Today’s interview features the incredibly talented, USA Today Bestselling author Roxanne Snopek. She’s a fellow Canadian, and although she lives on the west coast, she’s a prairie girl at heart. Between us, we’ve got this country represented.
Roxanne and I write for the same publishers. We’ve also had a few romantic getaways together. Las Vegas, New York… She keeps insisting they’re called “Romance Writer Conferences,” but whatever. I got to hang with her and tell complete strangers we’re buddies and that’s all that matters.
Did I mention she’s beautiful as well as talented?
Roxanne’s latest release is THE CHOCOLATE CURE from Tule Publishing. I’m lazy as well as Canadian, so I’m offering two links to purchase (and I highly recommend you do!): Amazon and Kobo. But it’s available at other online retailers, too:
As a head’s up, the next book in the series, THE CHOCOLATE COMEBACK, releases in April. I scored an advance copy and trust me, you won’t want to miss it either:
So now we’re going to turn things over to Roxanne. She’s answering 10 nosy questions:
- What is your least favourite author question? And what is your response?
When are you going to write a “real” book? (Holding up my latest book) What is this? A bagel?
- What is your least favourite author task? Tell us why you hate it.
Updating my website. Because the entire time I’m doing it, I’m aware that anyone half my age could do it in a quarter of the time it takes me, with 100% less muttering and fist-shaking.
- Who’s your favourite—of your own books—female and/or male character?
I love my tortured hero Zach Gamble in HIS RELUCTANT RANCHER. He’s got the weight of the world on his handsome shoulders and, when Des, the female lead, finally FINALLY gets through to him… this tough, stoic cowboy cries. I love Zach.
My favorite female character, I think, is Carrie Logan, from FOREVER YOURS, SWEETHEART. She overcomes her fear of dogs to help the hero get his Belgian shepherd to the vet after a bear attack. You know me… I’m a sucker for people who help animals in need.
- Which book could you have worked on forever?
Holy smokes. I could work on them all forever. They could all be better, to my eye. But at some point, I tell myself, “Roxanne. This is the best book you can write at this moment. Stop it now or you’ll go blind.”
- You’re a USA Today bestselling author. Tell us about THE MOMENT you found out, and I’m feeling magnanimous (actually I just wanted to use that word) so tell us about the book too.
Okay, the moment I found out… I WAS ALONE IN THE HOUSE!!! There was no one but the pets to hear me scream! And then the phone rang and it was my hairdresser, congratulating me! She happened to be online and was one of the first to see my announcement. I’ll add that I’ve been going to her for years, and when she learned I was an author, felt duty-bound to read one of my books. Courtesy, you know. She told me later how shocked she was to discover that she loved it! Reading had never been a particularly enjoyable pastime for her and she says that I am the author that got her hooked on it again. <heart-clutch!> She reads all my books now. Oh, and the book: THREE RIVER RANCH, my very first romance novel. Wild mustangs, a pregnant heroine, forced proximity, marriage of convenience and a Labradoodle! Also (buffing nails and looking casual) this past year THE MILLIONAIRE DADDY PROJECT also hit the USA Today list. Just sayin’.
- Which book would you love to re-write? Why?
My first mystery novel. I love the story but it’s got some enormous problems that I’m not sure are fixable. For one thing, the worst thing that happens to the protagonist is that her dog gets sick. I mean, no one wants their dog to get sick. But great conflict this is not.
- What’s your favourite childhood memory and does it ever come back to haunt you? (In a good way—leave the rest for the therapists.)
Getting the Scholastic catalog at school! My parents always let me order new books, and it was so exciting. The possibilities! The choices! My parents read to me a lot as a child, and always encouraged my reading addiction. Now, whenever I get my BookBub newsletter, I feel a bit of that same thrill.
- We complain a lot to each other about writing-related stuff—storylines that aren’t working, characters who aren’t cooperating, when there’s no wine in the house… So why write? Why not do something easier?
I can’t tell you how often I’ve asked myself that very question. But it comes down to the same reason I’ve done anything hard, like homeschooling our kids, or Bikram yoga or resisting Cheezies: it feels so good when it’s done! J There’s nothing like seeing a brand new book with my name on it!
But seriously, despite recurring episodes of head-banging panic and self-doubt, I believe in it. I believe this is what I was meant to do, that I have something to say and that my life path is to keep trying to say it, fail, try again, fail more, succeed a little, try something new, connect with one reader at a time and keep working to uncover the essential story that lives within me.
Also, having been a human resources manager, I know a bad employee when I see one. All those ideas, you know. I’d never last.
- What’s your favourite pastime? And keep it clean. My kids read this.
Eating and drinking rank pretty highly, especially with friends. And I love to bake! My husband loves my cinnamon buns… oops. Too racy? Sadly, baking is not a friend to middle-aged metabolisms so I don’t do much now. Although I baked butter tarts this past weekend, during Snowmageddon 2017 and they were amazing. Between the shoveling and shivering, I figure we worked them off.
- And for the last invasion of privacy: What’s your favourite thing about each of your children?
Wow. Let’s see. Each of them is so passionate, in different ways. My oldest daughter is working on her first novel and is a yoga instructor. My middle daughter is a maternity nurse who likes to garden. My youngest is an artist who’s studying Psychology. I love watching their lives unfold!
Bonus question: (OK, so maybe #10 wasn’t the last.) What’s a little-known fact about you? What’s your dirty secret? (And my usual disclaimer—I’m pretty sure CSIS stalks me on-line so keep that in mind.)
I’m a certified amateur dream interpreter. Make of that what you will, CSIS.
Thank you, Roxanne!
Born under a Scorpio moon, raised in a little house on the prairie, USA Today Bestselling Author Roxanne Snopek said “as you wish” to her Alpha Farm Boy and followed him to the mountain air and ocean breezes of British Columbia. There, while healing creatures great and small and raising three warrior-princesses, they found their real-life happily-ever-after. After also establishing a successful freelance and non-fiction career, Roxanne began writing what she most loved to read: romance. Her small-town stories quickly became fan favorites; print editions of her latest series were recently launched in France.
Check out her work at her website!
Pale Moon Walking is on for $0.99 for a limited time!
This book is one of my favourites. Or maybe I should say, Libby Mayden is one of my favourite heroines (because I love all of my books). She’s a small town sheriff and retired gunfighter who hides a whole lot of secrets–not all of them hers. And now it can be yours this holiday season for $0.99!
And for the contemporary romance lovers, I also have the first book in my Spy Games series available for free at most online retailers:
I hope you’re enjoying the holiday season. We’re expecting our first big snowstorm tomorrow, which always puts me in the Christmas mood. Whatever your celebration is, have a good one!
First of all, congratulations to my Tule sister Robin Bielman. She has a new book out today!
Robin and I go way back. We’re also Entangled sisters. We first met face-to-face in Las Vegas after on-line dating for a few months. Robin was moonlighting as a pole dancer back then. We both signed non-disclosure agreements, so the rest of our history together will forever remain a mystery.
I had ten questions for Robin today, but after spending six months in jail for a crime she swears she didn’t commit, she’s pretty cagey about putting out in public (did I say that right?) and only answered 6 of them, plus the bonus question, so I’ll give her credit for 7. It turns out she found some of them intrusive—but FYI, I can’t be the only one curious as to whether or not you can catch STDs from stripper poles.
Here we go. Not the interview I’d planned, but fascinating nonetheless.
- Who’s your favourite—of your own books—female and/or male character? (Come on. We all
I honestly don’t have just one! My favorite hero is usually the one I’m currently focused on, meaning the one I’m writing or the one in my newest release. So right now that would be Prince Theo. (But I’m also in love with Mateo, the hero in my current WIP.) See? I cannot pick just one.
- Which book could you have worked on forever?
My newest release, Once Upon A Royal Christmas. It takes place at Christmas time and my hero is a prince! I could have spent lots of time writing fun and sexy winter activities, but I was happy to give him his HEA, too.
- You’re a USA Today bestselling author. Tell us about THE MOMENT you found out, and what the heck, tell us about the book too.
I found out on Twitter. LOL At the time, I didn’t realize when the announcement was shared, but I was on Twitter and I saw a tweet from Laura Kaye congratulating me on hitting the USA Today list. Needless to say, I went happy-crazy after that. The book that hit the list was Kissing the Maid of Honor, the first book in my Secret Wishes series. My hero, Luke is and extreme sports photographer and the best man, and oh, how I love him. (He’s definitely a favorite of mine.) *wink*
- Which book would you love to re-write? Why?
Veiled Target. I’d like to go back and do some more world building as well as make a few changes to my heroine. I loved her, but she didn’t resonate with everyone.
- Why write? Why not do something easier? Because I don’t know about you, but writing is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
Writing is SO hard! But I can’t imagine not doing it. I love spending time with my characters and I’m always thinking about my stories and ideas for new ones. I’ve loved to write in some way or another since I was in college so I think it’s just a part of me. And a huge reason I keep at it is to hopefully make readers happy. To make them smile and for a little while forget any troubles they may have.
- What’s your favourite pastime? And keep it clean. My kids read this.
Well, reading of course. I’m also a TV junkie and love to go hiking. And I recently started collecting sea glass.
Bonus question: What’s a little-known fact about you? What’s your dirty secret? (And if it’s a fabulous ability to hide dead bodies in unorthodox places, just a head’s up—I’m pretty sure CSIS stalks me on-line.)
How did you know? 😉 Hmm… besides my time behind bars (totally joking), I’ve got nothing super interesting. I was a field reporter for a local cable program waaayyy back when, and if those pieces were ever made public again, I’m sure I’d die of embarrassment.
And that, folks, is your introduction to Robin Bielman.
You should run right out and grab her new release, Once Upon a Royal Christmas—available today! The links I’ve provided are for Amazon, but that’s because I’m lazy. It’s available at other online retailers, too. Isn’t the cover pretty?
When not attached to her laptop, USA Today Bestselling Author Robin Bielman can almost always be found with her nose in a book. A California girl, the beach is her favorite place for fun and inspiration. Her fondness for swoon-worthy heroes who flirt and stumble upon the girl they can’t live without jumpstarts most of her story ideas.
She loves to go on adventures, and has skydived, scuba dived, parasailed, gotten lost in the wilderness (and only suffered a gazillion bug bites for it) hiked to waterfalls, and swam with dolphins. In her spare time she also likes to put her treadmill to good use while watching her favorite TV shows, take hikes with her hubby, indulge her sweet tooth, and play sock tug of war with her cute, but sometimes naughty dog, Harry.
She dreams of traveling to faraway places and loves to connect with readers. Keep in touch and sign up for her newsletter on her website at http://robinbielman.com
I’m interviewing the three men from the first books in my Spy Games series today!
Each of the first three books is a standalone romance, although for anyone interested in the overall series plot (there really is one!), they’re best read in order:
Her Spy to Have ~ Book 1
Her Spy to Hold ~ Book 2
His Spy at Night ~ Book 3
If you don’t want to read them in order, no worries—the main plot doesn’t contain any deep dark secrets or major spoilers. We know who did it from the very first book. The rest of the stories are spent gathering enough information to hang him.
Although we haven’t literally hanged anyone in Canada since December 11th, 1962.
Now that we’ve cleared all that up, let’s get back to my guys so I can introduce them….
Word of warning–these guys are a little camera-shy, for obvious reasons.
First on the scene is Garrett.
He’s in love with Isabelle, a woman with a sketchy past. His pastimes include wandering around Khao San Road in Bangkok dressed like a tourist.
Next we have Kale.
He made quite the impression on Irina, who’s a brainy software engineer and weapons systems placement designer. Kale likes extreme sports—kitesurfing, rock climbing, and longboarding down mountain roads in Nova Scotia for starters.
Last but not least, we’ll introduce you to Harry. Oh, Harry…
His girl is Marlies, an expert in money laundering and hawala systems of exchange, but she has other skills that Harry puts to good use. (Yes, that’s a naughty reference.) When Harry wants to get away from the embassy office in the Netherlands, he likes to take after-hours canal tours. (Yes. Another naughty reference.)
Only two of these men are spies, however. That’s okay. Garrett and Kale like Harry a lot and they can totally sympathize with the problems inherent in his relationship with Marlies. (Marlies goes by Lies for short. Pronounced Lees. Even if the pronunciation is different, it is so, so appropriate for her…)
Garrett and Harry have a lot in common. They both work at Canadian embassies. They’re quiet and good at blending in. Kale is even better than they are at listening, but he prefers a bolder approach to information gathering. If you want an analogy, he’s more of a hurricane to their warm summer rain. (ßThat sentence right there is why I’m a writer.)
I know you guys are busy so I’m going to go with 3 easy questions for you:
- What set you on your career paths? Harry, I know you’re a diplomat and trade commissioner, not a spy, but still, there’s a level of intrigue in what you do. You constantly have your ear to the ground and one of your friends happens to be the director of Canada’s spy organization.
(Heads turn. Garrett and Kale stare at Harry.)
Garrett: You’re friends with John Carmichael?
Harry: No offense, but he’s the only one of you people I even remotely trust.
Kale: None taken. (Arches brow.) But what about Lies?
Harry: Not even as far as I can throw her.
Kale: Right. What was I thinking?
Garrett: To answer your question—I’ve always been restless if I stay in one place too long, which comes from me, not my upbringing. My family is pretty stable and ordinary, and I love them, but I want to serve my country. I like the challenge. What I do isn’t especially exciting, at least not on the surface, but I really enjoy the game of matching wits with people who believe they’re smarter than I am.
Kale (nodding head in agreement): Yeah, I like that whole game aspect of it, too. I’m a linguist who speaks seven languages. My dad is a career diplomat who travels a lot, particularly in the Middle East, so I’m comfortable with the different languages and cultures. I don’t fit my stereotype and I love it when people look at me and see a dumb jock. You wouldn’t believe the conversations people have in public when they think no one around them can understand.
Harry: I seem so dull in comparison to these two. I started off working summers as an unpaid intern for the UN, then after university, went to work for several different aerospace and defence companies in their international marketing departments. I speak a few languages too, so between those and my business connections, it was an easy progression to Canada’s trade commission. I like helping companies do business in other countries. It increases Canada’s profile worldwide and grows the economy.
- We’re all friends here. What do you find hottest about your women?
Garrett: Not that it’s anyone’s business, but I love the fact that Isabelle is such a mystery to me. I’m always trying to figure out the best way to please her.
Kale: No secrets here, man. I straight up love the way Irina can be talked into anything. And I mean anything. Still waters. Gotta love them. (Shifts restlessly in chair and eyeballs clock on wall.) When is this interview over?
Harry: Since we’re oversharing (stares pointedly at Kale), Lies can be very (clears throat) forthright about her preferences. It’s refreshing to spend time with a woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to ask for it.
Kale: That’s what we’re calling it? Refreshing? Wait until I share that with Irina. (Starts to laugh at what is clearly an inside joke.)
- Since we’re on an honesty roll, and next week the ladies will get their chance to rebut, what do you like the least about them?
Garrett (answers a little too quickly): Isabelle’s father. Did I say that out loud?
Kale (speaking to Garrett): Is that an option? Because I like everything about Irina, including her parents. She’s smart, she’s pretty, she’s sexy… I mean, her father was once a Soviet double agent, sure, but it’s not like I can cast stones. I do get why you don’t like Isabelle’s dad though. The guy steals military weapons and intelligence and sells them to hostile nations. That’s got to make Christmases awkward.
Harry (thoughtfully): Lies can be really inappropriate. The phone sex, for instance. I can’t figure out if I like or dislike it. Once I got over the initial shock, it can be— You know what? Forget it. I take it all back. I’m not answering this question.
Kale (stares): Dude. What the hell. You like it. (Again glances longingly at clock.)
And on that note, guys, it’s a wrap. Thanks so much for joining me today.
If readers are interested in learning more about these three, you can check out their stories on my website. I have links to the first chapters, online retailers, and to a sign-up form for my newsletter so you can follow upcoming releases for the Spy Games series.
Next up is Dan’s story in Her Spy at Dawn, Book 4, which should be making its appearance at retailers in February 2017. Dan’s not as camera-shy because he works behind a desk these days, but this guy has a PAST. I’ll just leave you with this: