Today's post is going to be a little bit different. Many of you know Kame, who has been doing guest reviews here on TBQ's Book Palace for a few months now. Well, she reviewed a book recently, which she really loved, and wanted to interview the author. So, today, I'm proud to have not just Kame on the blog, but Selena Robins, as well! Kame will be doing the Q & A, while I do the Speed Round at the end. I do hope you enjoy! :)
Genre-defying, witty, humorous, suspenseful, romantic and sexy— words used to describe Selena’s novels. A self-professed foodie and chocolate guru, Selena loves to dance with her dog, sing into her hairbrush and write in her PJ's. In love with her family, friends, books, laughter, hockey, lively discussions and red wine (sometimes all at the same time). Selena is a dragon slayer who enjoys reading and writing sassy heroines and hot heroes (the ones your mamma warned you about, but secretly wished she’d dated a few in her life).
Where to Find Selena:
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Kame: Selena, I am so excited about this interview, thank you for taking time out of your day, What a Girl Wants was a joy to read. I loved the setting; I still have wonderful memories of my trip to Hawaii. There were some parts of What a Girl Wants that reminded me of my trip; the parasailing, the biking trip and the beautiful scenery. Have you ever been there and was a particular Hawaiian island your inspiration?
Selena: Thank you for hosting me on the blog, allowing me to introduce my work to your readers and for your kind words about the book, so glad you enjoyed it.
I’ve never been to Hawaii, which is why I created a fictitious Island, but I have been to the Caribbean so I drew my inspiration for the scenery from those trips. One of the things readers have told me is that the felt they were on a tropical island while reading the book. That’s a wonderful compliment, and while writing it, I felt like I was on that island with the characters. One day, I plan to visit Hawaii; it’s on my travel-milestone list.
K: I felt like I was back on Maui too! Maddie is just so much fun, and her character was extremely detailed. Was her character clearly defined in your mind when you started writing, or did she evolve?
S: The more I delved deep into Maddie’s psyche and created her dialogue the more she evolved into a three-dimensional character. I think it takes time for each character to grow, even the minor characters. The more I revised, polished, re-read, revised and polished, the more I got to know each and every one of them. This was especially important for the main characters, so I spent a lot of time writing Maddie and Alex’s internal and external dialogue. I felt if I hadn’t had probed deep into their personalities, especially Maddie as she was harder to write than Alex for some reason, then she may have ended up a straight-laced, un-quirkified (not a typo, I made that word up) heroine and probably would have bored me. If she bores me, guaranteed the readers won’t find her interesting.
K: The romance between Alex and Maddie just drew me in right away, right from her shopping trip. I could identify with Maddie wanting to take a platonic relationship to a romantic one. Why did you make Maddie’s love interest be a longtime friend, and not a new man she found in paradise?
S: Finding a man in Paradise are what fairy tales are made of, and Maddie, even with all her outrageous behavior, really isn’t a fairy tale type of gal. I love the friends to lover storyline, because it allows the couple to banter and talk to each other in a way that two strangers who just met wouldn’t be able to pull off, particularly for this storyline.
K: You could tell they really knew each other well. I just loved Alex. He has definitely cared for Maddie for a long time. Over the years of their friendship Alex witnessed Maddie with other men, what made the scene in the bar when he watched her dance with someone else different and cause him to look at her as more than a friend?
S: You know sometimes all it takes are a few tumbles and a minor head injury to wake a guy up. J I think, it was the exotic location, relaxed atmosphere and the close encounters of the Maddie kind that really shook him out of his platonic coma.
K: Platonic coma – that is a perfect description!
I am trying to avoid a spoiler here so I will be vague, at one point Maddie is moved by the reaction she gets from fans about her writing. The topic she writes about it very personal and invokes strong reactions – have topics you touch upon in What a Girl Wants invoked a strong response from readers?
S: I did get a few emails from readers, telling me about similar situations, regarding themselves, someone in their family or a close friend. Like you, they didn’t want to spoil it for readers so they wanted to communicate this in private with me. I was actually amazed at how many people have experienced this or know someone who has experienced it. The one common comment they all had was that they were impressed at how accurate my portrayal or the pain, conflicted emotions, concerns and reaction that all the characters had to the news and outcome.
K: I could have filled my whole review with favorite quotes from this book. Such as, “I don’t know what your problem is lately, but I bet it’s hard to pronounce.” Is this your inner voice talking - are you normally this witty in person?
S: Thank you, and please do fill up my email with all the quotes you love. J My husband and friends tell me I’m witty and funny, and I tend to say things out loud, but not as bad as Maddie, the mesh in my filter is a lot tighter than Maddie’s. I’ve always been able to respond quickly, either in my head or out loud. Actually, my siblings are the same way, so perhaps we all inherited a wit gene (just wish I would have inherited the eat-all-the-chocolate-you-want without landing on your hips gene, but hey, I’m not complaining).
I also think it depends on the people I am with; I believe that makes a difference. I think I’m a lot calmer and naturally wittier around the people I’m really comfortable with and that goes for writing as well. I need to be around my characters a long time to lend them my inner voice and at the same have my creativity at full working mode.
When I’m alone then that wittiness reverts to inner dialogue that I give to my characters.
K: Do you have a favorite quote from the book?
S: I haven’t read the book since it’s been published because I’m working on two other novels, and I don’t want the characters in What A Girl Wants to sneak into my consciousness without me knowing and I end up with another Maddie or Alex. I do have a favorite quote of Maddie’s, but it contains a huge spoiler, so I’d rather not say. J
I can tell you the most fun I had was creating Maddie’s dialogue, and Alex’s internal and external reaction to what she’d say. Alex is witty as well, and he has a great sense of humor, his lines were fun to write, but it was her dialogue that would make me laugh out loud because of her self-deprecating humor, which I also have.
A lot of her dialogue came from things that I myself would say to my husband while we would talk about the book and he’d say, “Write that down, sounds like something she would say.” I remember one time, I was chatting with my friend, Jen on Yahoo and I forget what TV show we were talking about, but I said, “That character bugs the PMS out of me.” She laughed and said, “Hey, use that line for your book.” So a lot of the dialogue came about that way.
K: I applaud you for being honest with your characters and not wanting them to influence new ones. I would love to read more about Maddie and Alex. Have we seen the last of Maddie, Alex and their friends?
S: Maddie and Alex make an appearance in my next book, Decoy in Stiletto’s and also in Reece’s book, Brazen Babes. Readers can also visit them with a character interview I have on my website here.
K: Well I will definitely check those out!
Selena, thank you again for taking time out of your busy day, and letting me ask you these questions about one of my favorite couples. I thoroughly enjoyed What a Girl Wants, (I have read the book twice so far since I got it) and I can’t wait to read more from you – you’re a go to author for me!
S: You are most welcome and I am humbled that you read the book not once but twice, I’m grateful and appreciate your support.
TBQ: And now it's my turn with Selena! :)
A day on a secluded island OR a day at the spa?I’ll take the secluded island, as long as I can take Mr. Rugged, my Kindle and a stack of books with me. [Oh yes, that's a given! :D]
Reading a spicy romance novel OR a sweet “my-heart-skips-a-beat” one?Being in a spicy romance….oh, wait, you mean reading? J Love both, but will take “my heart-skips-a-beat.”
Which would you rather have an affair with: a sexy highlander OR a devilishly handsome English lord?Neither. I love my Mr. Rugged, who happens to have deep seeded English roots, so maybe there’s some Lordship in his blood. ;) [Ah, that beats a Lord and highlander anyday! :)]
Hot summer days OR cold winter nights?I have Canadian blood in me through and through, cold winter nights by the fireplace.
Where would your dream house be: in the city, where all the action is OR nestled in the mountain where you can enjoy the quiet and the wilderness?Mountains. We both love the solitude and nature. Mr. Rugged can chop all the wood he wants, and do all the outdoor stuff he loves to do, and I can sit on the porch and write or read, and then cook to my heart’s content in a kitchen so big it would put the Iron Chef’s kitchen to shame in this dream home. [Oh, sounds heavenly! :) I want!]
The Roaring 1920’s.
Cover Lover OR Blurb Fan?Blurb (I guess that’s what all us Chatty Cathy’s love)
Steamy Novella OR Sweet Novel? (aka, Quickie or Slow Build Up?)Slow Build Up.
- I can twitch my nose like Elizabeth Montgomery used to do on Bewitch.
- I can play the accordion and Highland dance, not at the same time. Well, not any more. [That's just awesome!]
- I am fluent in four languages, can swear in seven languages. [LOL. Again, I'm a bit jealous...]
The_Book_Queen: Thanks so much for stopping by, Selena|, and please know that you are welcome back anytime! Do you have any questions for our readers—something to spark a good discussion? :)
Selena: You are welcome and thank you and Kame for the interview and the opportunity to interact with readers on your blog.
Let’s talk about “faking it.”
With Christmas coming soon, what gift
did you ever receive that you had to
fake a smile and joy after you opened
it, but you knew the minute you were
alone you were going to stuff in a box
in the attic. You know the kind I
mean, that singing fish that someone
gave you, and you pull it out when
they come over, only to find out they
purposely bought it and knew
you’d hide it.
I also have a free short story, Tempted by An Angel. Details can be found on my website, it’s available in all e-formats, available at I-tunes, Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and for Kindle users they’d can download it at Smashwords.
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Publisher: Samhain Publishing (March 1, 2011)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
She's got the moxie. He's got the sexy.
"Life's a beach. Then you have sex on it."
Travel journalist Maddie Saunders has new attitude, and wants two new accessories to go with it. One, turn her triple-X fantasies into reality with Mr. Sex-On-Legs-her friend, Alex Donovan. And two, find her biological father to see if her gene pool has a deep end. She never expected fulfilling both wishes would take her life down a drastically different path.
"Sometimes you're the windshield, and sometimes you're the bug." Alex, an investigative reporter, grits his teeth when he accepts a joint assignment to Hawaii with Maddie. He's vowed to never get involved with any woman he can't walk away from. Maddie falls under the heading of "Look, but don't touch." Trouble is, she excels at giving him a hard time-in more ways than one. He manages to fend off her guerilla seduction tactics until a bone-melting kiss throws his resolve into the ocean. Complicated? Absolutely. Especially when he discovers the real reason they were sent to the island...
Warning: Side effects may include but not limited to, spontaneous, uncontrollable laughter, hot flashes and dangerous chocolate cravings. Contents include, one kick-ass heroine and a sex-on-legs hero whose kiss could singe the eyebrows off a mannequin. Can be read in bed with someone special or a BOB (battery operated boyfriend). Please note: Batteries not included.
Where to Buy*:
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Thanks so much for stopping by today, Selena! :) I loved reading your interview with Kame, as well as your responses to my Q's. I hope to be able to read your book soon, as I'm sure I'll love it, I trust Kame. :)
Kame, thanks so much for this fun interview, and I hope that you enjoyed participating, please feel free to do so again!
Until Next Time,
*TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!