Today I would like everyone to Welcome Roberta Pearce, who is a fellow Canadian! She has three titles published with many more in the works. Welcome Roberta!
Tell us a little bit about your book(s) and yourself.
I started reading romances far too young, which really spoiled me for real men . . . which also probably accounts for my current single status! I drink too much coffee, like to travel – especially impromptu road trips [a bit of cash, an extra-large Tims, a map, and I’m good to go] – and have a great collection of friends with whom I drink wine and discuss life ad nauseam.
My hobbies are research [especially in science, for which I have insufficient talent to match my desire to learn], semiotics, gardening, and tricking myself into working out when I’d rather be writing [my favourite trick is to write about a character working out . . . LOL].
In my novels, I try to make character studies – I’m not a very plotty sort of writer. I’m more interested in the why of a character’s actions and making decisions about how much must be explained, and what can be left to subtext. I find the entire concept of hitching one’s fate to another person endlessly fascinating, but prefer to write about it rather than experience it [see note above regarding singlehood]!
When was your first book published?
I published For Those Who Wait in January 2012. Self-pubbing was a foray into an unknown world – I had written a floofy, fun romance and, with the encouragement of a friend, thought “Why not? Do it.” So I did.
Are you currently working on anything?
I’m currently writing the final scenes for my fourth novel, Public Frenemy. I plan on sending it to betas within a couple of weeks. I’m also tying up the threads of last year’s NaNoWriMo effort, hoping to get it out to the world in time for the beginning of NaNoWriMo 2014. After that, there are a dozen WiPs that I need to tackle. Inspiration is not a problem. Time is!
Why did you decide to become an Author?
Because I can’t sing or dance . . . Sorry; having a Rocky moment. Seriously, I’ve always written bits of fiction, since I was a kid. I’d had rejections for submitted work [didn’t expect it to sting so much], but a friend pointed out that I was mangling my writer’s voice into what I thought was a more homogenous tone, trying to make what I thought was more readily acceptable, and it didn’t ring true. Even if that mangling were accepted for traditional publication, it would make me ultimately uncomfortable – so why not take advantage of the digital explosion of self-publishing? It’s not as simple as it seems, though, so I do caution those about to dive in. It can be a real time-suck, marketing your work. But it is marvellously fulfilling in many ways – not the least of which is creative control.
Who and what inspired you to write?
Baseline, when I was a kid, reading Little House and The Baby-sitters Club. Later, I discovered romances [as noted, too young to be reading what I was reading!]. Now, I’ve read many romances where the HEA doesn’t ring true, even when the novel is ultimately enjoyable. But I gradually came to the conclusion that I wanted to write HEAs wherein the why of the H and h making a go of hitching their lives together was clear; that it made sense. It’s not as easy as it sounds. I know romance has a reputation for being formulaic and clichéd, but breaking those clichés and diverging from formula is difficult, especially when one’s audience has certain expectations. There’s a fine line between making something new/interesting and fulfilling expectations, and whichever way you go, you’re going to have both naysayers and fans.
Romance is one of the hardest genres to write, for the audience is demanding – and I know, because I’m the audience, too!
When you are writing to you like to listen to music? What is on your playlist?
It really depends on where I am in a project. Music can be distracting – because I’m listening to lyrics rather than focusing on my words – and this is especially true through the editing process. But in the early phases of a novel, I crank it. It could be anything. Three Days Grace is a big favourite. The Rolling Stones [Mick is a hell of a lyricist!]. The Tragically Hip, Serena Ryder, Rihanna, and old Alanis Morrisette. Recently, someone turned me onto the Allman Brothers! Wow. When I need to calm down, wind down into editorial, I move into jazz and Joni Mitchell . . . I have to say, Joni Mitchell’s Blue is one of the best albums ever. I never tire of it.
Who is your favorite character in your books?
That’s tough. My answer will probably change as I create and develop new characters, but I pick Erin Russell from The Value of Vulnerability. She’s strong in ways that are misunderstood by those around her. They think she’s soft, malleable, too nice, and that she’ll forgive anything. The truth is that she is a survivor of a very special sort. Just as an athlete has a natural facility, so too does dealing with damages and hurt come to Erin. I created her specially for Ford, her H. He has big problems, and some silly, simpering girl who took offense at the slightest thing couldn’t be his match. Erin is a grownup. And a well-adjusted, highly refined one at that.
Do you ever take characteristics or nuances from close friends or family when working on character development and if so has that friend or family member noticed and what was their response to it?
Ooh . . . I’m going to say ‘no’. I don’t think so, at any rate. However, there are many strangers who I’ve observed and incorporated bits into a character. It might just be a stance. An idiom. A nervous tic. Nothing more than that. But it’s fun to hang out at Tim Hortons and create backstories for people you see, to make them into useable characters, even if you never use them. Friends and family, however, do provide inspiration for situations, taking their tragic or amusing stories and twisting scenarios with a “What if?” proposal that reverses the tragic into the amusing, and vice versa.
What is your favorite book of all time?
No contest: Jane Eyre. Um, not sure if you want rationale for that, but – the short version – Jane is a strong, independent woman, intelligent and competent. Jane was a creation out of time, and I believe she was Bronte’s aspiration. I’m sure that’s been suggested before, so not new. But Jane has real qualities far beyond beauty.
Tell us in one sentence why we should read your books.
They are character studies done with nuanced humour, fun with words, much subtext, and some sexy scenes, too!
List your books that are available
Where can people connect with you
Connect with me – feel free to Friend or Follow - Blog | LinkedIn | Facebook | Facebook Page | Goodreads | Google+ | Twitter | Pinterest | See my profiles: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Scribd | Smashwords |
Thanks for taking your time to answer some questions for my readers at Genuine Jenn.
Thank you for having me, Jenn. I’m honoured to have been a part of your really terrific site!
Giveaway Time! Roberta would like to giveaway a bundle pack of her eBooks for one lucky Genuine Jenn reader! Want to have a chance to win? Leave me a comment telling me why you should win or which book you would like to read the most of Roberta's! This giveaway will close on August 23rd,2014 and is open Internationally. Good Luck!
~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. All opinions are honest and my own.*~