Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Q&A with Robyn Carr

A lucky treat for this Wednesday, to have a Q&A with Robyn Carr author of Hidden Summit, which was reviewed right here yesterday.  (Among many other novels).  Without further ado . . . 

Q: Do you work with a specific ‘image’ in mind when creating your characters? Do you base them on people you’ve met or know, or are they more composites of real-life and your imagination?

A:Never a specific image – that’s cramping for me.  I love to take a few dominant characteristics and build the character throughout the story.  Watching them evolve is the fun.  And they’re never based on people I know, but certain characteristics from people I’ve known or met are completely useful and fun to blend.  Composites – always composites. 

Q: Even though you write contemporary romance novels, your Virgin River series takes on major issues.Hidden Summit deals with everything from Leslie’s drive to declare independence from her ex-husband to the witness protection program. And Redwood Bend addresses what it’s like for single parents who lose their spouses in war. How do you manage to keep real topics approachable in each book? And how do you decide which newsworthy topic you're going to write about next?

A: First of all, the Virgin River novels are ‘real time’ novels—the books that were published in 2007 took place in 2007, with current world events as the backdrop to the story. The 2012 books take place in 2012—it’s easy to keep oriented that way.

We re-evaluate with every story—looking for those deeply emotional issues that challenge all women. They’re called women’s issues even though they belong to men and women—as an example, the widowed step-father who has inherited the step daughter from hell when his wife passed away. We—and by ‘we’ I mean the publishing team of agent, editor, anyone associated with the publication of these stories—discuss and consider these story platforms. These are the things my readers write to me about— losing a spouse, a child, medical issues, relationship problems from divorce and widowhood to reuniting with a lost lover. And, there’s always a significant romance added in. That’s the formula, if there is a formula—women’s fiction and romance in a very special setting. 
Q: Do you have a favorite place in Virgin River? (Everyone loves Jack’s!) If it was a real town, where would you spend most of your time?

A: Oh, there’s no question—I would never miss an event at Jack’s. And while it would severely threaten my weight, I’d eat there at least once a week. There’s nothing like a local hangout where you can find your friends and catch up on the local news.

Thank you so much to Robyn Carr for spending the day at Kritters Ramblings.  I definitely enjoyed my first trip to Virgin River and am excited to put the rest of the series on my wishlist.

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