Today we have contemporary romance author Regina West chatting her debut novel, The Long Way Home. The story is set in her hometown in North Carolina (with a name change, of course.) I love homecoming stories. This one involves a horse farm and a sexy handyman with a dark past. My kind of story! Enjoy!
Interview questions for Regina West…
Coffee, tea or…what’s your vice?
Coffee, for sure. And none of that powdered creamer crap, either. Only half-and-half will do.
The Matrix. I loved its exploration of the human mind and the concept that our world could be nothing more than an illusion. Plus, Trinity was just badass, and I always love a strong female character.
Favorite Color: Purple
My favorite book is The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. But my favorite author is Kresley Cole. I LOVE her Immortals After Dark series.
How do you feel about bacon?
I like bacon on stuff like sandwiches and burgers. With my eggs, however, I prefer sausage (no euphemism intended).
The REAL questions…
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m originally from North Carolina but live in Denver now. I was a military wife for ten years and have lived lots of places, including Hawaii, which is just as awesome as you imagine it is. My two boys, ages 10 and 15, like the crazy snow we get here in Colorado, whereas I prefer to hide inside from September until May. The fact that it’s incredibly beautiful here makes it all worth it, though.
I have a day job in an IT department at a non-profit organization. I also do some freelance editing for self-pubbed authors and part-time editing for my publisher, a job I got after they saw how clean my manuscript was. And somewhere in the middle of all that, I write. And sleep. J
What’s under your bed?
Believe it or not, nothing but dust bunnies. I’m fortunate to have enough storage space that I can keep it pretty clean under there.
What comes first, plot or characters?
It varies, actually. I’ve thought of scenes or scenarios, and then developed plot from there. I’ve gotten snippets of dialogue or imagined the way a character looks and formed the rest myself. The Long Way Home came about because of real events in my personal life. I get a spark of inspiration and run with it.
Pantser, plotter, or hybrid? Tell us about your writing process.
I’m definitely a plotter. I outline (although I will stray from it), and I write chronologically from beginning to end. Both habits developed when I began to edit The Long Way Home and realized what a pain it was to go back and try to fit all the puzzle pieces together.
|Yes, I see the owl face!|
Oddest thing on your desk?
I have this really cool glass paperweight that a dear friend gave me. If you look at it just right, it looks like an owl’s face. That sucker is heavy too; you could hurt someone with it.
What’s your most interesting writing quirk?
I get ideas anywhere and everywhere. I have a notepad app on my phone full of ideas. Same on my iPad. I’ve written ideas down on napkins while driving on the freeway (I don’t recommend this), and I have a dozen journals all over my house. On the internet, I found this really cool waterproof pad for the shower!
Isn’t that awesome? I’m dying to order one.
I have lost brilliant ideas because I was somewhere, like the shower, and couldn’t write them down. I hate that. HATE it!
What’s your favorite thing about the genre you write in?
Romance is just plain fun. I love to read it, and I love to write it. I love all the happily-ever-afters, the exploration of human relationships, and I especially love the smexy bits.
What is the hardest thing about being an author?
Trying to sell my book is excruciatingly difficult. The publishing industry seems to be in a state of constant flux, so that what worked once doesn’t work anymore. I have no idea how to reach the broader market to tell them about my book.
What’s the easiest thing about being an author?
I love the community of writers. Many of us struggle with the same stuff, but we’re willing to share what we’ve learned about both writing and marketing. It’s nice not to have to navigate the waters alone.
What do you wish someone had asked you for an interview question? Here’s your chance to get the soap box out!
I wish someone would ask me to defend the romance genre. Why are non-romance readers so surprised when they read a romance novel and actually enjoy it? The fundamentals that make every novel enjoyable – fully-realized characters and fast-paced plot – are present in the best romance novels. Many combine action and adventure or mystery, too. As with most genres, the assumption is that the bottom of the barrel is a reflection of the entire genre, and it’s just not true.
Blurb for The Long Way Home…
Twilah Dunn has it all—an exciting life in Los Angeles and a thriving ad agency she owns with her fiancé. Then she learns that her estranged father has died and her business partner is sleeping with her best friend. In one day, her perfect life unravels and the city she calls home is now anything but.
She returns to her hometown in North Carolina determined to sell her father's horse farm in order to buy back her business from her cheating fiancé. But when she sees the farm’s dilapidated state, she can’t bear the thought of selling it that way. Against all reason, she puts her fast-paced, metropolitan life on hold and hires local cowboy Aidan Perry to help restore the farm to its former glory. She’s heard the rumors of his dark past, and she’s wary of mixing business with pleasure—again. But soon she can’t keep her mind, or her hands, off of him.
Can Twilah push through her fear and love Aidan? Will his past prove too dangerous? Has she really left LA behind or will it continue to haunt her? For some, the path is straight and narrow, but others take the long way home.
Available on Amazon
Excerpt for The Long Way Home...
“Can I ask you something?” Twilah said then, her shoulders relaxed for the first time since Aidan got there, the grease still smudged across her forehead.
“I suppose so.”
“I saw you a couple of weeks ago over at the Tar & Feather. Do you remember that?”
He frowned, wary of where this was going. “Yeah, I remember.” For God’s sake, how could he forget?
She ran her dainty fingers through her long blonde hair as she sifted through her thoughts. Then she stood to her full height, her eyes on his, and squared her shoulders. “I am not my father. Make sure you remember that.”
No kidding. “Somehow I don’t think you’re gonna let me forget. See you, Ms. Dunn.”
As he backed out of the driveway, he stole a glance at one of the few women who had ever surprised him. She was in over her head, that was for sure, and she needed him, a fact she hadn’t denied. She needed him.
More about Regina West...
Regina West comes from a long line of romance readers. Anytime her mother and grandmother had a moment of quiet, they immersed themselves in whatever paperback romance they’d picked up that week. So it is fitting that Gina has chosen romance as her favorite genre for both reading and writing.
She grew up in North Carolina, spent a few years moving around the U.S., but has settled in beautiful Colorado. She spends her days working for a non-profit organization and her evenings hanging out with her two smartypants boys. In the middle, she manages to squeeze in writing, editing, classical guitar and knitting. Currently, she’s working on a six-book paranormal romance series.
One day, she hopes to leave winter behind forever and retreat to Tahiti to live in a yurt and while away the hours writing and sipping umbrella drinks.
Connect with Regina West on the Web!
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/reginawestromanceauthor
Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007571805682
Amazon author page: www.amazon.com/author/reginawest
Thanks for stopping by!