Q&A with Robyn Carr, author of Sunrise Point plus Book Giveaway

Please help me welcome Robyn Carr, author of the Virgin River series of best-selling contemporary romances, to Reading Reality today. Robyn is visiting to introduce the latest book in the Virgin River series, Sunrise Point, and to giveaway a print copy of this terrific story to one lucky (US) commenter.  (See my review here, the winner of the giveaway will enjoy the book!)

So without further ado, here’s Robyn!

Q: How much of your actual life gets written into your fictional stories? Do you ever use real people as inspiration for your characters?

A: As inspiration—yes. But as actual characters, no. Real people don’t usually come off well in fiction. I take traits and experiences and emotional reactions from people I’ve met or read about and blend them into composite characters. But experiences and bits of dialogue from my life sneak in—happily. In Virgin River Jack’s sisters are remembering when Jack and his best friend hung their dolls by the neck—mean big brother stuff. My son and his best friend did that to my daughter’s cabbage patch dolls. Don’t worry, they’re all fine…. Well, I’m not sure about the dolls, but my son, his best friend and my daughter have persevered.

Q: What’s the most interesting comment you’ve ever gotten from a reader?

A: Oh, you can’t print it! My readers never get my titles right—they write and ask me if I’m going to write any more of those “Virginia River” books. Or they want to know where Virgin River really is—they plan to move there and get a big, studly Marine. But the funniest one ever was probably a typo: “Are you going to write anymore of those ‘Vagina River’ books.” Typo or Freudian slip.

I did get an email from a reader who was furious about my bigotry against Cubans. I was stunned and confused—I’d never written about Cubans. I suggested she had me mixed up with someone else. She wrote back with the direct quote, complete with page numbers—something about Jack being unable to shower off the stench of stinky Cubans. It was cigars! Cuban cigars! I pointed that out to her, but she was absolutely determined I had been bigoted in my remarks.

On a more serious side, a man who lost a leg in the war wrote me that he was changed by Paradise Valley, the story in which Rick Sudder lost a leg in the war and came home a messed up kid. My reader said that he realized from the book that he was an ass, thought it was a miracle his wife stayed with him through it, and finally understood how badly he needed counseling, which he was going to accomplish. I wrote back and asked him how he came across the book and he said his sister gave it to him—and his sainted wife was most grateful! Bless his heart!!

Q: Have you noticed your writer’s voice has changed over the years due to experience? If so, how?

A: Undoubtedly I’ve both matured and relaxed. I’ve gained experience both in life and writing and I’ve relaxed into telling stories my way, the way that is natural to me. Both things help.

Q: As a writer, what kinds of books inspire you? Do you ever find time to read when you aren’t writing your own novels?

A: I read every day. I work long hours, but in the evening after dinner I read—and I am inspired by everything I read, whether it’s mainstream or non-fiction or some other genre. I have a particular taste for contemporary romance and women’s fiction. My favorite authors are Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Kristan Higgins, Jill Shalvis, Susan Andersen to name a few. For my reading pleasure I enjoy intelligent, romantic, humorous, sexy novels with strong heroines.

Q: What is the underlying message you want women to take away from this new Virgin River trilogy—Hidden Summit, Redwood Bend, and Sunrise Point?

As in all Virgin River novels, it’s never too late to create your own happy ending. You are the heroine of your own life and you never never never settle for less than the most optimal experience, the most perfect partner. Men and women thrive when they find positive, mutually respectful relationships.

 

Q: What would you tell someone who is coming to Virgin River for the first time? What do you want them to know about the town as the jump  SUNRISE POINT?

A:  Virgin River isn’t an easy place.  It calls on a person’s deepest sense of adventure to live there, which at least partially explains the strong sense of community one finds there.  Sometimes neighbors have to rely on each other to get through the day, sometimes for their very survival.  Not only does Mother Nature challenge this mountain town with snowstorms, floods, earthquakes and mud slides, the landscape is rugged, the wildlife plentiful and fearless, but there are more illegal (and sometimes dangerous) marijuana growers in that area than anywhere else in the US.

Q: It must be hard to come up with characters and string their life stories through multiple novels. How do you keep everyone straight when you go from book to book?

A:  Notebook!  Very LARGE notebook!  By now, I live in Virgin River in my mind – everyday is like going home.

Q: Have there been any books, romance or other genres, that have greatly influenced you as a writer? What are they?

A: Too many to count, really.  The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy was an amazing adventure; The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher was like falling in love with a family; The Chicago Stars series by Susan Elizabeth Phillips was the most fun I’ve had in a romance series in forever.

Q: What would you tell someone who wants to start writing romance or women’s fiction? I’m sure you get a lot of questions like this. Is there one piece of advice that you always share with aspiring writers?

A:  This is a difficult job that more often than not doesn’t pay well.  Embarking on it to become rich and famous would be a mistake.  Taking on the writing profession because of a deep love of the craft is the only reason that makes sense.  To me, anyway.  I wrote for over 30 years before getting a bestseller – that takes either profound stubbornness or a overpowering love of the craft.

And now you want a copy of Sunrise Point for your very own! Here’s your opportunity. This giveaway is for a print copy, so the giveaway is open to US residents, or anyone who can make arrangements with someone with a US address.  Rafflecopter is waiting!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

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21 thoughts on “Q&A with Robyn Carr, author of Sunrise Point plus Book Giveaway

    1. Glad you liked! This was very good. And definitely easy to get into, even in the middle of a series like this. Virgin River is such a terrific place. I would love to visit, and of course, I can’t. Darn.

  1. Thanks for a fun post and giveaway! I haven’t had the pleasure of reading Ms. Carr’s books but they come highly recommended and are on the top of my wishlist! 🙂

  2. As ever I’m not American so I’m not included (but never fear – I’ve already read and LOVED Sunrise Point!), but I wanted to say this was a great interview. (Great review too!)
    I guess you have to laugh at the “Cubans” confusion. What else can you do?
    Sunrise Point is a good one. The hero – Tom – is such a dope. I loved him for it!

  3. I have not read any of these books. I enjoyed the blog post and look forward to learning more about it. Thanks for the giveaway.

  4. If I’m lucky enough this will be my first trip to Virgin River but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be my last=)
    Thanks so much, I enjoyed the Q&A!

  5. I have read all your Virgin River books. I started somewhere in the middle and then went to a used bookstore—-could not find the beginning ones—so I saved and bought them new. They are keeper books. I will let friends read them.

  6. I absolutely love this series!
    Im currently reading Sunrise Point ( for review and giveaway next week ) – and really enjoy the story! =)
    Ive read the first 9 books in this series, and I will continue to read all of them! =)

  7. Can’t get enough of the Virgin River series. Just bought all of them so I can reread them over and over. They took me back to a very good time in my life!

  8. I have her whole collection. I am half way through Sunrise Point. I am finding it very emotionally for me as I can relate with Nora and the mother she had. Very touching.

  9. Virgin River is a series I never get tired of reading. I love reading about new people in town and revisiting the other characters. Especially Jack, who I love! I admire the way you can write humorous dialog between characters. My favorite romances have couples that can joke with each other.

  10. I loved them all, but the original Virgin River is my favorite. Jack & Mel are the backbone for the other stories.

  11. It’s so obvious I’m going to have to go back and read the whole series. OMG! 19 books. Maybe if I ration myself, like with a box of Girl Scout cookies, and savor them slowly, I’ll be caught up by the time the next one comes out? Will that even work?

  12. I’ve read all of your Virgin River series books, plus other books you have written. I love them all. I’ve gotten my grown daughters interested in reading your books, and they have told their friends about them too. Can’t wait to read Sunrise Point.

  13. I have read every one of the Virgin River series and love all of them. I really can’t pick out a favorite because what ever one I am reading at the time is my favorite. I love the fact that you can just pick up any of them and you will get to know everyone in Virgin River . The Best!!!

  14. I have read and loved all of Robyn’s Virgin River books! We own a used bookstore, and we can’t keep them in stock.

  15. I am not technically smart enough to get in on these interviews when they are happening, but love to catch them when I can. I have the whole series and because I live a distance from a bookstore or even stores, I pre-order them. This time though, it came in the mail and I havn’t had a chace to get to the post office. I am anxious to get Sunrise Point and I know my sister is anxious to. Love this series and hope it continues into infinity.

  16. I have read all of Robyn’s books and I am a member of her Jack’s Bar group. Anyone is welcome to join in. My favorite book of the series is the first book only because I can relate to Mel’s meltdown in the book on the 1st anniversary of her husband’s death. I was 2 weeks from being at the point myself and it reached into my heart and the writing and handling of it by Robyn was amazing. It totally hooked me into the series. Unfortunately I am not as fortunate as Mel to find that 2nd chance at happiness yet but who knows. Still I have read every book and loved them all. If you have never read Robyn’s book’s you are in for one special series. They are all amazing in their own unique way, Keep them coming Robyn

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