Jen: Today we welcome B.B. Cruz to Romancing the Book. B.B., will you share a short bio with us?
B.B.: I was born in Arkansas but moved to Alaska with my parents when I was 2 years old. I have lived all over the state, from the barren northern coast of the Arctic Ocean to a gold mining claim in the mountains to balmy Anchorage, which is where I currently reside with my husband and two teenage daughters. I’m a huge fan of romance, and love to cozy up with a novel, which definitely makes the long winters and cold nights easier to handle.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
B.B.: My debut novel, Dangerous Decisions, is a single title romantic suspense novel that was released on April 6th, 2015. It follows the whirlwind romance between Carino Montgomery and Ramon Terrones as they struggle to keep their secrets buried and their lives intact. Dangerous Decisions is available at all major eBook retailers, thanks to my publisher, Crimson Romance.
It was a no-brainer for my story to involve a law firm, as I’m a huge fan of legal dramas in print and on TV, not to mention the law has always been a huge part of my career. I wanted to write a story about an educated, driven woman who had chosen a profession that forced her to live life under the radar, and what it would take for someone like her to turn her back on her responsibilities and convictions. And, what can I say? Ramon is very compelling.
Jen: Are you a plotter or pantser?
B.B.: I’m definitely a pantser, but I do have plotter tendencies. There’s just something about sitting down in front of my computer and letting the story being told by the characters in my head flow out through my fingers. Sometimes their stories are not very long – or very interesting, for that matter – and I’ve written myself into more corners than I can count. I’ve learned that creating a loose plan that identifies the main idea of each chapter, as well as the ending, helps me stay on track while keeping my creative juices flowing.
If my characters aren’t persuasive enough to convince me to move onto the planning stage, I set them aside and sift through the recesses of my mind until I come across the next character who’s bouncing up and down, hand in the air, waiting to be called upon so they can have their 15 minutes in the spotlight.
Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest? Most rewarding?
B.B.: The most challenging aspect is having patience, as I’m definitely a fan of instant gratification. I’ve become conditioned to getting the things I want quickly and easily – books that are downloaded in seconds, TV shows that stream on demand, questions answered by a simple Internet search on my ever-present smartphone. I’ve had to learn how to wait, whether it’s for an idea to fully form, to have free time to write, for constructive feedback on a draft, or – and this one has been the toughest of all – for a response on my manuscript submissions.
The easiest aspect has been sharing what I’ve written. At first, I was incredibly nervous to let others read my work, but as I became more confident in my ability to write an entertaining story, it turned into the easiest part of the process.
The most rewarding, by far, has been the incredible encouragement and support I’ve received from friends and family.
Jen: If this book was made into a movie, who do you see playing the main characters?
B.B.: This question brings up a funny memory, and my husband will probably cringe when he reads this. Let’s just say that if anyone had looked through the camera roll on his phone, there would’ve been some raised eyebrows. There was picture after picture of nothing but extremely good-looking men – but he was actually helping to inspire my image of Ramon!
We both agreed that Adrian Grenier would make a great Ramon, provided he developed an accent and wore brown contacts. Carino’s character was a little harder to nail down, but in the end, I feel like Margot Robbie would be a perfect fit.
Jen: If you were able to travel in time, where would you go and what 3 things would you take with you?
B.B.: I’ve never been asked this question before, so at first I thought I would have something really profound to offer as my answer… but what kept coming to mind was that I would love to have been alongside Ed Sheeran as he was being discovered as an artist. I think he is an incredibly talented, generous and humble person, and I find his rags-to-riches, self-made success story very inspiring.
The three things I would take are: a warm jacket, my Sketchers Go-Walk shoes, and an acoustic guitar. A warm jacket because he didn’t always have a place to stay, and nights can get chilly. My shoes because he devoted himself to playing as many gigs as possible, and for a busy guy with no money who doesn’t know how to drive, I imagine there would have been a lot of walking. And a guitar because…well, how cool would it be to say that Ed Sheeran taught me how to play?
Jen: What did you do to celebrate your first book? Do you do anything to celebrate a sale, new contract or release?
B.B.: My family took me out to my favorite restaurant for dinner the night I received my contract from Crimson Romance. They didn’t want to talk about anything other than my book, and wanted to hear every single detail about every single thing from the moment I received the offer to when I sent in my signed contract documents.
Jen: What’s next for you?
B.B.: I’ve been working on a couple of different projects, actually, one being a romantic suspense novel about a troubled ex-soldier and the fiancé of his deceased best friend. Of course, it wouldn’t be nearly interesting enough without a mystery baby and a ruthless hitman or two. The other is a contemporary romance that follows a successful (and gorgeous!) movie star and the unsuspecting woman who has crash landed into his mid-life crisis. The incessant paparazzi and some compromising photos that go viral in a matter of minutes help create an even bigger disaster.
By far, my next biggest thing is that I’ve been accepted into law school, starting in August 2015. My schedule will be crazy busy, managing a full-time job and a family, but I will most definitely be carving out time to work on my projects, if for no other reason than to maintain my sanity.