I read an excerpt of Still taking chances on Six Sentence Sunday sometime last year, and had it on my Kindle for a few months… I finally managed to read it, and WOW! A Dom-sub love story – perfect length, perfect “heat”, perfect everything! So I had to contact the author and ask her the usual questions… Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Roz Lee!
1. Where do you live and write from?
This should be a really easy question to answer, but for me – not so much! Technically, I live in New Jersey, but my husband’s job is in California, so we’ve come up with a system that works for us – for now. Hubby lives in California, and I split my time between both coasts. Fall and winter in California, spring and summer in New Jersey. The system has its obvious drawbacks, but in this economy, you do what you have to do. Thankfully, my work is portable. Have laptop, will travel!
2. When did you start writing?
I’m a late bloomer. I didn’t begin writing until my kids were in high school, and I didn’t get really serious about it until they were in college! Who says empty nest syndrome is a bad thing?
3. What genre(s) do you write?
I write contemporary erotic romance, though my latest release, Sweet Carolina, is more of a traditional romance. I purposely turned down the heat level on that one for my youngest daughter who wanted me to write a story for her. Yeah, my girls are grown, but I’ve forbidden them to read my erotic romances until they’re married!
4. Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?
Oh, lordy! My family says they can’t take me anywhere because I will turn anything into a book! That’s not an inaccurate statement. I came up with the idea for my first published novel, The Lust Boat, while on a family cruise. The idea for Inside Heat came to me while surrounded by my husband’s business associates at a Padres baseball game. Yeah, it can be dangerous to take me places!
As for putting myself in my stories – I suppose I do. I think every writer does, to a point. After all, our characters spring from our imagination, so they are a part of us. Worse than putting myself in my books, I’ve been known to put friends and acquaintances in them – but never without their advance approval! Some people just belong in a book, you know?
5. Do you have a specific writing routine?
It would be nice if I did, but no. I write when the mood strikes – and at the expense of just about everything else. I tell everyone – if the floors are clean, I’m not writing. I may think about a story for a long time, but when I’m ready to tell it, I can get out a first draft in an amazingly short period of time. After that, I try to take a break from it – days, weeks, whatever it takes to get some perspective before I go back to it to see what I’ve got. The floors are usually clean during this phase. The laundry is done, and I actually cook meals!
Still Taking Chances is a perfect example of the way I work. The character of Elgin Huddleston popped into my head one day – name, physical attributes and all. He stayed in my head for nearly two years before I was ready to tell his story. Once the story was fully formed, I wrote it in less than a month – actually, I think it was about two weeks.
6. Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?
Improviser – Fast writer. See answer to question #5 where you will see that the opposite is also true, only the outline is in my head, and it can take years for me to actually write the story.
7. Tell us about your latest book (add link if published)
My latest is Sweet Carolina. As I mentioned before, I wrote it at the urging of my youngest daughter. She’s a huge fan of professional stock car racing. I’d never seen a race until she hauled me to the longest one on the circuit – the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, NC. She really wanted me to write a story involving a racecar driver, so I told her I would – if I could come up with characters and a story I hadn’t seen before. Skip forward a few years. Add in several more races, a trip to the pits and the Hall of Fame, lots of research and countless hours watching television coverage of races, and I finally had a story.
Dell Wayne was once the most promising young driver on the circuit, but following the death of his racing legend father on the track, he’s earned the nickname – Madman. When Dell’s antics on the track cost him his ride, his childhood playmate, Carolina Hawkins, offers him a lifeline – a chance to drive for her team – Hawkins Racing.
Caro is living her dream – running her families race team, only it’s more of a nightmare than she expected. At twenty-three, she’s inherited the bones of a once respected garage, but if she can’t find a driver with the ability to win races, she’ll be looking for a job before the season is over. Unfortunately, the only qualified driver without a ride is Dell Wayne. There’s a good driver inside that fire suit somewhere, but can she find him before he drives Hawkins Racing into bankruptcy?
SWEET CAROLINA is available from these retailers.
iBookstore (I have no idea how to link to it!)
8. Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?
My first six books were with a small traditional publisher, and I’ll always be grateful to them for taking a chance on a new author. After a while, I realized I was doing most of the heavy lifting – writing the book and promoting the book. My publisher provided an editor and cover artist, formatting and distribution – all things I could acquire or do myself. So I did! I’ve self-published my last two books, and I’m loving the process. I have complete control from concept to banking the royalties, plus I can see in real-time what works and what doesn’t in regards to publicity. No more waiting six months to see how my sales were!
9. Any other projects in the pipeline?
I’m currently in the step away from it phase on the second book in the Mustangs Baseball (Inside Heat) series. I usually have a title by this point, but I’m still calling it Jason’s story. I promise to have a title before it goes on sale! I know my cover artist is anxious for me to come up with one. *hangs head in shame*
10. What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?
Funny you should ask. I recently had this same discussion with my cover artist. Here’s what I told her – and I was sort of joking, but not really. You know when you pick up a book, and the first thing you see is the author’s name and you have to scan the fine print to find the book title? That’s my goal – to be one of those authors!
I’m working on it – building name recognition, one book at a time. Thanks, Barb, for helping me with that – and thanks for having me over today – it’s been fun.
Well, it was my pleasure to have you here, Roz! Now I’ll have to check your other titles and add them to that never-ending TBR list, sigh! I just love this brand new world of… ebooks – and so do my (overloaded) bookshelves!