Writer Wednesday with Robena Grant
Writer Wednesday is that day I get the chance to share writer friends with you. Today I’m thrilled to have Robena Grant with me. She’s the author of the Desert Heat series, which includes Unlock the Truth and The Blue Dolphin.
CA: What made you decide to write a novel?
RG: I took a class at UCLA Extension with my then 18-year-old daughter. I thought it was to learn how to write. I didn’t know I was supposed to be working on a novel. So I ran home and started to write, and that became my first finished manuscript. : )
CA: Wow, what a jolt to the system! What genre do you write in, and why?
RG: I write contemporary romance, but I’m always mixing genres. I like stories about people in the world as I know it, and enjoy the journey that young lovers take, or the leap of faith with the second chance at love from an older heroine. I’ve written women’s fiction, paranormal, romantic suspense, and am now venturing into contemporary romance with a magical realism thread.
CA: Is this a series or standalone book? If a series, what is the name of this series, and how many books/short stories do you have planned?
RG: Unlock the Truth is Book #1 of the Desert Heat Series, #2 is The Blue Dolphin, and #3: Desert Exposure. I think of them as spin-offs, a series linked by location and secondary characters who clamor to have their story told. The books can be read out of order.
CA: Ooh, very cool. So there’s really no limit on the number of books you could write in that series! Where would you live, if you could live anywhere in the world?
RG: Italy, no France…no, wherever, but I’d want good plumbing, phone, and internet. : )
CA: LOL – I’m totally with you! Italy and France are in my top 5 places, too! Um…Name 3 simple joys in your life.
RG: Hanging out with my adult kids. Drinking a glass of fine red wine. Reading an amazing book.
CA: If you could have dinner with any person, living or dead or fictional, who would it be and where would you go to eat?
RG: Ernest Hemingway. We’d go to Aux Deux Magots, on Boulevard St-Germain…not so much for the food but for the espresso and the people watching. Then we’d gossip about everyone.
CA: Wouldn’t that be totally fascinating? And I’m sure he’d be drinking whiskey! If you could give just one piece of advice to a writer starting out, what would it be?
RG: Always be working on something fresh while you’re submitting something you’ve finished.
CA: Excellent advice! What do you do when you’re not writing? Do you have a Day Job?
RG: I’m retired from the workforce. Writing is now my full-time job. I volunteer on several committees in my community, like to exercise, attend book club, hang out with friends, take in a movie, or lunch, and travel whenever and wherever I can.
CA: Sounds like an Awesome life! Now…Name one thing your fans would be surprised to learn about you.
RG: I like karaoke, but I can’t sing.
CA: Is there anything else you’d like to talk about?
RG: Just to mention that Unlock the Truth and The Blue Dolphin are available for Kindle readers. It’s an Amazon three month exclusive with KDP Select, then in May they will be released in print and all digital formats through Wild Rose Press Publishers. Desert Exposure is TBA, but it will also be released in 2013.
How exciting, to have three novels come out in one year! Let’s take a look at Unlock the Truth.
BLURB: Dena Roman needs closure. Three months ago, her sister’s murdered body was
found in the California desert. When a second body is found at the same site, Dena jeopardizes her public relations position to go undercover and investigate. But falling for the main suspect isn’t part of her plan.
Zeke Cabrera needs help. He sold a portion of his family’s Three C’s Estates to keep his citrus farm afloat, but when bodies are unearthed on the site, he’s suspected of murder. Help comes in the form of a communications expert who makes all the difference in his life and business–and in his heart.
Amidst an attack on her life and run-ins with a cantankerous foreman, Dena digs for the truth, even as she forms a strong bond with Zeke. But can their newly found love survive all the deep secrets hidden at Three C’s Estates?
And The Blue Dolphin:
BLURB: When Debbie Williams discovers a dismembered body in the dumpster behind her health spa, she’s determined to find out what happened. As a single parent, she must be sure the town she loves is safe for her daughter. Debbie won’t be deterred by anyone–not even the ruggedly handsome agent on the case who doesn’t appreciate her amateur sleuthing.
After his partner’s body is uncovered, DEA agent Jack Davis vows revenge. But three words shouted over the phone before his partner died–azul, delfin, Almagro–are Jack’s only clues. Even worse, a sexy blonde spa owner refuses to stay out of his investigation, and the chemistry between them is difficult to ignore.
As danger strikes ever closer, Jack and Debbie must figure out what blue dolphins and a small California desert town have to do with a dangerous drug cartel…all while protecting their hearts from an attraction neither can resist.
More About Robena:
Robena Grant is Australian by birth but resides in Southern California. She has two adult children, loves travel, and enjoys writing stories about ordinary women faced with extraordinary circumstances. She may be contacted at: www.robenagrant.com where she blogs on a slice of life on Mondays. Also, FB, Twitter, Google+.
Here’s Robena’s Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/author/robenagrant Go “Like” her – and don’t forget to “Like” her books.
I’m sure Robena will be around today, so feel free to ask her questions!
Demon Soul and Demon Hunt are both available for both the Kindle and Kobo! Have you fallen into the Caine Brothers’ world yet?
Congratulations on taking the class that moved you into writing. Your life sounds as fun as your novels. Best success to you!
Thanks, Sandy. My life has been fun so far, except for the long stretches in the office chair pounding on the keyboard, but then I dangle a reward of travel somewhere so that evens things out. ; )
Robena and her books sound terrific. Thanks for introducing her to us, Christine! I’d love to join both of you and Hemingway for espresso and people watching. 😉
Wishing you both much success!
Thanks, August. Wouldn’t it be fun to sit and talk with Hemingway? I’m betting he had a ton of inside information on a lot of people. ; )
Congratulations. So nice to learn more about you.
Thanks, Janie. Soon there will be nothing new to say and…oh, I know, then I’ll travel again. : )
Fun interview. I can’t wait to dive into these books. One and a half RITA books left before I can!
Best of luck, Robena and I hope you find a large reading audience to devour your spin-off series. As you know, I love the desert.
I wait with bated breath, Ms. Marshall. : ) I’m waiting patiently to hear what you think about my stories. And yes, I know you love the desert. We’re going to have to go to TB’s again…I need Maryland crabcakes. Ha ha.
Ooh, magical realism? That’s my fave! You have anything of that flavor coming up?
Hi, Sally. I do have one story finished and set partially on the island of Corsica. I’m going to pitch it at the SoCal conference next month. Hope I get a nibble because I LOVED writing that darn story. My WIP is set in London. : )
I have two of your books TBR on my Kindle. Can’t wait to dive into them. Loved the interview, Robena and Christine! Your advice is spot on. Writers write. Need to keep stories going, even while waiting for publication!!
Loved this interview, and congrats on your new releases, Robena!
Having an espresso and gossiping with Hemingway sounds like so much fun! (Especially if he’s as hunky as the actor who plays him in “Midnight in Paris” 🙂
Love your advice to always be working on something fresh…I totally agree and think it keeps the creative juices flowing! 🙂
Thanks, Gina. Yep, I think you and me and Hemingways ghost at Aux Deux Magots. Maybe next year? Ha ha.
Thanks for coming by, Charlene. I’m always impressed with how authors like you can juggle the promotion, the new writing, the copyedits, volunteering, doing it all over again, and yet seem so relaxed. Hmmm. Wonder if I’ll ever achieve that status? Relaxed writer. I want that. : )
Robena — great post (and good questions Christine!) … I’d also love Italy and France. Loving your story blurbs … especially Blue Dolphin … sounds like a great read. Will have to pick this up – thanks for adding to my TBR pile! 🙂
Thanks for dropping by, Nikki. Yeah, I’m hankering for a trip right now, but have to put some pennies in the travel jar. I’m good about adding to TBR lists…thanks for considering TBD. : )
I love the story about how you started writing. Did your daughter continue writing too?
Hi Shelley, thanks for stopping by. My daughter was eighteen at the time and home for the summer from college. She had a wonderful story started but never did finish the manuscript. She’s now in her early thirties and often thinks about getting back to the writing. Maybe she’ll be a late bloomer like me. ; )
You’re a woman of many talents! Love the simple pleasures. Congrats on the double release and here’s to many more to come.
Thanks, Terri. From your mouth to publisher’s ears. Ha ha. Hey, I hope you feel better. I saw on ReFab where you went home to crawl into bed. : ( I hate bugs. Have just shaken off one and hope that’s it for the season.
Romance and intrigue – right up my alley! The blurbs are great. I’ll definitely be picking them up and wishing you lots of success with the series!
Thank you, Melissa. That warms me all the way to my toes. : )
Thanks for coming by today.
Great interview Robena and Christine.
Loved your ‘must-haves’ where you live…good plumbing, phone and internet! Sounds like a good list
to me 🙂
The stories sound great and love your covers…especially The Blue Dolphin.
Yep, those must haves are essentials. Ha ha. Thanks for coming by, Kathy, and I figured you’d like TBD’s cover. I still refer to UtheT’s cover as the dead arm cover. ; )
Howdy, Robena. Always so great to get to know you better. Congrats on the books, the stories and covers are amazing. xoxox
Hey, Tanya. Good to see you here. The covers are great, aren’t they? I think maybe we have the same cover artist? Anyway, Debbie Taylor from DCA Graphics is ultra talented.
Two of my favorite writers in one place for the day, how awesome is that?! Roben, I loved UNLOCK THE TRUTH and I can’t wait to dig into THE BLUE DOLPHIN!
You’re so sweet to say that, Sam. I hope you enjoy Debbie and Jack’s story. : )
Thanks for coming by today.
Loved the interview, Robena and Christine. I’ve read THE BLUE DOLPHIN and really enjoyed it!
Hi, Linda, good to see you here. Thanks for your lovely comment. I appreciate it. : )
Great interview, Roben! Loved Unlock the Truth and am starting on Blue Dolphin! Hey, may I come to Aux Deux Magots, with you and Earnest? What would be cooler than Hemingway in Paris? A Moveable Feast!
You got it, Nan. It’s me, you, and Gina…Paris next year! You’ll like Gina. ; ) So glad you liked UtheT. Hope you enjoy TBD as well.
Hi guys! Great interview! I so want to visit Italy and France. One day…
Congrats again on your releases, Robena! I loved The Blue Dolphin. 🙂
You will, Robin. Just put it on your wish list. And as my mother in law says, “Europe isn’t going anywhere there’s always next year, or the one after that.” : ) And thanks so much, I’m happy that you enjoyed the book.
Thank you so much for hosting me, Christine. This was a ton of fun!
Okay I didn’t know the karoke thing. You are ever amazing.