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Meet Robin


Picture of Robin


Hello! Thank you for visiting my website. As an avid reader myself, one of the things I always enjoy is finding out a little bit more about the authors of my favorite books. Is writing their primary profession? What are they doing when they aren't writing? What are their interests?

For those of you who have the same interest in me, I'd like to share some information about myself.

HAVE YOU ALWASY BEEN AN AVID READER?

Actually, I was a reluctant reader. When I was just starting to read, my mother tried to engage my interest through a variety of stories with very little success. It wasn't until she introduced me to the Nancy Drew mysteries that things changed. I was hooked on the mysteries and worked my way through the series. When I ran out of Nancy Drew stories, I went in search of - and found - other great stories to read. I've been reading every since.



WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE GENRES TO READ?

When I was younger, I only read mysteries and science fiction. Mostly science fiction. My favorite authors were Carolyn Keene, of course, but also Robert Heinlein, Piers Anthony, Anne McCaffrey and Sharon Green. I didn't discover romances until my late teens, but once I did, I more or less gave up reading everything else. For me, there was no need. Romantic suspenses had my mysteries and paranormals had my science fiction. All with the added bonus of a love story and a happy ending.

I like happy endings. I have enough stress in my life with the day job and just life in general - and watching the news is just so depressing. The last thing I want to do is read a book that's going to make me more depressed. I want the fairty tale. I want to read about how strong women overcome the challenges in their lives and are rewarded for their efforts and sacrifices. The purpose of romance stories, in my opinion, is to bolster our spirit, fill us with a sense of optimism and provide a few hours of escape from the stress of real life so we can recharge our batteries and face the challenges of another day.



WHAT ARE YOU READING NOW?

Keri Arthur's Riley Jenson Guardian series. I had purchased the first book when it came out but never got around to reading it. Several years ago, my son (who also loves reading paranormal) picked it up to read. It wasn't long before I had purchased the entire series. Several weeks ago, I was in the mood to read a "great" book; one that really reeled me in and made me want the series to never end. Remembering how much my son had enjoyed this series - and knowing I had all the books in it - I picked up the first one. I was not disappointed. Unfortunately, I'm almost through the entire series. I'm not sure what I'll read next, whether I'll try another of her series or try another author. The great thing is, there are a lot of choices out there.



DID YOU ALWAYS WANT TO BE A PUBLISHED AUTHOR?

Yes. It was always my dream to write and publish novels, but I didn't know how to acheive that dream, so when I went to college, it was to pursue another career. I ended up on the five year plan that spanned four different majors (I couldn't find one I loved), three states and three universities. I finally graduated from the University of Missouri - Columbia with a BA in Psychology. Still unsure what I wanted to do with my life, I enrolled in grad school. Three years later, I had two Masters degrees (Business Administration and Public Health) which at least allowed me to get a job.

Fast forward to 1998 and I'm living in Houston, married with three children and working full-time for a pharmacy outsourcing company in the finance department when I learned about Romance Writers of America. I attended my first meeting, realized that this wonderful organization was going to show me the path to my dream of becoming a published author. I started my first serious attempt at writing; a futuristic romance about a female smuggler who steals a ship only to discover the computer is currently being controlled by the life essence of a law enforcement officer and she's just unwittingly gotten herself sucked into his mission to save the universe. Too Close to the Sun was the first book I ever finished. Dorchester purchased it in 2002 and it was published in 2003.



WHAT IS YOUR DAY JOB?

I've been with the same company now for over 26 years. While much of my career was in the finance department, now I like to say I write for a living. Instead of writing fiction, though, I draft legal documents and customer contracts. Ironically, I was asked to apply for this position not because of my two Master's degrees or background in finance (though those certainly helped) but because I had become a published author. Funny how things work out.



HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO WRITE ONE OF YOUR BOOKS?

Sadly, I am a very slow writer with not a lot of time to write. Last year, I wrote about 600 pages of what will end up being the first two books of a new series I’m working on. My goal for 2016 is to finish and revise the first of these books and publish it.



SPEAKING OF BOOKS, WILL YOU EVER WRITE ANOTHER NIGHT SLAYER BOOK?

Yes. I think it's time. I had already plotted out Harris' story when I lost my contract. At the time, I figured that was the end of the series. Now, though, that doesn't have to be the case. I've had many fans email me to ask for Harris' story, so with any luck, that will be my next project after I finish the second book in the new series.



WHAT IS THE HARDEST PART OF WRITING?

For me, it's writing that first draft. I’m a hardcore plotter, so before I even start writing, I’ve already mapped out most of the book and the scenes, so you’d think it would be easy to write the story. As soon as I sit down at the computer, though, I have a hard time breaking out of the “telling” or narrator mode and into the more active role of writing from the characters' points of view as they move through the story. I think this is a common challenge among writers and we just have to plow through. A trick I've learned to help me get started is that I pretend I’m emailing my critique partner describing a scene and the action taking place in as much detail as I can. I find that after a paragraph or two, the dialogue and actions start coming to me and I can slip into that active story-telling mode.



WHAT INFLUENCED YOU TO BECOME A WRITER?

It was my love of reading that influenced me to become a writer.



WHAT IS YOUR PREFERRED WRITING STYLE? PEN, TYPE WRITER OR COMPUTER?

Definitely computer. I like using programs such as Writeway Pro and Scrivner (I use both) to outline my story. I’ve also found it’s easier to write a scene at a time in these programs. Once most of the scenes are written, though, I prefer to finish and revise the story in WORD.



RUMOR HAS IT THAT YOU HAVE BUTCHER PAPER TAPED TO YOUR WALL. WHY?

Ha! Okay - you caught me. I'm a very visual person - which is why I like WriteWay Pro's and Scrivner's storyboarding features, but sometimes I need to storyboard the old-fashioned way, so I keep butcher paper taped to my wall and in the early stages of plotting, I will write out scenes and story turning points on colored Post-It notes and stick them to the paper. It's easier to move scenes around that way until I have a better handle on how the story will unfold.



WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT THE WRITING PROCESS?

I really enjoy plotting new stories; figuring out what happens and all the twists and turns. I also really love that feeling I get when I finish the last revision and I know the book is done; ready to be published. It gives me a real sense of accomplishment.



WHAT DO YOU LIKE LEAST ABOUT THE WRITING PROCESS?

I hate to admit this, but I pretty much hate everything in between plotting the story and finishing it. It's like Dorothy Parker said: "I hate writing, I love having written."



DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE BOOK YOU'VE READ?

Probably whatever book I'm reading at the time is my favorite. There's only one book, though, that I've read more than once because I liked it so much. Restoree by Anne McCaffrey. If you read it, I’m sure you’ll see its influence on Too Close to the Sun.



WHEN YOU'RE NOT WORKING, WRITING OR READING, WHAT ARE YOU MOSTLY LIKELY DOING?

Probably something creative, like knitting, crocheting, quilting, working on DIY craft projects, taking lots of photographs or creating a Shutterfly album with the photographs I've taken.