Saturday, November 1, 2008

Interview with Robin Kaye

Robin and I sat down for a chat about her new book Romeo Romeo and I thought I'd share with you what she had to say!
Your romance, Romeo, Romeo, is just released from Source Books. Can you tell us about it?

Independent businesswoman, Rosalie Ronaldi’s life would be perfect if she could just figure out how to keep her nosy, pushy, Italian family from trying to marry her off.

Nick Romeo, Brooklyn’s Donald Trump without the comb over, thinks independent women are an urban myth, until he meets Rosalie and realizes they’re no myth, just a pain in the ass. He’s finally met a woman who is looking for the same thing he is, a commitment free relationship and is shocked to discover that all he wants to do is take care of her... Before too long, he's moved in, cleaned her apartment, stocked her refrigerator, and adopted her dog.

How did you get started in writing?

I’ve been writing all my life, but it never occurred to me write toward publication even though I’ve had a hundred people tell me I should write a book. I thought they were nuts!
When I moved across country from Boise, Idaho to Maryland, eight years ago, for the first time in my life, I had a difficult time making friends. I had three small children on opposite schedules so it was impossible for me to even volunteer at the school.
I’ve always been a voracious reader and I was reading everything by Jane Austen (again). I was on line doing some research on Jane Austen and I discovered Jane Austen Fan Fiction and was amazed at the quality of writing I found there. I began writing my own contemporary retelling of Pride and Prejudice with a twist of Persuasion and it became very popular. One of my fellow writers, a professor at Cambridge, read it and told me I should publish it. As if it’s that easy.
She planted the seed, and after I finished that tome, I wrote Romeo, Romeo.

What is the most difficult part of the writing process for you, and why?

Probably plotting. I’ve always been a pantser and since I now have deadlines, I don’t have the time to write the book and see if it all works out in the end. I’m forcing myself to plot and it’s been a constant struggle. Following maps has always been hard for me even if I draw them myself.

Do you put a lot of yourself in your work?

I think so. I write what I know, I know Brooklyn, I know Italians, I know headstrong women of all ages. So in that respect I do. But I’m a true observer and I’ve watched a whole lot of people so my writing isn’t limited to New Yorkers or Italians.

If you could have one particular spot to be your dream writing space, what would it look like and where would it be?

It would be a little table on the deck of an 85-foot sailboat (designed by my friend Kevin Dibley) in the South Pacific.

What do you do for inspiration?

I don’t know. I’ve got one of those minds that never stops. I always have another story I’m just dying to write. My problem is that I get too inspired. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending how one looks at it, I have no control of it. I would love an on/off switch. I’d get a lot more sleep that way.

In 5 years, where do you see yourself? -In general and in your writing career.

I see myself doing pretty much the same thing I’m doing now just with more books to my name. I’ll be writing, spending time with my husband, taking care of my kids—one of whom should be in college by then. Yay! I really love my life as it is. The only thing I would change is to move back out west. I was much healthier there in the high-mountain desert.

If you could be one of your characters – Who would you be?

I want to grow up to be Aunt Rose. She’s a strong, determined woman who sees all and knows more than anyone thinks. She’s a hoot.

Can you tell us what you’re working on now, and what readers have to look forward to next?

I just finished the revisions for the second book of the Domestic Gods series, Too Hot To Handle. It comes out this spring or early summer. And I’m currently writing the third book. The working title is ‘The Making of a Domestic God’ but I’m told that will change. The third book should be out in the fall of ’09.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Free time? What’s that? I have three kids, one of whom is a home-schooled pre-professional ballerina. I drive an hour and a half each way to her dance school and I write while she dances. I’m down to driving four days a week (she stays with a host family on the weekends.) When I’m not driving I’m hanging out with my other two children and my husband. If I did have free time I’d weave and knit. I’m addicted to fiber. I often look longingly at my poor naked floor loom and promise myself that after this book I’ll put a project on it and weave for a little while at least...

Any advice for new/hope to be writers?

I can only say what helped me. I entered contests. I targeted agents, editors, and houses, and only entered the contests they were judging. I got several requests by doing that. Then I entered the Golden Heart and was lucky enough to sell to one of the final judges. I know I’m really lucky. The stars aligned for me and it worked out great. The other thing I’d suggest is going to conferences and meeting people. Put yourself out there. I’ve found myself talking to a total stranger and then realized she or he was an editor/agent/a writer I loved. Chitchatting has gotten me requests from editors, agents, and even got me a cover quote.
Thanks Robin and if you haven't picked up Romeo Romeo yet, do it now!


  1. Robin,
    It seems like you went about getting into the writing career better than some of us--me, specifically. I wrote and queried without any kind of plan whatsoever, and have never entered a contest. Signing with Sourcebooks was just pure dumb luck!

    Congratulations on Romeo, Romeo! It sounds like a winner!

  2. Great interview ladies! I'm learning all sorts of stuff about Robin this week, such as the weaving! Very cool. I seem to only have one creative bone in this body. I live in mortal fear of breaking it. :-)

  3. This was a great and heartfelt interview, and a pleasure to read. Thanks, ladies, and best of luck for Romeo, Romeo.

  4. Enjoyed the interview and good luck on the release!

  5. Hi Robin! I love that you started with JA fan-fiction! We have so much in common. :) Except, writing is a fairly new endeavor for me, and I was rather like Cheryl with a healthy dose of dumb luck. I just started reading RR - am only on the 3rd chapter but am loving it already!

  6. Hi everyone~

    Thanks for the kind words. Yes, I started with fan fiction and I always loved JA. It was a great place to get my feet wet.

    Have a happy day! I'll check in from time to time. I'm beginning my first day of NaNoWriMo so I'll be at the computer for most of it.

    Robin :)

  7. It's nice to get to know more about you. BTW I saw you and Marie quoted in an article in RWR.

  8. Great interview! I love reading all about the insights of authors and backstory. Best of luck to you and Romeo!

  9. MM~

    Is it any surprise Marie and I were both quoted? We obviously have the biggest mouths in of the Casababes, though I do believe Judi is right up there with us.

    Judi and I go way back. I'm the member-a-large of Valley Forge Romance Writers and Judi, the president, appointed me to be her mouthpiece, as if she needs one! LOL

    When Judi signed with Sourcebooks, it was almost as exciting for me as it was for her. We've been working toward our publishing goals together for a long time.

    Robin :)

  10. Me? A loud mouth? I'm hurt. HA! NOT! BTW Robin, your panties are showing in that picture.

  11. Great interview. I have always wanted to write by the sea, but not on it, but I can imagine how inspiring that would be.

    Congratulations on your launch.

  12. GREAT INTERVIEW! Thanx a bunch Robin and Linda!

    I'm with Michele, I want to be by the sea, but not on it. I've had no luck at all trying to write on a cruise. Probably because there are far too many distractions, not the least of which are the waiters with all those lovely umbrella drinks. ;-)

    CHEERS and cyber-bubbly to you, Robin! Another great Sourcebooks Casablanca romance is on the shelves!


  13. I am really looking forward to this book Robin
    You have such a busy life enjoy your much deserved release

    Have Fun

  14. Wow, Robin, I enjoyed your interview and just wanted to say how amazing you sound! It seems like writing is just one creative arena for you, and it sounds like you're also passing a love of arts to your kids. Best wishes to you on everything! And yes, Romeo, Romeo definitely sounds like a terrific story!

  15. Hi all~

    Wow, thanks for stopping by!

    I don't know how many of you are doing NaNoWriMo this month but I'm thrilled to say I got my 1,700 words done for the day. So, at least on day one, I'm on track.

    For those of you who don't know, November is National Novel Writers Month. You can go to and sign up. The goal is to write 50,000 words in the month of November. There are regional groups that get together and have write ins, there are emails urging you on, it's a lot of fun. It's not too late to start if anyone wants to buddy up, I'm robinkaye with no spaces.

    Thanks for stopping by everyone! This has been a great launch party. I'll check back after dinner.

    Robin :)