August 26 – Tara Sheets

Hi friends!

Welcome to Read-A-Romance Month!

While I read romance all year long, August is the month we celebrate romantic fiction! Come back every day to read the fun author Q&As – calendar here –  and each weekday in August, we’ll also have an author guest hosting the Romance of Reading FB page. Today Tara Sheets is doing the Q&A, and no one’s on the page, since it’s Sunday.

This year is significantly smaller in scale. If you’re interested, you can read about some of the reasons why here. It’s been a crazy year, and a complicated few months.

Happy August. Isn’t life better with #ATouchofRomance?! xo

2018 RARM Questions:

Why do you write books? 

I grew up in different countries and my father’s work required us to travel and move around a lot, so we didn’t always have outlets for entertainment other than the stories we brought with us.  Ever since I was a little girl, I was fascinated by books.  I read fairy tales and fables from countries all over the world.  When I got older I read romance because I needed to know there would be a happy, emotionally satisfying ending. I loved that books had the power to take me anywhere I wanted to go, no matter where I was.  There’s magic in that. I wanted to write books that could bring that same sense of adventure—the escapism and wonder—to other people.

 

What do you consider to be the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?

Honestly, I think trying to become a writer and putting myself out there has been the most courageous thing I’ve ever done.  Even though I knew I loved writing, I never actively pursued it as a career until after I was well out of college, had started a family, and tried other careers that didn’t stick.  It wasn’t until my mother got sick with cancer that I really took a hard look at what I was doing with my life.  Before she died she urged me to go after my dreams and not to squander my chance for joy.  So I signed up for my first novel writing class, scared to death, terrified to submit my writing to strangers.  It hasn’t been easy for me.  The first time I turned in an assignment, I got so stressed out I literally broke out in hives under my sweater.  It’s been years since then, and I’m happy to report that I’m much better now! I love writing, and I’m grateful I took the leap to pursue my dreams.

 

Tell us why you write romances or include strong romantic elements in your books?

I write romance because I believe love is what matters most.  You can go through life running at goals and acquiring things and moving mountains, but I truly believe that love is the driving force behind achieving true happiness. It’s the only thing that makes this crazy roller coaster worth the ride. Romance books remind people that hope floats, and in spite of all odds, happiness is possible.

 

Tell us about a romantic moment in your life. (Either romantic love, or romantic sensibility.)

Back when I first tried to complete an entire book, I signed up for a class where we were supposed to write a novel in a month, and I had no idea how that was even going to be possible.  Caring for a toddler and a special-needs relative with emotional and physical disabilities took up all my time and energy. In those days my husband and I were so broke. All our money went to bills and putting food on the table.  So the day before my class began, I broke down. I cried because I didn’t even have a working keyboard (some of the letters stuck) and I had no idea why I was even trying to pursue a dream when it seemed the odds were stacked against me.  That night, my husband went out and bought used computer equipment on Craigslist so I could participate in the class.  I’ll never forget the fold-out table, the keyboard, and the articulated arm he purchased, just so I could keep my dream alive.  I know this doesn’t sound very swoony and impressive, but I don’t think I’ve ever felt more supported or loved than that moment.

 

If you could tell your younger self anything (either as a writer or as a woman) what would it be?

Be confident! Oh my God, I would tell my younger self to hold my head high and be confident.  I would say “You don’t have to try so hard to be what other people want.  You don’t have to try so hard to make other people happy in order to feel loved. You are valuable and you are important, just the way you are!”

 

Tell us something you uncovered in research that fascinated you.

When I was researching the San Juan Islands in the Pacific Northwest, I went down a rabbit hole about the orca whales in that area.  One of the things that fascinated me was learning that there are two completely different groups of orcas, even though they look so similar.  There are resident orcas who travel in large pods and prefer to eat Chinook salmon.  Then there are the transient orcas who travel in much smaller pods and eat marine mammals like seals and porpoises.  What’s so interesting to me is that resident and transient orcas completely ignore each other. If they happen to pass each other in the ocean, they don’t intermingle or breed, even though technically they are the same species.

 

How do you handle the voices in your head competing for their story to be written? (Thanks Eileen!)

I don’t usually have a problem with voices vying for my attention because when I’m writing a book, the main characters take center stage and everything else seems to fade into the background. If anything, when it’s time to write the next book, I have to do a lot of brainstorming and plotting before the next characters’ voices become clear in my head.

 
If you could live for a month somewhere (either in the present or past) where (and when, if applicable) would it be? Why?

I think if I could live for a month anywhere right now, I’d love to spend a month traveling in Italy.  I’ve always wanted to immerse myself in that lovely landscape and see all the sights without being rushed or on a tight schedule.  I think I could dream up a lot of fun stories and characters if I had a full month to spend there.

 

What is (one of) the most remarkable/inspiring things that has happened to you as a reader or writer?

Winning the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® award for my debut novel, Don’t Call Me Cupcake was an incredible experience. I will never forget that moment, and how much overwhelming gratitude I felt for my writing community. My Golden Heart® groups, the Mermaids, the Dragonflies, and the Lucky 13’s, have continued to inspire me every day with their amazing talent and unfailing support.

 

Tara recommends:

 

Seana Kelly    –     www.seanakelly.com    –     @Amazon

Seana’s debut book, Welcome Home Katie Gallagher, is one of the cutest romantic comedies I’ve read in a long time.  If you’re looking for a fun read that will make you laugh out loud, Seana Kelly has you covered.

 

Hope Ramsay   –   hoperamsay.com    –    @Amazon

I love Hope’s fun, small town romances.  Her characters feel so real, I miss them after I’m done reading.

 


Tara Sheets is an award-winning author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction. Her stories have earned first place in literary contests nationwide, and her debut novel, Don’t Call Me Cupcake, won the 2016 Golden Heart® award sponsored by Romance Writers of America.

Tara began her career as an author in the Pacific Northwest, inspired by the rain and the misty mountains and the rivers of Starbucks coffee. She now lives in the warm, wonderful South where she can stand outside with no coat on, and she finds that pretty inspiring too.

When not writing, Tara enjoys life with her book-loving family and a book-eating dog named Merlin. She is represented by Sarah Phair at Trident Media Group.

Learn more at tarasheets.com.

 

 

Buy Tara’s books:

availableon-amazon         availableon-nook      availableon-kobo

*Please note that the Amazon button, most cover images and many text links connect to a Read-A-Romance Month affiliate portal. Thanks so much for your help & support!

 

Authors on The Romance of Reading page:

 

1   –   Jeannie Moon           💜         2   –   Lenora Bell

3  –    Nancy Herkness       💜         6   –   Kimberli A. Bindschatel

7   –  Cathy Maxwell            💜         8   –   Amelia Grey

9  –  Liz Talley                     💜         10  –  Dylann Crush

13  –  Marilyn Brant             💜         14  –  Sharla Lovelace

15  –  Sally MacKenzie        💜         16  –  Regina Kyle

17  –  Mimi Milan                 💜          20  –  Christine Nolfi

21  –  Susie Orman Schnall  💜       22  –  Caroline Linden

23  –  Shirley Hailstock          💜         24  –   Talia Surova

27  –  Lisa Patton                    💜        28  –  Tracey Livesay

29  –  Danelle Harmon          💜        30  –  Minerva Spencer

*   31   –    Christina Lauren (modified guest host)

August 25 – Lauren Layne

Hi friends!

Welcome to Read-A-Romance Month!

While I read romance all year long, August is the month we celebrate romantic fiction! Come back every day to read the fun author Q&As – calendar here –  and each weekday in August, we’ll also have an author guest hosting the Romance of Reading FB page. Today Lauren Layne is doing the Q&A and there’s no one on the page, since it’s Saturday.

This year is significantly smaller in scale. If you’re interested, you can read about some of the reasons why here. It’s been a crazy year, and a complicated few months.

Happy August. Isn’t life better with #ATouchofRomance?! xo

 

2018 RARM Questions:

Why do you write books? 

At the risk of sounding cliché, I can’t imagine not writing books. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do, since I first discovered The Boxcar Children in the second grade! It doesn’t really feel like a choice, so much as a calling.

 

What do you consider to be the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?

Oh gosh. I’m a lot of things, but I don’t know if courageous is my biggest asset. I guess I’d say quitting my well-paying corporate job to try to make a go of it as a full-time author in NYC, without much of a savings account to fall back on. I just … went for it. And yes, I went into debt, but a year or two later, I was making 4x as much as I made in the “safe” job!

 

Tell us why you write romances or include strong romantic elements in your books?

I write the books I want to read. And that’s always been about the romance for me! Even back in my Nancy Drew reading days, it was always about Ned.

 

Tell us about a romantic moment in your life. (Either romantic love, or romantic sensibility.)

I married my high school sweetheart, and I’m biased, but I think it doesn’t get more romantic than meeting “the one,” at age fifteen, and making that turn into something lasting and lovely.

 

If you could tell your younger self anything (either as a writer or as a woman) what would it be?

Trust your gut. So many people will have opinions on your writing, your creativity, your business, your brand, but you know what’s best for you. Nobody else.

 

Tell us something you uncovered in research that fascinated you.

Eh. I confess I don’t do a lot of research since I write contemporary romance, that’s set in my own city! (NYC) In fact, I think romance would be a heck of a lot less fun if I had to do homework.  😉

 

How do you handle the voices in your head competing for their story to be written? (Thanks Eileen!)

You know, that’s actually never really been part of my process! I guess I hear voices when I’m specifically calling on characters during a dialog scene, but generally speaking, things people don’t speak out of turn in my head 😉

 
If you could live for a month somewhere (either in the present or past) where (and when, if applicable) would it be? Why?

I’m torn between Paris (the baguettes!) and a cabin in Maine (the solitude!)

 

What is (one of) the most remarkable/inspiring things that has happened to you as a reader or writer?

You know, it’s a simple joy, but writing The End is always the most exhilarating feeling of my life. It simply never gets old to know that I wrote a book.

 

Lauren recommends:

 

Julie James   –    juliejames.com    –    @Amazon

 

Marie Tremayne   –    www.marietremayne.com   –   @Amazon

 

Kerrigan Byrne   –   www.kerriganbyrne.com   –    @Amazon

 


Lauren Layne is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than two dozen romantic comedies. Her books have sold over a million copies, in nine languages.

Lauren’s work has been featured in Publishers WeeklyGlamourThe Wall Street Journal, and Inside Edition. She is based in New York City.

 

Buy Lauren’s books:

 

availableon-amazon         availableon-nook      availableon-kobo

*Please note that the Amazon button, most cover images and many text links connect to a Read-A-Romance Month affiliate portal. Thanks so much for your help & support!

 

Authors on The Romance of Reading page:

 

1   –   Jeannie Moon           💜         2   –   Lenora Bell

3  –    Nancy Herkness       💜         6   –   Kimberli A. Bindschatel

7   –  Cathy Maxwell            💜         8   –   Amelia Grey

9  –  Liz Talley                     💜         10  –  Dylann Crush

13  –  Marilyn Brant             💜         14  –  Sharla Lovelace

15  –  Sally MacKenzie        💜         16  –  Regina Kyle

17  –  Mimi Milan                 💜          20  –  Christine Nolfi

21  –  Susie Orman Schnall  💜       22  –  Caroline Linden

23  –  Shirley Hailstock          💜         24  –   Talia Surova

27  –  Lisa Patton                    💜        28  –  Tracey Livesay

29  –  Danelle Harmon          💜        30  –  Minerva Spencer

*   31   –    Christina Lauren (modified guest host)

August 24 – Sonali Dev & Talia Surova

Hi friends!

Welcome to Read-A-Romance Month!

While I read romance all year long, August is the month we celebrate romantic fiction! Come back every day to read the fun author Q&As – calendar here –  and each weekday in August, we’ll also have an author guest hosting the Romance of Reading FB page.  This year is significantly smaller in scale. If you’re interested, you can read about some of the reasons why here. It’s been a crazy year, and a complicated few months.

Happy August. Isn’t life better with #ATouchofRomance?! xo

***As you may know I’m a huge fan of Sonali Dev and when I asked her if she had anything coming out before her 2019 release (No cover or back copy yet, but if you auto-buy anything she writes, you can pre-order at Amazon here:  Pride and Prejudice and Other Flavors: A Novel  )

She and her friend, Talia Surova, have a title coming out in early November, so I thought it would be fun to have them both do the Q&A. Talia will be on the page today, though Sonali may stop by and say hi. Enjoy! xo

(I’m including the cover to their book, but there’s no Amazon post yet, so keep an eye out on their pages. It’s supposed to release the first week in November.)

 

2018 RARM Questions:

Why do you write books? 

Releases early November. Keep an eye on the authors’ Amazon pages for links!

SD: I’ve always had the need to write. My family moved around a lot when I was young and I was always the new kid on the block. Writing down everything I was feeling was a way for me to have friends all the time. Or maybe it was that I needed to hear the sound of my own thoughts. Writing books came later, by accident, when a friend challenged me to write a movie script. Once I had done that I was addicted to creating characters and worlds and saying what I wanted to say folded into the garb of a story.

 

TS: When I was a preteen and teenager, I used to read at night—well, okay, I read all the time, but also always at night. When finished a book, the story would stay with me, the characters acting out their lives past the end of the book and weaving their way into my dreams. I cherished that feeling, and hated waking up from those drowsy half-dreams. When I discovered that writing lets me live inside a story even more fully, I knew I’d found my calling. To be able to share those stories that live in my head with other readers? There’s nothing better.

 

What do you consider to be the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?

SD: I always try to speak up when I think something isn’t the way it should be. And I’ve never believed people when they said that things are just the way they are and that I should accept them.

 

TS: After several years in Los Angeles, establishing roots and making friends, my husband and I packed up our belongings, sold our house, and hit the road with our seven-year-old son. We had a perfectly acceptable life in LA, but I missed New York desperately. We had no immediate job prospects in NY, and no assurance of a long-term place to live in one of the most expensive cities in the country. We did it on faith. It just felt right.

There was a moment on the drive east, as the landscape changed from dry mountains to green hills, that I realized this was real—we were really doing this. I had a full-blown can’t-breathe panic attack, wondering if we’d just made the biggest mistake of our lives.

That was thirteen years ago. It ended up working out brilliantly.

 

Tell us why you write romances or include strong romantic elements in your books?

SD: Growing up I read across genres, commercial and literary fiction that told stories that spanned love and adventure and crime and courage and relationships between families and friends. I always zeroed in on the love stories that to me were always at the heart of all the stories I enjoyed. I think of finding love as a journey to self discovery and exploring that arc is what fuels my writing. So, writing romance is just a natural extension of who I am and what I believe.

 

TS: Like so many romance authors, I’ve always been drawn to the romantic elements in the books I read, so it felt like a natural fit as an author. I remember sitting on the floor in my best friend’s bedroom in middle school, devouring stacks of Georgette Heyers and Harlequins; picking up my first full-on historical romance a year or two later and falling headlong into that world; buying piles of romances at the used bookstore down the street from my first temp job and reading them nonstop during my lunch hours and on the subway ride home. I love the emotion, the connection, the drama always inherent in relationships—whether romantic or not. When those relationships are romantic, it gives stories that extra frisson, that delicious tension.

 

Tell us about a romantic moment in your life. (Either romantic love, or romantic sensibility.)

SD: The first physical act of connection that happened between my husband and me was when he put his head in my lap. We had spent a day shopping and running around from pillar to post and we were exhausted and he actually laid down across the car seat and rested in my arms, so to speak, and it was beautiful. One of those moments when you flash forward and know you will know happiness with this person.

 

TS: I was 24 years old, working in film editing in Midtown Manhattan. I had a crush on this guy who worked across the street, on a different movie. We chatted sometimes in the hallways, and went to lunch a few times, but he had a girlfriend and I knew it wasn’t going anywhere. One day that December, that changed. (I later found out he had broken up with her over Thanksgiving.) We ran into each other in the elevator at work, and he asked me out to lunch. Over burgers at an old-fashioned coffee shop, we spoke for the first time about things outside of the business. He asked me what my astrological sign was. We talked about seeing a movie that weekend. As we walked down Broadway after lunch, heading back to our respective jobs, snow started to fall. We stood outside my building in the cold, both unwilling to say goodbye. I could feel snow stinging my cheeks, see the snowflakes melt in his hair. A nearby construction worker shouted, “Kiss her, already!”

He didn’t then. He did two days later, after that movie. We moved in together two months later and got married four years after that. He was the one. He still is. That moment outside in the snow and cold, I think that was the moment I knew it.

 

If you could tell your younger self anything (either as a writer or as a woman) what would it be?

SD: Don’t be afraid.

TS: Be vulnerable and open and emotionally truthful in your work. Be confident in your life and in who you are.

 

Tell us something you uncovered in research that fascinated you.

SD: So many things. How rampant human trafficking is across the world. How enormously hard transplant recipients have to work to make sure their bodies don’t reject their new organ. The life on mission that doctors who work for Doctors Without Borders lead.

TS: There’s a hidden, abandoned subway station in Lower Manhattan—the old City Hall Station, complete with skylights, chandeliers, and vaulted tiled ceilings designed by Gustavino dating back to 1904. The station closed in 1945, but you can see it if you stay on the 6 train past the last stop; it uses the curve of the station to turn around and go back uptown. People advise standing in the front of the first car to get the best view. If you want to walk around and explore, you can sign up for a special tour given by the NYC Transit Museum. This is on my bucket list. It must be like stepping back in time to a grander age. The photos are gorgeous.

Learn more here:  www.atlasobscura.com/places/city-hall-station-mro

 

How do you handle the voices in your head competing for their story to be written? (Thanks Eileen!)

SD: I let them tell it. My secondary characters always get their stories told.

TS: Ha, that’s the trick, isn’t it? Sometimes it’s so obvious—a character says, “Write me now!” Other times, the character is knocking at the door, but her story isn’t fully worked out yet in my head, and I have to say, “Wait a while longer,” and maybe it comes to me and maybe it doesn’t, and the story will only ever live in my head and nowhere else. (Those are sad ones.)

The book Sonali and I are working on now was one of the latter—I’d written the beginning of a book years ago and liked it well enough, but didn’t feel like it was quite right. It felt like it was missing some essential piece. I put it aside and moved on. When I showed it to Sonali recently, it became clear why. It had been waiting for her. Her characters walked into the book, shook things up, and now it works.

 
If you could live for a month somewhere (either in the present or past) where (and when, if applicable) would it be? Why?

SD: My grandmother went to medical school in colonized India in the 1930s. I always regret never having her describe what that felt like in more detail. I so badly want to know what it was like for her, doing that thing barely any women had done before her. I want to be in that college with her, in that time watching her fall in love with medicine and my grandfather.

 

TS: Oh boy. So many places, it’s hard to limit myself. But right now, I’m craving green and quiet, so I’m picturing a beautiful modern A-frame cabin in the Catskills mountains north of NYC, in a clearing in the woods. Green grass, maybe a brook nearby, and mossy undergrowth under spreading oak and maple trees. Wind and birdsong and the peace to write and simply be.

 

What is (one of) the most remarkable/inspiring things that has happened to you as a reader or writer?

SD: Everything about this journey has been magical for me. But discovering a tribe of women who share this mad burning passion for writing and reading and romance has been the best part. And the generosity of this tribe. I’ve seen the spirit of sisterhood in everyone from the aspiring writers to those who have sold multi million copies. To be part of this community is beyond inspiring and remarkable, it’s seeing courage and love and hope at work in every interaction and I cannot imagine a life where I might have missed being part of it.

 

TS: At the risk of sounding like a cliché, the first phone call telling me I was a Golden Heart finalist changed my life. I’d been on the verge of quitting writing, feeling like nobody was ever going to read my words, and what was the point? After I got off the phone with the RWA board member, I burst into tears. It meant so much, that validation from a set of complete strangers. And everything that followed—I’d never gotten involved in my local chapter, so my Golden Heart sisters were my first entrée into the warmth of a romance writing tribe. That initial phone call was the pivotal moment. I needed it.

 

 

Sonali recommends:

Priscilla Oliveras  —    prisoliveras.com    —   @Amazon

I love books with strong sister relationships and her Matched To Perfection trilogy about the Fernandez sisters is lovely.

 

Alexis Daria  —    alexisdaria.com    —   @Amazon

Take The Lead set in a Dancing With The Stars like dance competition is everything a good contemporary romance should be.

 

Katharine Ashe  —    katharineashe.com   —   @Amazon

Her writing is intricate, intelligent, and thought provoking and I love it.

 

Talia recommends:

Kristan Higgins for her humanity and wit.

Kristan Higgins    –   http://www.kristanhiggins.com  –  @Amazon

 

Pintip Dunn for her stellar plotting and storytelling. (Seriously, how does she do it?)

Pintip Dunn   –   www.pintipdunn.com    –   @Amazon

 

Meredith Duran for her ability to take high-concept, twisty ideas and make me invest completely.

Meredith Duran   –    http://www.meredithduran.com    –   @Amazon

 


Award winning author Sonali Dev writes Bollywood-style love stories that let her explore issues faced by women around the world while still indulging her faith in a happily ever after.

Her books have been on NPR, Washington Post, Library Journal, and Kirkus Best Books of the year lists, but Sonali is most smug about Shelf Awareness calling her “Not only one of the best but also one of the bravest romance novelists working today.”

Sonali lives in Chicagoland with her very patient and often amused husband and two teens who demand both patience and humor, and the world’s most perfect dog.

Find more at sonalidev.com.

 

RITA® finalist and Golden Heart winner Talia Surova writes smart, sexy contemporary romances that capture all the grit and glamour of her beloved New York City.

Talia has lived and worked in the wilds of Hollywood, California and is now back home in NYC, her native habitat, where she is living out her HEA with her perfect beta hero husband, quirky musician son, and two goofy cats.

 

To learn more, go to her website: taliasurova.com

 

 

Buy Talia’s books:

availableon-amazon         availableon-nook      availableon-kobo

 

Buy Sonali’s books:

availableon-amazon    availableon-nook   availableon-kobo

 

*Please note that the Amazon button, most cover images and many text links connect to a Read-A-Romance Month affiliate portal. Thanks so much for your help & support!

August 23 – Shirley Hailstock

Hi friends!

Welcome to Read-A-Romance Month!

While I read romance all year long, August is the month we celebrate romantic fiction! Come back every day to read the fun author Q&As – calendar here –  and each weekday in August, we’ll also have an author guest hosting the Romance of Reading FB page. Today Shirley Hailstock is doing both the Q&A and the author takeover.

This year is significantly smaller in scale. If you’re interested, you can read about some of the reasons why here. It’s been a crazy year, and a complicated few months.

Happy August. Isn’t life better with #ATouchofRomance?! xo

 

2018 RARM Questions:

 

Why do you write books? 

It’s fun. I like developing characters and telling their stories. I love the initial process of plotting the book and then discovering how characters solve their problems as they head toward their happily ever after.

 

What do you consider to be the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?

I once ran through a fire to get to my nephews. I don’t know how it started, but I’m extremely sensitive to smoke. I woke up and smelled it. I was babysitting and without thinking I rushed up the back stairs. The fire was in the hall. Jumping through it, I got my nephews out of bed and carried two of them down the front stairs and out the door.

 

Tell us why you write romances or include strong romantic elements in your books?

I loved reading romance novels. When I decided I wanted to write, it was natural to write what I enjoyed most.

 

Tell us about a romantic moment in your life. (Either romantic love, or romantic sensibility.

It was during my a vacation to the Hawaiian Islands. We were on Kauai. We’d had dinner in a restaurant that had no walls. The kind of place with the bar in the center and tiki torches burning outside. The moon was full. The ocean waves could be heard in the background and we’d move to the bar. I was wearing a flowery dress that fell to my ankles and we moved to the bar after the meal. My boyfriend at the time, took the hibiscus flower and tucked it in my hair over my left ear. The moment was priceless.

 

If you could tell your younger self anything (either as a writer or as a woman) what would it be?

Pay more attention in school. Read and absorb everything the teachers have to teach. Never stop learning.

 

Tell us something you uncovered in research that fascinated you.

I never used it in a book, but I discovered that people who are sickle cell carriers are highly resistant to getting malaria.

 

How do you handle the voices in your head competing for their story to be written? (Thanks Eileen!)

I usually write down the outline of their story in a “future plots” file. This gives me a place to park them until I finish the current work in progress. And I always have a reserve story waiting to be written.

 
If you could live for a month somewhere (either in the present or past) where (and when, if applicable) would it be? Why?

Narrowing it down to one place is hard. I’ve visited a lot of places and would love to spend more time in some of them. I’ve never been in Australia, but I have friends there and my son spent a year there. If I’m going somewhere for a month, I’d like to see Australia.

 

What is (one of) the most remarkable/inspiring things that has happened to you as a reader or writer?

It may seem simplistic, but being in the company of other writers is very inspiring. Sometimes I want to emulate them. Sometimes they give me tips on writing that is just part of the conversation (not a lesson, not a workshop). Sometimes their lives are so interesting or the places they’ve been or lived makes me want to go there. It’s all food for future books.

 

Shirley recommends:

 

Candice Poarch   –   www.candicepoarch.com   –   @Amazon

Candice’s stories are full and heartwarming. They never disappoint in their promise to the reader. She meticulously researches her subject and never overwhelms the read with unnecessary details. Her characters are real enough to welcome them into your own family. And I have.

 

Farrah Rochon  –   www.farrahrochon.com   –   @Amazon

Farrah is rocking the digital world with her complement of books. Endearing love stories are her hallmark, along with settings that make you want to live there.  She can take anything from a simple Christmas meeting to a power play of corporate giants and draw the reader to her favorite chair for a long night of adventure.    

 

Donna Hillus.macmillan.com/author/donnahill    –   @Amazon

Donna Hill was the first published author I met. I was in awe of her then and I still am today. Her stories span a wide gambit from love stories to hit woman. No matter what book you choose to read, Donna will sweep you in with her characters and their vast plots. All of her books are on my keeper shelf.

 


Shirley Hailstock began her writing life as a lover of reading.  She likes nothing better than to find a quiet corner where she can get lost in a book, explore new worlds and visit places she never expected to see.  As an author, she can not only visit those places, but she can be the heroine of her own stories.

The author of over forty novels and novellas, Shirley has received numerous awards, including the Waldenbooks Bestselling Romance Award and The Emma Merritt Award from Romance Writers of America.  RT Bookclub Reviews awarded her a Career Achievement Award. Shirley’s books have appeared on Blackboard, Essence Magazine and Library Journal bestseller lists. She is a past president of Romance Writers of America.

Learn more at www.shirleyhailstock.net

 

Buy Shirley’s books:

 

availableon-amazon         availableon-nook      availableon-kobo

 

*Please note that the Amazon button, most cover images and many text links connect to a Read-A-Romance Month affiliate portal. Thanks so much for your help & support!

 

Authors on The Romance of Reading page:

 

1   –   Jeannie Moon           💜         2   –   Lenora Bell

3  –    Nancy Herkness       💜         6   –   Kimberli A. Bindschatel

7   –  Cathy Maxwell            💜         8   –   Amelia Grey

9  –  Liz Talley                     💜         10  –  Dylann Crush

13  –  Marilyn Brant             💜         14  –  Sharla Lovelace

15  –  Sally MacKenzie        💜         16  –  Regina Kyle

17  –  Mimi Milan                 💜          20  –  Christine Nolfi

21  –  Susie Orman Schnall  💜       22  –  Caroline Linden

23  –  Shirley Hailstock          💜         24  –   Talia Surova

27  –  Lisa Patton                    💜        28  –  Tracey Livesay

29  –  Danelle Harmon          💜        30  –  Minerva Spencer

*   31   –    Christina Lauren (modified guest host)

August 22 – Caroline Linden

Hi friends!

Welcome to Read-A-Romance Month!

While I read romance all year long, August is the month we celebrate romantic fiction! Come back every day to read the fun author Q&As – calendar here –  and each weekday in August, we’ll also have an author guest hosting the Romance of Reading FB page. Today Caroline Linden is doing both the Q&A and the author takeover.

This year is significantly smaller in scale. If you’re interested, you can read about some of the reasons why here. It’s been a crazy year, and a complicated few months.

Happy August. Isn’t life better with #ATouchofRomance?! xo

2018 RARM Questions:

Why do you write books? 

I write the sort of stories I want to read. Beyond that… it’s the best job ever! No commute, tons of fun research, and book purchases are tax-deductible.

 

What do you consider to be the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?

I quit my job, in part to write. It was a good job with great benefits and a nice salary, and I was good at it. But our children were very young, so working full time outside the house was really taxing on our family (and the daycare costs were incredible), and when my husband said he thought I should quit—effectively walking away from that career—I did. I had started writing my first book but I didn’t have an agent or even a writer’s group to turn to, let alone any income from writing. It was an enormous leap of faith which ended up really paying off (although only after some scary years of wondering what the heck I was thinking).

 

Tell us why you write romances or include strong romantic elements in your books?

For the emotional connection. For seeing two characters find each other and recognize their kindred spirit, who will understand them, accept them, respect them, love them, want them.

 

Tell us about a romantic moment in your life. (Either romantic love, or romantic sensibility.

One year my husband planned a trip for just the two of us to Aruba. He arranged to have our kids go to his parents, he scouted out the best hotels, he found great restaurants. And then we went, just the two of us. Our kids were in elementary school and it was hard for us to get away; the trip was a big splurge for us then, and it was so WONDERFUL to have him to myself for almost a week.

 

If you could tell your younger self anything (either as a writer or as a woman) what would it be?

Not to take things too seriously. Laugh instead of getting annoyed.

 

Tell us something you uncovered in research that fascinated you.

I love discovering the little things about life in the late 18th/early 19th century that are surprisingly familiar and “modern.” Things like, several pieces of Napoleon’s furniture were on wheels, to make them portable. An exquisite hand-carved writing cabinet, which opened into a desk, was wheeled, so it could be taken easily from room to room. 

 

How do you handle the voices in your head competing for their story to be written? (Thanks Eileen!)

Sometimes I write multiple stories at once, but usually one story will rise to the front and say, ‘I’m ready, I know where I’m going, let’s go.’ It’s hard to start writing a story when it’s only got a beginning, even if it’s a great beginning. 

 

If you could live for a month somewhere (either in the present or past) where (and when, if applicable) would it be? Why?

I would love to have a historic house (cottage or mansion) in England for a month. I’d spend a week in another century if I could take a big bag of modern medicine and toiletries with me…

 

What is (one of) the most remarkable/inspiring things that has happened to you as a reader or writer?

People write to me, or even come to events, and tell me they liked my book—sometimes even that they loved it. They say it got them through a hard time, or lifted their spirits after some scary news. The knowledge that my work, my words, means something to other people is the most inspiring part of the job. I never want to let those readers down.

 

Caroline recommends:

Robert Galbraith is really J.K. Rowling, but the Cormoran Strike series is so, so good—and it’s got a brewing romance! I love mysteries, but honestly half my interest in this series is about what will happen between Strike and Robin, his assistant.

Robert Galbraith   –    robert-galbraith.com   –   @Amazon

 

I always recommend my friend Maya Rodale’s books; they’are always fun, funny, and emotionally moving, and her new series is coming to America—specifically New York in the Gilded Age. She once described it to me as “Girl Bosses of NYC” and I can’t wait for the first book, Duchess by Design, coming out this November.

Maya Rodale   –    www.mayarodale.com   –   @Amazon

 

And a new-to-me author I am loving is Tracey Livesay. We met at an RWA conference and then I bought her book and now I am a big fan! She doesn’t have a big backlist yet but it’s all just lovely.

Tracey Livesay   –    www.traceylivesay.com   –   @Amazon

 


Caroline Linden was born a reader, not a writer. She earned a math degree from Harvard University and wrote computer code before discovering that writing fiction was far more fun. Since then, the Boston Red Sox have won the World Series three times, which is not related but still worth mentioning.

Her books have been translated into seventeen languages, and have won the NEC-RWA Reader’s Choice Award, the Daphne du Maurier Award, the NJRW Golden Leaf Award, and RWA’s RITA Award.

She lives in New England.

 

Buy Caroline’s books:

 

availableon-amazon         availableon-nook      availableon-kobo

 

*Please note that the Amazon button, most cover images and many text links connect to a Read-A-Romance Month affiliate portal. Thanks so much for your help & support!

 

Authors on The Romance of Reading page:

 

1   –   Jeannie Moon           💜         2   –   Lenora Bell

3  –    Nancy Herkness       💜         6   –   Kimberli A. Bindschatel

7   –  Cathy Maxwell            💜         8   –   Amelia Grey

9  –  Liz Talley                     💜         10  –  Dylann Crush

13  –  Marilyn Brant             💜         14  –  Sharla Lovelace

15  –  Sally MacKenzie        💜         16  –  Regina Kyle

17  –  Mimi Milan                 💜          20  –  Christine Nolfi

21  –  Susie Orman Schnall  💜       22  –  Caroline Linden

23  –  Shirley Hailstock          💜         24  –   Talia Surova

27  –  Lisa Patton                    💜        28  –  Tracey Livesay

29  –  Danelle Harmon          💜        30  –  Minerva Spencer

*   31   –    Christina Lauren (modified guest host)