Today I’d like to welcome back Robyn Carr, who is here to ask and answer a few questions about her new series, Thunder Point. If you want to check out my review of the first book in the series, I will say that The Wanderer will make you fall in love with this coastal Oregon town and the folks who live there. Welcome back Robyn!
Q: Millions of readers visit Virgin River, the setting of your last series, every year. What made you decide to venture away from Virgin River in your new Thunder Point series?
A: It was time for something fresh and new for a lot of reasons—to keep me fresh and new, for one thing. But also, twenty books in a series is a lot for new readers to even comprehend, and no matter how many times they’re told they can jump in any time, many will be intimidated by the sheer number. I call this the Grey’s Anatomy Syndrome—I’ve never seen an episode because when it started, I chose another show to commit to. I know, I know—I could rent or download the early episodes and watch 147 straight hours of TV to catch up (ugh!), and I’m not likely to do that. So, we’ll at least take a break, move to a new location with a new cast and new theme. That doesn’t mean I’ll never go back to Virgin River.
Also—the town is getting large; the population is growing. My readers love it when I bring characters back together; they want to check on their people and make sure they’re doing all right. And as the list of characters grows, it becomes more of a challenge to bring them all together. And if I bring only a few back, my readers want to know where the others are!
There are certain things my readers love that will always be present, whether I’m writing about a small town, a long-running series or even a standalone women’s fiction—there is always a strong sense of community and commitment; there is always intense friendship. You can count on me for strong women and heroes dedicated to loving them loyally and keeping them safe—and safe is a relative term. It can be safe from danger or safe from loneliness or betrayal or fear. There will always be women’s issues, large or not so large. There will always be solutions to difficult situations that I hope are entertaining, intelligent and completely feasible, something that I intend to give my readers hope as they face their own problems.
Q: What would you tell someone who is coming to Thunder Point for the first time? What do you want them to know about the town as they jump into The Wanderer?
A: My husband and I have moved around a lot, thanks to his years in the Air Force and commercial aviation. Have you ever had the experience of living somewhere that just didn’t feel like your town? Or, conversely, landing somewhere that made you think you were meant to be there? When we drove from Texas to Sacramento and crossed over the Sierras into the Sacramento Valley, I remember thinking, Ahhhh, I’m a Californian! I never realized! I was instantly comfortable with the landscape, the people, the climate.
Hank Cooper has always been a wanderer. He’d lived and worked in a lot of beautiful and interesting places, but there’s something about this small coastal town and the people there that just hook him and make him think for the first time in his adult life, Maybe I’m home.
Q: One of the things you’re known for is what people in the writing world call “voice.” That is, the unique way you say things so that a lot of time people read what you’re written and say, “I wish I’d said that!” Where does an author’s voice come from? Where does yours come from?
A: It’s attitude, perspective, sometimes personality, the way I perceive a character will sound and the things he/she will believe. It’s simple and yet complicated – I think we get to know an author by her voice, how she sounds and typically tells a story, how she manages and organizes her plots and characters, how she strings words together. But given the differences in characters, it’s not always reflective of the author’s belief system, yet can be reflective of how an author perceives a type of character will sound. Some authors are better than others with dialogue, something I think is similar to perfect or relative pitch – knowing how a lumberjack might talk, how a fireman might talk, how a doctor might communicate, etc.
Robyn is a New York Times best-selling author. She has written over forty books, including ones in her Virgin River, Grace Valley, and Thunder Point series.Robyn won the RITA Award for her novel By Right of Arms.Robyn and her husband enjoy traveling, often taking research trips together. Their son and daughter are grown. Robyn says that, in addition to reading her novels and making snide remarks about how she’s used family scenarios to her advantage, they have made her a happy grandmother.
Robyn is giving away one physical copy of the The Wanderer to one lucky winner (US-only)! To enter to win, check out the Rafflecopter below.