Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Guest Blogger: Roxanne St. Claire

Please join me today in welcoming author Roxanne St. Claire as the special guest blogger here at Thoughts in Progress.

Roxanne recently signed with Romance Forever and her latest release is EDGE OF SIGHT. Romance Forever is hosting a Twitter Party for Roxanne today. The Hashtag is #RStClaire, the Twitter party central is #ForeverRomance, and the author Twitter is @RoxanneStClaire.

Thanks to Roxanne, Anna and the folks at Romance Forever, I have 3 copies of EDGE OF SIGHT to giveaway. Be sure to check the end of the post for the guidelines. Roxanne stop by today to answer a few questions for me about EDGE OF SIGHT and her writing.

Mason: What inspired you to write this story?

Roxanne: The idea for EDGE OF SIGHT was born at a very high end San Francisco restaurant during a writer’s conference. A group of, well, lively writers asked for a “special” table and they gave us…the basement. With hams hanging from the ceiling. Then we learned we’d scored “the prosciutto room” which is as private as a wine cellar and just as exclusive. We had a great time. There might have been some wine involved. Much laughter was enjoyed. Some gossip was exchanged. Secrets were revealed. And an adorable waiter named Nino slathered us all in fabulous food and lots of attention. Only at the end of dinner did we realize our entire meal had been captured by the security cameras in the Prosciutto Room and no amount of bribing Nino would convince him to release or destroy the footage. Thus was born the idea for a book that opens with an assassination in a wine cellar (the ham room just didn’t have the same literary cache) and the witness’s face caught in a security camera that the killer has. Oh, and there is this great character named Uncle Nino.

Mason: What does your work area look like when you're writing?

Roxanne: A holy hot mess. I have a sizeable office and can manage to destroy just about every inch when I’m deep into a book. The floor is overrun with research books, wall space is used for sticky note plotting, and my desk? Well, it’s under there somewhere. I’m not, by nature, a neat person, although I try. But when the book gets the best of me, I lose control of my area. One cool thing about my office, though, is my “wall of fame” – a wall completely covered with framed cover flats of every book I’ve had published. It’s very inspiring when I hit a block in my story because I look at the wall and think, “Hey, I’ve been here twenty-some times before and I always finish with a book I love. I can do this….”

Mason: When you write, do you do everything on the computer or are you a paper and pen first person?

Roxanne: I write on the computer, but I really like to “plantz” on a legal pad. What is this plantzing, you ask. I don’t really plot and I don’t really pants (fly by the seat of my pants writing) but I have evolved to some sort of bizarre combination of both. I write what I call a story plan, and it changes every day – from a
ten bullet outline on one page to scene by scene details filling reams of legal paper. I’m constantly outlining upcoming scenes and “book chunks” (very technical literary term) and I like to do that longhand. But the actual writing is always done on the computer.

Mason: What was the hardest part of creating Samantha Fairchild?

Roxanne: I think the hardest part is that Sam has a character trait I share…and I hate. She second guesses herself. When I realized she was burdened like that, and why, Sam  became much easier to write. In knew that I wanted part of her character arc to be develop the ability to make a decision and believe in it. She has a very reasonable backstory that caused this: she witnessed a killing in a convenience store when she was a teenager and her testimony put a man behind bars. Ten years later, he was exonerated and she had to live with the fact that she had put the wrong man in prison. This changes her life in many ways – she befriends him, helps him, and eventually gives up her job in advertising to pursue a legal career and work for The Innocence Mission, an organization dedicated to helping the wrongfully convicted. 

The experience has created tremendous self-doubts in her. At the beginning of EDGE OF SIGHT, Samantha is in the wrong place at the wrong time again – that wine cellar – and is an eye-witness to an assassination. And once again, she will have to identify a killer…but this one is a professional and he’s identified her first. She needs protection…enter our hero, Zach Angelino. The only problem is Zach is her former lover and he broke her heart into a thousand pieces when he shipped off to Iraq and never contacted her again. Having to trust Zach taps into Sam’s self-doubts in the worst way, and complicates an already complicated situation.

Mason: If this book was turned into a movie, who would you select (past or present actors) to play the main characters and why?

Roxanne: Oh, this is the World’s Hardest Question. They exist so clearly in my mind that no actor is “perfect.” But if the Movie Gods looked down on me and wanted to turn EDGE OF SIGHT into a movie, I really wouldn’t care who played the leads, as long as they were a big box office draw! I think of Zach sort of like Kurt Russell in Escape From New York. Eye patch, long hair, kind of brutally sexy. I might cast Stephanie March (from Law & Order) as Samantha, but really…just make the movie!!

Mason: What would you like readers to remember most about this book and/or your writing in general?

Roxanne: That they stayed up all night reading and were highly entertained. That’s my goal with every book, and it never changes. I live to steal sleep, to delay dinner, to get the laundry forgotten, to make a reader DVR their favorite show just so they can read one more chapter. And I want everyone to ride that indescribably thrilling rollercoaster of love.

Mason: What can readers expect next from you?

Roxanne: Two more Guardian Angelino books! Next year, I’ll have back to back releases with SHIVER OF FEAR in April and FACE OF DANGER in May. I really fell in love with this big Italian blended family and hope to write all the stories for the Rossi and Angelino cousins and siblings. I’m also writing a Young Adult novel that will be released from Random House’s Delacorte Press in summer 2012 that has me very excited. It’s not like anything I’ve ever written, but I have a feeling it will be the book of my heart. 

And I’d like readers to know that they can read a “FREEQUEL” called Taken To The Edge on my website – a free short story that is the prequel to EDGE OF SIGHT. It tells the story of how Sam and Zach first met, their torrid but brief affair, and their heartbreaking goodbye. I hope it gives readers a glimpse of what to expect in the book, and some insight into the backstory of these characters. Just go to and click on the Free Reads page for a downloadable file. Enjoy!

Thank you so much for the opportunity to visit Mason Canyon and chat with your readers. I’ll pop in all day to answer questions and comments!

Roxanne, thank you for guest blogging here and answering my questions. Looking forward to your Twitter Party as well.

Now for the book giveaway guidelines. To enter the giveaway, send me an e-mail ( Your subject line should read, “Win Edge of Sight.” Your message should include your name and mailing address. The contest is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only and no post office box addresses can be accepted. In addition, Hachette is advising winners that they will be subject to the one copy per household rule, which means that if they win the same title in two or more contests, they will receive only one copy of the title (or one set in the case of grouped giveaways) in the mail. (Winners here have always be great about letting me know if they have already won the book somewhere else so another winner can be selected. However, this announcement is something that has to be passed along from Hachette). And, just so you know, I don’t share the mailing information or use it for any other purpose. The deadline to enter this giveaway will be 8 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, Nov. 11. Be sure to check out the Twitter Party for extra chances to win EDGE OF SIGHT.

Here's a brief blurb about EDGE OF SIGHT: The killer she can't escape . . . The heartbreak she can't forget . . . The one man who can stop them both. When Samantha Fairchild witnesses a murder in the wine cellar of the restaurant where she works, the Harvard-bound law student becomes the next target of a professional assassin. Desperate for protection the authorities won't provide, Sam seeks help from Vivi Angelino, an investigative reporter who recruits her brother, Zach, to protect Samantha. A Special Forces vet with the scars to prove he's equally fearless and flawed, Zach takes the job, despite the fact that he and Sam once shared a lusty interlude that ended when he left for war and disappeared from her life.


  1. Roxanne, your articles are as interesting as your lectures--which I enjoy. Loved meeting you last year in Columbus, OH.

    Looking forward to reading this series if I can sneak them in without hubs having a cow, 15 chickens, 3 ducks, and a squawking goose, lol!

    Mason, you did a fine job on the interview!

  2. I like the character development that your protagonist goes through. I think most of us second-guess ourselves during decision-making, so reading about a character being able to move past it is very appealing!

  3. Mason - Thanks for hosting Roxanne.

    Roxanne - Thanks for sharing your process of writing. I "plantz" myself, actually :-). There's a balance between the kind of careful planning that makes for a solid plot and characters, and the kind of "seat of the pants" writing that can add zest. It's nice to "meet" someone else who writes like that. I wish you all the best.

  4. I just added another book to my TBR list.

  5. I love a character that evolves right in front of me.

    Neat writing process--your plantz!

    Great interview...both of you.

  6. Thanks Mason and Roxanne for a great interview. I like the idea of a Freequel on your website. It's a nice way to make the story a multi-media experience for your readers.

  7. Roxanne, thanks for blogging here today. Wishing you much success with your books and hope you're having fun at the Twitter Party.

    Hi all, thanks so much for stopping. I really appreciate it. You guys (gals) are the best.

  8. Really enjoyed this post and I'm on my way to Roxanne's site to check out her books.
    hanks, Mason.

  9. Really enjoyed reading about your writing process and your office. Except for the framed book covers, my office resembles yours. Nice to know I'm not the only person who spreads out and takes over the entire room.

  10. My kind of book! From the character evolving to Uncle Nino. Another one to add to my list. Great interview. Have fun at your Twitter party.

  11. Hi everyone! Thank you so much to Mason Canyon for the warm welcome and the in-depth interview. I really had fun with those questions, as you can probably tell.

    I'll pop in and out today if you have any more - I love to talk writing, process, books, and, of course, great shoes. Anything, really! I'm having fun on Twitter today, too. Am afraid not a lot of words are going to get written!


  12. Thanks for such an indepth interview. I am so looking forward to reading Edge of Sight now!

  13. Books that matter to me are all about the characters. Sam sounds fascinating and real, and I loved reading about your process, Roxanne. Thank you!

    Outstanding interview, Mason!

  14. Plantz - I've learned a new word today.

  15. Hi, Rocki -

    Good to see you've discovered Mason's blog. It's one of my regular stops. And any 'regulars' here who don't know Roxanne's books ... well, Why Not? And for you writers -- watch her use of the 'right' metaphors. She amazes me with the way her internal monologue matches the characters -- something I've tried to emulate.

    (But read them for the stories first; then the master class!)

    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

  16. Love the interview. And the new book sounds awesome. Can't wait to read it. I've enjoyed every one of your books I've read.

  17. I really enjoyed her tale of the Prosciutto Room! Edge of Sight look great!

  18. Love the sound of that basement room! Great interview ladies - the books sound terrific!

  19. Hi Roxanne,
    I love your Bullet Catcher books and can't wait to read your new series.

  20. Oh, this series looks wonderful. I'm surprised that she can write in a mess but I guess all writers have different means and methods.


  21. I want to visit a Prosciutto Room now! :o)

    Thanks to both of you for the wonderful interview and review of this cool book.

  22. Hi Mason and Roxanne .. what a wonderful premise for a story .. and I too would love to visit the ham room .. the wine cellar has murder in it ..

    Enjoy the weekend .. Hilary

  23. Roxanne, your books all sound interesting. I like how you came up with the idea for your latest released book. I also like how you have all your covers framed and hanging on a wall in your work area. Enjoyed reading the interview.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.