"New Worlds Are Our Oyster."
Young At Heart
Spotlight on Young Adult Fantasy and Paranormal
In love with her husband, family, life, and chocolate, Selena Robins stands on the precipice of success. With her first novel, "SABRINA'S DESTINY" winning awards, garnering an agent and being considered for screenplay adaptation, it would appear fate is smiling on this talented author. Or maybe, her guardian angel is orchestrating a symphony of triumph.
Selena's passion for everything Angel and her joy in owning "an embarrassing amount" of whimsical snow globes provided the spark of inspiration for her two newest books, SABRINA'S DESTINY, which features a mystical snow globe and a couple of ultra-hip Angels, and PIPPY'S WISH, an Angel-in-Training, a quirky heroine that children will identify with. She also credits three older brothers who helped raise her, with giving her a glimpse into the male mind. However, she admits, delving into that mysterious place is still a challenge.
Selena's accolades prove that with angelic paranormal tales, insightful pieces, and romantic comedy stories, they can all be spun into award winning, fun reads. She is an eclectic writer and enjoys writing both for children and adults. Writing fiction which gives readers laugh-out-loud moments, inspiration and hours of entertainment is Selena's ultimate thrill.
Selena lives in Ottawa with the man of her dreams, and their loveable-but-has-a-mind-of-her-own Retriever, Maui, who speaks "squeak," and the ever playful and "randy" Nova.Sue Peterson, Harlequin Intrigue Suspense Author quotes:
Selena Robins is one of Romance genre's newest and most promising upcoming authors. Her witty dialogue, sizzling sex scenes and delightful characters are sure to engage you and keep you coming back for more. So sit back, put your feet up, grab yourself a cup of sweet tea and get ready to laugh as Selena Robins' characters take you on a wild and wonderful adventure filled with laughter and love, Robins' style. Enjoy!”
PNR: When did you begin writing?
Selena R.: As soon as I was able to put pencil to paper and form coherent words and string a sentence together. Books and writing have always been a part of my life, and I have been fortunate that all the jobs I’ve held have allowed me to exercise my writing skills. Most of my writing in the past has been non-fiction, but then again, I have written for government departments, so making the jump to fiction wasn’t that much of a stretch <just kidding Canada!> Three years ago, I decided to dedicate my writing to fiction work because there were just too many characters occupying space in my head, and they needed to venture out into the world.
PNR: How do you manage to balance your writing and personal time?
Selena R.: I'd love to be able to say that I set goals and priorities, have charts, and I'm this amazing time management author, who has a great balance of writing and personal time, but alas, that would be a work of fiction. I'm fortunate to have a very supportive husband who will take on a lot of the domestic tasks when I'm in 'writing boot camp' to get a project finished. I don’t have a specific regime, but, with my family's support I somehow do manage to balance my time between writing, promotion, and spending time with my family. There are also forces that seem to coordinate my time management for me -- my body and mind usually tells me when I need to step away from my work and spend more leisure time, my critique partner and agent tell me when I need to spend more “writing time. It all balances out somehow in a natural way.
PNR: What is the best part about being a writer? The most frustrating?Selena R.: I love the excitement of bringing my characters to life, filling blank pages with their stories and hearing back from readers on how much they enjoyed my creations. The people I've met also have been a great bonus. Writers, readers, editors, and everyone connected to this business in my travels have been fascinating and rewarding, as I have made some great friendships with people I probably would never have met otherwise.
This is a solitary craft, and many of us spend hours with only our CD player, perhaps a pet by our side and some days, only emails to communicate with other human beings. All that in itself can produce some frustrations. All in all, I don't have a lot of complaints about writing, except for the fact that this industry does work at a snail's pace most of the time. Once a book is written, polished and the author believes ready for the bookshelves, the process can take up to a year or longer to actually get the book to the reader.
PNR: Where do you get the ideas for your books? Could you walk us through a story from idea to finished product?
Selena R.: I have a 'Preferred Customer Card' at Ideas'R'us of course! <Just kidding.> This is a tough question for me to answer, because I really don't know where I get a lot of my ideas. It’s not that I have an idea manufacturer and I don't want divulge its whereabouts. I think most writers can tell you that first and foremost writers are Daydreamers of the Extreme Variety. This doesn’t mean that our daydreams can be turned into that next blockbuster novel, or any novel, but it allows us to expand our imagination and work with whatever process an author chooses to work with to outline and draft a project.
I use the 'What If' scenario to start a story spark.
For example, I'll take you through the 'What If Story Spark' that I used to create the book I am currently working on, a romantic suspense, "Her Bodyguard's Secret".(Hopefully I won't be given away all the secrets or too much of the plot).
I start by answering the following questions:
What if an undercover cop, whose father was murdered by the mob 10 years earlier, is given an assignment to infiltrate the mob? I then build on this question by asking other questions, for example: What if the assignment involved this cop to work undercover as the bodyguard to a mobster's daughter? I want to up the ante at this point and really throw as much at this cop as I can, so I then ask: What if this mobster's daughter reminds him of a woman, who was responsible for killing his father 10 years ago? I then go into detail, as to how this other woman conned her way into the hero’s life 10 years ago to get to his Police Captain Father. I ask questions regarding his own role in this, and how the guilt has affected him all these years.
What is going to happen to this cop when he is faced with this new assignment, to protect a member of a mob family, especially since criminally connected families are the bane of his existence, he'd rather put hot shoots in his eyes than have to pretend to be a protector for these people.
What is going to happen when he discovers that he is going to need this mobster's daughter, to win her trust, her faith so that they both not only stay alive, but ensure that other innocent victims are not killed?
I keep building the plot with the hero, and throwing every obstacle possible in his path. What if he finds out that his father wasn’t as innocent as he thought, and not really the 'fallen hero'? What if he discovers that he is going to have to cross the line and not only think like a criminal to accomplish this assignment, but to act like one as well?
I then get into this character’s personality traits, how is he going to feel when faced with certain situations, and I throw as many conflicted situations as I can at him. How does he feel about his mother, sister, and friends? Why is he a loner? What made him go into undercover work? What did he really want to do with his life? What kind of women has he had relationships with in the past? What makes him think that his family is better than the mobster's family? Why does he have an unforgiving nature? Could he murder someone and justify it to himself? What is he willing to do for the woman that he loves? Is he willing to break the law himself? Can he use the heroine's sexual attraction to him as a means to get what he wants to successfully complete this assignment?
With every question, there is an answer, and with that answer there becomes another question.
I then do the same thing for the heroine, and by answering each question with 'what if' the plot keeps building and building, and of course, I add in secondary characters who all have to have what if scenarios and questions of their own.
This process has helped me create all my stories. I always use the 'what if' scenario to create all my stories, and from there the ideas are born.
PNR: Pippy's Wish is your first young adult story; do you enjoy writing for this age group? Do you have more young adult books in the works?
Selena R.: I thoroughly enjoyed writing Pippy's Wish, and writing for this age group really allows me to unleash my imagination, and create a whole new world that brings joy to children and at the same time, hopefully tell them that it's okay to be unique. I plan on writing a series based on the characters in the book, and allowing the readers to travel with Pippy to high school and beyond.
PNR: Pippy is a quirky and lovable character, is she based on a real person?
Selena R.: You had to ask! <laughing> I didn't think it was autobiographical until my family read the book. Actually, Pippy is a nickname that was given to me by my three older brothers and sister that is still stuck to me to this day. Pippy is based on my own experience as a very active young child and the kids I grew up with all wrapped up into one character. I’ve been told that all age groups have enjoyed her antics, and I'm proud that she's cross-generational. Thank you for your compliment, I also think she is lovable.
PNR: What is your favorite romance sub-genre to write?
Selena R.: I don't have a favorite genre, as I am prolific and enjoy reading and writing suspense, comedy and paranormal, but I do have a favorite romance heroine type. I love heroines that are feisty, independent, level-headed but at times lose their common sense in the name of love, they also have to be flawed for them to be real for me, and I appreciate heroines who are sexually confident woman and don't shy away from expressing themselves.
PNR: What is your favorite romance novel of all time?
Selena R.: I can only pick one? This is a hard question, because I have quite a few that are on my 'to be read again shelf', but if I have to pick one, I would have to say Gaston Leroux’s "Phantom of the Opera".
This book encompasses all the elements of suspense, mystery, romance, heartbreak, and with each character the emotional stakes are high. The author also does something that I truly admire, which is to allow the reader to connect, sympathize, and come to admire the antagonist. It is not hard to create protagonists that the reader will love, but it is a gift to create a villain that the reader can dislike, and grow to actually care about that character, as he is allowed to redeem himself. There is no greater love than that of a man like Raoul who never gave up on the one and only woman he loved. I felt for Erik, and the book moved me to tears when Erik allowed Christine and Rauol to finally be together.
PNR: Can you tell us about projects are you currently working on?
Selena R.: I'm working on "Her Bodyguard's Secret", the book that I used as an example for a story spark. I’m also finishing the romance comedy, "Island Sizzle", and I've outlined the sequel to Sabrina's Destiny and the sequel to Pippy's Wish. Multi-tasking is an author's right of passage.
PNR: Where can readers find your novels, and how can they contact you?
Selena R.: Information for online and store purchases can be found at: http://selenarobins.com/wst_page6.html
Readers can visit my website and I welcome readers to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for spending time with me, and allowing me to introduce my work and myself to your readers, I enjoyed the interview and look forward to chatting with you again.
PIPPY'S WISH - Angel-in-Training, Pippy, is just trying to earn her wings and graduate junior high, but there is one problem. She keeps messing up. Although she means well, things just do not turn out the way she had planned. All Pippy wants to do is go to school. Pippy is a typical teenager, just in heavenly form. She suffers all the same problems as any teenager would.
All proceeds from the sale of Pippy's Wish benefit Children at Risk,a community charity helping Autistic children and their families.
BY AN ANGEL
WHAT A GIRL WANTS
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