An Interview with Bestselling Author, Robyn Carr

TS: Although Robyn’s earlier novels were historicals, she found the voice that has resonated with readers by writing a blend of contemporary romance and women’s fiction—books that not only entertain but also address sensitive issues, such as domestic violence, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, workplace burnout and miscarriage, anything that can compromise a woman’s happiness because she’s female. There have been standalone novels—and wildly popular series. Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing?  Or tell us about your ‘dream’ work space

RC. I work in an extra bedroom that has built-in desktop, drawers and bookshelves to the ceiling.  I really outgrew it years ago – I’ve been in this house and office for 17 years.  I share the space with my husband who takes care of all our family business and attempts to help me with my business and since he tends to stack things, it’s become small and messy.  I have the half with the desk and desktop computer – he has the half with the file drawers, not that he actually files.  My desk is cluttered with everything from checkbooks to unanswered mail.  Given our computerized and internet lives, most of the unanswered mail remains unanswered.  If I can’t do it on the computer, it’s just impossible to get to.  This office that houses two people and a million books is only 10X12.  But it’s where I’m most at home.  The chair is curved to my butt and the screen is exactly the right distance from my eyes.  All the letters are worn off the keyboard because I like the keyboard.  I’ve occasionally tried new ones but they feel stiff.  I have laptops for travel but I’m not fast on them.  The real magic is right here.  It’s dusty – it’s hard to dust stacks of papers and books on the high shelves.  But it’s mine.  Just like that old Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser was like an extension of my body back when I was carpooling kids, this office is like my arms, legs, eyes and ears.  It’s my happy place.

Q. Do you have any special rituals when you sit down to write? (a neat work space, sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

RC. I start with coffee and move on to green tea and diet coke. I have to have tissues because I’m not sure I have allergies but I have an active nose.  I have music because otherwise my ears buzz.  My calendar, paper, is open on my desk and I try to keep all the squares blank – those are the best writing days when writing doesn’t compete with errands or appointments.

Q. Could you tell us something about yourself that we might not already know?

RC. Well, I love disaster films. I couldn’t wait to see San Andreas.  I’ve watched Day After Tomorrow and Independence Day a hundred times.  One summer I saw New York wiped out three times – asteroid, aliens and a glacier.  And other than those disasters, other than whatever adventure seeps into books, I have a wonderfully dull life.  I work till six, then I eat with my husband (who also has a dull life he loves) and read until I fall asleep.  I’d rather not go anywhere – I’m completely content moving from my bed to my office to my family room and back to my bed.  It’s boring and totally satisfying.

Q. Do you have a set time each day to write or do you write only when you are feeling creative?

Available July 26th

RC. If I waited until I felt creative or had inspiration I’d be out of business. Here’s the successful writer’s best tip – you have to be willing to write crap.  You have to write all the time whether it’s any good or not.  You can always delete or revise or rewrite but if you wait until it feels perfect, you’ll never accomplish anything.  You have to fill up pages with words and keep moving forward – inspiration for me usually kicks in after about 200 pages and I don’t mind rewriting the first 200 at all.  I don’t really know the characters for at least 100 pages, maybe more.  And the ideas come while I’m writing, not before I even start. I sit down at my desk by 7 a.m. and although I break for my other obligations, like food, chores and duties, I write on and off until 6 p.m.  I’d rather write than anything else.  Recently I was talking about my book tour – ten cities – and I said, “After that trip, I have 10 days off.”  The person I was talking to said, “What do you do on your days off?”  And I said, “I write.”  That’s the fun part of the job – everything else is work.

Q. What’s your best advice to other writers for overcoming procrastination?

RC. Oh, no one would ever take my advice – it’s just too hard for a certified procrastinator. Write every day no matter what.  The one thing that trips me up is travel.  It seems that when I travel all I can do is travel.  I find it stressful and distracting.  And exhausting.  I always take a laptop and I never get any real writing done.  The only exception is when I’m on vacation – I can write in the mornings as long as I have a view!  Great working conditions, that’s what I call it.

Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters?

Don’t Miss the remaining two parts of this entertaining and motivating Interview!  Part two July 25th


DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!  A long awaited interview with Kathleen Grissom (The Kitchen House)   Michael Saad, Canadian author, was June’s author. Robyn Carr is July’s author. Check out Motivational Moments…for Writers!

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