June 17, 2016

Interview with @roxannestclaire

Just in time for the release of BAREFOOT AT SUNSET, the first book in her latest trilogy, Barefoot Bay Timeless, I have the lovely and talented Roxanne St. Claire with me today... keep reading for a chance to win a copy of her latest book BAREFOOT AT SUNSET...

Roxanne:  Thank you so much for inviting me to be here!  I’m excited to be celebrating the release of the first book in the Barefoot Bay Timeless trilogy, called BAREFOOT AT SUNSET. The Barefoot Bay Series consists of many “mini series” – trilogies and quartets – that each have a different theme and tone. So readers can jump in at any time, kick off their shoes, and fall in love!

Q: Tell us something about yourself.
A:  Anything? Like my favorite color is pink and I have a weakness for The Bachelor and red wine? (Usually at the same time.)  Or do you mean my “life” stuff? I’m married to an amazing man I met in an elevator (he asked me to marry him in the same elevator), we have two kids who are “more or less” grown – an 18 year old daughter in college and a 23 year old son in law school, and we live on the east coast of Florida in a home we built 20 years ago. I’ve been writing novels for about 15 years and have 47 books published and hope to write 100 in my lifetime. 

Q: I have a nine pound Shih Tzu named Buddy. Tell us about your dogs.
A:  Do we have to say the weight??? I have a 12 pound Shih Tzu named Ginger who is a lovable lunatic and a, um, well, rather grossly overweight (27 pounds!) Australian Terrier (think Toto only chubby) named Pepper who is ornery, slow, bad tempered, and irresistible.  Ginger is 4 years old and Pepper is 12 going on 90.

Q. How did you get into writing?
A: I loved to read and always, always had my fingers on a keyboard, writing stories of my own. One day I just decided I had to try and write a whole book and I did, found the Romance Writers of America, entered writing contests, got an agent, and sold my first book to Simon & Schuster in 2002.

Q. How do you develop your plots and characters?
A:  Not very nicely.  All the magic happens at the keyboard for me, which makes for a very rough, frustrating, ugly first draft. Fortunately, I absolutely LOVE to revise, so that’s when I take a hot mess and turn it into a book I’m proud to call mine.

Q: What inspired you to write the Barefoot Bay Timeless series?
 A: Facebook! I started a little feature on my page called “Because it’s Friday” – it was just a post I did one day to show off a “hot guy” and readers liked it so I started putting up “Because it’s Friday” guys every week. One time, a reader made a comment about how the guy looked more like her son than a potential lover and that REALLY resonated. In response, the following week, I posted a picture of George Clooney and said something like “because sometime sexy comes in silver.” WHOA! My page blew up. I had thousands of likes, hundreds of comments, dozens of shares.  So Because it’s Friday morphed into Silver Fox Friday. And that feature was so popular with readers that it dawned on me one day that my readers liked guys over forty!  I write the Barefoot Bay series in “mini series” of trilogies and quartets and each “set” is a little different, so I thought it would be fun to do one with all silver fox heroes. (Billionaires, Brides, Undercover agents…and now Timeless.)

Q: In the Barefoot Bay Timeless series, who is your favorite character and why?
A:  Well, I’ve only written the first two books, so I might have a different answer after I finish the third, but I absolutely ADORE Mark Solomon, the 48 year old hero of BAREFOOT AT SUNSET. He’s got a heart of gold and it has been broken by grief. Watching him heal and love again was a blast. (And yes, he’s named “Mark” as an homage to my FB fans because Mark Harmon is by far and away the #1 fan favorite fox.)

Q: Who is your all-time favorite character (from your books) and why?
A: Gabe Rossi.  That’s all I really need to say.  He’s the hero of BAREFOOT WITH A BAD BOY and has appeared in all the Barefoot Bay Undercover books, plus the Guardian Angelino books. He is a sexy, dirty-talking, quick-thinking, sexy, capable, irresistible, DID I MENTION SEXY former spy.

Q: Do you prefer coffee or tea?
A: Coffee, sweet and light.

Q: What’s better than chocolate?
A: Jamie Fraser of OUTLANDER.

Q: If you believed in this sort of thing and could channel an artist from the beyond, who would it be and why?
A: Charles Dickens because he could tell a story like nobody else. (Funny aside: the hero in BAREFOOT AT SUNSET doesn’t really “believe” in that sort of thing, but he does believe that his late wife occasionally sends him messages to guide him to make the right decisions. This makes for one of the most beautiful and emotional moments in the story. Bring Kleenex!)

Q: What are your plans for the future? Where do you see yourself in five years?
A: That might be the hardest question I’ve ever been asked. I don’t really “plan” for the future. I believe that’s in God’s hands, to be perfectly honest. I don’t know where I’ll be in five years, but I hope I’m happy, healthy, and surrounded by my friends and family. I hope I’m writing, thriving, and laughing a lot, but one never knows, right?

Q: Any advice for those aspiring novelists out there?
A: Read everything you can and then write what you love to read. You aren’t really writing until you’re rewriting, so learn to love revisions, take edits, and don’t get too attached to anything in your story. Also, make friends – real ones – with other writers. It can be a very lonely life.

Thanks for your time, Rocki. I wish you success with Barefoot Bay Timeless and all your future work!

Roxanne:  Thank you! It’s been a pleasure to be here!!

Tell me your favorite Roxanne St. Claire book in the comments for a chance to win BAREFOOT AT SUNSET!

(a print copy for a US winner, a digital copy for an International winner)

Published since 2003, Roxanne St. Claire is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than forty romance and suspense novels.  She has written several popular series, including Barefoot Bay, the Guardian Angelinos, and the Bullet Catchers.

In addition to being an eight-time nominee and one-time winner of the prestigious RITA™ Award for the best in romance writing, Roxanne’s novels have won the National Reader’s Choice Award for best romantic suspense three times, as well as the Maggie, the Daphne du Maurier Award, the HOLT Medallion, Booksellers Best, Book Buyers Best, the Award of Excellence, and many others. 

She lives in Florida with her husband, and still attempts to run the lives of her teenage daughter and 20-something son.  She loves dogs, books, chocolate, and wine, but not always in that order. 

June 10, 2016


Today I joined countless other aspiring writers longing to publish their work when I tweeted my 140 character pitches in #PitMad. Being published, after all, is the ultimate affirmation, confirmation that your work is good and other people are interested in reading it. As a writer, having your work read is the ultimate goal. This was my first #PitMad but it won't be the last... It was a well run, fast track approach to querying. A way to get noticed by agents and editors and, hopefully, move to the top of the pile.

Writing a book comes with its own challenges, but once you have a polished manuscript... Publishing is the next hurdle to cross. Social media, in general, has changed the way we do things. We are connected in a way I never dreamed possible. Imagine I was resistant to trying Twitter at first and now I use it to connect, promote myself and my work, and today I used it to query my latest work.

It's a whole new world for writers. First the typewriter was replaced by the computer, then snail mail was replaced by e-mail, and now this! The world is constantly upgrading. I remember a time before the Internet and smart phones, when you used a set of encyclopedias for research and only read print books. I remember TV commercials. Life before Netflix. I'm 35. Life moves quickly. There is so much information out there to absorb.

It goes to show how powerful words can be. When you can only use 140 characters, you need to make every one count.

Thank you to the organizers and participants of #PitMad for an incredible experience. Fingers crossed that a publisher will pick up my latest work.

June 3, 2016

Six months in...

Time is flying. I can't believe we're already six months into 2016. The school year is winding down. Summer is just around the corner.

As time goes on, I feel like I've been standing still. My life seems like it's spiralling out of my control. What is control, really? Most people feel like they have control over their lives, but everything can change in a moment. You can lose your health, your job, your home, your loved ones. Life is fleeting. Life is not something we can control. If you think you're steering your own ship, guess again.

I suppose that's why I write. I can influence, if not control, the destiny of the characters in my stories. I can give them happy ever afters.

I recently read an uplifting quote;

I think it speaks for itself.

Until next time, keep reading (and writing)!