18 January, 2012

Q&A with Robyn Carr (Hidden Summit)

I'd like to welcome Robyn Carr to Read My Mind today. She answered a few questions for myself and my lovely readers as part of a blog tour to promote her newest release, HIDDEN SUMMIT. Be sure to check out my review in the following post!

About The Author
Now that Robyn Carr has earned the #1 slot on the New York Times list, the creator of the wildly popular Virgin River series laughs when someone refers to her as an overnight success.

“The truth is, I was first published in 1978, and it took me thirty years to make it to The New York Times Bestseller List,” she pointed out.

But once Robyn became that popular, she stayed that popular. And, when Bring Me Home for Christmas, the 16th Virgin River novel, was released in November 2011, it debuted in the #1 slot not just on The New York Times roster, but also on the Barnes and Noble, and Publishers Weekly lists as well.

Clearly, Robyn’s series about men of honor who build a town in northern California’s redwood forests for the women they love has launched her into the publishing stratosphere and earned her a broad and loyal following. The first book in the series, Virgin River, was published in 2007. The next year Robyn got the call from her editor that A Virgin River Christmas had landed on the Times list.

Robyn and her husband enjoy traveling, often taking research trips together. Their son and daughter are grown. Robyn says that, in addition to reading her novels and making snide remarks about how she’s used family scenarios to her advantage, they have made her a happy grandmother.

Q: How much of your actual life gets written into your fictional stories? Do you ever use real people as inspiration for your characters?

A: As inspiration—yes. But as actual characters, no. Real people don’t usually come off well in fiction. I take traits and experiences and emotional reactions from people I’ve met or read about and blend them into composite characters. But experiences and bits of dialogue from my life sneak in—happily. In Virgin River Jack’s sisters are remembering when Jack and his best friend hung their dolls by the neck—mean big brother stuff. My son and his best friend did that to my daughter’s cabbage patch dolls. Don’t worry, they’re all fine…. Well, I’m not sure about the dolls, but my son, his best friend and my daughter have persevered.

Q: Have you noticed your writer’s voice has changed over the years due to experience? If so, how?

A: Undoubtedly I’ve both matured and relaxed. I’ve gained experience both in life and writing and I’ve relaxed into telling stories my way, the way that is natural to me. Both things help.

Q: What is the underlying message you want women to take away from this new Virgin River trilogy—Hidden Summit, Redwood Bend, and Sunrise Point?

As in all Virgin River novels, it’s never too late to create your own happy ending. You are the heroine of your own life and you never never never settle for less than the most optimal experience, the most perfect partner. Men and women thrive when they find positive, mutually respectful relationships.

Thanks so much Robyn, for giving some insight into your inspiration and the newest VIRGIN RIVER TRILOGY!

Hidden Summit
Sick of running into her cheery ex-husband and his new wife, Leslie Petruso accepts a job at the Virgin River branch of Haggerty Construction and takes the high road right out of town. Now she's got Paul Haggerty's business running like a well-oiled machine. In fact, things are so busy Paul jumps at the chance to hire an extra set of hands.

Just like Leslie, Conner Danson has been burned by love. But if Leslie was disappointed by her relationship going bad, Conner was decimated. He's got no time for women…although he spends an awful lot of time pretending not to notice Leslie. And she's pretty busy "ignoring" the chemistry between them.

According to Conner and Leslie, they have only one thing in common—they're done with love. But everyone in Virgin River can see that things are heating up at Haggerty Construction. And as far as Paul Haggerty can tell, the best thing he can do is hang on to his hard hat and watch the sparks fly!

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