Interview with Selena Robins

Jen: This week we are pleased to have Selena Robins as our guest at Romancing the Book. Selena, will you please share a short bio with us?
Selena: Thank you for inviting me to introduce myself and my work to your readers.

I’m the published author of Sabrina’s Destiny, a paranormal romantic comedy with sweet heat, and What a Girl Wants, a romantic comedy with extra spice and a higher level of heat. I’ve also published short stories and a children’s book. I’m as prolific in my reading as I am in my writing. I love books, Italian food, chocolate, my husband, family and friends (not in that order of course). It doesn’t take much to make me happy.

Jen: Tell us about What a Girl Wants and where it’s available.
Selena: What a Girl Wants is a contemporary romance for readers who enjoy extra spice in a ‘friends-to-lovers’ romantic theme, with the addition of comedy, unexpected twists and a splash of mystery. The heroine (Maddie) is known as “the woman with the black belt in mischief.” Alex (the hero) has accepted Maddie’s pranks over the years and enjoys their friendship, even though he compares her to Lucille Ball on Red Bull at times. Deep down, I think he really likes it…well, most times. Ultimately, What a Girl Wants is about friendship, love, commitment, family and forgiveness.

What a Girl Wants is published with Samhain Publishing and is available for purchase at:
My Bookstore and More: http://www.mybookstoreandmore.com/what-girl-wants-p-5338.html?osCsid=72531a0d7ebd5e115fd0d0c712bf60ce

Kindle Version on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/What-a-Girl-Wants-ebook/dp/B003FK5QBA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AZC9TZ4UC9CFC&s=digital-text&qid=1276619562&sr=8-1

Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Selena: I was in the eighth grade when I entered the Humane Society Short Story contest, and won first prize in a story about two race horses who fell in love (the filly won the race and the stud). I remember my teacher telling me that I had a gift for storytelling and he’d hoped I would continue to write as I entered high school. I was on the high school newspaper, wrote articles for the local paper, but it wasn’t until my husband and I became empty-nesters that I took my writing journey seriously.

I actually have two call stories. The first one was for Sabrina’s Destiny, I got my first contract with Treble Heart Books and with that learned how to work with an editor, promotion and marketing. Through that publication, I garnered a literary agent. Long story short, an employee in the agent’s office read the book as part of her book club, loved it and raved about it to her boss. He contacted me and asked to see more of my work. Of course, I was skeptical, agents don’t contact authors, but after talking to him at length on the phone (and his clients include some top names, so I knew he was legit) I submitted my work in progress at the time to him (a suspense which I’m still working on), he signed me on.

Jen: How does your family feel about your career?
Selena: They’re all waiting for an invite to some big movie premiere or a new car with all the money I’m supposedly raking in as a published author. *LOL* I’ve dispelled the myth about striking gold once a writer becomes published. They’re all proud and encouraging. My husband is my biggest cheerleader and also a great asset when it comes to bouncing off ideas when it comes to the male point of view.

Jen: Describe your writing in three words.
Selena: Witty. Sensual. Mysterious.

Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?
Selena: I guess I do a little of both. I outline and wing it, because if I over do one or the other it can stunt my creativity, the flow and I’ll lose track. I’ll plot out the goal, motivation and conflicts along with the major plot points, and main characters. After that I go with the flow and let the story unfold as I write.

Jen: How do you pick the character’s names?
Selena: I’m a huge Audrey Hepburn fan, so I chose the name Sabrina in my first book, because I loved the movie Sabrina. I also choose names that are appropriate to the character’s ethnicity. In What a Girl Wants, I chose the heroine’s name because it has great significance to the story.

Jen: Who has inspired you as an author?
Selena: I am continually inspired by my family and close friends. As I child, I devoured Nancy Drew mysteries, Anne of Green Gables, and later books written by Mario Puzo, Joy Fielding, and many others. In recent years, I’ve met and befriended some fabulous writers (Denise A. Agnew, Rick Mofina, Nancy Darryl, Mike Sullivan, and again, many, many more) who motivate me, entertain me with their work and inspire me to keep on going.

Jen: If What a Girl Wants was made into a movie, which actors would you choose to play the hero and heroine?
Selena: Isla Fisher for Maddie Saunders. For Alex Donovan – (this one is always a tough one for me to choose, because I see him as a combination of George Clooney and Carter Oosterhouse.) Okay, if I have to choose, then it would be Carter (he’d have to change his gig to acting and not fixing houses) *LOL*

Jen: Most people only dream of becoming a published writer. Now that you’ve accomplished that goal, is there anything else you dream of doing?
Selena: To finish my current work in progress and get the call again. As a writer, there’s always the next book that becomes my goal and the hope that readers will buy it and enjoy it. Seeing my work on the big screen is a dream as it is for most writers, so that would certainly be a huge accomplishment.

Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Selena: Author Cari Quinn described What a Girl Wants as a “genre-defying book.”

Jen: What’s next for you?
Selena: I’m finishing the suspense/romance/murder mystery (the one my agent has contracted me and has been waiting for) set in Chicago. It’s police family vs mafia family, layered with an alpha undercover cop hero, and a headstrong mafia princess heroine. It’s probably the hardest book I’m writing, mainly because I keep adding more twists to the plot. I’m hopefully adding enough mystery to keep the reader guessing, enough suspense to keep them at the edge of their seat, and mounds of sexual tension to ramp up the sensual scenes.

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Selena: Website: http://selenarobins.com/
Samhain Publishing: http://samhainpublishing.com/romance/what-a-girl-wants

Readers can also sample my writing voice, with a FREE download (PDF) of a romantic comedy, short story, “Tempted by an Angel.” Here is the link for the free download:
http://authors.thesamhellion.com/2010/02/14/freebie-tempted-by-angel-by-selena-robins/

Readers can also follow me on Twitter.

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Selena: I’d be interested to know how they choose a new author. Interview? Reviews? Book cover? Excerpts? Blurb?

I have a contest running now where the readers can win One in Five Prizes. Contest ends August 15th. To enter, post a comment on You Tube at my book trailer and your name will automatically go in for a chance to win one of five prizes.

Also, for the readers who make a comment on this interview and let me know how they enjoyed the interview and/or how they choose to pick up a new author, I’ll have a draw and the winner will receive an autographed copy of my first novel, Sabrina’s Destiny. Besides, posting your comment, please include your email address so Selena can contact you if you are chosen as the winner. This contest will also end on Sunday, August 15.