Hi, Roben, welcome to Word Wranglers! I get to call you Roben because we’re friends as well as fellow writers, but the rest of the world knows you as author Robena Grant. We’re so glad to have you here today to celebrate the release of your new contemporary romance, Corsica Gate. It’s now available at e-book retailers everywhere right? We’ll have links later in this post.
Thanks for inviting me, Nan. Yes, Corsica Gate is available in all formats, including print, however, it is print on demand. Unfortunately you won’t find it on the shelf at B&N, or with other print booksellers.
You usually write romantic suspense, Roben, so Corsica Gate is a step outside your box, isn’t it? What made you decide to do something a little different with this book?
I have one three book romantic suspense series, and one single title RS already published. A fifth RS will publish later this year. For me, it was easy to blow something up, tie someone up, or level a Glock at a chest, but finding enough conflict to drive a romance was difficult. I didn’t enjoy digging deep into emotions when they pertained to love. I challenged myself to “do what you’re afraid of” and I like the result. J My goal is to write one RS and one contemporary romance per year.
I know you get a lot of the settings for your books from your own travels—have you been to Italy? What did you like best about it?
I’ve been to Italy several times and honestly, there is nothing I didn’t like. The differences in this small country, from North to South, are evident in lifestyle, fashion, food, and I found it all so intriguing. And the history, wow! I felt so at home that I asked my mother if perhaps she’d had an Italian lover. I got a smack on the arm for that. Ha ha. I’d love to go back again.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Surprisingly, no. I was a late bloomer. I worried that I didn’t have the educational background in fine arts and would make a fool of myself, however, I learned late in life that a storyteller is a storyteller. You read a few craft books, take some workshops and then practice getting those words on the page. Then you practice some more. Then you swallow your pride and let someone take a look. Your work gets rejected over and over again, and if you don’t give up, eventually the pieces of the jigsaw fit together and someone finally gives you a chance. Then you start the real learning. J
What are you most likely to be doing when you should be writing?
Messing around on social media.
What books do you go back to and reread over and over again?
Funnily enough, I almost always reread Regency novels, like Georgette Heyer’s books, or historical romance novels set in England, mostly by Jane Austen. I grew up reading them and I return to them for comfort and pleasure. My favorite contemporary author to reread is Jennifer Crusie.
Last question. What woman, living or dead, would you want to have dinner with? Where would you go? What would you talk about?
Jane Austen and I would have high tea in London, maybe at the Dorchester. It would be my treat. It’s very expensive and I think Jane would frown upon the extravagance, yet deep down she’d be thrilled. It would be extraordinary people watching, and we’d enjoy making up stories about the other patrons. I’d like to ask her about her characters: How she gave them such richness that they have become real people to me, and yet they are from an era never experienced. I’d like to know how she attained the level of writing that turned her books into classics.
A believer in love and happily-ever-after, Robena Grant writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance, and enjoys writing about places she has visited. Born in Australia, she now resides in California. The proud mother of two adult children, she adores travel, reading, movies, and yes…karaoke.
Contact Robena at: www.robenagrant.com. Find her on Facebook, and Twitter.
Buy Corsica Gate here: http://amzn.com/B00RGWK6PE
A heroine who has stopped believing in fairy tales and happy endings, Dia Sophia Romani, jilted three days before her wedding, has lived with Mama in San Diego’s Little Italy for six months. She’s tired of everything Italian, and is ready to move on…
Enter an unlikely hero. Carlo Antonelli is of Italian descent. He adores Dia, but he’s willing to take his time and not rush her. When he learns she will be vacationing in Italy and Corsica, he must step up his game.
Will a wish made at a magical gate destroy, or strengthen, their newfound love?
Excerpt from Corsica Gate:
“You mean…?” Dia looked back at the guy. Nah, impossible, I’ve never been that lucky.
“Yeah, that’s Carlo Antonelli. Tell him anything,” Tony said. “I’ll get your back. You don’t want to accept the date, just make up whatever excuse you want.” He beckoned.
A jolt of heat spread through her abdomen when Carlo grinned and waved. He ducked through the slow moving traffic and stopped in front of her, smiling a crooked smile. He pushed his sunglasses onto his head, white teeth flashing, and mahogany eyes sparkling. My wedding date? Her heartbeat pounded, and her mouth went dry.
“You must be Dia,” he said. He tucked the book underneath one arm and held her hand gently with his other big warm hand. “Carlo Antonelli.”
“Yes,” she said, the word coming out on a soft breath. She swallowed hard. “Tony mentioned you wanted to speak to me about Marco’s wedding.”
Something inside of her shifted, as if a huge iceberg started to melt in her chest and slid sideways, leaving a pool of cool, blue, bubbling water. She floundered for a minute wondering what to say next, because she couldn’t use the word date. Not while looking into his magnificent eyes. Then she remembered he was Italian, or at least part Italian. Strike one. Her shoulders stiffened. She had no interest in Italian men. She pulled her hand away, hitched up the purse onto her shoulder, and squinted from behind her dark sunglasses.