Today we have Robena Grant who has a cool book trailer for one of her romantic suspenses. Check it out… it really captures the mood of the novel.

Robena, welcome! What prompted you to get the book trailer made, how did you do it, and do you feel it is helping increase awareness of your book?

Robena Grant:

Thank you for inviting me, Nia. This is so sweet of you. Desert Exposure was my RWA®Golden Heart® finalist book from 2012, so it was special to me. I had not done book trailers for the first two books in the Desert Heat series. I had a friend who had hired GWExtra for hers: and I liked the result. I’m not sure trailers do anything toward selling a book though. : )

NS: This is the third in the series — how did you do the research to create the town of Almagro and the neighboring towns?

RG: I moved to the Coachella Valley in Southern California, which is a desert oasis, about eight years ago. I love exploring and became fascinated with the disparity between the poorer small farming towns butting up against the flashy vacation, golf-course-ridden bigger towns. I created Almagro based on my own town, but I moved its location further east.

NS: You created a villain that had real motivation and was three-dimensional. Kudos! Was that a deliberate effort and what made you want to spend the time to develop the villain instead of falling into the common pattern of making villains pure evil?

RG: Thank you. I believe there is good and bad in all of us. I’m interested in what might motivate a person to choose a life of crime. I wanted to show my antagonist’s good side through his loyalty to his family, his brother.

NS: Many of the minor characters were also richly nuanced. Did you work up character sheets for them? (Grandpa, Manuel, and Fernando?)

RG: I don’t do character sheets. When a character first appears to me I’ll flesh him/her out, try to figure out what makes him tick, choose one or two things that make him different from other characters in the story, and then I let him evolve as I write.

NS: Which leads me to my favorite question, are you a pantser or a plotter?

RG: I’m basically a pantser in that I think the story through as I walk, drive, exercise. Then I write a rough draft. With romantic suspense there has to be some plotting as you need to weave both the romance and the suspense. Plus there’s usually a subplot or two. : ) I focus on writing toward the major turning points.

NS: What is your favorite part about writing?

RG: The discovery part of having a character show up and whisper in my ear that they have a story to tell. Then discovering who he/she is, what they’ve done, and how I can do justice to their story.

NS: What is the hardest part about writing?

RG: For me it’s grammar. I still make ridiculous mistakes. I’m getting better at finding them, but thank heavens for editors.

NS: How long have you been writing?

RG: I started in the summer of 2000.

NS: I’m pretty close. I started in the spring of 2001. What are your dreams for your writing?

RG: To be a hybrid author. I adore The Wild Rose Press and I’m currently working on my fifth romantic suspense title for them. I hope we have a long career together. However, I have a couple of contemporary romances already written, and I’d love to secure a contract with a big house, just for the experience, and I’d also like to dabble in indie publishing.

NS: I see you are a nurse. Do you plan to ever try writing a medical romance?

RG: I retired from nursing in 1980. There are many medical stories in my head, but I’m not sure how they would sound on paper.  Medicine, technology, all of that has changed so much in thirty years that I doubt I’d ever get it right. I have friends who write for HM&B and there is a real art to the storytelling. Thanks again for hosting me, and I hope you and your readers have a great day.

Robena Grant
Robena Grant

To learn more about Robena please visit her website: Click on My Blog for her weekly ramblings on writing, interviews, and rants, or follow her on FB or Twitter.  Robena’s books are available at Amazon or through her publisher The Wild Rose Press:

15 thoughts on “Author interview, Robena Grant, Desert Exposure

  1. Great interview ladies! I agree with all Nia’s observations about the multi-dimensional “villain” and the nuanced secondary characters in “Desert Exposure.” There was no part of this book that didn’t capture my attention!


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