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Welcome Roxanne St. Claire!!

St. Claire pub 1*Contest to win copies of Roxanne’s books will end Tuesday, September 15 at Midnight!  So be sure to leave a comment for your chance to win!!

 

Melissa:  It’s great to have you with us, Roxanne.  Have you always written romantic suspense? (Which is my all time favorite by the way.)  

Roxanne:  Thank you, Melissa, and big hugs to the entire Everybody Needs A Little Romance site for inviting me and giving away some books today!  To answer the question, yes, I started with romantic suspense when Pocket Books released my first book in 2003, TROPICAL GETAWAY.  I’ve written eleven full length romantic suspense novels and two novellas.  However, I’m blessed with the ability to write fast and cursed with the need to make money, so in between most of those releases, I also have written nine category length books, mostly for Silhouette Desire, a chick lit under a different name (HIT REPLY by Rocki St.Claire), and a two stories for the HQN/NASCAR line.  But my heart is always with the romantic suspense subgenre, because I love the blend of escalating romantic and physical risks.. 

Melissa:  Where did you come up with the idea for the Bullet Catchers?  Did you know it would be a series?  FINAL HHD COVER

Roxanne:  My first three romantic suspense novels were stand alone, unrelated stories.  I knew that series were growing in popularity and that readers loved them, but I wasn’t a huge fan, since I’m one of those people who can’t stand to think they missed something.  But my fourth book for Pocket was definitely going to be a bodyguard story, so as I researched the life and times of a bodyguard, I came across the slang term “bullet catcher” and creative lightning struck.  I knew I had a concept that was, by nature, a dangerous and sexy job (security and protection) with a ton of story possibilities and room to “world build” around one group, calling them The Bullet Catchers.  Happily, my publisher agreed! 

Melissa:  Do you know how many books will be in this series?  Who’s going to be your next hunky hero?  

Roxanne:  With the two releases in 2009 (HUNT HER DOWN – just released,  and MAKE HER PAY – out later this month) the series will have eight full length novels and two novellas.  And I’m taking a hiatus from it next year, writing a spin-off trilogy in a new series, which will launch in late 2010 and continue in 2011. 

Melissa:  Speaking of your hunky heroes, do you have a favorite?  Or have they all stolen a piece of your heart?  

Roxanne:  I love them all while I’m writing them, no doubt about it.  Dan Gallagher (hero of HUNT HER DOWN) is dear to me, of course, as he’s the one that 1) is out now (LOL) and 2) has been “hurt” by Lucy, since he’s always had a special and close relationship with her.  I also am very partial to Max Roper (hero of THRILL ME TO DEATH) who is Dan’s closes friend and plays a major role in HUNT HER DOWN.  Also, I love Alex Romero (hero of KILL ME TWICE) because he was the first Bullet Catcher, and I have a weakness for hot Latin men with overactive libidos!

Melissa:  Are they based on real live men in your life? (If the answer is yes, I’m so jealous! LOL)  

Roxanne:  Uh, this is fiction, Melissa. But fortunately, inspiration is everywhere! 

Melissa:  Can you give us a brief look into what your writing schedule is?  About how long did it take you to complete one of your romantic suspense novels? Are yMHP final coverou a plotter or a pantser?  

Roxanne: I write five, usually six, days a week, every minute that my kids (12 & 16) are in school, and then some.  I shoot for one full scene a day, a target I usually make, sometimes exceed, and occasionally miss altogether.  I have a “story plan” rather than a plot – I can see a very vague big picture that changes as I write.  If I’m lucky I know the next 50 pages or 7-ish scenes, and every night I make a list of what they are and hope that when I finish them, I can see the next 50 pages.  Sometimes I can, sometimes I have to stab at a scene quite a few times until I nail it.  Not a pretty, clean process, but it works for me.  

Melissa:  Who are some of your favorite authors

Roxanne:  Oh, so many!  Of course, the usual suspects:  Linda Howard, Nora Roberts, Jayne Ann Krentz, the writers who really introduced me to the world of romantic suspense.  These days I read a lot outside of my own genre, and I admit I’m on a YA glom that just won’t quit.  I have discovered that I adore the hip, fast, fresh voice of good YA romance, and that it can be the best escape.  Since I have a tween and a teen, reading the literature that is written for and about that age really helps me have some insights into their lives.  I don’t read much paranormal, but when I do, it’s Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter, who are good friends and absolutely amazing writers.

 Melissa:  I’ve heard you have a new series in the works.  Anything you can share with us?  Maybe a few hints?  

Roxanne:  Absolutely!  I’m writing the first book now, and it has yet to be submitted to my new editor, so I’ll give you this caveat:  everything could change!  I’m writing this series for Grand Central Publishing, and am very, very excited as the first book seems to be going very well.  (I have been known to hit the wall at page 250, where I should be soon, so I have my fingers crossed and am feeding my muse copious amounts of chocolate and champagne.)  The series is called The Guardian Angelinos.  While similar in nature to the Bullet Catchers  – they protect, they investigate, they fight crime and, of course, they break hearts – this group is grittier and “street wise” than their predecessors.  The Angelinos (and the Rossi’s) are an extended Italian family in Boston who form a rogue security and investigation organization that flies under the radar of the law and has no compunction about breaking rules to get the job done.  The Angelinos don’t have the cash, contacts or computer power that the Bullet Catchers have, but they have street smarts and guts.  Also, there’s a bigger interplay between the characters, many of whom are related and have complex personal histories, because I found that readers really responded to that element of the Bullet Catchers.  As much as I focus the writing on the love story and suspense element that drives it, readers will invariably comment about the relationships between characters (like why Max and Alex hate each other, and how ‘close’ is the friendship between Dan and Lucy?).  So this series will have a touch more of that, which is easy and fun when you’re working with the branches of a gnarled family tree.

 I don’t have titles for the first three books yet, but I can tell you the first hero is darker than any I’ve ever written before, more tortured and literally wounded, so he isn’t physically perfect.  But he should make you weak in the knees, just the same.

 The Guardian Angelinos also have a loose connection to the Bullet Catchers, as some of the characters are distant cousins of Johnny Christiano (hero of TAKE ME TONIGHT) who, when we “close” the Bullet Catchers is about to go to Italy with his wife, Sage, to run the European operations of that company. 

 

Hey, Vicki here and not only could you win Rocki’s Thrill Me To Death, but someone is going to win Rocki’s newest realease Hunt Her Down. Of course I’ve got a few questions to ask Rocki as well.  

Hi Vicki, my darling!  Thanks for joining in and for giving away books!!  

Vicki – So, are you a stiletto or flip flop girl?  

Rocki – You know, I’m just a flat-out shoe girl.  I love ‘em all.  I intend to wear heels until I’m taken to the great beyond because I happen to think they are the sexiest, most feminine thing ever invented.  However, to be quite honest, I live in Florida, like you, Vicki, and flip flops are like drinking water – you simply can’t sustain life without them.  I have beaucoup pairs in a rainbow of colors, but my simple black Target flops find their way to my feet almost every single day.  

Vicki – Hunky sexy hero, or nerdy sexy hero?  

Rocki – That’s a joke, right? 

Vicki – Favorite word  

Rocki – We were just talking about this at dinner last night!  One of my kids had this question on a language arts test and we had a lively discussion over our favorite words.  I knew mine without hesitation:  relentless.  I love every single thing about that word — the way it sounds, what it means, how it defines my personality, how it is the core of my characters.  It’s a sexy, exciting, vivid, power word and it is my favorite. 

Vicki – Least favorite word  

Rocki – Two of them, but only when used together:  good enough.  NOTHING is ever good enough! 

Vicki – If you weren’t an author (a rockstar author I should say), and you could do anything else you wanted, what would it be and why?

Rocki  – So not a rock star, except in my own home.  I used to dream of being an international journalist like Christiane Amanpour, but I probably don’t have the guts to face danger the way she does.  I also have had brushes with television acting and newscasting, both too bloodthirsty even for a hardcore competitor like me.  I spent many years as an marketing and public relations executive, and I loved that job since it was a natural fit for my personality.  But the most challenging, rewarding, tiring, and stimulating career I can imagine is motherhood, and I’ve loved every minute so far, and am anticipating all the rest.

Melissa:  Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by Roxanne!  And best of luck with your new series!  I can’t wait!!

 

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35 Responses

  1. Great interview, Melissa.

    I was going to work on my TBR pile while on vacation but now I must go to B & N. Both the Bullet Catchers and the Angelion’s sound like great lines. Woohoo. Years of good reads.

    Roxanne, Could you tell us a little about how you contact sources and research the information for the story lines? Do you write, then ask for layering or do you research first and write from notes/

    Thanks,
    Autumn
    2009 Golden Heart Finalist
    http://www.autumnjordon.com

  2. Wow! I loved the interview – and it was a double whammy with two interviewers! Thanks, Roxanne, for stopping by.

    I have to say I can’t believe how many ideas are just flying around in your head. Productive doesn’t come close to describing you. How in the heck do you keep all of your writing straight (I’m assuming you write several books at the same time?)

    Amy

  3. Great interview, and your new series sounds terrific!

    Kimber

  4. What a fun interview!!!!

    Love those tortured heros!!!!

  5. Great interview. Love Roxanne’s writing.

  6. Loved the interview!!!

  7. Ok…Rocki’s pimp here…I cannot believe you (Rocki) did not mention the BIG online Romance Readers’ Club chat…

    Gang – Rocki will be with Leigh Duncan and Michelle Buonfiglio on Sept 29 from 7-8 EST (6-7 CST) chatting about HUNT HER DOWN, answering questions, etc on Michelle’ Heart to Heart blog on Barnes & Nobles website forum.

    http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Heart-to-Heart/bg-p/HearttoHeart

    There will be a group of us in Little Rock joining in, mostly because it sounds like fun. Plus I’ve heard that HUNT HER DOWN is like Rocki’s best book EVER! Hope some of ya’ll will be there too

    AND great interview ladies.

  8. Thanks, Cyndi! Marking my calendar!! 🙂

  9. Great interview. I enjoy your books!

  10. I love Rocki’s books! And she’s such a wonderful caring person.

  11. I really enjoy the Bulletcatchers series and can’t wait to read them all, and to delve into the new Angelinos! Keem them coming, Rocki!

  12. Great interview! I’m looking forward to her new series too!

  13. Roxi already knows how much I love her Bulletchaser books. I simply could not wait to get my hands on Dan because throughout all the books he simply grabs your affection. Why I had to have his book (which was excellent by the way)

  14. Love those Bullet Catchers! They’re HAWT!

  15. I can’t wait for the next one to come out!

  16. Your interviews are always so much fun, Rocki. Never the same old-same old. Although my heart belongs to the Bullet Catchers, I’m already anticipating your new series. What a prolific lady you are!

  17. I loved the interview.

  18. Great interview…always love learning more about authors.

  19. Love the series,keep um coming.

  20. Hey everyone – thanks for the comments and props on the books! So great to be here. And thank you to Melissa and Vicki for giving away books! And Cyndi for pimping the B&N book club!

    To answer Amy’s questions, I don’t really work on more than one book at a time (unless you count doing copyedits on one while writing another), I just stay very focused and disciplined until I get a book finished. There’s really no other way to do it!

    I’ll be in and out of here so PLEASE shoot me questions and I’ll be happy to answer!

  21. Awesome interview! I just bought some of your books, cannot wait to read them!

  22. GREAT interview. I’m a huge Rockie fan and can’t wait to read the next 2 books. Looking forward to the new series too. Hope the editor likes it.

    Thanks, Ladies!

  23. Waving at Melissa! Wow, sounds like I have some great books to buy. Great interviews.

    Sonya

  24. Hi Roxanne,
    Congrats on the new release. Chase is my favorite. I wish his story was longer.

  25. Great interview, Melissa. I was headed to vacation with a few books from my TBR pile, but I think I’m going to make a stop somewhere along the line and pick up a Bullet Catcher. That is a great title for a series.

    Roxanne,Thanks for speaking to Melissa. I have a question. Do you do your research before starting the book or midway or even after the first draft? I’m a panster of sorts, I don’t know if I could ask all the questions necessary to layer the characters until after the first draft?

    Thanks, AJ

  26. I would love to be entered into this contest. I love Roxanne’s books.
    lexeetoste@sbcglobal.net

  27. Ohh, great interview! I’ve been hearing about HUNT HER DOWN all over the place, so that’s a book I’m deffinitely going to pick up next!
    Oh! And I love the cover to MAKE HER PAY!! 🙂

  28. Rocki
    Your new series sounds awesome

  29. I love the fact that you can write fast and you have so many ideas floating around in your head! That’s awesome for us!! 🙂 I’m really liking HUNT HER DOWN and love the cover for MAKE HER PAY. Thanks for the great interview!

  30. Great interview! Romantic suspense is definitely one of my favorite subgenres and your Bullet Catchers series is fantastic. I’ll be keeping me eye out for that spin off series you mentioned for next year.

  31. Hi everyone – so glad to get some good feedback on the cover of MAKE HER PAY. I had two issues with it: not sure the “back” shot was as sexy as the front shot — and you know I’ve waited through sooooooo many boring covers to get my Hawt Guy That Sells Books, so the guy’s back was like, meh….I like abs. Also, the colored lightning on the cover of MAKE HER PAY is part of….HUNT HER DOWN. Publishers don’t worry about these things, but some authors & plenty of readers do.

    So…there was a question…let me find it. Yes, research question from Autumn. (I love that name, btw.) I do research the entire time I’m writing. Usually, when I start, I do plenty of initial research. When I wrote MAKE HER PAY, which is about underwater treasure hunting, I made a trip down to Vero Beach where the book is set, met with treasure hunters, toured a few museums, went on some treasure ships, interviewed some professionals, touched some of the gold that had been recovered.

    Before that trip, I really didn’t know what the “story” was going to be, beyond that “world” and setting. I got so many ideas, I had to sort through them all to come up with the legendary pirate ship and the split treasures, one under sea and one….no, I’m not going to tell you. Then I continued the research and interviews as I came to plot elements I wasn’t sure about.

    For me, research is critical to the story development. It tells you what kind of people populate that world, for one thing. And, setting research ALWAYS gives me my suspense ideas. When I researched the Azores and saw those cool windmills, I knew one would be at the center of my story. I definitely research right up to the very end!

    Great question!

  32. Great interview(s)! A good writer who writes lots — as a reader, that sounds absolutely perfect to me.

    Loved your reply on research —

  33. Great interview! I’m a flip flop girl too! But I also like stilettos.

  34. GREAT interview!!!! Ladies, you should do all the author interviews. this was just fabulous!

    Rocki, fantastic having you here and good luck with the new release! ….see you on Twitter!

  35. love your books
    srorr y miss ya
    congrats and great reveiws

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