Monday, January 17, 2011

Author Robin Kaye, Guest Blogger

It’s my great pleasure to welcome award-winning author Robin Kaye as the special guest blogger here at Thoughts in Progress today as she makes a stop on her virtual book tour.

Robin’s latest release is YOURS FOR THE TAKING. Here’s a brief blurb on it: He might be too good to be true…

Ben Walsh shouldn’t be single. Handsome and wealthy, Ben is equally at home in Idaho where he grew up and in Manhattan where he’s now an art dealer. Suave and successful with impeccable taste, he normally has women beating down his door. But the one woman he wants can’t be convinced that he’s for real…

She isn’t sure if she has time for fairy tales…

Gina Reyez has fought for every bit of her success, and it’s about time for things to start going her way. So when Ben makes a proposal that will allow her to take care of her family the way she wants to, she agrees. Besides, a guy this perfect would never be interested in her...right? By the time Gina figures out that she’s read Ben all wrong, the arrangements are made, the papers are signed…but what exactly are they getting themselves into?

Thanks to Robin and Danielle at Sourcebooks, I have 2 copies of YOURS FOR THE TAKING to giveaway to 2 lucky visitors that comment on this post between now and 8 p.m. (EST) on Tuesday, Jan. 25. The giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only. Be sure to include your e-mail with your comment if it’s not included in your profile.

Robin stopped by today to answer a few questions for me.

Mason: Could you describe your writing process from the first idea of what the book will be until the last revision is returned? Do you plan, outline, write on the go, have certain times and places you write, etc.

Robin: I was sitting at my favorite Starbucks trying to come up with a proposal. I had potential heroes from YOURS FOR THE TAKINGON THE WILD SIDE, set for release in Fall 2011): Trapper, Hunter, and Fisher. I tried to think of conflicts. Hunter is a whitewater rafting and fly fishing guide in the summer, for my next book (in the winter he runs the local ski resort. He’s always out doors. So who would be the person most opposite from him? A woman with a phobia of the outdoors. Then what would throw them together? Well, a guide trip she couldn’t get out of. Why? Because it’s her job. The next thing I know I have Toni Russo who is a manager for Action Models and has a terrible phobia of the outdoors since she was lost in the Pine Barrens in NJ for three days and nights when she was a Brownie. She’s a New Yorker, so as long as she avoids Central Park, she’s good to go. Unfortunately, she can’t avoid this job.

I wrote a synopsis, using as much information as I could but still keeping it relatively vague. From there I used Michael Hauge’s Six-Stage Plot Structure which gave me 5 turning points—just enough to give me a platform to build on but not so much that I feel as if I’ve written the book before I’ve even begun. It intersects the hero and heroine’s character arcs with the plot. And unlike every other plotting method, I get it. I’ve written four books using Michael Hauge’s method and it works every time. He’s my hero.

As for where or when I absolute favorite place to write is the Carlisle Crossing Starbucks. For two years, I was home schooling my daughter so that she’d be able to dance 40 hours a week at the best ballet school in the country. I’d work with her for five hours, drive her to dance, and then go to Starbucks and write until she was done. I walk in there and it’s like walking into my office. I know all the baristas, heck, I’m friends with everyone, even the District Manager. I’ve written 3 ½ books at that Starbucks. Unfortunately it’s an hour and a half away from my house. A little over a year ago, right after her 14th birthday, Twinkle Toes decided she wanted to go to real school so she moved up to Carlisle and lives with a host family. Not only did I lose my ballerina, I lost my office. To be fair, we see Twinkle Toes on Sundays but it’s not the same. I had such high hopes, I had an extra 8 hours a day I could devote to my work, but then I wasn’t going to Starbucks any more. I actually had to write in my office at home. It’s not easy. I even tried the Starbucks a mile away; it wasn’t the same. I wish I could take my Carlisle Crossing Starbucks and move it and everyone in it (including the customers) to Maryland.  Now I try to write at home, I don’t get half as much done as I should, and when I get desperate, I drive to Carlisle and hang with my peeps, write a ton, and love life.

Mason: Since you write romance with a bit of comedy and strong feisty heroines, who are some of the authors that have influenced you and your writing over the years?

Robin: Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Susan Donovan, Rachel Gibson, Donna Kauffman, Jennifer Crusie, Maureen Child, and Christie Craig.

Mason: If you could invite any five famous people (living or dead) to dinner, who would you invite, why and what would you serve?

Robin: Will Rogers, Jane Austen, Louis Nizer, George Washington, and J.R. Simplot. They are fascinating and have all said or done things that have greatly impacted my life in a positive way. I had the great pleasure to meet J.R. Simplot a few times and really wished I could have gotten to know him better. I adored him and he was so brilliant and so down-to-earth. I think they all were. What would I serve? Hmm…a standing rib roast with all the fixings and a case of really nice red wine.

Mason: What do you feel are two of the most un-truths the general population thinks about writers?

Robin: That we make a so much money that we don’t care and aren’t hurt when our copyrighted work gets pirated. I know more than one published mid-list author who quit writing because it cost them more to be a writer than they made. They’d have to work a second job to fund their conferences and were depressed to see the work they slaved over stolen thousands of times. It’s heartbreaking.

Mason: What’s next for you? Will you continue this series or move on to something different?

Robin: I’m beginning a new series, although it’s connected to the Domestic Gods series, it’s called Domestic Gods Gone Wild it’s about men who are as good in the kitchen or around the campfire as they are in the bedroom or the tent. The first book is titled ON THE WILD SIDE and will be out in Fall 2011.

Mason: Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions for this year?

Robin: Write more, eat less, work out more, and find balance in all things.

Mason: If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only bring 5 books with you, which 5 would they be and why?

Robin: 1.  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen  - I love it and never tire of reading it. It’s my comfort read.
2.  Reflections Without Mirrors, An Autobiography of the Mind by Louis Nizer – He fascinates me and every time I read it, I learn something new.
3.  The Bible – Every time I read it, I learn something new.
4.  See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson because it makes me laugh.
5. Fancy Pants by Susan Elizabeth Phillips because it makes me laugh.

Mason: Is there anything else you’d like to share with us today?

Robin: I’d just like to thank you for having me here. I enjoyed the interview. I’ll be checking the comments regularly so if anyone has any questions, ask away.

Robin, thanks so much for guest blogging here today. Glad to know you still return to your favorite Starbucks from time to time. I enjoyed the various posts you did about writing from there, as well as Twinkle Toes and her dancing dreams.

Now for a bit more on Robin. She is a professional writer and winner of the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart award for her first novel, ROMEO, ROMEO. Her romantic comedies feature sexy, nurturing heroes and feisty, independent heroines. She lives with her husband and three children in Mt. Airy, Maryland, where she is working on a brand new series for release 2011 and 2012. For more information, visit her website at

Any questions for Robin? Do you have a favorite place to write or maybe a favorite time of day?


  1. Robin, thanks again for guest blogging today. YOURS FOR THE TAKING is a fun read and I look forward to your next book. I enjoy the mix of humor, romance and a little intrigue.

  2. I'm intrigued by Domestic Gods Gone Wild. Sounds too good to be true. :D

    I'd love to win YOURS FOR THE TAKING!
    headlessfowl at gmail dot com.

  3. Thanks for sharing your writing process with us. I've heard of the 6-stage plot structure, but hadn't heard from anyone who's used it...glad to hear it works so well. Brainstorming a book with an eye to the conflict sounds like a good plan.

  4. It's interesting how we get accustomed to writing in certain places. In the morning, I'm more likely to work on a laptop in the kitchen (close to the coffee!), but in the afternoon, I'm upstairs on my desktop.

  5. I loved this interview and getting to know a little about Robin's writing life. I have my favorite place to write, too. Yours for the Taking sounds like a great read.

  6. Hi Mason~

    Thanks for inviting me. I'll be running around (taking Twinkle Toes back to Carlisle) so I'll be working at my favorite 'Bux this afternoon. If I don't comment for a few hours, don't worry, I'll be back.

    @Judy - LOL It's called fiction for a reason. My DH is a Domestic God--actually, now that I think of it, he could be one of the Domestic Gods Gone Wild.*grin* As wonderful as he is (and believe me, he's nearly perfect), he's not as great as my fictional Domestic Gods.

    @Elizabeth - Check out Michael Hauge's website He's amazing! As for plotting with an eye on the external conflict (AKA - The bane of my existence) the worst thing you can do is start writing a great book and realize half-way through that you're missing an essential element, your external conflict. Believe me. I've done it and it's sooo not fun!

    @Joanne - You can't imagine how many times I wished I had a Starbucks in my kitchen! My office would be even better! I'd hire a cute barista and invite my friends to come support my coffee habit!

  7. @ Carol - Where's your place to write? I think I'd like to change my place in the future. I'd like it to be on the deck of an 80 foot sailboat somewhere in the Caribbean or if I have a ton of money, the cook Islands!

  8. Great interview. I love the five desert island novels. I would take Jane Austen and the bible... and perhaps Ullysis.

  9. Robin and Mason - Thanks for the interview. I always find it very interesting to learn how different authors approach the writing process.

  10. I loved your story about the Carlisle Crossing Starbucks! And, since you are a Will Rogers fan, I wanted to pass along my favorite quote from him: "Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." Thanks for visiting.

  11. Another great interview with another new to me author! Thanks, Mason and Robin - I enjoyed this very much. Looking forward to reading Yours for the Taking.

  12. Robin, I learned a few things reading this, aside from the fact I'm jealous of having a Starbucks. I must do some investigation...

    I really like the premise of your new series. It's one I think I'm really going to enjoy.

    Happy writing!

  13. Your book sounds interesting. I share your concern about our work being stolen. There is a copy write infringement law currently before congress. I have the link on the top right hand side bar of my blog for anyone to click and go to email their congressman and tell them to pass the law.
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  14. Well, I'm at my favorite Starbucks in Carlisle PA. I just dropped off my ballerina affectionately known as Twinkle Toes. She didn't have school today, but as usual, she has dance - She dances 40 hours a week at the best ballet school in the country. She moved up here to Carlisle a little over a year ago at the ripe old age of 14 and lives with a wonderful host family so she can go to "real" school instead of being home schooled by me. She says I'm a mean teacher, I prefer to think of myself as demanding. Either way, she's getting all As and Bs in her first year of high school so I think I did a great job at the whole teaching thing.

    @Clarissa - I love Ullysis. I just read it again with my son and enjoyed it immensely. That's a great choice!

    @ Linda~ Thanks for dropping by! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    @ Kaye~ I hope you enjoy the book. I think it's the one I'm most proud of so far. I think the pacing of the story is the best yet.

    @ Sia - I'm having a great time writing the new series. Hunter's book is first, I'm working on the revisions now and then I think it will be Trapper's turn. He's my favorite!

    @ N.R. - I just read a blog by a YA author that said that if half of the people who had illegally download her book purchased it, she'd have made the Times list. It's just so sad and financially devastating for authors. Not only do they not get a good advance, but the publishers don't want to buy their books because the sales are low. I've written to all my Senators and Congressmen about the bill (one of which is on the legislative committee.) I pray that the bill will pass and provide some protection to authors.

  15. Great interview! I just read Romeo Romeo (loved it) and can't wait to read more from you.

  16. An excellent interview. Thanks for introducing me to your new release. Wonderful. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

  17. Great post. It's always interesting to hear how others approach their writing.Enjoyed reading how Robin goes about it.


  18. I can't take part in the giveaway coz I'm Aussie, but I loved reading the interview and the book sounds great.

  19. Congrats on the new release, Robin. I love the Domestic Gods series. Hope there are many more books to look forward to.

    janie1215 AT excite DOT com

  20. Thanks everyone for stopping by.

    Robin, I hope Twinkle Toes got settled back in with her host family and you had an enjoyable (and productive) visit with the Carlisle Crossing Starbucks. Are they planning anything special for Valentine's Day like they did for Halloween? Wishing you all the best with your writing.

  21. I loved the excerpt! I'd love to find out how this arrangement turns!

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

  22. Awesome interview and the book sounds like a good read! I'm intrigued now.



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