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Friday, April 5, 2013

Interview with Charlene Roberts


Hi Amber and thank you for having me as your guest today!

Amber: So glad you could be here, Charlene!

How did you start your writing career?
I admit that I had no interest in writing before I started. But after my ex-boyfriend moved long distance, I was pretty down in the dumps. My friend Michelle, who was working on an historical, needed help in typing it (using a typewriter!) and I volunteered, thinking it would help keep my mind busy. As I read her story while typing, I thought to myself “this could be fun!” and went to my first writing group with her. After that I was hooked—enough to run on the group’s Board as Newsletter Editor and Contest Coordinator.

Amber: I started off on a typewriter too! Scary how long ago that was. ;)

Where do you dream of traveling to and why?
Oh wow, where do I start? I really enjoy the history that Europe has developed (that’s where everything started). I’ve been to England, and would go back in a heartbeat. It would take years to explore all of its history, and I would enjoy every second of it.

Tell us about your current release.
ETERNAL HEIRESS is an urban fantasy novel published by Double Dragon (www.double-dragon-ebooks.com). I had always loved reading fantasy novels and wanted to write one. It’s a story of angels versus demons, but it has nothing to do with the Apocalypse and everything to do with world domination! It was set in various cities around the world, and was a LOT of fun to write.

Tell us about your next release.
I have two works in progress which will be completed more or less at the same time. They’re both erotica novels which I plan to submit to Ellora’s Cave before the summer. The first novel, tentatively titled “A Lord’s Protector,” is the sequel to “A Gentleman’s Savior,” a time travel Regency that is currently with EC. The second WIP was a story I had written for EC’s “Bounty Hunter” themed series. My editor didn’t take it for the series, but she said that she wanted the story as a standalone, which makes me very happy! J

There is a third novel in the works, which I had started during National Novel Writing Month, but I won’t look at it until I’ve finished these other two novels—it will be the 3rd and last story in the series I’m working on.

When was your first sale?
December 2009, about a week before Christmas. I was at work and checking my emails during my lunch, when I saw the email from an editor at Ellora’s Cave. It started with “Thank you for submitting to Ellora’s Cave” and I had immediately thought “crap, they didn’t like it.” So I did everything else during my lunch and left that email for last! It was quite the surprise when I discovered that the editor wanted to contract my story. I knew I was in shock, but the first thing I did was call my friend Chris. She was very thoughtful in doing all the screaming for me, as she manages a bookstore, and can get away with that kind of thing.

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?
I wish! But I write so slow that it wouldn’t be fair to them (lol!) I hope to have either group or both of them one day. My friend has beta readers and she has been grateful for their input.

Plotter or Pantser? Why?
I’ve been both, and I’m a total pantser. Unless the book I’m working on is really long, I create the stories in my head and do everything I need to in my head. I’ll write it down if a scene or scenes are mixed up, or if I can’t remember a certain character’s hair or eye color. The most I’ll do is write the bare bones of the story, and then off I go! If I write anymore, I’d lose interest. But that may change as I get older!

Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?
I like the Sounds of Nature CDs that I have, and need more of them! If I listen to music that I can hum to, then I can’t concentrate on the writing. With Nature, it’s soothing and it’s almost like white noise – it’s there, but it’s not distracting. At one point, I used to have a golf game playing on my TV as background noise! Lol

Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?
DON’T GIVE UP! It took me almost 10 years before I published my first book. Honestly, the writing was a hobby at first to help me deal with a long-distance relationship, but as I learned more about the business of writing, I couldn’t stop. I’m still learning! Sure, there are authors who have published their first book on the first try, but that’s a rare occurrence. I think of authors like JK Rowling, who had shopped her Harry Potter books to death until a publisher took a chance with her, and look where she is now! But the most important thing is PERSEVERANCE. Writers get rejection letters – heck, I still get them! But after beating the wall with your fists, you sit down, analyze what went wrong and get back at it.

Morning Person? Or Night Person?
Night person definitely! Although I’ve noticed that I’m going to bed earlier and earlier, especially during the work week. It never used to stop me from staying up and reading or watching a great movie, but nowadays, I need my zzzzz’s.

Biography
Charlene Roberts lives in Toronto, Canada. Her writing career started after helping a friend type her historical novel. When she became a member of her local writing group, she pursued her love of the written word until her first sale and hasn't looked back since.

She has worked as a Script Supervisor, Book Reviewer for Romantic Times, modelled and now works as an Administrative Assistant at a consulting company. However her love of creating stories for others to read and enjoy still remains her first and foremost passion.

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A Gentleman’s Savior - BLURB
When Stephanie’s art teacher issues a challenge—create a painting based only on the torso of a human sculpture—she decides to paint a Regency lord. But with his muscular body, longer hair and a few well-placed scars, Stephanie’s lord is definitely no Regency dandy. Her best work ever, the painting stirs an obsession Stephanie can’t explain. Not content to wait for the next class, she visits the art center, just to get a peek at her lord. She touches the painting…

And suddenly finds herself in a bedroom in 1817 London, her lord standing behind her—very real, very naked and very ready to end Stephanie’s sexual dry spell.

Before she can say “ton”, Stephanie’s indulging her desires with Gabriel, dressing in the height of Regency fashion and meeting the Prince Regent. But life in 1817 isn’t all tea and crumpets. Stephanie soon learns she’s reliving her past life—one that ended tragically. Thrust in the middle of a sinister plot, she must save the prince, save Gabriel…and if she’s luckier this time around, save herself.

EXCERPT
The footsteps halted outside her door for several seconds before continuing to the room next door.
Stephanie hated this propriety of sleeping in separate rooms at his mother’s house, but she had to abide by the etiquette of the time.
Nevertheless, she opened her door and peeked out. To her right, a thin stream of light appeared from beneath her husband’s door. Stephanie stepped into the hallway, taking care to be quiet as she approached Gabriel’s room and knocked gently.
She heard him approach. The door opened to reveal this splendid-looking man, his white shirt undone and displaying his hard chest, chiseled abs covered in fine, dark hair and battle scars. A man she had painted from memory in her present time.
“Darling, why are you still awake?”
She closed her eyes, relishing the sound of his low, grumbling voice filled with concern. “I couldn’t sleep,” she told him. “I stayed awake until you returned with Jackson and the other men. The thought of you encountering that intruder…” She couldn’t finish.
“You needn’t have done that.”
“I wanted to.” She took a deep breath. “May I come in?”
“Stephanie, you know Mother would be most upset—”
“You will excuse me for sounding rude, but your mother is asleep. And I would very much like to be with my husband right now.”
He nodded, opening the door wider so she could slip in. A decanter of brandy and a half-filled glass sat on the dresser. His hat, cane, coat and boots were strewn onto and near a chair by the door.
She turned and saw his expression—a look of concern marred his dark brow, his lips pinched slightly.
“Gabriel? Are you all right?”
His face cleared. “Of course.” He shut the door and approached her, wrapping his arms around her waist.
Stephanie rested her cheek against his chest, listening to his steady heartbeat. “I know that this is not the best time, but have you discovered anything?”
“About the assassination plot? Not particularly.” He stepped slightly away to look down at her. “However, the possibility of an assassination is evident.” He told her about his conversation with the Marquess of Stratford and his fight with the stranger intent on hindering his investigation.
Stephanie cried out softly in dismay, but he assured her that he was not hurt. “Gabriel, I don’t like this—not at all. What are we to do?”
I shall continue my investigations. I have some acquaintances in Parliament who might know something.”
“Please be careful.” She grabbed his shirt. “If this madness is true, these men will do what is necessary to keep the plot a secret.”
“Don’t fret, Stephanie. I do have experience in keeping myself alive and out of trouble.”
“I know, but I would still ask that you protect yourself.” She rubbed her hand against his chest and was rewarded with a sharp intake of breath.
“I would ask that you stay with me tonight…” he whispered, and then stopped.
Stephanie looked up at him. “Then ask.”
Gabriel’s gaze was so intense her skin prickled with goose bumps. “Heaven forbid that we wake up my mother.”
“I am the one who experienced a very frightening night, and I want to spend the rest of it in my husband’s arms.” She kissed his nipple and felt his large arms tighten around her in response. “Surely your mother could not disapprove of that?”
“Mother has particular ideas about propriety.”
“Damn propriety! Will you not comfort your wife in her time of need?”
Gabriel bent and kissed her thoroughly, his tongue prying her lips apart and delving into her mouth.
Stephanie ran her fingers through his thick hair, drawing his head even closer to hers as she opened her mouth wider, tasting the remnants of the brandy and his own unique taste.
He bent and picked her up, not breaking the kiss until he laid her on the bed. “My love, I have not brought the condoms with me, as you know. I didn’t expect—”
“Shh.” Stephanie placed her hand over his mouth. “Right now, I want to be with you, Gabriel, in your arms. Nothing more.”
He quickly doused the lamp and stripped the rest of his clothes off. Climbing into bed, he reached for her and wrapped his arms and leg around her body.
“When I heard the screams, I had feared the worst,” he whispered, kissing her forehead, his lips trailing down her face until they reached hers. “The thought of losing you…”
“You won’t lose me, darling,” she told him, kissing him back. “Not now. Not ever.”


2 comments:

  1. Eternal Heiress sounds fascinating - can't wait to get my hands on it! Great interview. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Tina! I loved writing that story. There's a chance of a sequel, but that has been a blip on the radar. I don't know when I'll get to that.

    You can buy it at Amazon, Kindle or Double Dragon Publishing.

    ReplyDelete