AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: ABIGAIL ROUX
Riptide author Abigail Roux has stopped by to chat about The Gravedigger’s Brawl and her writing in general….
Tell us a little about The Gravedigger’s Brawl and the inspiration behind it?
It’s a story that was inspired by my love of October, Fall, Halloween, and all the ways the season makes me feel. I love Halloween and ghost stories and spooky things that always come around during October, and I love Fall. So one Halloween I took all the ghost stories I’d heard or experienced myself, and I wrote a story with them.
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
I usually try to have a basic idea for where I want the story to go, but more often than not it veers into new territory. It’s not just the characters that find new avenues, but sometimes I’ll stumble over an entire theme that I didn’t plan. When I try to be too rigid with my stories, I get nowhere.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
This is the only genre I’ve ever written in. I like it because there’s more flexibility, but more challenges too. It’s also a small, supportive genre that I’m happy to be on the ground floor of.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
My favorite character ever is Cage, from According to Hoyle. The character was mute, and he was a grade A BAMF, and I loved everything about writing him.
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
I can’t recall any characters being especially tough. I was concerned that Zane from the Cut & Run books would give me trouble, but he really didn’t.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
I get a lot of inspiration from real life. There are several scenes in my books that come from things that have happened to me or people close to me. Usually the more unfortunate events, like Earl Grady having his finger cut off by his wife in Stars & Stripes.
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
Remembering that it’s a job. Convincing myself that I need to do something every day, just as if I’d gotten up and driven to work to do it. Some days I just want to sit and cuddle with my daughter and watch TV, but you can’t do that every day or pretty soon you’re not a writer anymore.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
I’m not sure if they’d be surprised to learn anything about me at this point. I guess it would be that I used to play volleyball competitively. I traveled across Europe as a teenager playing, and would have kept going if I hadn’t been injured.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Torturing my readers on Tumblr. I don’t know how much guilt is involved, but it’s definitely a pleasure to do it.
What TV Shows are you addicted to?
My most recent addiction is “The Walking Dead”. I never should have watched the first episode on Netflix, because now I find myself eyeing buildings and wondering if they’d be a good place to hole up for the zombie apocalypse.
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
I don’t really have anything that’s a must. More often than not I cannot write without music or the TV on in the background, but if I get going I can do it in dead silence.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
Oh very much so. I always release a playlist to go with my books, and the songs are the same ones I listen to when I write.
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
I don’t remember where I was. I didn’t send in the transcript, my writing partner did. So one day she asked me if I’d mind submitting something, and I said sure, go for it. She responded by telling me it had already been accepted. I didn’t tell anyone until I got the first royalty check in the mail.
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
I was in my late teens. I’ve only read a handful of romance novels over the years.
What author causes you to “go fan girl”/ squeal over/anticipate upcoming books? Elizabeth Peters. She used to come out with a new Amelia Peabody book every summer, but no longer. Every time I hear news about a new one, I get way too excited.
If you still have one of those pesky non writing jobs what is it?
I was coaching volleyball and softball for a local high school, but I was forced to quit this past season due to the shape of my knee. It wasn’t really what you’d call a job, considering I probably wound up spending more than I earned.
Do you have a favorite movie you have seen in the last few months and/or an all-time favorite?
My all-time favorite movie might be Clue. It’s so fun and clever and campy, I have seen it at least a few hundred times.
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
I am currently taking a break due to health issues and general burnout. I’ve got a lot of ideas that are simmering, and at least half a dozen books in the works that I’ll eventually get out. But right now, I’m taking some time to recover.
If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
I learned my lesson with co-writing. I’m not sure anyone could convince me to do it again.
How do you pick your characters names?
Sometimes they just fit. Other times I have to scroll through baby names sites to find one. I always take into consideration when the character was born, what’s their background (is their family Irish, Russian, Jewish? Were his parents hippies? Was that name even appropriate for that time and place?) A lot goes into the name.
Do you prefer the love at first sight approach or a steady growth throughout?
It really depends on the characters. Do they mesh well? Are they optimistic and open to love? If so, it could be love at first sight. Is one of them jaded and caustic? Has one of them ben hurt badly or has trust issues? Then it’s not as likely he’d fall fast.
What is your reaction to people who say one of the following…”Oh you write romance, I thought you were a real writer”, “Romance isn’t a real writing career” or the ever popular “Oh, one of those books”.
When people ask what I do, I say ‘I write trashy romance novels.” It either stops the conversation dead with anyone who disapproves, or it leads to an interesting conversation with some people you’d never expect.
Where can readers find you?
Tumblr is my favorite place to be. I have an Ask Abi Tumblr, and a character ask Tumblr called The Interrogation Room. I’m also at Twitter, Facebook, my website, and a rarely used blog.
And for the silly side – What is your favorite type of chocolate?
I really dislike chocolate. I only like it when it’s a component in something else, like Snickers® or KitKats® or turtle pie or something like that.