I’m so excited to have Robena here today to answer a few questions about Oldcastle and The English Village series.
Hi Roben, welcome to the round pen! Right off, I loved ONE SAFE PLACE and I just got ONE TRUTH REVEALED on my Kindle on Friday, so I’m anxious to dive into it. Professor Drew Compton sounds like my favorite kind of rumpled academic-type hero. I love that you’ve got a little bit of a cozy mystery vibe going with this series.
Thank you, Nan. And thanks for hosting me today. I enjoyed writing Drew, and knew he deserved a romance, so made him the hero in Book #2.
I know you love to travel. Is Oldcastle based on a real place in England that you’ve visited?
No, it is fictional. However, it came from an oil painting I inherited from my mother-in-law, and it was a scene in the village of Eardisland, on River Arrow. Not wanting to bring bad karma to that village 😊 I made mine Oldcastle but pretty much stole the setting.
What other kind of research did you have to do for this series?
I lived and breathed England for over a year. I did many Google searches, read village church newsletters, spoke with English friends, visited Ye Olde Kings Head pub and restaurant in Santa Monica, and watched every TV show on PBS that I could find.
Your character’s names are all sorta British sounding, even American Naomi in ONE SAFE PLACE has a name that sounds English. How do you pick the names for your characters or do they come to you already named?
Naomi came from a FB post where I quizzed friends. I’d selected the last name from my mother-in-law’s family. Nia Fishchler came up with Naomi. Having known many Brits, Scots, and Irish people in Australia, I used a lot of those names.
Even though your books are marketed by your publisher as contemporary romance, most of them have a little suspense or mystery in them—is that what you read mostly?
I love contemporary romance, and women’s fiction. Add a touch of mystery, and I’m sold.
I know you’re trained as a nurse. Has that or any other jobs you’ve had in the past influenced your writing?
Sometimes. I often draw on past medical knowledge, but always have to double-check because of newer medicines and techniques.
What’s the last book you read that kept you up enthralled until you finished it?
Definitely Mary Alice Monroe’s The Beach House. I read it last week and still think about it. A wonderful and difficult mother/daughter relationship, a newfound love, and wonder of wonders, sea turtles. The South Carolina island was a fantastic setting and made me want to visit.
Oh, I just ordered that one! Can’t wait to read it! I know we’re going to see a book 3 in the English Village series—is that it or do you have more Oldcastle stories in the works? If not, what is coming along?
Yes, One Unforgettable Friday will release, I think, in Spring 2018. It features Lizzie York as the heroine, she’s the younger sister of Oliver, the hero in One Safe Place, and she is wheelchair bound. I loved writing her story. I think that will be the last, and I’m already toying with a series set in Australia.
Fun! Now, for the trickiest question I always like to ask: Tell me the question you wish someone would ask about your writing, but nobody ever has? Answer it.
How old were you when you first got published? I’d proudly answer sixty-five, the same year I applied for Medicare. You’re definitely never too old for this gig, you just slow down some. 😉
Thanks so much for stopping in for an interview, Roben—we’re so glad you came by and hope you’ll be back soon!
Thank you, Nan, I truly appreciate this, and I wish you every success with your new soon-to-be released book, SAVING SARAH.
Kids, all of Roben’s books are available in print and eBook:
and B&N, KOBO, GooglePlay and iBooks.
Robena may be reached at www.robenagrant.com
At thirty-five-years of age, and with pressure from her adoptive mother, Lina Bright is ten days away from undergoing Artificial Insemination in London. She doesn’t need a husband. She travels to Oldcastle to meet her biological mother, a spinster who runs a village teashop. To keep her mother’s secret, but determine her father’s identity, she creates the cover of scouting for property to start a new school.
A bachelor at forty, Drew Compton is an English Professor in Oxford. Diagnosed with “poor swimmers” his fiancée left him. He plans to live out his life alone, with his books. Disliking his mother’s secrets and controlling ways, he seldom returns to Oldcastle. But a chance meeting has him intrigued. Who is this chic Londoner?
As Lina’s plans for a school become a reality, romance blossoms, but roadblocks ensue. Will Lina and Drew trust in each other to overcome the difficulties and create a future together?
Excerpt from ONE TRUTH REVEALED
Heat. She craved his heat. Her arms encircled the back of his neck, pulled his face tighter,
closer, her lips tingled and begged to be crushed harder.
“Lina,” he whispered, his breath fanning her cheek. Then he took her mouth possessively.
She almost couldn’t remain standing. “Again,” she murmured. The headiness of his kisses, the heat swirling in her belly, the weakness in her knees, had her pressing even closer. Their tongues met, tangled in a mating dance she’d rarely experienced. Everything about this man spelled permanence. The girls below shouted, “Keep him, we want him.” Dazed, she pulled away, took in a deep breath, and refocused.
If she didn’t keep her wits about her she’d be dragging Drew into the shelter of the ruins and having her way with him. Could this castle be a magic place? Did it encourage romance, and illicit rendezvous? Rendezvous? Oh, blast it; she couldn’t get involved. There were nine days left until her expected ovulation. She’d chosen her sperm donor. She’d committed to doing this, and had an appointment scheduled with a London clinic. That’s why she had to go back.
Drew rested his forehead against hers. “Everything okay?”
Drew rested his forehead against hers. “Everything okay?”