Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Interview and Giveaway with Author Roxanne St. Claire

About Barefoot in White:

Destination wedding consultant Willow Ambrose has fought a battle with the scale for much of her life, but she has finally won the war. By putting her past behind her and cutting off all contact with anyone who knew her before and, of course, controlling everything she can, Willow has carved out a new body and a new life. But when she comes face to face with someone who left an indelible mark on her heart years before, all that threatens to crumble.

Navy SEAL Nick Hershey is on medical leave, doing a friend a favor as a stand in “man of honor” at a beach wedding. He might not be that interested in the nuptials, but the wedding planner catches his eye the minute they meet. When he realizes Willow is really a girl he knew in college—and a girl he unintentionally hurt to the core—he knows he has some making up to do.

Willow has learned how to beat every temptation...but Nick’s sweet-as-candy kisses just might be the one thing she can’t resist. But the closer they get, the more the past threatens to tear them apart. Can they finally let go of a painful past in order to find a forever future?
(The above books synopsis found on Goodreads)

Meet Roxanne St. Claire:
Photo found on Goodreads
Check out Roxanne's website,www.roxannestclaire.com 
'Like' her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/roxannestclaire 
Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/roxannestclaire

Roxanne St. Claire is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than thirty novels of suspense and romance, including three popular series (The Bullet Catchers, The Guardian Angelinos, and Barefoot Bay) and multiple stand alone books.

In addition to being a six-time nominee and one-time winner of the RITA Award, Roxanne’s novels have won the National Reader’s Choice Award for best romantic suspense three times, as well as the Daphne du Maurier Award, the HOLT Medallion, the Maggie, Booksellers Best, Book Buyers Best, the Award of Excellence, and many others. Her books have been translated into dozens of languages and are routinely included as a Doubleday/Rhapsody Book Club Selection of the Month. (information taken from Roxanne's website)

~ The Interview ~

Thank you Roxanne for taking time out of your busy schedule and answering some questions. 

Thanks so much for having me here today! I’m happy to answer your questions, pop in to respond to comments, and give away a book today!
The first romance most little girls read when they’re young is a probably a Disney version of Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, or some other similar tale based off of a fairy tale. Do you incorporate any elements of fairy tales into your stories? If so, what and how?

Obviously the happy ever after part is ALWAYS there! In my Barefoot Bay Billionaires books, there’s a huge element of the “prince sweeping the fair maiden off her feet” - especially in the first one, SECRETS ON THE SAND.  (It’s free, by the way and has been called “A Cinderella story” and “Pretty Woman on the beach.”)  The Barefoot Brides are less “fairy tale-like” in nature but still promise a big change for the characters and a super-satisfying ending.

Many of your romances tend to focus on characters that have issues to overcome or are flawed. Do you feel making the hero or heroine of a romance less than perfect helps the reader relate and bond with a character? Is it more fun to write a character who has something to overcome so they can grow throughout the book?

In a word, YES.  Yes to all of the above.  A heroine HAS to be flawed to be relatable and a hero HAS to be flawed to be truly attractive and they both have to learn from those flaws -- preferably because the other has “taught” them -- to be happier, healthier, better, and more capable of true love.  That’s sort of the essence of every romance novel, right?  The tricky part is making them flawed but likeable.  I think a lot of writers make a heroine nasty or cold or awful in some way so that they have lots of room to grow by the end.  I don’t think readers like that as much as someone who is truly likeable, but has a very relatable flaw.  Willow, the heroine of BAREFOOT IN WHITE, has lost 120 pounds and one of the ways she’s done that is by truly cutting herself off from the past -- including her parents.  She works very hard to convince herself she’s happy because who WOULDN’T be happy if they lost the weight that made them miserable?  That’s relatable...and so is the fact that she needs to work on the “inside” as much as the “outside” before she can love and be truly happy. 

I’ve always suspected most writers live vicariously through their characters. When you create a character, whether male or female, do you tend to pick professions you yourself find interesting or want to learn more about? Do you do a lot of research?

I don’t think I live vicariously through the characters -- though I do feel their emotions.  I tend to choose professions that will showcase the character’s change and growth and be somewhat fascinating to the reader.  That’s why with this series, I’m focused on destination wedding planners because they are experts at arranging dreamy “I do’s” but have never had one of their own.  I do a ton of research all the way through the writing of a book.  Many of my plot lines are directly a result of something I’ve learned in the research, so that step is very important for me.

I saw at one point you were an actress. Do you think any of the skills you learned from that profession helped you with writing?

(Wow -- you did your homework! I was an actress and my brush with fame was a bit part on an episode of Bosom Buddies!!)  Training in method acting absolutely helps in writing -- I  am acting every time I open a document and choose a point of view.  Writing is climbing into another person’s head and body and taking on their personality in order to “see” the world and “tell” the story through their viewpoint.  Everything I learned in acting classes is employed in writing -- and when I cry during I scene, I know I nailed it because I’m deep, deep, deep into character! That’s truly the most fun you can have at the keyboard! 

What, besides good chemistry between the two main characters, do you feel is most important element to include in a romance?

Incredible pacing.  I do NOT want my reader to ever be bored or really want to put the book down.  I spend as much time on pacing and keeping the story moving forward as I do on character development -- I believe it’s critical to that “unputdownable” feeling I want every reader to experience.

Was there a resort or perhaps an event that inspired your Barefoot series and/or Barefoot in White? I saw you experienced the loss of a house during a hurricane and I’m guessing that experience inspired the same situation in the series?  Did anything else?

Not really a resort per se, but the whole of Barefoot Bay is inspired by a beach near Naples, Florida, where my parents used to live.  The west coast of Florida has very distinct beaches, with a certain kind of powdery sand and an abundance of seashells.  My parents lived in a beach house directly on the water after they retired and I spent a lot of time there, dreaming up stories!  And, yes, I lost my home in Hurricane Andrew in Miami, so that experience definitely colored the very first book of the series.

What do you find is the most challenging part of writing?

First drafts -- the raw, rough, ugly laying down of the first words of any scene or chapter -- is absolute torture for me.  I actually hate writing, LOL!! I do love, love, love to revise and polish and tweak.  I can rewrite an entire 100,000 word novel in a month -- with 80% brand new words.  That’s easy.  But the first draft?  Sheer hell.

What do you like most about being an author?

Writing “The End.”  I always call a family member in to my office to witness that moment!

What do you hope the reader will take away from one of your books?

I just want them to close the book with a deep sigh and a little shiver of joy.  I want them to get utter satisfaction from the story and think about the characters for a few days or more.  I want them to get so involved in the book they carry it with them from place to place.  Once, I was reading WELCOME TO TEMPTATION by Jennifer Cruise and I had to go upstairs for something one of my kids wanted.  I read on the way up the stairs!! Now that is a great book!!

What do feel is the most romantic thing a person can do for another?
Listen.  I love when my husband gives me his undivided attention and I try to remember to do the same for him.  I think it is incredibly romantic to just shut out the world and really listen to your beloved talk about something that matters to him or her, even if it doesn’t matter to you!
Thanks, Roxanne, for answering our questions. I loved reading your answers. 
Thank you so much! And thank you for asking such in depth and personal questions! Do you want to give away a book?  Let’s have readers comment -- I love your last question! What is the most romantic thing a person can do for another!!  Let’s give away a digital or print copy of BAREFOOT IN WHITE! Winner's Choice!

Again, thank you, Roxanne, for joining us today and answering my questions, and  a huge thank you for allowing me to do a giveaway.
~ Giveaway #1 ~

We're giving away ONE digital or print copy (winner's Choice) of Barefoot in White by Roxanne St. Claire (Thanks Roxanne)

~ Giveaway #2 ~

Plus, I'm giving away ONE signed copy of Barefoot in the Sun by Roxanne St. Claire with a bookmark. I met Roxanne at the RWA annual conference last year. She was nice enough to let me have a signed copy to give away on my blog.

Rules of eligibility:
1) Leave a comment below about what you think is the most romantic thing one individual can do for another. (P.S. With each additional question you ask of Roxanne (with a 5 entry max for questions), you'll earn another entry.) 
2) Leave me a way to contact you--either in the comments or email it to me at seducedbyabook@gmail.com Winners will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to respond (from when the email was sent by me) with their information (either the email the digital copy should be sent or the address **No P.O. Boxes, please.** the print copy should be sent to).
3) Be at least 18 years or older and reside in the US (Sorry I can't afford the shipping to other countries).
4) For an additional entry, be a member of my Blog (just leave your GFC or Networked Blogs name so I can verify)
5) Follow Roxanne on Twitter for another entry  (just leave your twitter info so I can confirm) 
6) Tweet about the giveaway (just leave your twitter info so I can confirm) 

***Please note, if a person has multiple entries, they could potentially win both books, but each will have its own drawing from those who enter below and are eligible. 
***Winners will be randomly chosen. Giveaway ends on May 31st, midnight Eastern time. Winner will be posted on my blog and notified by email. Winners will have 48 hours to respond with their information before another winner will be selected. Good Luck!


  1. I just loved Barefoot in White and did have that deep sigh and little shiver of joy when I finished it. I can't wait for the next Barefoot Brides book!

  2. This looks and sounds awesome!!!! Thanks for such a fun post and giveaway!!! Ummm... I'm a big fan of the every day things that show love and support. Like splitting household duties, Going grocery shopping, making dinner. Little things that add up :) For Roxanne: what is the one thing that you have to have/do while writing to keep the creativity flowing?
    gfc: erin efender1(at)gmail

  3. All of the BAREFOOT books are among my favorite contemporary romance books. I first started reading Roxanne's romantic suspense books and was thrilled when she started writing contemporary romance.

    I have to agree with Roxanne, that undivided attention is a huge romantic gesture. I've been married almost 20 years and we have four kids so quiet moments with just the two of us don't happen very often. And a plus for him- he always kisses me goodbye in the morning and tells me that he loves me on his way out the door to work. I will never get tired of that morning routine.

    I adored BAREFOOT IN WHITE and can't wait for the next Barefoot Bride book! If you haven't read a BAREFOOT book yet, you don't know what you're missing!

    Heather E
    hregtvedt (at) aol.com

  4. I think holding hands is romantic. I've been married for 23 years & hand-holding has become rare, so it is special when it happens.

  5. Mona, I got your email and though you couldn't post, I included you in the giveaway.


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