posted by Aunty Cindy aka Loucinda McGary
We had a wonderful time yesterday hosting the lovely Tessa Radley, and today we are lucky enough to have another SUPER guest! I'm excited to welcome another of my "Casa Sisters" whose debut novel, a delightful contemporary romance, just hit the book stores on November 1st.
A very hearty Bandita HUZZAH to Robin Kaye!
RK: Hi Cindy and everyone here in the lair. Thanks for having me. I’ve never been in a lair before…bars, clubs, once I was even in a yurt, but never a lair. I like it.
AC: Ah yes, we had the cabana boys and gladiators up until all hours sprucing the place up just for you, Robin. Please tell us about your debut release Romeo, Romeo and your writing journey that ultimately led you to write about "…a man as good in the kitchen as he is in the bedroom."
RK: Independent businesswoman, Rosalie Ronaldi’s life would be perfect if she could just figure out how to keep her nosy, pushy, Italian family from trying to marry her off.
Nick Romeo, Brooklyn’s Donald Trump without the comb over, thinks independent women are an urban myth, until he meets Rosalie and realizes they’re no myth, just a pain in the ass. He’s finally met a woman who is looking for the same thing he is, a commitment free relationship and is shocked to discover that all he wants to do is take care of her... Before too long, he's moved in, cleaned her apartment, stocked her refrigerator, and adopted her dog.
I’ve always written, but it wasn’t until I moved to Maryland eight years ago that I started writing seriously.
Like every other female romance writer, I write about men I find attractive and in my book, there’s nothing more attractive to me than a man who is a Domestic God—someone who is as good in the kitchen as he is in the bedroom. Men who leave their socks and underwear on the floor and their dishes in the sink for me to clean aren’t the least bit sexy.
AC: EWWW! Aunty is in total agreement with that! What about your writing process? I know music plays an important part, but what kind of research or other methods do you use in creating your stories and characters?
RK: I do use music, I have a soundtrack for every book I’ve written, it keeps my head in the book and allows me to jump back in after an interruption, which happens more often than not. I’m one of those crazy busy people whose life is a series of interruptions. If it took me 20 minutes to get back into the story, I’d never get any writing done. I write where ever I am. I have a MacBook Air and even if I only have five minutes, I get it out and write.
As for research, I go to Brooklyn as often as possible to get my New York fix--there’s something about Brooklyn that stays with you long after you leave. I always have the subway map on hand as well as a map of Park Slope, photos, a good English/Italian dictionary, and my family on speed-dial.
AC: We love "Call Stories" here in the Lair. Please share yours with us.
RK: It was really an email. I had finaled in the Golden Heart which was a huge shock. When I found out, I scrambled and made plans to go to Nationals. The day I arrived in Dallas, I received an email from Deb Werksman an editor at Sourcebooks saying she’d read Romeo, Romeo and “LOVED it.”
Now I’d never heard of Sourcebooks before since they were new to romance so I went in not knowing what to expect. When we met, Deb began quoting her favorite lines to me, verbatim and to tell you the truth, I wondered about her sanity—I mean, what editor does that? It didn’t take me long to figure out she was in fact sane and just really loved Romeo, Romeo.
Unbeknownst to me, she’d requested a copy of Romeo, Romeo from RWA and had read the original version. When I realized what had happened, I told her that I’d spent the past few months rewriting it.
All the blood drained from her face. “What did you do?” she asked.
I filled her in on the changes I’d made and she said I was a genius. That’s when I handed her my cell phone and asked if she would mind calling my mother-in-law and telling her, she was so unaware. (Aunty rolls on floor in laughing fit while wishing she were so clever.)
Deb promised she’d send my MIL an email and made an offer. Romeo, Romeo was sold four days before I won the Golden Heart. It was an amazing time and an unbeatable conference.
AC(now recovered from laughing and in serious journalist mode): How has life changed or stayed the same for you now that you are a published author?
RK: Life has changed, but only some of that is because of publication. My kids are getting older and busier, so finding time to do everything is more and more of a struggle. But that’s my life—it’s a juggling act.
AC: Any pleasant (or maybe not so pleasant) surprises? Things you know now that you wish you'd known beforehand?
RK: The surprise for me was realizing how much time it takes to do the PR needed for a book launch. I’m enjoying it, but it’s severely cutting into my writing time.
As for what I wish I knew before hand…nothing that I can think of. I look at this as an adventure so I’m happy to take it one day at a time and enjoy the ride. It’s been great so far.
AC: What adventure is next for you?
RK: My next book in the Domestic Gods series Too Hot To Handle comes out this spring. I’m working on the third book. The working title is The Making of a Domestic God. I’m writing the book and praying the perfect title comes to me. Any ideas would be appreciated.
AC: What about short term or long term goals?
RK: Short term goals is to finish the next book.
(Aunty can totally identify with this one!)
Long term is just keep doing what I’m doing, writing two or three books a year, and enjoying my family. I really love my life, and except for maybe adding a bit more family time, I wouldn’t change a thing.
AC: Any advice for the AYU (as yet unpublished) writers here in the Lair?
RK: I can only say what helped me. I entered contests. I targeted agents, editors, and houses, and only entered the contests they were judging. I got several requests by doing that. Then I entered the Golden Heart and was lucky enough to sell to one of the final judges. I know I’m really lucky.
The other thing I’d suggest is to go to conferences and meet people. Put yourself out there. I’ve found myself talking to a total stranger and then realized she or he was an editor, agent, or writer I loved. Chitchatting has gotten me requests from editors, agents, and it even got me a cover quote.
AC: Thanks so much for visiting us today Robin. You'll find plenty of chitchat and chocolate and umbrella drinks... But first, let's ask a question!
Robin and I agree that a man who leaves dirty clothes and dishes
around for someone else to clean up is NOT sexy, but one who cooks and cleans definitely IS sexy.
What makes a man sexy in your opinion?
One lucky commenter will receive a copy of Robin's debut release Romeo, Romeo. Let's get this party started!