MamaWriters are thrilled to have our super special guest, bestselling and Rita® Award winning author Roxanne St. Claire back with us today, to share insights into life, being a successful mama and writer. As always, she does it with humor, grace, and a ‘get-your-bottom-out-of-the-chair-and-MAKE-it-happen!’ attitude that is highly motivating.
We bombarded her with questions, and she answered every single one! (Is that a mom or what?)
She’s also giving away a copy of her recent release, HUNT HER DOWN, to one commenter today, so here’s your chance to say ‘Hi.’
(EDITED TO ADD: CONGRATULATIONS, SEWICKED! You’ve been selected as the winner of Rocki’s latest release! Email me privately with your mailing and contact info: kris at kriskennedy dot net. Congrats!)
Hello Mama Writers of the world and thank you for inviting me back to celebrate my back-to-back Bullet Catchers releases. It was about seven months ago that I guested (is that a verb?) here in the early days – the growth and popularity of this blog is astounding. Kudos to you busy moms who have taken on another task, and done it so well.
I like the interview format so much on guest blogs, I asked my hostesses if they had standard questions developed for guest bloggers and was rewarded with a list of, uh, twenty-four of them. And I answered every one! To celebrate that success with me, all you have to do is comment (well, read all the answers, if you feel like it) and one lucky commenter will win a copy HUNT HER DOWN, a Bullet Catcher book that promises a rollicking good time and one seriously hot bodyguard.
1. The kids. I have two kids, a 16 year old son who a constant source of amazement, joy, and shock (I really never understood males until I raised one) and a 12 year old daughter, who is my closest friend and fast becoming my favorite person, evah.
2. The schedule. I schedule my life the way most of us do – hoping for the best, dealing with the worst. I write every minute they are in school or extra curric activities, and I usually work at least half a day on the weekends. Writing is very much my full time job.
3. The challenges. I can tune out Sponge Bob from the den or my son’s latest version of Stairway to Heaven on the guitar, but when someone knocks on my door to ask “Are we out of milk?” and they haven’t even looked in the back up fridge, I can get nasty. It takes me a full fifteen minutes to get back in the zone, so every interruption hurts.
4. The set up. I have my own office (with a door!) but it is across the hall from the den where they play Wii, so sometimes it’s noisy, but I try to tune that out. And, I have a secret weapon…my husband took an early retirement years ago and he’s been chauffeur, shopper, chef, and home manager for a long time. And, yes, he’s a gourmet chef who looks like Richard Gere. So, if you hate me for anything, hate me for that.
6. The sunshine moment of mamawriting. Yes, January 28, 2002. I was folding laundry (the one job I’ve never gotten my husband to assume) at 3:30 in the afternoon when my agent called with those magical five words: “Rocki, are you sitting down?” When I got off the phone, I floated to my son, my arms wide, my smile wider. He took one look at me and said: “You got drafted by the Yankees.” True that!
7. Interesting conversation with kids about covers. When the art work for HUNT HER DOWN showed up, it was my very first Hawt Manflesh cover, and I was psyched. This was the one I’d been waiting for, knowing instinctively that it would appeal to readers who like sexy alpha heroes. I had it on the counter when my son walked in from school (then 15) and I heard him hoot. I thought, oh boy, he’s going to hate that. On the contrary. His reaction: “I’m getting a Porsche!” So WRONG, but at least he understood that this cover would sell well!
8. The “you’re home so you’re not working attitude.” I’ve worked at home since the day my son was born, having turned my PR career into a consulting business. My children have never known any other life but mom working from home, whether I was in business or writing. They know the option is for me to go to an office and they DO NOT want that!
9. Explaining “what I write” and what the kids think of it. My books are in the high school library, and the first time three “hot” senior girls came up to my son squealing because they read one of his mom’s books, he was more than happy to acknowledge what I did.
10. What writing teaches my kids. We talk about the business of writing as much as the creative aspects of the job, so my kids have learned that you can make a successful career in the arts. They “live” my job as it is front and center in our family, so it’s like having “take your child to work” day everyday.
11. The negative feedback. One mother once got all bent out of shape because I don’t “lock up my books” from the kids, which kind of stunned me. At sixteen, my son is about ready to read the books, if he wants (he keeps threatening) and my daughter has read three of them (two that are completely “sweet” and one chick lit, also no love scenes). She took the opportunity to ask a lot of questions about character choices and plot twists, confirming what I always suspected: there’s a writer in that girl.
12. One career “do over.” I would have started ten years earlier, giving up my PR career for the dream of becoming a published author much sooner.
13. One change in mom/writer lifestyle. Honestly, I wouldn’t have done anything different on that front. I love working this way, and for my children, it has had far more benefits that downsides.
14. One thing learned in publishing that transfers to parenting. You Have No Control. There are so many elements that impact success that you can’t control – so enjoy what you can and accept what you can’t change.
15. Dream come-backs to nasty comments about romance writing. I really don’t get a lot of those kind of comments, just the occasional “Oh, I don’t read those kind of books” but most people are impressed that I’ve found a way to live my dream.
16. Deadline dinner plans. See Richard Gere look-a-like chef husband above. Then hate me.
17. Readers would be shocked to know that…I wish I’d had five kids. I got married late, then had infertility issues, so I was extremely lucky to have the two I did. But, I loved being pregnant and enjoy having kids around more than anything in the world. Seriously, if there’s a baby nearby, I’m holding it, so I wish I’d have had several more children.
18. How to spend free time. Uh huh. Right. What is that, exactly?
19. Best piece of writing/mama advice. This one is easy, courtesy of Debbie Macomber: you have two hours in a day, somewhere, no matter how old your kids are. Find them. (The hours, not the kids.) Mine happened to be hiding in the dark of dawn, from 5:00 – 7:00 A.M., but once I discovered them, I wrote my first book, TROPICAL GETAWAY, and it sold to Pocket Books a year later. This was the Best Advice Ever.
20. One simple thing to improve mom/writing success. See #19. Find those two hours, make them sacred, and write no matter what.
22. Where in ten years. Well, the kids will be gone, so I’m going wherever they go! They’ve been warned.
23. What kids say to their friends. It’s the other way around – what their friends say to my kids. “Dude, you’re mom is like a celebrity.” Hah! Only in our little town, I assure them.
24. Dreams…do they come true? Nope. Goals are set, met, and exceeded. Dreams are for people who are sleeping. Goals are for people who get up early and kick butt.
Twenty four questions – I did it!!! Thank you for having me, MamaWriters! I’ll be popping in all day, so if there is possibly a question I haven’t answered, feel free to ask and good luck winning the book!
In the six years since her first romantic suspense was released from Pocket books, Roxanne St. Claire has celebrated the release of twenty-four titles for two publishers in three subgenres. In that same time frame, her books have been nominated for four RITA Awards, and won that coveted award in 2007. This year, fans of her Bullet Catchers series are enjoying back-to-back excitement as Hunt Her Down was released four weeks ago, and Make Her Pay comes out next week. Next year, she will launch a second romantic suspense series, featuring a rogue family of street smart crime fighters known as the Guardian Angelinos. She’s from Florida, an active member of multiple RWA chapters, and a regular on the craft workshop circuit. And if you know her, you call her Rocki.