How We Met
I first met Dolores Maroney in 2011, in the corridor of a hotel that hosted the Romantic Times convention in downtown Los Angeles that year. She was standing with Sarah Vance and both of them were members of my local RWA chapter, the Los Angeles Romance Authors. We bonded there in the corridor, none of us really sure where we were going or what we were supposed to be doing. I’d been to plenty of writer’s conferences before, but never any readers conferences. It felt different, but it was also comfortable in that wherever I went, there were people I knew. Since Los Angeles is my home chapter, there were a lot of us there.
Since then, Dolores and I have become great friends. It near broke my heart when she moved back to New Jersey a month ago, but we have vowed to keep in touch and be roomies as much as possible at forthcoming conferences. Okay – now that I’ve given you our background, here’s the interview, lol!
CA: When you first started writing, what made you decide to write a novel?
DM: Honestly? I never set out to be a writer, so it never occurred to me that I could write something else. I was a stay at home mom and an avid reader of romance. My daughters joked that I had read so many I could probably write my own. I took that as a challenge—and guess what? I found out that I could write one!
CA: You have two erotic series out as Roz Lee, a baseball series and one set on a cruise ship. What drew you to writing those books?
DM: Again, I sort of fell into writing erotic romance. I was working on a mainstream contemporary romance when this crazy story idea popped into my head about an erotic themed cruise ship. The story took hold in my head and I decided to write it down, if for no other reason than to get it the heck out of my mind so I could get back to my other stuff. As I wrote, I thought perhaps I had something, but I knew nothing about writing erotic. Lucky for me, Jan Springer was doing an online class at the time. I signed up, crossed my fingers, and threw my excerpts out there for critique. The overwhelming response from Jan and the other class members convinced me I wasn’t wrong. Turns out, I have a bit of talent for writing sexy! Who would have thought it?
CA: Your latest book is under your other name, Dolores Maroney. What drew you to this story, so different from the others?
DM: I consider mainstream contemporary romance to be my roots. As a reader, I’m a big fan of Debbie Macomber, Sherryl Woods, Mariah Stewart, Nora Roberts, Fern Michaels and Robyn Carr. Not that I’ve accomplished it, but I have always wanted to write like they do. The basic idea, drummer for a rock band falls for the daughter of a rock and roll icon, came to me while driving down the freeway listening to the radio. I fell in love with the characters right away and had to tell their story.
CA: Is this latest story going to be a series, or is it a standalone book?
DM: Lost Melody is a standalone book, though I have given thought to populating Willowbrook, TX with a few more interesting people. We shall see.
CA: For a few years, you were living bi-coastal. Part of the year in Southern California, and the other part of the year back east. Now you and the hubs are back east full time. BUT…where would you live, if the two of you could live anywhere in the world?
DM: Well…we’re both originally from Texas so the South holds a lot of appeal for us. Since our daughters have made their homes in South Carolina we’re thinking of possibly retiring somewhere closer to them. For now, we’re happy to be home in our little slice of woods in New Jersey.
CA: Name 3 simple joys in your life.
DM: My family. My friends. A decadent cup of hot chocolate.
CA: Oh man. I KNEW you were my type of people! I’ve got this decadent hot chocolate recipe…anyway. If you could have dinner with any person, living or dead or fictional, who would it be and where would you go to eat?
DM: I think it would be fascinating to speak with Ralph Waldo Emerson. Maybe we could go to the food court at the mall. I’d love to see what he would have to say about that!
CA: Ooh, good choice! Emerson. I’d love to drop by and share a meal with you guys! If you could give just one piece of advice to a writer starting out, what would it be?
DM: Finish it. Many aspiring authors abandon their manuscript because it isn’t perfect. They end up with a library full of partial work—and nothing complete. There’s no such thing as a perfect manuscript, but you can’t fix something you haven’t written. So write it. Finish it. Fix it. Or, in the case of my first manuscript, bury it where no one will ever see it! LOL Yep, it’s a pile of dung. But I finished it. I told the story from beginning to end—I just did it poorly. But once I had typed those wonderful last words, the end, I knew I could write another one—and the next one would be better.
CA: It seems like every time I see you on Facebook, you’re just about to get to writing. Surely you don’t write ALL the time…What are the things you like to do you do when you’re not writing?
DM: I read—a lot. I also like to haunt antique stores and flea markets. And when spring gets here, I’ll be out in the yard trying to coax some things to grow—emphasis on the word coax. I have zero talent for gardening, but I love flowers so I keep trying. The garden stores just love to see me coming!
CA: Oh, me too…Name one thing your fans would be surprised to learn about you.
DM: Oh, gosh. Um…how about this…once upon a time I was an in-home appliance repair technician. Yep. I was one of those folks you called when your kitchen appliances or laundry equipment conked out.
CA: Is there anything else you’d like to talk about?
DM: You should know never to give a writer free rein to say anything they want! Just kidding. All I want to say is, it’s never too late to pursue your dreams. Don’t listen to those who would tell you that you can’t. You can—as long as you believe in yourself.
Blurb – Lost Melody
Out of sight, out of mind. That’s what Melody Ravenswood was counting on when she invented a new life for herself as Mel Harper in the small farming community of Willowbrook, Texas. She could be herself, whoever that was. Having long since lost her identity to being the only child and sole beneficiary of a legendary rock and roller, she was finally going to live the normal life she craved – a job, a house, friends and no paparazzi.
Hank Travis is the last thing Mel needs in her new life. The local boy turned rock and roll star’s sexy, won’t take no for an answer pursuit makes her long for a life she has only dreamed of. Before Mel can have the future she wants with Hank, she must confront her past and find the Melody she lost along the way.
Dolores has been married to the same wonderful guy for thirty-three years. They have two lovely daughters and a black lab. She makes her home in the wilds of New Jersey (yes, there are wilds in NJ). A Texan with familial roots that go all the way back to the Republic of Texas, Dolores says you can take the girl out of Texas, but…well, you know the rest.
She’s been a stay-at-home mom for most of her married life – a job she says is under-rated on the difficulty scale. Now that her girls are grown, she’s still available to them anytime, day or night, but she fills her days with writing romance novels and reading.
Dolores is a best-selling, multi-published author of erotic romance under the pseudonym, Roz Lee.
And her erotic books are smoking hot!
Dolores on the Internet
Thanks so much, Roz, for gracing both my life and my blog today. Sending you tons of hugs honey!