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Interview with Robin D. Owens

Robin D. Owens

Her books are absolutely wonderful! I definitely recommend reading them.

1. When/how did you know you wanted to write?

RDO: I wrote as a child. The only story I vaguely remember (fortunately) is one about two friends on a spaceship, one with long, curly black hair to her hips and the other with long, curly blond hair…I wrote bits and pieces of ideas/scenes for a long time, then put most of my creativity into a relationship, when that broke up, I decided to do something for me and took a writing course from Cassie Miles/Kay Bergstrom. Kay continues to read and critique all my work.

2. How long did it take you to become published?

RDO: LOL, I prefer not to recall exactly how long it took me to get published, but I think it was between 8-9 years.

3. Who are some of your favorite authors?

RDO: Favorite authors: Jayne Ann Krentz (Jayne Castle), Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, Elizabeth Lowell, Jasmine Cresswell, Maggie Osborne…

4. Who do you count as your literary influences?

RDO: Literary Influences — see above…also, Mary Stewart, Andre Norton, Tanith Lee.

5. How long does it usually take for you to research a book?

RDO: As a person with a library degree I don’t DARE research a book beforehand. I have books at my desk (Celtic mythology, botany books and the Herbal Tarot for naming characters, Welsh dictionary, French dictionary, Crystal and Gem, Castles, etc.). When I need something I usually research it that week and usually online. Many times I contact people. I believe the nanotechnology took me about two weeks for Heart Thief, but I’d been interested in it for a long time, so I knew something of the science.

6. How long does it take for you to write books?

RDO: It varies at how long a book takes. I’m usually working on more than one at a time. I’ll say between four and six months for a rough draft, then it’s revise, revise, revise.

7. I really enjoy reading your books. How did you come up with the idea for your series about Celta?

RDO: Thanks for the compliment on the Heart books. Celta is defined as I go along (though by the end of HeartMate I had about 20 pages of notes, more now of course). Actually, I usually get ideas from physical objects. I was playing with a bloodstone pendulum and thought of a man who might use bloodstone dice to foretell the future, especially his True Love. But it would have to be in a culture where a man doing divination wouldn’t be seen as sissy or weak. So I had him make the dice, but being a jeweler might be seen as a sissy job too, so I had him forging swords. It all fell together. I’d wanted to see a Celtic society in books, so I made one up. I don’t pretend to be an expert and form my society on Celta by what feels right to me personally.

8. Are you ever influenced by something you see and think, that would go great in a book?

RDO: I am influenced by EVERYTHING. What I see, hear, touch, smell, taste, feel, think. Others’ experiences. Books, movies, music, news, what my cats whine at me and how they act, readers’ comments, reviews, critique buddies especially. Everything. What I put down on the page is something I got from somewhere…I recall when the penny dropped about doing cat familiars. My scruffy tom, Maddox, was lurking outside the door of my office, waiting for another cat to come out (my office has no door). I said, “Maddox, please don’t pounce on Diva.” As if 1) He could understand me. 2) He would listen to me if he DID understand me. 3) He would bother to modify his behavior. He was a CAT.

9. Many authors are doing strictly e-books, do you think this is just a trend, or does it spell the end of real books?

RDO: I am sure ebooks are here to stay, but haven’t a clue when they will become more popular than paper.

10. What advice do you give to those who are just starting out or trying to become published?

RDO: Determination is more important than talent. Like I say in my dedication of HeartMate: To All Struggling Writers, Never Quit. Never Quit…and I was very careful in that dedication — I meant myself, too.

Thanks for the opportunity to talk about my craft, and the excellent questions.

Take care,

HeartMate, 2002 RITA Winner Best Paranormal Romance
“I loved Heart Thief!” Jayne Ann Krentz

Interviewed by Sarah on 5/1/04.