Good morning, all! Please join me in extending a very warm welcome to the lovely Robin P. Waldrop, who has stopped by to help celebrate the release of the first book in her new YA/Urban Fantasy series, Ties To The Blood Moon, which is scheduled for release on December 1st.
Before we get into Robin's interview, let's take a quick look at Ties To The Blood Moon:
Genevieve is a teenage girl who moves in with her aunt in Alaska after the death of her mother. Soon after her arrival she learns the things she was raised to believe only existed in fairytales are in fact a big part of her history. When it gets to be too much she seeks refuge in the arms of her new boyfriend, William, only to find out he's not who she thought he was either.
And now, without further ado, please welcome Robin!
♥ Thanks for stopping by, Robin. For those who may be new to your writing, and who haven't yet checked out your latest release, please tell us a little about yourself.
I am a wife, mother, grandmother, and co-owner of a painting business, in which I still am actively involved. I am also an award-winning author of FBI suspense/thrillers and now YA/urban fantasy novels and short stories.
♥ The journey from 'aspiring' to 'accomplished' can be a long one, even in the era of small presses and digital publishing. When did you begin writing, and how did you feel when you first saw your work in print?
I actually started writing at age four after learning to read. I have always been a great storyteller, especially the scary kind. I never really took my writing serious enough to make it a career until getting my hands on one of the worst books ever written. So poorly written in fact I could not get through the first chapter. I made the decision to write a book right then. Four months later I finished my first novel. The day it went live on Amazon was the day I knew I never wanted to do anything else but write. I have since pulled that title and it will be re-released in spring of 2012 as, The Cabin.
♥ Did you deliberately choose a genre because there's something specific that draws you to it, something you feel it offers that other genres don't, or was it just 'right' for the story you wanted to tell?
I always loved a good suspense story. Oddly enough, I never cared for sci-fi/fantasy type stories. I just assumed I would always write suspense/thrillers until the day I started reading Amanda Hocking. It opened my eyes to a whole other world and I decided to try to write a YA/Urban Fantasy. I immediately fell in love with the genre and will probably never go back to writing suspense novels.
♥ How does your past influence your writing? Are you conscious of relating the story to your own experiences?
I personally don’t see it, but I have friends who have read my work say that they definitely see the comparison between my characters and my family. I see my characters as real people with real problems, dreams, and goals. Therefore, it’s easy to relate to them.
♥ Do you have a schedule or a routine to your writing? Is there a time and place that you must write, or do you let the words flow as they demand?
When I was working full time at my other business I wrote whenever I could: early in the morning, lunch breaks, late at night. Since I have been home full time for the past three months, I start writing around six a.m. and continue off and on throughout the day. A lot of writers say they can only write at certain times. I can write anytime day or night, but I prefer starting early.
♥ Do you have a soundtrack to your writing, a particular style of music or other background noise that keeps you in the mood, or do you require quiet solitude?
Sometimes I listen to the type of music that my main characters would listen to. Most of the time the television is on in the background. If I am really passionate about a story I’m writing, I can write during any kind of distractions. I have my four-year old grandson most of the time, and I can even write with Sponge-Bob blaring in my ear. I raised five children and learned early on how to tune out the noise.
♥ For some authors, it's coming up with a title, and for others it's writing that first paragraph - what do you find is the most difficult aspect of writing?
Definitely the synopsis or blurb. I dread writing the last line of my book because I know that means it’s time to come up with the blurb. I find it difficult to shrink an entire novel down to one or two paragraphs.
♥ Is there a favourite quote or scene from your work that you feel particularly fond of? Something that reminds you of why writing is important to you?
I have many favorite scenes in my books, but my favorite has to be the intimate scenes in my new YA novel series, Ties To The Blood Moon. I’m not talking sex, but just the intimacy of two young people beginning to experience life for the first time. there is so much passion and innocence in the YA genre. When I think about the two main characters, Genevieve and William, I have to smile.
♥ Sometimes, characters can take on a life of their own, pulling the story in directions you hadn't originally anticipated. Has a twist or turn in your writing ever surprised you, or really challenged your original plans?
Yes. Absolutely. As I stated before, my characters are like real people except they live on the inside instead of the outside. It’s not uncommon at all for me to want a particular scene to be written a certain way, and then Genevieve insists will pop into my head and insist I write it a totally different way. And she is such a headstrong character, she won’t let me rest until I write it her way.
♥ When you're not writing (or reading), what are some of the hobbies and passions that keep you happy?
I love taking long walks on the beach at sunrise. I find it very calming and helps to clear my mind, but unfortunately I don’t live close to the beach. My son gave me a metal detector for mother’s day. When I’m not writing or I need a break from my characters, I’ll drag one of my children out to the woods to help me dig up any treasures I may find. So far to date I have find about thirty seven cents, and an old spam can. I am definitely in the early stages of learning how to treasure hunt.
♥ Is there a particular author who has influenced or inspired your writing? Somebody who either made you want to write in the first place, or who refreshes your literary batteries?
I think I would have to say Anne Rice. When I get burnt out, or need a break I just pick up one of her books and start reading. Pretty soon, I feel renewed and ready to write again.
♥ When writing, do you ever consider how a reader or reviewer will react, or do you write solely for your own satisfaction?
Both. I mean, I write things that I like, but at the same time I’m also thinking about what the readers want. You have to keep your readers’ wishes at the top of your list, because without them, your story would never be heard. And that’s why we all write. Regardless of what any writer might say, the real reason we write is because we have a story to tell and we want that story to be heard. We strive for it to change someone’s life in a positive way.
♥ What first compelled you to begin writing, and what is it that keeps you motivated?
My love of telling a good story. I was always the one telling spooky stories on camp outs, or making up nursery rhymes for kids I babysat. I guess it just carried over into my adult life. once I finished my first novel I was hooked. Even if I didn’t sell a single thing ever again, I think I would still write until the day I die.
♥ What is the strangest or most surprising reaction to your work that you've ever encountered?
I wrote a little short story during the time I was writing my first novel, and I published it for free on Smash Words just to see what kind of reaction it would get. In the first five days it had over 500 downloads. I was super shocked. It was just a YA/suspense short story. I never expected a reaction like that…ever!
♥ Just for fun, who would you single out as your number one celebrity crush, and what would you like most to do with/to them?
George Strait! I know he’s not a celebrity, but to me he was always the most sexy man. I would LOVE to trip him, and then beat him to the floor…lol!
♥ If your book were being made into a movie, and you had total control over the production, who would you cast for the leading roles?
I haven’t really ever thought that far ahead. But for William and Genevieve the actors would have to be absolutely gorgeous. That’s how those two are portrayed. As far as my FBI-hottie, I always thought of her looking like someone similar to Angelina Jolie. Really though, I would just leave the casting to the professionals. Writing is my area of expertise, and I wouldn’t want a casting director to tell me how to write, so on the same token, I wouldn’t want to insult them by telling them who should portray whom.
♥ If you could live a day in the world of someone else's story, whose would you choose, and why?
A lovely writer named Kathleen Ball writes westerns. I have always wanted to live back in the old west days. I just feel like back then it was good clean living. Everything was still so untouched and pure. Work was hard but it was honest—for the most part.
♥ Is there a particular theme or message you're expecting readers to take away from your work?
Um…good question. I’m not sure other than, goodness always prevails, and for the most part people are honest and have good intentions. On the lighter side—if your boyfriend is ice cold with almost no heartbeat, he’s probably not human…lol.
♥ What can we look forward to from you next? Is there a project on the horizon that you're really excited about?
Just the rest of this YA series. Ties To The Blood Moon is just the first book in a series of four or five books. Somewhere in between writing these, I am going to write about zombies or fairies, but I won’t start on that project until sometime next spring. I wrote this book in less than three months, so I hope to write book two even faster.
Thanks so much to Robin for stopping by! You can keep up with her work on her blog at http://www.robinpwaldrop.blogspot.com/, on her Facebook author page at http://www.facebook.com/robinsauthorpage, and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/robinpwaldrop.