Interview & Contest: Bobbi Groover

Jen: Today we’re happy to welcome Bobbi Groover to Romancing the Book.  Bobbi, will you please share a short bio with us?

Bobbi: Raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, my family moved to a remote rural farmhouse with an in-ground spring and a twenty-two person party line telephone. Wandering through fields of corn, hanging in the branches of an apple orchard, milking cows, churning butter, driving tractors, haying fields, and shattering nineteen out of twenty clay pigeons with a .410 shotgun provided the fodder for the imagination and numerous scenarios that I use to enrich and flesh-out the scenes of my stories.

Following an education at an East coast boarding school, I graduated with a B.A. in psychology and English and earned my M.S. from the University of Pennsylvania, all of which help me reside in the heads of my characters. With drawers full of stories, both finished and ‘cooking’ I’ve has been writing as long as I can remember. Having been published in papers and periodicals grounds me in the real world while researching and wandering through the nineteenth century to create the individuals who inhabit the worlds of my romances.

A third generation equestrian, I ride, train and hunt my three beautiful horses. The personalities and antics of my equines are woven into many storylines. These querulous, four-legged rapscallions offer a unique flavor as they wring emotions from the characters and readers alike.

At home, I share my life with my husband, two boys and a menagerie of animals. Dividing my time between the stable and the studio, I spend my days doing what I love best—writing and riding!

Jen: Tell us about THE INN AT LITTLE BEND.

Bobbi: THE INN AT LITTLE BEND chronicles the life of Grayson Ridge, a discarded orphan who struggles to find her way in the world of the antebellum South. She must use her wits and courage to find her way in a time when life for an abandoned woman was difficult at best. But when young Grayson escapes her sadistic guardian, she finds freedom just as hostile. Grayson Ridge struggles to survive her fated trials and conceal the secrets that plague her.


The turbulent journey spans two decades and chronicles the exploits of the lonesome, starving wanderer. Her adventures collide with the life of Drake Somerset, a sullen, tortured and uncommunicative drifter who wants nothing to do with her. While at first using him for her own safety, his dark, mysterious magnetism draws her and binds her to him—in a clearing, in a heartbeat and in love.

Jen: At what age did you discover writing? When were you first published? Tell us your call story.

Bobbi: My road to publication hasn’t been paved, not even graveled. It’s been muddy and full of potholes. Like my fellow authors, I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and tried not to step in a hole!

I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil. My earliest memory of actually composing a story is when I was five years old and sat alone in my grandmother’s stable. I sat in the stall that had housed my father’s horse and remember tracing the hoof prints that remained in the dirt. My mind’s eye imagined stories about the animal that had stood and eaten there. I remember staring at the bucket and watching a large hairy spider claim it for his own. An entire story formed in my head, all based on that afternoon on the stall. It was one of my first stories and is crammed with many other scribbles in the drawers of my studio. My son heard this story many times and used it as the basis for one of his own stories that was eventually published in a youth magazine.

I wrote prose and poetry, many of which were published in periodicals. After I was married and had my boys we lived in a suburban setting, but I wanted them to know the wonderful childhood I’d had so I told them stories at night. I wrote FUN IN THE YELLOW PAGES to read to them so they could ‘experience’ the fun of country life. It was first published in 1998 and, to my delight, was utilized in the Language Arts curriculum of several school districts. FUN was released on Kindle, Nook etc. earlier this year.

I am an avid historical romance reader and one dark night a song found me. My hero was born. I pictured him in my mind’s eye—where he was going, what he wanted, where he was— and I’ve been writing romance ever since.

Jen: Describe your writing in three words.

Bobbi: Sensual, romantic, humorous.

Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?

Bobbi: I can’t say that I approach my writing. The story usually finds me. I hear a melody and a scene pops into my head. I play the same melody over and over and the scene expands. All of a sudden I have unnamed characters and a problem that needs to be solved. The characters form a personality and names come to mind that seem to fit their personalities. Things just seem to expand from there. I think of a solution to the problem and then all the possibilities in reaching it. Now I have characters and a plot. I write a tentative timeline and tentative scene notes. Many times, I follow the tentative outline but when the characters exhibit minds of their own, I give them free rein and follow their lead. Often they take me to interesting places.

Jen: Do you have a theme, object or person that appears in all of your stories?

Bobbi: While each of my novels stands on its own, several of the same characters appear in both books and are also in the new one still in my computer. Each book has its own hero and heroine, but the hero and heroine from other books are utilized and play minor roles to move the plot forward. One thing that does appear in all books (my juvenile title, FUN IN THE YELLOW PAGES included) is the inclusion of an animal—usually dogs and horses. The animals are also ‘named’ and play minor roles to elicit certain behaviors in my characters.

Jen: Is there a genre you’d like to write? Is there a genre you’ll probably stay away from? Why?

Bobbi: Although writing romance is my favorite, I might again delve into juvenile fiction. I’ll most likely stay away from paranormal because I get lost in it—even in the movies. I never seem to follow the characters.

Jen: How do you pick character names?

Bobbi: The characters are generally ‘he’ and ‘she’ for a while until they form personalities. Then I have a file of names that I’ve come across which sound interesting or pleasing to the ear. Once ‘he’ becomes ‘someone’ in my mind’s eye, I see him/her/them and choose names from the file that appear to fit him/her/them. I also have many books with names and their definitions and origins so I can check that the name fits from all aspects.

Jen: If THE INN AT LITTLE BEND were made into a movie, which actors would you cast as the main characters?

Bobbi: This was a really fun question with an easy answer.

For the hero, Drake, it would be Alex O’Loughlin for sure. Lengthen his hair, grow the beard a bit, dress him in nineteenth century clothes and mount him on a huge bay horse and he’s a dead ringer for Drake. Even many of his body movements and hand gestures remind me of my hero.

The heroine, Grayson, required a bit more thought. She has to be 5’4” or less and be of slight build. The actress has to be able to play a 15 year old as well as an older woman. I settled on Scarlett Johansson. I think she would be able to pull it off. Or perhaps Mila Kunis for all the same reasons.

Jen: Do you do anything to celebrate a sale, new contract or release?

Bobbi: I do the same thing every time…whoop and holler, smile a lot, and go gallop my horse. Then I sit and my computer and write, write, write!

Jen: Most people only dream of becoming a published writer. Now that you’ve accomplished this, is there something else you dream of doing?

Bobbi: Have no idea where I would find the time, but I would love to write a screenplay. Was thinking of taking courses to learn the basic ‘rules of the road’ for screen writing and then experiment with one of my own novels. Just a thought as soon as there are twenty-eight hours in the day!

Jen: What’s next for you?

Bobbi: I’m deep in research of the Civil War. History seems different when studying it as an adult than when I learned it in school. Now I pick up on the subtleties and political innuendos. The hero and heroine from both my romances have joined with the hero and heroine of the new romance and all six of them are thrown into the horror of the Civil War. You can read the blurb for the latest romance on my website.

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?

Bobbi: Good thing you said, on the web, because I would have answered, “I can usually be found on my horse!” On the web—all my books, excerpts and reviews can be found at: www.Bobbiscorner.com.

Jen: Is there anything you would like to ask our readers?

Bobbi: I would love to hear a description of their favorite hero: build, eye color, hair color, personality etc. and a situation into which they would throw him.

Contest details:

  • The prize is an ebook copy of THE INN AT LITTLE BEND.
  • The contest is open to anyone over the age of 18.
  • You must leave a meaningful comment for entry.  This means your comment needs to be more than “please enter me in the contest”.
  • A valid email address needs to be included in your comment.  If you’re worried about spam, please modify your address, such as admin.bookblog AT gmail.com.  You can also send a message to this email after your comment has been posted.
  • While following the blog isn’t required, it is appreciated.
  • The contest ends on Sunday, November 27.

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