“The lifestyle portrayed in these pages reveals snippets of the rich history of African-Americans, and the details of the island’s social structure from past eras are intriguing. It’s always a pleasure to discover little-known facts about racial history in America. Even better, the slow build to the love affair between the leads is believable and satisfying, on all levels. Sit back and enjoy!”
– RT Book Reviews, Top Pick
Q1. I love series and I always am curious: When you do a series do you have each book plotted out before you start the first one or do the subsequent books flow from the first book?
RA: I usually plot the first title very carefully. During that process I know whether there will be subsequent books. Spin-off characters seemingly whisper in my ear that they, too, want their stories told. This is what happened with Jeffrey Hamilton from Sanctuary Cove.
Q2. What inspired you to write this genre?
RA: I wanted to connect with my Gullah culture, and the only way I could do that was to write about it. I’d grown listening to my mother and aunts talk about customs and superstitions that were frightening as well as fascinating. I’d believed many of the superstitions were archaic until I began researching their origins and finally understood why so many have survived countless generations spanning continents and centuries.
Q3. If you could jump into a book, and live in that world, which would it be?
RA: I would love to live on Cavanaugh Island. Although I was born and raised in New York City – Manhattan to be exact – I’ve come to appreciate small town life where neighbors look out for one another and once the sun goes down a comforting quietness descend on the town. There are disadvantages of living in a small town – gossip in particular, but the advantages definitely outweigh them. Living on Cavanaugh Island is like being wrapped in a warm blanket on a cool night. It’s nurturing and soothing.
Q4. What is one thing you struggle with when you’re writing?
RA: There are times when I struggle with pacing. I have to ask myself if I’m taking too long to set up the plot by bogging it down with too much detail, and if I am then I’ll definitely have to rush the ending. There are also times when I reread what I’ve written, and then I have go back and cut, review or even tweak to even out the pacing.
Q5. What are some of the best tips you’ve received on writing?
RA: Read in the genre in which you choose to write. If you want to write romance, then it has to be romance. The same can be said with mysteries or political thrillers. I read more than 2,000 romance novels before I attempted to write one. Many were very good and some were just okay, but they helped me to recognize the elements that identify it as a romance novel.
Q6. Please share your most rewarding experience since being published.
RA: I’m happy to say there are three: The first is when I received the call from Veronica Mixon an editor for Doubleday’s Starlight Romance series that she was offering for my very first romance title. The second was when I received the Vivian Stephens Career Achievement Award for Excellence in Romance Novel Writing. And the third is when Latoya Smith from Hachette’s Forever line offered for the Cavanaugh Island series. I’m certain there will be others in the future, but these are the rewarding experiences that stay with me.
Thank you for sharing with Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf.
Thanks also to Ms. Alers and the fine folks at Forever Romance, Hachette, for offering THREE Books for Giveaway!
TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY for THREE Print Copies
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