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by Barbara Sheridan
Leslie Tramposch: Managing Editor - Sara Reyes: Marketing and Publicity
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October 2001 Issue

Out of This World Romance

NEW! PNR Poll: We Want More............Interstellar Romance!


Robin D. Owens

I'm single and living in Colorado with cats. I've been seriously writing for eight years and HEARTMATE is my fourth completed book. I began writing paranormal contemporary romantic suspense, switched to Regency Historical novels and found my voice in Futuristic/Fantasy Romance. I'm currently working on my fifth and sixth books—both set in the world of Celta (I have lots of ideas for this world). My best writing moment—being the first futuristic romance published in the Magical Love line by Jove! My worst writing moment is every time a rejection hits.

I'm a true INFJ personality type = Introverted, intuitive vs. factual, "feeling" rather than thinking, and make quick judgments.

I'm a nightowl, Scorpio, love pets, and I learn best through touching (tactile). I'm usually optimistic. My other creative outlet (and major achievement) is as a member of the Lungfish Theater improv group.

I love to read and read everything, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, thrillers, romance. I firmly believe that any man who reads a well-written romance will learn what a woman wants.

Awards

1st Place
HeartMate - Wisconsin Romance Writers of America
2000 Fabulous Five Writing Contest
Paranormal Category
1st Place
HeartMate - Valley Forge Chapter of the Romance Writers of America
1998 Contest

2nd Place
Heart Thief - Valley Forge Chapter of the Romance Writers of America
1998 Contest

1st Place
Betrothal and Blackmail - Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers
1994 Contest in Historical Romance

I've received awards in a variety of other contests including: Pikes Peak Writer's Contest, FF&P's On the Far Side Contest, and an honorable mention (many years ago) in the Maggie Contest. ~ Bio courtesy of Robin's Website


An Interview with Robin D. Owens

PNR: Robin HEARTMATE is your debut novel. What inspired you to write paranormal romance, and in particular a futuristic romance?

Robin:
When I wrote as a child, it was always about imaginary worlds with maps to go along. This hasn't changed, I have a very amateurish map of the continent of Celta and anticipate tackling the city of Druida shortly. I loved fairy tales, science fiction, fantasy and magic. When I started writing romance I tried several time-periods, then started HEARTMATE as a whim and was told emphatically by my critique buddies (none of whom read futuristic romance) that I'd found my voice. So I continued to write what I loved, despite the market.

PNR:
Your story begins in Druida, City on the planet Celta, four hundred years after colonization. Who are the colonists and where do they come from? Is their background reflected in the planet's name? Why have they left their home world?

Robin: T
he colonists were from Earth. They left Earth in three spaceships which were funded by twenty-five major families who wanted to develop their psychic abilities without being feared and loathed by the general Earth population. They also wanted to found a culture based on old Celtic beliefs--or what they perceived old Celtic beliefs to be. So they called the planet Celta and the city Druida.

PNR:
The hero, Rand T' Ash, has status among his people. He head of the GreatHouse of Ash, one of the first families. He has great Flair, however he is not typical of people of his status. He has inherited his position through personal tragedy?

Robin:
T'Ash does belong to the highest rank of Celtan nobles, however, he was the third son so he was never considered as the heir and was usually in trouble. When he was six, he snuck down to the library in the middle of the night and was there when his family and home were destroyed. He escaped and grew up in the streets of the slum, Downwind. As he grew to adulthood, he avenged his family and fought to get his home and estate back. He carries a lot of emotional baggage and a secret that he doesn't intend to reveal to his HeartMate until it is too late for her to back out of the commitment.

PNR:
Though Rand is rough around the edges he is not without friends. He has familiar, a cat which had acquired him, when he was a frightened boy, hiding from his family's murderers in Downwind. He also is close to the Holly heir. What role do these two characters play in his life?

Robin:
Zanth, T'Ash's familiar cat, is a mentor, companion and can be generally frustrating (like all cats). Zanth is the only family that T'Ash has now. T'Ash met Holm Holly when Holm was slumming Downwind, when Holm's psychic power was being freed and spiraling out of control (Passage). They helped each other at this time and then Holm assisted T'Ash in re-establishing himself as a noble. Holm is a sounding board and friend. Since Holm has a lot more experience with the fairer sex, he feels obliged to give T'Ash advice.

PNR:
Still Rand is lonely and wants a family of his own, the message he reads one morning in his divination dice have given him reason to hope?

Robin:
"Today you will meet your HeartMate" has become the tag line of
the book. T'Ash made a set of runes and uses them in the morning for a daily divination. Since magic/psi power manifests on Celta, when the prophecy comes, T'Ash believes it. In standard male operating procedure, he immediately sets goals and crafts a plan to achieve them, without even considering the nature of his lady.


PNR:
Rand's Flair has made him a gifted creator of jewelry. He has created a HeartGift to attract his HeartMate? What is a HeartGift?

Robin:
Wouldn't we all like something that could tell us instantly who was our soul mate (or at least a great life partner)? How much easier life COULD be. That's a HeartGift. It's an object usually made when in a psychic dreamquest, so it resonates with the essence of the creator. A HeartGift will attract the true mate on all levels (including sexual).

PNR:
Before he meets her, Rand already suspects the identity of his HeartMate. What reasons does he have?

Robin:
T'Ash's shop manager told him of a female customer who continually bought his most sensual (and inexpensive) creations. So he began making her jewelry, trying to figure out what she liked, if he could make an object and be sure that she'd buy it--see if he could tempt her.

PNR:
Danith Mallow had also been orphaned. Her parents had been killed in an accident, rather than murdered as Rand's had, so she had a somewhat gentler childhood than he. Still she spent her entire childhood in an orphanage? How has this affected her expectations or desires for her future?

Robin:
Yes, Danith grew up in the only orphanage, run by a group of "nuns" called the Maidens of Saille. She is lower-middle class and wants an ordinary, steady life and a BIG, BIG family. Celta is a tough planet. Though the environment has extended lifespans, the trade off is that birth rates are low and sterility not unusual. Not to mention the fact that many people still have an adventurous gene and take off for the wilds once they're grown. The extended family is virtually unknown, but Danith finds a nice big, middle-class family and adopts it--the Clovers (clover spreads really well in my yard).

PNR: How does she react to Rand's HeartGift, and to Rand?

Robin:
At their first meeting, Danith knows Rand T'Ash is powerful and dangerous. Later that night, when she feels the effects of the HeartGift, she decides he's a corrupt noble who put a sleazy sex spell on a piece of jewelry to attract women to his bed (which is illegal). Naturally she walks out.

PNR:
Rand had thought obtaining his HeartMate would be a simple matter. How does he respond to Danith's rejection?

Robin:
Poorly, just like any man. Not only was he rejected, but his great plan for winning Danith is a shambles. He perseveres. He makes new plans. He modifies his plans. His plans invariably screw up.

PNR:
Danith has her life all mapped out. She finds Rand's overtures exasperating. What finally brings the two together, or makes her take a second look at this
overwhelming man.


Robin:
Several things make her soften to T'Ash. He treats his cat and his friends well. He lets Danith know that he will give her anything within his power. He puts himself in danger for her (and becomes possessive and overprotective). He believes in her. After she abandoned her most cherished dream, he shows her how it can come true (and thereby changes her life beyond all recognition). A telepathic connection begins to spin between them. Most of all, T'Ash shows Danith that he's vulnerable to her opinion of him. And she finds him sexy as hell.

PNR:
Rand's life in the streets, among the disenfranchised members of his society, has given him a unique perspective on that society's ills. Does this influence him to try to change the mindset of his privileged peers?

Robin:
Yes. He's said, several times before the story opens, that the slum of Downwind and the problems that cause it must be addressed. But because he's a loner the noble council doesn't pay much attention to him. He hasn't tried to do anything himself because he still fears and dislikes that element of himself which he associates with his "Downwind" years. Part of his growth is to accept that facet of himself so he can help others.

PNR:
Holm Holly is an intriguing character, and still available <g>, and it isn't hard to imagine that there are numerous familiars begging to have their stories told. Will their be a sequel to HeartMate? What is next for Robin D. Owens?

Robin:
I have lots of stories spinning in my head for Celta. When I thought it was unlikely that I'd be published, I gave myself permission to work on more than one book. Consequently, HEART THIEF (the story of the Null--no psi powers--Ruis Elder) is proceeding with a third major revision AND the story of Holm Holly is about half done. The fourth book is at proposal stage and I have notes for 3 more...

An excerpt and first chapter of HEART THIEF (only a little out of date, LOL) can be read on my website: http://www.robindowens.com I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to the ills of Celtan culture, except to use it as background, in HEARTMATE. But the cultural flaws are very much to the forefront in HEART THIEF. Ruis Elder is a mutant and outcast, despised and loathed--banished from Druida upon pain of death. Naturally he falls in love with the new Supreme Judge of the city...Ruis' familiar is Samba, a fat calico cat, who's favorite phrase is "Let's go play." The heroine in the story also has a familiar--a puppy. The proposal for this book is currently with my editor.

Holm Holly, the premier fighter of Celta, wasn't supposed to have a HeartMate, but due to events taking place in HEART THIEF, he has grown enough to find his match--a Healer. Only my online and in-person critique groups have seen this story.

As for my cats! Diva, the princess of the household, is in a major snit because Maddox (Zanth) is trotting around calling himself "The Cover Cat." The first thing my editor said to me was "email photos of the cat." So Maddox (as Zanth) is on the cover AND the spine of the book. I did give Diva a scene in HEART THIEF, but
that hasn't stopped her whining, and she doesn't get her own book until Straif Blackthorn's and Mitchella Clover's story (book four). "Are you a good cat?" "No, but I am beautiful and that counts more."

I know that Berkley is taking a chance on me and my stories and I am hoping that the run for Celta will last at least until I run out of cats... my cats, the neighborhood cats (who visit the outdoor bowl), my Mother's cat...I really DIDN'T mean to draw into our lives that abandoned, pregnant cat who gave birth to SEVEN ginger kittens...

And as the Celtans would say: Let us merry meet and merry part and merry meet again.


Robin D. Owens

Website

 Books


NEW DEBUT

!

Buy it Now!

Jove Pubns.
(Magical Love)
December 2001
396 pages
ISBN: 0515132896

HEARTMATE - All his life, Rand T'Ash has looked forward to meeting his HeartMate, with whom he could begin a family. Once a street tough but now a respected nobleman and artisan, he has crafted the perfect HeartGift, which, in the custom of the psychically-gifted population of the planet Celta, is the way a man finds -- and attracts -- his wife...

Darith Mallow is irresistably drawn to the magnficent necklace on display in T'Ash's shop, but she is wary of its creator, despite an overpowering attraction. In a world where everone is defined by their psychic ability, Danith has little and thus is at the opposite end of the social spectrum from T'Ash. But T'Ash refuses to accept her rejection, and sees it as a challenge instead. They are HeartMates, but can T'Ash persuade his beloved to accept her destiny by his side?

 

 

 

Featured in this Issue:

Interviews with :
Catherine Asaro
Judy Gill

Susan Grant
Robin D. Owens
Catherine Spangler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All book synopsises are copyrighted to the authors/publishers.


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