Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Meet Robyn Carr and What We Find #Giveaway

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with 8 comments

Every time a new Robyn Carr comes out I do a happy dance. Robyn builds towns, character by character. Her writing is a wonderful blend of women's fiction and romance. I discovered Robyn's Grace Valley series in 2005. I went back and searched out every book she'd written to that point. I caught up on the Virgin River series; then pre-ordered each new title.

Her first book Chelynne, a historical romance was published in 1978. In 2011, she became an "overnight sensation" when a Virgin River Christmas hit the New York Times Best Seller list. Robyn's made a home on the list ever since.

This year she is the recipient of the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award, one of the highest honors the Romance Writers of America bestows. This award is presented to a living author in recognition of significant contributions to the romance genre. It will be presented to Robyn at the 2016 RWA National Convention in San Diego.

Robyn latest book, What We Find comes out April 5th. AND, dearest readers, I got an ARC and I’m giving it away. (Reluctantly since I will need to buy another copy to keep. But I would have bought one anyway. I keep all my Robyn Carr’s.)

What We Find
Sullivan's Crossing, a small Colorado town near the Continental Divide hiking trails is the setting for a new saga of family, loss, forgiveness and most of all, love. When successful neurosurgeon, Maggie Sullivan's personal and professional lives start falling apart, she heads back to her birth place to heal. She didn't count on being attracted to the reticent stranger who is staying at her father's campground. But when her father suffers a heart attack, Cal's the one who steps up to help.
In my eyes, Robyn can do no wrong. She's always bringing me new people to love. And what a perfect setting. When I think of how many different kinds of people take to the big trails to hike, I know Robyn's got a wealth of material and characters to draw from. I love the characters I've already met and I can't wait for book 2

EXCERPT (from chapter one)
     Maggie Sullivan sought refuge in the stairwell between the sixth and seventh floors at the far west end of the hospital, the steps least traveled by interns and residents racing from floor to floor, from emergency to emergency. She sat on the landing between two flights, feet on the stairs, arms crossed on her knees, her face buried in her arms. She didn’t understand how her heart could feel as if it was breaking every day. She thought of herself as much stronger.
     “Well now, some things never change,” a familiar voice said.
     She looked up at her closest friend, Jaycee Kent. They had gone to med school together, though residency had separated them. Jaycee was an OB and Maggie, a neurosurgeon. And… they had hidden in stairwells to cry all those years ago when med-school life was kicking their asses. Most of their fellow students and instructors were men. They refused to let the men see them cry.
     Maggie gave a wet, burbly huff of laughter. “How’d you find me?” Maggie asked.
     “How do you know you’re not in my spot?”
     “Because you’re happily married and have a beautiful daughter?”
     “And my hours suck, I’m sleep-deprived, have as many bad days as good and…” Jaycee sat down beside Maggie. “And at least my hormones are cooperating at the moment. Maggie, you’re just taking call for someone, right? Just to stay ahead of the bills?”
     “Since the practice shut down,” Maggie said. “And since the lawsuit was filed.”
     “You need a break. You’re recovering from a miscarriage and your hormones are wonky. You need to get away, especially away from the emergency room. Take some time off. Lick your wounds. Heal.”
     “He dumped me,” Maggie said.
     Jaycee was clearly shocked. “What?”
     “He broke up with me. He said he couldn’t take it anymore. My emotional behavior, my many troubles. He suggested professional help.”
     Jaycee was quiet. “I’m speechless,” she finally said. “What a huge ass.”
     “Well, I was crying all the time,” she said, sniffing some more. “If I wasn’t with him, I cried when I talked to him on the phone. I thought I was okay with the idea of no children. I’m almost thirty-seven, I work long hours, I was with a good man who was just off a bad marriage and already had a child…”
     “I’ll give you everything but the good man,” Jaycee said. “He’s a doctor, for God’s sake. Doesn’t he know that all you’ve been through can take a toll? Remove all the stress and you still had the miscarriage! People tend to treat a miscarriage like a heavy period but it’s a death. You lost your baby. You have to take time to grieve.”
     “Gospel,” Maggie said, rummaging for a tissue and giving her nose a hearty blow. “I really felt it on that level. When I found out I was pregnant, it took me about fifteen minutes to start seeing the baby, loving her. Or him.”
     “Not to beat a dead horse, but you have some hormone issues playing havoc on your emotions. Listen, shoot out some emails tonight. Tell the ones on the need-to-know list you’re taking a week or two off.”
     “No one knows about the pregnancy but you and Andrew.”
     “You don’t have to explain—everyone knows about your practice, your ex-partners, the lawsuit. Frankly, your colleagues are amazed you’re still standing. Get out of town or something. Get some rest.”
     “You might be right,” Maggie said. “These cement stairwells are killing me.”
     Jaycee put an arm around her. “Just like old times, huh?”

Thank you for being here, Robyn. I love firsts, so tell me about the moment when you found you’d made your first sale.We had just moved to CA and, as usual, my husband had to leave town so it was me with two little kids in a house filled with boxes. I didn't know anyone, didn't even know my neighbors. There was no RWA but I had a critique group back in TX. We didn't have cell phones or computers, I had no way to reach my husband and long distance was a per minute charge, something like ten cents a minute which, back in '78, was a lot of money. I didn't even have a bottle of wine in the house. I made a couple of long distance calls and then I think I unpacked boxes. But I unpacked boxes with a smile on my face. The next morning I excitedly told the pre school teacher, the only person I knew. The next day when I took my son to pre school, she gave me a cake she'd made for me in the shape of an open book. It said, "Chelynne by Robyn Carr" Her name is Janet and we're still friends to this day. 

How much of your actual life gets written into your fictional stories? Do you ever use real people as inspiration for your characters?As inspiration—yes. But as actual characters, no. Real people don’t usually come off well in fiction. I take traits and experiences and emotional reactions from people I’ve met or read about and blend them into composite characters. But experiences and bits of dialogue from my life sneak in—happily. 

As a writer, what kinds of books inspire you? Do you ever find time to read when you aren't writing your own novels?
I read every day. I work long hours, but in the evening after dinner I read—and I am inspired by everything I read, whether it’s mainstream or non-fiction or some other genre. I have a particular taste for contemporary romance and women’s fiction. My favorite authors are Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Kristan Higgins, Jill Shalvis, Susan Andersen to name a few. For my reading pleasure I enjoy intelligent, romantic, humorous, sexy novels with strong heroines.  
We have similar tastes.
Your characters have issues. All of them. And in that sense, sometimes your books feel more like women’s fiction than romance. Is that something you do purposefully?
This is what I love about women’s fiction! Every living woman has either faced those issues in her own life or she has a sister, neighbor, friend, co-worker—someone she knows or knows of—who has grappled with women’s issues. The range of women’s issues is so wide, it’s infinitesimal. Women’s issues are those issues that challenge a woman’s happiness because they’re women—everything from salaries to mothering to friendship to the more dramatic and frightening issues of domestic violence, death, assault. We've seen people who make positive changes in their lives because of these challenges just as we've seen people really blow it, make such bad choices it nearly (or even absolutely) ruins their lives.
Of course, men face all the same issues/problems. But men and women think so differently about things. Men are better at compartmentalizing—they have the job compartment, the husband compartment, the father compartment and so on. They don’t think about how their home lives affect their relationship on their bowling team or their success or problems on the job. With women, everything is connected to everything else—their jobs are connected to their relationships connected to their goals and to their fears, et cetera. And while men want a solution to one particular issue in one specific compartment, women tend to examine everything that’s going on within them and around them.

Thank you, Robyn. And congratulations on the Nora Roberts lifetime Achievement Award. I am looking forward to the next book in the Sullivan’s Crossing Series.
Beloved reader, here's your chance to win my ARC. Enter below. If you don't like Rafflecopter, just leave a comment and a way to reach you should you win. Happy Reading.


  1. I tried to log in and McCaffee (computer said it blocked me from this site). Kelly

  2. Rafflecopter Wouldn't load but enjoyed the interview. Thanks for this opportunity.

  3. Thank you for sharing about your new book. I'm a big fan of your work and this looks like another terrific story. I loved your story about your first sale and the kind gesture that turned into a life long friendship.

  4. Great interview. Looks like another Robyn Carr book to add to my TBR list. I love the story of your first sale. When I got my first contract, my brother immediately had me on the NYT best sellers' list, the book made into a movie, and me going on a book tour. Just love that guy.

  5. I enjoyed the interview. I love your 1st story too.
    I've never read you.

  6. I love Robyn Carr. I know if I pick up any of her books, I'm in for a good time. Great interview/post!

  7. I have never read a Robyn Carr book, but it sounds like a new favorite author I have just discovered--thanks to this post!

  8. Thanks for the interview with Robyn Carr. I've never read her books, but it looks like I might have to read one.
    Tema Merback
    Writing as Belle Ami


I love reading comments! Please do.