I’m having so much fun connecting with all the smart authors and bloggers I’ve met online. This is the latest entry in my series of conversations with other romance authors, who join us to share about their creative process, their habits, their inspiration, and more. Our guest today is Roxanne Howard who writes erotic romance with substance.
- What first drew you to reading and writing romance?
I think it was being interested in the connection between two people. As a psychology major, and even as a child, I was always fascinated with interpersonal dynamics; with what makes people tick, and what draws us to someone we love. When I was in my late teens, I stayed the weekend at my uncle’s cabin, and I found an Earth’s Children book in one of the drawers of the area I slept in. I was the first romance novel I’ve ever read, and I believe it was Valley of the Horses, but rather than make me feel ashamed or embarrassed to be sneak-reading a romance beneath my sleeping bag at night, I found it to be very well written and a wonderfully-told perspective about a young Neolithic woman setting forth in life after a harsh background, and how she came to meet her soul mate through pure circumstance. I fell in love with the narrative of putting the plot first, and having the relationship be an organically-woven tapestry, and from then onward I began threading facets of romance into everything I wrote, until one day I actually wrote a romance novel, At the Heart of the Stone, which is currently out with Loose Id Publishing.
- You were in the military and lived throughout Germany and England where you met your British husband. How has your military experience and travel seeped into your writing?
Oh, it’s a big part of who I am. The military liberated me in so many ways, and it offered me not only the opportunity to change my life dramatically and to go to college, but to travel and to experience other cultures, and meet some amazing, diverse, and fascinating people. Pretty much everything I write (from the characters to the plot to the setting) is sprinkled with the experiences I was lucky enough to have. I’m so grateful to the military, and for meeting my husband the way I did. Love does exist for everyone, and it is a magical, special thing.
- What do you think is the most difficult part about writing a book?
I believe it’s different for everyone. For me personally, the hardest part is struggling with self-doubt. As a mother it’s hard to find the time, but if you fall into the black hole of constantly questioning if you’re good enough as a writer or if anyone will actually want to read your work, it can be detrimental to not only your future as an author, but your emotional well-being. It’s important to be very careful in what you say to yourself and to always believe in the beauty of your dreams, and in possibilities. I’m of the opinion that anyone can write a book; but it takes a brave, unconquerable soul to really write one.
- What do you do when you experience “writer’s block” and how do you find inspiration and motivation to keep writing?
I keep a document of all the positive things people have said about my writing; this includes friends, my editor, reviewers, bloggers, even anonymous posters on Amazon or my blog. It helps lift my spirits, and when I find myself unable to continue at a certain point in the story, I listen to music (either a playlist for the novel, or music related to the characters), I watch movies with the same theme, and let my imagination take over. Going for a walk and random exercise really helps, as well. Isolation fosters creativity, but all the same, you can’t live in a vacuum. When I put moderation into my life and break it up a bit so that I’m not doing the same thing over and over again, I find that my dry spells fade away, and I’m able to refocus on creating the story I want to tell.
- What advice do you have for new writers who are just starting out?
Never give up, and never stop writing. Write away, right away. It may seem cliché, but the only limits in life are the ones you set for yourself. If you tell yourself you can write a novel, you can write a novel. If you tell yourself you’re good enough, you’ll find that you are. If you know you’ve got it in you to write the novel of your heart, don’t put it off. Sit down and write it, and believe in what you can do. Self-doubt can kill motivation, so hold fast to that dream, and just do it.
Special thanks to Roxanne Howard for participating in this series! Visit her website at http://roxannedhoward.com, or talk to her on Twitter (@RoxanneDHoward), Facebook, and Goodreads. You can find her current book, At the Heart of the Stone, on Amazon, Barns and Noble, Loose ID, All Romance, IBooks. Her latest book, Chicks Dig the Accent, will be released on August 23, 2016 with Loose ID.
At the Heart Of the Stone
At the Heart of the Stone is a contemporary erotic romance novel, currently out with Loose Id Publishing.
Dreams are the perfect shelter for our fantasies, safe havens to step inside without changing our daily lives. For Lark Braithwaite, all that is about to change. During the last six months, Lark has dreamt of a mysterious Irish lover who knows what she wants and gives her exactly what she needs. In her waking life in busy London, things aren’t as ideal, as her long-term relationship with Charles, her controlling fiancé, has hit a dry spell.
When Lark is called home to Oregon for her father’s funeral right in the middle of a high-stakes corporate merger, she heads back to face the demons from her past. What she doesn’t expect is to meet her dream lover in the flesh. Niall O’Hagan steps straight out of her fantasies and right into her life, and the powerful connection they share rocks her foundation. Although she’s dealing with the bitterness of being betrayed by Charles and his jealousy, Niall soon stirs Lark’s awareness of the superficiality of her existence and reawakens not only her sexuality, but her soul.
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This post was written by Julie Andresen