Great to have you with us today, Robin. Tell us a little bit about your journey into writing.
I’ve always had voices – er, stories in my mind. I once said I should write down all the story ideas in my head so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me! I first started writing since 1995, but life happened. I cranked out a few dozen poems, made countless notes for story ideas, and earned my BFA in Interior Design. In July of 2008 Tessa started talking to me. Being a full time college student and diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis didn’t allow much time [read: next to none] to write. When the anticipated dream design job didn’t happen after graduation in 2013, I began working in earnest on my debut novel, Tessa. I had a substantial beginning already written and finished in January of 2014. I hadn’t given thought to a sequel but when a few people asked I looked and there are two places right there in Tessa that point right to Clara Bess, book 2 in the unsavory heritage series. Once I dove in [to writing] there was no turning back.
Fascinating journey, Robin. It wouldn't surprise me at all to find glimpses of your Interior Design interest in your stories. Who would you say has influenced your writing journey the most thus far?
My characters? I don’t think I could pinpoint any one person. Once I started networking I discovered something of value from so many sources and individuals, including readers. I have a great base of friends who believe in me and my writing, so initially that’s why I was able to believe in myself and pursue this amazing thing God gave me to do. Did I mention I love writing?
The support of friends is so vital for an author. Sometimes, we can feel rather isolated, even though our characters keep us company most days. :) What does a typical writing day look like for you?
I.am.not.a.morning.person.at.all. At all. I am on Disability (RA) so I’m home all day and per my body clock, I am seriously a late night owl. And I sleep late. Most gurus I read say write first and do the other stuff— like email, Facebook, blog posts, interviews—later. I can’t do that. If there’s stuff to do it’s cluttering my brain and plays havoc with writing. I also can’t listen to music while I’m writing for the same reason. I check email and FB while I have my morning coffee, work on upcoming blog posts in the afternoon, and get into my current WIP in the evening.
We share two things in common when it comes to writing: uncluttering the brain first and not listening to music. I love music so much that I end up getting distracted by the melody. What are you currently working on?
So glad you asked! I’ve got a new series underway, Seasons, and I’m loving this story. I’m 100% Pantzer and my characters constantly surprise me.
The southern town of Saisons lies at the crossroads between North and South, progressive and genteel antebellum life. Between East and West, between history and heritage, and new frontiers. It’s 1912, in a world where slavery is dying and women’s rights are rising, and four young girls share a bond—and experience a tragedy. Seasons is the telling of their stories and Mercedes Renaldi’s story is first in The Long Shadows of Summer.
Seasons is one long story told in four separate perspectives. The Long Shadows of Summer will be out in July, and book 2, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn comes out in October.
I smile at this story line. And the time period. My father was born in 1913 and mom in 1916, so 1912 holds a special place in my heart. I like revisiting an era, especially in fictional format, when my grandparents lived and my parents entered the world. What are your writing goals for 2017?
Can I say breathe? With four books releasing back to back, I feel a nudge of pressure. The saving grace is that all four books are basically the same story with the same characters, set in the same town, and mostly all the same research—otherwise I’d not be able to pull off such rapid release dates!
My goals are to keep pace with the stories to meet my deadlines. As an Indie, no it’s not carved in stone or signed in a contract, but per integrity and the telling of the story, I intend to meet the deadlines.
To that end, I am not writing my own posts for my blog. I have daily features, the most intensive of which (for me) is interviews.
Breathing is good. No, really. Deep breathing from the diaphragm has pulled me out of stressful situations on more than one occasion. That and a nice walk. Tell us a little about your most recent publication.
Cissy is the third and final book in my unsavory heritage series. Here’s the blurb:
Evil words. Words that should never have been spoken. Words that she should not have heard.
But she did. And she believed them.
Everything changed when Cissy heard those words that day. She was five.
What torment is wrought when wicked words are spoken? Can Cissy’s ravaged life be redeemed? Or will she wreak havoc on all who love her?
Can the lie be undone? Is there a word powerful enough to break the curse and undo the unsavory heritage?
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Cissy is not easy reading. She faces evil and succumbs to it. She is seduced at a young age, and learns to wield her body to manipulate and wound those most dear to her. There are no graphic scenes, but neither do my scenes merely allude to what is happening.
Cissy is the dark and gritty, high-tension climax to the unsavory heritage series.
My heart hurts for this character whose life changed at age five. Though the story lines may be different, many in real life share a common heritage. I'm so thankful for my husband, a professional counselor and marriage/family therapist, who helps clients apply biblical principles and healing prayer to identify their hurts, grieve the losses, and learn to apply forgiveness. I pray that your book will nudge readers in a healing direction. Where can my readers find you and your books on the internet?
Thanks for joining us today, Robin! God's best to you in your writing venture!