Today Robin Lee visits and answers some pointed questions. Ouch!
When did you know you wanted to be a writer? At one point when my husband was living in Missouri for a new job, while I was stuck in Colorado Springs with children while the lease on the house ran out and the kids finished the school year. Long evenings led to some horrible stories that gradually led to a desire to write.
How long have you been writing? About fifteen years. I was slow starting, as I had to learn the story telling process, relearn grammar, and learn to keep a schedule. I’m still not very good at the last item.
How did you pick the genre you write in? I loved reading all genres, but scifi and fantasy drew me when I started to write.
Do you plot or do you write by the seat of your pants? No seat of the pants for me, I’m a dedicated plotter, although strange unexpected things take place during the actual writing.
What drew you to the subject of Stone House Farm? I wanted to try a different genre and I wanted to write about places I knew and loved.
Did you encounter any obstacles in researching it? All the time. Some things I want to know are just not written down anywhere, or not in an easily understood format.
What was the name of the first novel you wrote? Did you try to publish it? My first novel was Rogue’s Rules but it developed out of a combination of ideas that are now part of the whole trilogy, which includes Loser’s Game and Devil’s Due.
What do you know now that you are published that you didn’t know pre-published that you wish you knew? Editing is never done, but sometimes you have to let it go or you’ll never finish.
How many rejections have you received? Lots, but I’ve never kept count, I suspect because my heroines and heroes don’t follow the prescribed rules for each genre, many publishers aren’t interested.
What was the best writing advice someone gave you? Hmm. I do not think anyone has ever given me good advice, strange sympathetic looks, yes, but no good advice.
What was the worst? Did you know it at the time? It was not advice, but a comment. If you are not published in print, you aren’t really published. I learned how wrong this belittling comment was.
Why did you pick the publisher that ultimately published your book? I hadn’t submitted anywhere in a long time and saw an e-publisher was looking for science fiction and fantasy submissions.
If you could ask your readers one question, what would it be? Did you enjoy the story?
Tell me one thing about yourself that very few people know? Hmm… my life is such an open book so this is a hard question. I suppose that my beliefs are not necessarily traditional, but very strong.
If you have a day job, what is it? My writing led directly to a job teaching writing at a local community college.
Describe your book. Amanda is a woman beleaguered by the effects of a bad marriage, a woman who loves her home, her family, and her heritage, all which are threatened by unscrupulous people.
What do you consider your strengths in terms of your writing? I’ve been told I’m very good at world building, which covers setting, but I think my characters are my best strengths: strong people, both good and bad… or else crazy.
What do you consider your weakness and what strategies do you use to overcome it? Keeping the plot moving and aggressive is my weakness. Plotting helps overcome my tendency to want to dawdle in certain scenes.
What’s your writing schedule? I try to write at least 500 words a day whenever I find a few free minutes. That’s besides marketing and promotion efforts.
What’s your favorite quote? Only the educated are free ~ Epictetus, a Greek philosopher, AD 55–AD 135
What authors do you admire? Dorothy Dunnet, she wrote some brilliant, elaborate and accurate historical novels set in the Renaissance world post Henry VIII.
What three things would you want with you on a desert island? Food, electricity, and an Internet connection.
What is your favorite word? Try.
What place that you haven’t visited would you like to go? The Louvre.
What other time period besides your own would you like to experience? I know too much about history and how people actually lived to want to live in any other time except my own.
What’s your favorite food? Homemade bread.
What’s your favorite thing about your book? Can’t answer that because I like the characters, the setting and the action; all of it!
What do you do when you are not writing? Garden, read, teach, paint, putts around, walk, marathon cook and occasionally clean house.
Who is your greatest cheerleader? My sister and my partner.
What would you like to learn to do that you haven’t? Speak Russian.
What is your favorite writing reference book and why? The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler. It helps define the hero’s journey, which is one method I use in writing.
What is the one thing your hero would do that you wouldn’t?
What did you enjoy most about writing this book? Amanda’s house.
Who is your favorite character in your book? Amanda and Buck, the dog.
Where do you write? My desk. No one else should sit in that chair.
What was the hardest scene to write? The house fire scene and the one at the casino.
What was your favorite scene to write? The visit to the barn while the stars were shinning.
You are welcome to make up your own questions if you like also. Anything you think will illuminate what you want your readers to know.
Author Bio: Rhobin always enjoyed reading, especially science fiction and fantasy, but the last thing she thought about was writing a novel until characters and situations started evolving in her mind. Finishing a story always amazes her. A native of Michigan, she left home and lived in Colorado and Missouri before returning to settle in a small Northern Michigan community. Snowy winters permit plenty of writing time. Besides writing she draws, paints and gardens in the summer. She tries to share her passions with anyone willing to listen.
When everything you have is at stake, how can you afford love?