- the lesson is: be careful what you wish for! You might just get it. I don’t wish for anything except joy and peace for my family and friends and to have all my Christmas shopping done by mid-November.
R: Just for Fun, Your Favorites:
Book(s) -- MR. PERFECT by Linda Howard; MORNING GLORY by LaVyrle Spencer; WELCOME TO TEMPTATION by Jennifer Cruise; IN HER SHOES by Jennifer Weiner.
Movie -- Overboard, The Cinderella Story, Top Gun, and of course Gone With The Wind (these are movies I am physically incapable of not watching should my remote surf over them -- I can NOT turn away.)
TV show -- Lost (miss it!) - nothing currently replaces it.
Actor -- Changes daily, honestly. I’m loving Ryan Gosling now, but he is starting to get overexposed. And not in a good way.
Actress - Again, it depends on the role. I’ll watch anything with Jennifer Aniston in it and am praying she’ll read it for the mom in my YA script.
Night or Day - Dawn is my very favorite moment of the day. I rarely miss a sunrise since I have a new puppy who believes that every day starts at 5:30!
Mountain or Lake -- mountains since I live in Florida and never see them.
Martini or Manhattan -- My dad made a mean Manhattan! They put me under, though.
Book or Nook -- Kindle
Cat or Dog? -- I love dogs more than life itself. If I had a huge, fenced in yard, I’d have a pack of them. As it is, I have two, Ginger (shih tzu puppy) and Pepper (Aussie terrier.) The spice girls! (HMMM. Spice Girls????? OK I forgive you for being a dog lover, Meow!)
Thank you for a great interview, Rocki!
Folks here’s where to find out more about her:
Links of interest:
BAREFOOT IN THE RAIN ON AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/Barefoot-Rain-Bay-ebook/dp/B007WUW60I/ref=tmm_kin_title_0
Rocki will be giving away a set of the first two Barefoot Bay books -- BAREFOOT IN THE SAND and BAREFOOT IN THE RAIN to one lucky reader! Just leave a comment with your email address in the comments section of this post. To get extra entries, you can:
Friend Roxanne on FB or follow her on twitter
Follow me on twitter @RoccoBlogger
Friend the “Human” Toni LoTempio on Facebook
Tweet or FB about this post/contest (3 extra entries!)
Contest open to US residents and ends midnight, November 12, winner announced November 13!
PS: The winner of our Jessica Sims giveaway is ANNQ! Congrats!
PS: The winner of our Jessica Sims giveaway is ANNQ! Congrats!