AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT Robin Covington
What is your most current work out (include publisher, we will put a link and cover photo) ?
I will have a Christmas novella out around Thanksgiving. I will send you the cover and the link as soon as I get them. The title is Secret Santa Baby and it is published by the Flirt line at Entangled Publishing.
My prior release is A Night of Southern Comfort which was released in June from the Indulgence Line at Entangled Publishing. Just this week it was nominated for Best Contemporary Romance from and Indie Press/Self Pub in the RT Book Reviews 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards. It is on sale at Amazon and B&N.
Tell us a little about Secret Santa Baby, what inspired you to write Secret Santa Baby?
I started this book in response to a call for submissions by Entangled Publishing for novellas that revolved around the song “Santa Baby”. My brain was fried from larger projects and the idea of writing a short story just hit the right spot. In my office, ‘Secret Santa” is big and I got to thinking about how a guy could use the gifts in the song to seduce the woman he has wanted for a very long time. It was so much fun to write and it flew onto the page in about 3 days!
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
Yes, I do. I don’t know how other authors just sit down and start writing. I would seriously break out in hives. ; ) I used to have a one-page bulletized sheet of paper that had the whole book plotted on it. Now, I have a form that I have developed with the plot and the character’s GMC (Goal, Motivation, Conflict) on it as well. It still is in my crazy shorthand so no one else would have any clue what the scene is about, but I do.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
I LOVE romance. I think most romance authors are great readers of romance and I devour it. I love sexy, sharp books that guarantee a happy ending. I started out in this genre and I currently write category-length romance and I love the challenge of writing a lush, full story in a smaller word count. I have recently begun plotting a longer single title series – we’ll see how that goes.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
My favorite is always the hero I am currently writing. I absolutely fall in love with my heroes and they are my one and only . . . until “the end”. Then, I move on to the next one. Heartless and cruel, I know.
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
It was very hard for me to get Lucky Landon on the page. (He is the hero in my upcoming release, (Spring 2013)HIS SOUTHERN TEMPTATION (HST)) He wanted to be a farmer, leave the life of a Marine and go home and I didn’t want him to do that. I wanted him to go into business with his best friend Jack (the hero in A NIGHT OF SOUTHERN COMFORT(ANoSC)) but it just didn’t happen that way. I struggled up until the point when I just gave in and followed his lead.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
Absolutely! “The Boys” from my Indulgence Series are inspired by my cousins and all the boys I grew up with in rural Virginia. I have tons of stories – fighting, driving the tractor, bonfires, drinking, days on the lake, kissing in the barn – so many. But, they’d kick my butt if I started telling tales . . .
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
Getting my fanny off the Internet. No joke. I am lazy, a procrastinator, and a Wonder Woman of excuses not to write. Which is C-R-A-Z-Y because writing is what I love to do. So, I have a schedule and a daily page count and I reward myself with TV, sleep, a beer – you name it- to bribe myself to stay on the page.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
I went to a women’s college and loved it. The same one that my heroine Michaela in ANoSC attended – Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, VA.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
I love to read but I don’t get much time when I’m writing. But, when I get a little downtime, I indulge in reading male/male romance. I just love that genre. So many talented and crazy creative writers.
What TV Show are you addicted to?
Strikeback on Cinemax. Two HAWT soldiers, tons of things blown up, and the baddest bad guys. Love. It. S.Sgt. Michael Stonebridge is my TV boyfriend and my husband just has to deal with it.
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
No. I don’t really have a ritual. I write at night (late – usually between 10 pm and 1 am) and whenever I get five minutes. So, when I pull out my netbook – Little Red- it is time to write.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
Oh yes it does. I have playlists for every book and they help go right into the story the minute I hit play. For ANoSC the theme song was “Hope For Me Yet” by Marc Broussard, for HST it was “Want To” by Sugarland, and my current WIP, PLAYING THE PART is all about “Steve McQueen” by Sheryl Crow. For my Christmas novella, SECRET SANTA BABY, it was the song “Santa Baby”.
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
Fun question. I always have an actor/actress in my head. It’s fun to find the pics and pin them on a board in my office and on my Pinterest. In SSB, Nick is Matthew Goode and Tessa is Lauren Alaina, In ANoSC, Jack is Joe Mangianello and Michaela is Gwyneth Paltrow. In HST, Lucky is Alex O’Loughlin and Taylor is Ashley Greene.
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
I was getting ready to go to bed – it was 11 pm – and I checked my email one last time. I saw an email from Lori Wilde with the title of ANoSC in the subject line. I had a feeling that it was a rejection because I had only sent it to Entangled one week before. When I opened it and saw the request to buy the book I freaked out and woke up my husband. He hugged me and then went downstairs to get champagne out of the fridge and we toasted my first sale. He kissed me and went back to bed and I slept barely two winks all night!
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
I was a mid-teenager and I remember that it was “Skye O’Malley” by Bertrice Small. I thought it was thrilling but my parents would have died if they’d known what I was reading.
What author causes you to “go fan girl”/squeal over/anticipate upcoming books?
Oh – it is so hard to pick. I have so many faves and getting to know some of them and call them friend has not lessened the “fangirl” stuff at all. But, I did forget how to speak when I met Shannon McKenna. I’m sure she thought I was crazy but I just babbled when I met her at a book signing.
If you still have one of those pesky non writing jobs what is it?
I am an acquisition attorney for the United States Navy. I’m a civilian and I have the best clients in the world – a great mission everyday.
Do you have a favorite movie you have seen in the last few months and/or an all time favorite?
My all-time favorite romantic movie is “Say Anything” with John Cusack. Lloyd Dobler is the ultimate romantic hero. Who can forget him standing in a phone booth, soaked from the rain, heartbroken and telling his sister, “I gave her my heart and she gave me a pen.” A recent fave is “Love and Other Drugs” with Jake Gyllenhall. So sexy!
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
I am working on a book for the super, sexy Brazen line at Entangled. My hero is an action movie star and my heroine is a romance novelist. They are such fun characters and I love this book.
If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
Oh, man . . . that is so hard. But, I’ll pick Hank Edwards. He writes funny, sexy, emotional gay romance and I would love to work with him so that I could learn all his tricks for writing humor. That kind of talent crosses all genres. And, I just love him as a person.
And, I would love to learn Alpha male heroes at the feet of Shannon McKenna. She could write and I would be content to proofread and fetch her coffee. ; )
How do you pick your characters names?
They just come to me. I usually pick up a baby name book and start flipping until one of the grabs me. Once I get to the right one – I know.
Do you prefer the love at first sight approach or a steady growth throughout?
I prefer lust at first sight with a steady progression to love. My characters usually think they can fool around and not fall in love. And, I love to prove them wrong.
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”.
I usually ask them if they can give me some pointers on how they wrote their non-romance book. I’d love to learn from them…blah, blah. That usually shuts them up. I should be nicer but I’m not. I gave up being nice to rude people when I turned 30 – I also gave up wearing pantyhose on that birthday. It was good year. ; )
Where can readers find you _________?
And for the silly side – What is your favorite type of chocolate?
Ghiradelli milk chocolate with caramel inside.
Ranger or Morelli (if you know to what this refers please answer with which one and why )
Morelli! He is just so sexy and while he is a cop the bad boy is always simmering below the surface.