I met Denise Robbins through our online writers groups. Like many of the authors I’ve met, she’s incredibly kind and interesting. Her books are getting great reviews and she’s started her own brand of books called techno-romance thrillers. What’s that, you ask? Read below to find out and for your chance to win one of her books!
Join me in welcoming Denise to the blog!
Tell us how you got started as a writer. Did you always want to be an author?
I have always been a writer, but I did not start pursuing writing with a passion until about six years ago when the company I worked for at the time laid me and a lot of other people off.
Since then, I cannot let a day go by where I do not write something. If I’m not working on my latest novel, chances are I am writing something for my blog.
How long did it take for you to get published once you had the first book done?
Once the book was finished, polished, and ready (my version of ready), it took a year of querying editors and agents to get my first book contract. Six months after that the book was in print. Yippee!
Can you tell us about “the call,” when you found out you’d sold your first book? Were you shocked? Or did you see it coming?
I did not see “the call” coming. Although, in my case, it was an email message that sent me into happiness overload.
I received an email message from the publisher one hot July afternoon last summer after I had just come inside from planting a bunch of flowers in my garden.
I think I re-read the message a good dozen times before it sunk in, before my brain said, “Yo, dummy, you just sold your first book!”
I hooted, hollered, and did the happy dance, or maybe it was a hoochie-coochie dance.
After I called several people and calmed down to a level 8 on a scale of 10, I went out and bought a case of champagne. Oh yeah, and drank plenty! Yes, I shared some with friends including my hairdresser because I had a hair appointment that night. Can’t miss that!
I called my parents first and told my father who thought I was kidding. Nice! Why was it I called him again??
What’s your writing schedule like?
My writing schedule depends on my day job. If I’m not working, I get up at 5 AM and after a workout, I am in my home office writing until about 2:30 PM.
When I am working a day job, like now, I do a small amount in the evenings when I am not exhausted, but most of the times I write like a demon on the weekends.
If working, it can take me anywhere from 6 months and up to write a novel. If not working, I can write a novel in as little as 3 months.
What has surprised you most about being an author?
Great question. What has surprised me most about being an author has been the amount of enthusiasm and feedback the readers have shown for my books. I LOVE getting letters from readers! I like finding out what they liked, the pictures of them reading my book emailed to me, or just plain thanking me for writing a book that they could not put down.
For someone who has not achieved the NYT Best Seller list, yet, it is a real hoot to have people contact me and share their thoughts and ask me when the next story is scheduled for release because they don’t think they can wait or when will Jake’s story be out.
What advice can you give aspiring writers?
Do not just aspire – Write! I meet many people who talk about wanting to write a book, to which I say, “Then write it.”
In the publishing industry, it is passion and persistence that will get you through and every “no” is worth it for the one “yes” that you will receive if you do not give up. If you want to be a writer then go make it happen!
You write suspense and mysteries, any desire to write another subgenre (historical, paranormal)?
I actually just finished my fourth novel in July and while it is still a techno-romantic thriller, it has paranormal elements. It was fun and I added that element in because of some research I did on government robotic systems. Neat stuff! You have to read all about it.
You call your writing techno-romantic thrillers. Can you explain what that is?
[Rubbing my hands together] Every author has a brand. . .something about them or their stories that makes them theirs. Mine is the fact that every action-adventure story I have written or write (at least for now) has a mystery/suspense based around technology or the mystery is solved using technology. To add that extra sense of reality to my stories, I incorporate these two characters, hero and heroine, who meet and work together to solve the mystery while a relationship smolders between them.
What are you working on now? Can you give us a favorite line or blurb from your current work in progress?
My current WIP does not have a title yet, but suffice it to say there are men wearing ladies’ clothing in the story. And yes, there will be technology in it.
Here is a small blurb from what I currently call my “pink undie” story:
When she discovered her date wore pink women’s underwear with frills, Jane did not stick around to find out what else he may or may not have. She bugged out. Running for the door in high heels, she never even glanced back at the deep voice that yelled for her to wait. In spite of running short of breath, she never even considered stopping until the deep voice yelled, “Stop, police.”
Out of all of your books, do you have a favorite or a favorite character? Or, which character is most like you?
This is an easy question. My favorite character is Jake. Jake is the hunkiest, Southern drawl speakin’, smart as a whip, smooth as molasses, sweeter than honey, great butt in a pair of jeans, and wicked smart with a sense of humor hero. Jake is so hot, every woman, including my publisher wants to meet him in person. But I have first dibs!
As for which character am I most like. . .I guess you’ll have to read the books to find out. Then you tell me.
Where can we find you on the web? (facebook, blog, website)
http://www.deniserobbins.com/, http://deniserobbins.blogspot.com/, @dkrobbins on Twitter, www.facebook.com/deniserobbins
What do you do when you’re not writing? Any Hobbies?
Dream about writing. HA!
In the spring, summer timeframe, I love to be outside in my garden and yard planting more and more flowers or sitting on my deck where I get to hear the kids scream on the old wooden roller coaster at the amusement park behind my house. When I can, I like going scuba diving. . .but only in warm water.
In the fall and winter, I enjoy chilling out in front of a fire, making homemade soups or trying new recipes, and snowboarding.
A special thanks to Denise for stopping by!
Remember to leave a comment! One lucky person will win a copy of Killer Bunny Hill and another person will win a copy of It Happens In Threes.
Great interview. I have the pleasure of knowing Denise and seeing her passion for writing first hand.
Denise, I like your writing schedule. I need to get a schedule like that. And how great that you sold your book so soon!
I loved reading this interview – great questions, and it’s so fun really getting to know an author. Wise advice, too: Passion and Persistence. So glad it paid off for you, Denise! Thanks for sharing about yourself.
Thanks, Lori for the wonderful interview questions. I love your blog and site!
Edie – I was glad to find the right publisher so soon!
Emma – Passion is what writing is all about. 🙂
I love the idea of techno thrillers. How long before Twitter plays a pivotal role in one?
Aaron – My current WIP has a socialnetworking line in it. Not sure if Twitter will play pivotal role, but other things like online dating and the hazards of socialnetworking do.
Glad you like the techno thriller genre. Me too!
Winsloweliot – I’ve always been told I have passion and persistence. Just not a lot of patience. LOL! Oh, well, two out of three isn’t bad.
What an awesome interview!! I loved the questions and the answers! I especially love the question about having Denise give a little blip about her current WIP (I may have to use that one in the future, lol) What a blip is it! Makes me want to read it NOW!!!
I just have to say how much I adore Denise and what a wonderful writer and friend she has become. No need to enter me, as I am lucky enough to already have Denise’s books, but I wanted to stop in to comment. I also wanted to say that it surprises me that Denise did not really start writing until six years ago. By the way, do you get a case of win each time you sell a book?! lol
The enthusiasm is catching. The interview questions seem to bring out the information in which I was most interested. L & L Dreamspell covers just beg the reader to dive in. Denise has done an excellent job of selling her books and creating a following. Persistance and Passion, indeed. Great interview! My novels seem to finish in three years; Ghost Orchid just released almost three years to the day from my debut novel. I need to speed up a little!
Denise sounds like such a fan person! Oh, and may I get in line for Jake? 🙂
Techno-romance and cross-dressing? Count me in!
Can’t wait to read one of your techno-romance thrillers. Who are some of your favorite authors?
Wow! I go to sleep, wake up, and here you all are. Thanks for wanting to read one of my books.
Jane – I’m a novel writer so my answers can be long :-), but here are a few. David Baldacci, Carla Neggers, JD Robb, Tess Gerritsen, Linda Howard, John Sandford.
Carol – HA! See, I knew that would be a winning combination.
Jennifer – It is a long line, but yes, absolutely you will want to meet Jake! His actual story is in Connect the Dots which comes out this December.
DKChristi – I had a friend tell me the other day that I was “prolific”. I think that was his nice way of say I talk too much. HA!
April – my friend, I cannot wait until NanoWrimo. Are you ready to write? And yes, I buy a case of WIN every time I get a contract for a new book. A girl has to do what a girl has to do. 🙂
Great interview, Denise(and Lori!). Can’t wait to read your books! I’ve been wanting to buy Killer Bunny Hill–what a great title! Also LOVED your blurb! Great way to start my day!
Hi PJ – Thanks for stopping by. My publisher loves my titles too!
Now if I can just come up with the right one for my current WIP I will be happy.
What a fun interview. What is the most interesting piece of technology you’ve used in your stories?
LOL, see, that’s what happens when I comment while my brain is yelling at me to sleep, lol. Of course I did get to go to sleep about 6 hours after I commented, so imagine all the other blunders I may throughout the afternoon. Though I have to say that a case of win does sound nice, lol. I did mean wine, but hey, win, wine, it all rocks. I’m excited about nano too! It will be fun to have you to chat with about it! Can’t wait to see what you write about!
See, the funny thing is, I knew April meant my champagne. 😉
Renee – That is an excellent question. I’m kind of a geek so I find most of it interesting or at least how we are using it. In KBH I learned about nanotechnology and manmade diamonds. Nope, not CZs, but “real” manmade diamonds.
In my 4th novel, Never Tempt Danger, I learned all about nanotechnology in the form of tiny robots and how our military can, will, and does use them. Fascinating! Way cool!
Wonderful interview. Always so much fun to meet a new author and find out more than just the title of the latest book. 🙂 Followed a Tweet over from Twitter and glad I did.
Maryann – Nice to meet you! I’m so very glad you followed a tweet. Wonderful to see that social networking really does work.
I know what you mean about getting just the title of a book. Lori did a great job with her questions and really made me think.
Denise, I’m not much of a techno geek but one thing I found disturbing and somewhat interesting, or at least it made stop and think more about how my lifestyle interferes with others, is Coltan. Coltan is a mineral mined in Africa for the use of cell phones, but this mining process causes a lot of mayhem, especially amongst endangered gorillas.
I’m not typically the activist, but my youngest has always had this thing for gorillas and she has a desire to be the next Diane Fossey. I never would have thought that something so , and so very widely used, could be so deadly.
This comment has been removed by the author.
LOL, all right, Denise, I’m totally calling you geek. You went woosh, way over my head. I like things plain and simple so that my left brain can’t get confused by my right brain, or is that so my right brain–oh never mind.
That is why I write historicals. lol
Geek fits until you meet me. Not even close!
And I’m actually very shy.
Great interview! Now I really want to read your books!
Thanks for throwing your hat into the ring for a book.
Denise — thanks for following me in twitterland (hrwriterguild). It’s always nice to find new authors. I agree with your “aspiring” answer. I’m always telling people that am I writer, a novelist. When they find I haven’t published yet, they always say “Oh, you’re just an aspiring writer.” My answer is always the same, I am a writer, there is no such thing as an aspiring writer. Either you are a writer or you are not a writer. Publishing has nothing to do with it. Though I can’t wait to see my novel on a bookstore shelf 😉 Thanks for your tweets, I have found several authors and blogs like this one that I would never would have found on my own.
I agree with Stacy, I can’t wait to read them.
Congrats on your novels and good luck on your future ones.
Hi Cynthia (AKA hrwriterguild)!
So glad you stopped by Lori’s blog. Isn’t it fun finding other places and people.
Good for you! You write – you’re a writer. I so agree. And if you keep that attitude, you will get that book on a bookshelf. Of that, I am certain!
PS – I never like that word “just”. It’s Just so annoying. 🙂