Sunday, March 27, 2011

Romantic Suspense From a Master Storyteller

Okay, I admit, this is a huge fan girl interview for me.   I've been reading Roxanne St. Claire's books since French Twist in 2004.  But when I had the chance to meet her in Florida at a STARS Conference, about five years ago, I fell in love with her personality, her openness, and her positive attitude. Some of that down-to-earth approach can be seen in her own words on her website.

In terms of her writing, I'm not the only one who thinks she's amazing. Rocki is a New York Times bestseller AND this year she is a finalist for a RITA (the Oscars for romance writers) for her first book in the Guardian Angelinos series, Edge of Sight.  Go, Rocki!!! Please welcome Rocki to Behind the Book.  She's giving away an autographed copy of the second book in the Guardian Angelinos series, Shiver of Fear to some lucky commenter. So, get on the ball and say Hi. I promise she'll answer you.

What was the initial spark that put this story in your head?  Please describe the event or series of events.

Devyn Sterling, the heroine of Shiver of Fear, first appears in the opening scene of Edge of Sight (the first and only book so far in the Guardian Angelinos series), as the wife of a man who gets assassinated in the first few pages. I knew she had nothing to do with the crime, but her character intrigued me.  I described her as a cool socialite and that tag stuck in my head.  Is she...or isn't she?  She never appeared again on the page, but Devyn lingered as a possible heroine for me.  When it came time to lay out the next story, I wanted to explore Devyn Sterling...well, I wanted Marc Rossi to explore her.  I knew she had inadvertently given her husband information about her biological father that got him killed, so that led me to wonder about her biological mother...and send Devyn on a dangerous hunt to find her.  Well, she certainly can't go on that adventure alone, can she? Enter Marc Rossi, a man who has everything she wants...but believes she can't have.

It seems that most authors use something from their own lives, or the lives of people they know as an integral part of the story.  Is there anything in this story like that?  If so, what?

Only the very end!  Devyn longs for a big family and Marc's Rossi & Angelino crew simply makes her ache with envy.  Early in the book, he casually mentions a Christmas Eve tradition and rather than get the point of his story, she sort of gets lost in the fantasy of a being part of a family like that.  Of course, she ultimately is.  (Hey, it's a romance!  There's an HEA!)  So when I describe the festivities, I'm taking it right from my real life -- my husband is Italian and the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve is our family tradition, too.

Is there a particular scene in this book that you really loved when you finished it? Which one and why?

There are a few, of course. Toward the end of the book, there's a scene that, for me, is deeply heartbreaking and also quite sensual, when the heroine is vulnerable to the breaking point.  In addition (this is probably some sort of writer's sin!) I love every scene with Vivi Angelino, the hero's cousin who is working behind the scenes, especially when she interacts with FBI Agent Colton Lang.  Their chemistry warmed the keyboard, and positively fried my computer when I wrote their story, Face of Danger - out in just four weeks!!

I admit to loving your Bullet Catchers world and when I knew you were leaving it to start a different series, I really grieved. But now I'm madly in love with the Guardian Angelinos and the more flirty/snarky characters.  Are there more to come in this series? 

In a month, you can gobble up another Guardian Angelino - Vivi's story is totally delicious book candy!  And all I will say is this...neither series is over.  I don't have an exact date or title or information, but both the Bullet Catchers and the Guardian Angelinos will be back.  There is a huge hint in the last scene of Face of Danger  (Tease!!!!)

You have an extensive backlist of stories. If readers want to to go back and read some of your other books, are they still available? Where might they find a good list and descriptions?

Oh, yes, every book I've ever written is available as an ebook for any ereader.  Check out amazon,, wherever ebooks are sold.  And all of the Bullet Catchers are still in print, though they might need to be ordered (any bookstore will order them) or found on the romance shelves in the chain bookstores, like Barnes & Noble.  A complete list (in order) is on my website:  on the "Book List" page.  There are also biographies and photos of all the Bullet Catchers and Angelinos, a free read, and excerpts of every book.

What's next for you?  Can you tell us about any upcoming releases?  Will you be traveling in the next few months where readers can find you?

There are tons of opportunities to "cyber meet" and win a set of Shiver of Fear and Face of Danger!!  Watch my website, where I'll be posting a full list of a 40+ stop blog tour I'm doing in April. What's next after that is a whole lot of writing.  One of the projects I'm most excited about is my debut in the Young Adult market.  DON'T YOU WISH (tentative title) is set for release in the summer of 2012.  I love the book so much and had an absolute blast getting into the teen head to write it.  (I live with two of them, so I'm qualified!!)  Adding to the thrill of my first hardcover, my first light paranormal, and my first YA is the fact that it has been optioned for my first film deal!  My dream director, Garry Marshall, has paired up with a fantastic family-fare friendly producer, Jeff Franklin (creator of Full House), to develop the screenplay based on the book, and begin the long and excited process of movie making.  *Deep breaths, Rocki, deep breaths.*  No matter what the outcome, the journey just this far has been incredible!  Honestly, I guess the same can be said of my whole writing career!

Thank you for joining Behind the Book, Rocki. It was truly a pleasure for me.
Thank you so much for having me, Maggie!  Don't forget I'm giving away an autographed copy of Shiver of Fear to one commenter.  Ask a question (I'll come and answer!) or leave a note and be entered!

Being such a fan girl, I had already pre-ordered both Shiver of Fear and Face of Danger.  I want to be sure they are delivered to my Nook the moment they become available.  I strongly recommend all my readers to the same.  Rocki's books are available in print and ebook for all platforms.  Links to some booksellers are below.  If you prefer print books and want to support your local indie bookstore (something I always recommend), please know any of them can order Rocki's books and get them to you VERY quickly.


Sandi said...

I can't wait to read the next books in the GA series. And the BCs are back? I just died and went to heaven!,,

minxlaurel said...

Love, love, love, Edge of Sight and can hardly wait for Shiver of Fear and Face of Danger.
I love the adventure, the action, the snark and the steam. ;-)

Thank you, Roxanne, for giving us so much insight into your work, and thanks to Maggie, for bringing us this interview.

Laurel N

Terri Reed said...

Congratulations, Rocki, on the RITA final. I love you books and will definitely look for the new series. And the YA! I live have two teenagers underfoot as well. Such joy.

Roxanne St. Claire said...

Thanks, guys! And hugs to Maggie for inviting me here!

Hi Terri Reed! How are you? Hope to see your pretty face in NYC this summer!

Sandi - your comment made me laugh. And made me want to write that book, stat.

Laurel, thanks for the props! Hope you love the new books, too.

And happy news today! SHIVER is available on ebooks as of TODAY (April 1 - no April Fool!!) The eversion is delayed a few days (I have no idea why) but for those who prefer digital, you can have it now.

Also, I promised Maggie I'd answer any questions, so if you have anything to ask, please do. I'll pop in later and chat! xo

Melissa McClone said...

Great interview! Congrats on the RITA nomination and your books. I love the covers! Very compelling images.

Susan Lyons/Fox said...

Hi Rocki. I loved the first Guardian Angelinos book and am looking forward to the second. It's great the way you weave emotion and humor in with the romance and suspense. You deserve that RITA nom!

And OMG - Garry Marshall? How fabulous! Can you tell us more about your YA? Is it romantic suspense as well?

Paty Jager said...

Great interview as usual Maggie!

Rocki, your books sound full of emotion and danger! I'm probably one of the few people who hasn't read one, but that's because I haven't had time to do as much reading as I'd like so I have stayed more in my genre with my reading, but that's changing as I branch out to other genres with my writing.

My question, is how hard is it for you to write what wouldn't like sexy suspense and then write a YA?


Barbara Rae Robinson said...

Hi, Rocki. I've been reading your books for years. I'm an avid romantic suspense reader as well as a writer. Congratulation on being a RITA finalist and good luck!

Barbara Rae Robinson

meta said...

It's time for a belated THANKS, Rocki. Your RWA session in Florida, opening yourself up and revealing how you get form first draft to fabulous was eye opening and really fun. Thanks so much for that.


Genene Valleau said...

Wow, Rocki! So many wonderful things happening in your writing world!

CONGRATULATIONS on your RITA nomination, your first, YA, first hardcover, first light paranormal, first film deal...what did I miss?

Soooooo happy for you!

Maggie Jaimeson said...

It's been so fun to have you here. I am truly happy about all of your success and I just know that your YA is going to be a blockbuster. So many balls in the air! I don't know how you do it AND have teenagers in the house.

Susan Lute said...

Hey Rocki :) Great news on the upcoming books, new adventure - YA, wow!, a film deal - wow! wow!, and a RITA nom - triple wow! All wonderful. I have to admit teenagers are my favorite animal, lol.

My question: what made you decide to write YA, and it sounds like that is the one that has been optioned for film?

Jessa Slade said...

I started with the Bullet Catchers too. I have some catching up to do with the Angelinos :) Or I suppose now I can wait for those movies too! (Hey, Hollywood needs more truly romantic heroes.)

Roxanne St. Claire said...

Hey guys - blogger has been so unkind to me as I am trying to answer questions and comments. So this is a test. If it works, then I'm going to go through each comment and answer...this is a test, this is only a test....xoxo

Roxanne St. Claire said...

Oh my heavens, it worked. Let's try again! Thank you for all the comments and congrats! I really appreciate the support and props on the books and hope you love the new ones, too.

Susan asked if the YA is suspense and the answer is no. It's actually a light paranormal about a teen who gets transported to a parallel universe where her life goes from sub-par to perfect...but she learns the price for perfection is very high. I had a blast writing it and hope the story is full of heart, hope, and humor.

I'm going to try and leave this comment and go to the next question...tiptoeing around Blogger here...

Roxanne St. Claire said...

Success! Paty asked if it's hard to write YA after writing suspense. Not at all! It's kind of like wearing sneakers all day then sliding into stilettos to go dancing. Slightly different muscle memory involved, but so easy to pick up. The toughest thing for me was the YA *demanded* to be written in first person/present tense. I had to retrain my brain to write "says" instead of "said." But, I have to say, the exercise really taught me a lesson about DEEP point of view that I think will help in any genre I write. xo

Roxanne St. Claire said...

Meta, so glad you enjoyed the session. I assume you are referring to "How Do You Mend A Broken Scene." The workshop is always well received! I'm giving a two hour version of it in NYC at Naitonals this summer, so come on out. That one won't be taped, so I hope everyone who wants to hear it can make a Friday morning (ouch) workshop. xo

Roxanne St. Claire said...

Hi Susan, yes the YA has been optioned, nothing else. I didn't really "set out" to write a YA. First of all, because I have a 13 year old daughter, I started reading YA. And I just got completely hooked on the quality of the writing (there is some amazing stuff out there) and the freshness of the stories. Plus, it helped me understand the "teen mindset" a little better. I thought about writing one, but not very seriously. One day, my daughter asked me a question - long story - too long for a comment box, but it sparked an idea. The idea took hold. Okay, grabbed me by the throat and wouldn't let go until I poured out a synopsis - 20 pages in first person - and sent it to my agent. (She happens to rep a lot of YA, so that helped.) She said: write me chapters, stat. I did, and eventually (not immediately - there were plenty of rejections because it is not a dark, dystopian, Vampire book) it sold to Random House/Delacorte as my first hardcover. A few weeks later, a producer saw the story description on Pub Marketplace, contacted me, and after he read it, contacted Garry Marshall. The stars aligned!! There's no guarantee of a film, but every day we are one step closer! xo

Roxanne St. Claire said...

Maggie, it worked! I conquered blogger! Thank you SO much for inviting me here this week!!! Let's give a book!!! xo

Maggie Jaimeson said...

And the winner of a free, signed book from Roxanne St. Claire is Sandi!!! Congratulations, Sandi. Please get in touch with me and provide your full name and home address for shipping. You can email me at and Rocki will get that book out to you ASAP.

Thank you VERY much to all who commented and a special thank you to Rocki for taking time and answering so many questions.

Maggie Jaimeson said...

Well, Sandi has never gotten back to me, so I've drawn another name from the hat for an autographed copy of Rocki's new book. minxlaurel please send me an email at maggiejaimeson dot com. Let me know your mailing address so Rocki can get the book to you.