I promised this chat a little while ago and it’s finally here. Have you ever had a moment when you imagined sitting at a round table with people that you admire, perhaps a nice lunch? I hope you have, because then you understand what it’s like to get a chance to meet and speak with one of those people.
I first met Roni Loren at a Dallas Fort Worth Writer’s Conference a few years ago when she was teaching a class, a writing about sex class. (Yes, we have classes about this at writer’s conferences.) I honestly had not read her books yet, but she was so wonderful when she was speaking and even spent a few minutes talking with me, a lowly unpublished author, that I became intrigued to purchase one of her books.
I started with reading, Crash Into You, and haven’t stopped since. Every single one of her books that I’ve read so far have touched me in different ways. Her characters are the ones that you connect with, ones that you understand, and even ones that at moments break your heart – but you never want to stop reading.
It was so moving to know that I had met the author of these great books. I follow her on Facebook and Twitter (and if you don’t you should), and it’s like sharing a cup of coffee with a great friend. I jumped on the opportunity to feature her on my blog with a few questions. (She also can be found at her website and on Goodreads.)
Nicole: Can you tell me something unique about this genre that most people are unaware of?
Roni: I think people who don’t read the genre are most often surprised to find out that the books are “all about sex.” That would be porn, for the record. Erotic romance involves just as much plot, character development, and story as other genres—or it does if it’s written well. Erotic just means that the emotional arc of the characters and their relationship is affected and changed by their sexual relationship. Characters often change and grow because of something that happened in a love scene. In other words, you couldn’t take out the sex scenes and still have a story that made complete sense. The love scenes are integral to the overall story. And if they’re not, they shouldn’t be in there. (I do a workshop on this notion so I’m very passionate about it, lol.)
Nicole: How did you get started in this genre?
Roni: Well, it started because it was one of my favorite genres to read. When I first started writing, I wrote a paranormal YA. (I know. Weird jump, right?) But that was during the Twlight craze and I think that was just in my head that I needed to be trendy. Meanwhile, I was devouring all this sexy romance in my reading time. So then I decided I would write a contemporary romance because I was a little gun shy about going all out erotic. While I had that on submission with publishers, I got the story idea for Crash Into You, my first book in the series. The story was one that could only be told as an erotic romance because it had BDSM as a major element. Of course, at the time, erotic romance with BDSM was decidedly un-trendy, lol. Publishers were closing their erotic imprints and it was generally on the downswing. However, I got lucky and landed an agent and a book deal with Berkley, who still had a strong erotic romance imprint. That was the end of 2010 when I got a 2-book deal, so pre-50 Shades. My book came out January 2012 and shortly after, 50 Shades became a thing. My genre was suddenly big again and I’ve been happily writing it ever since.
Nicole: Where do you find motivation on those days when everything feels like it’s going wrong?
Roni: Sometimes it’s really hard. You have to be self-motivated because there’s no one over your shoulder telling you to write. There are deadlines obviously, but day-to-day, it’s on you to plan things out and work. I don’t have issues with going to work. I have an office and spend anywhere from 8-10 hours a day at my computer. But I am a writer who does get writer’s block, usually with every book at some point. Some cases are worse than others. And it usually means I’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere or don’t know my characters well enough. But it still sucks and it gets you off schedule and pretty much makes you crazy. However, I remind myself that even a bad day at your dream job isn’t that bad. I know I’m beyond lucky to do this for my day job, so I don’t take that for granted. But if the block is really bad or motivation is really low, I do try to take a day off and read or go somewhere and mentally refresh. There’s a quote from Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird that says, “Your unconscious can’t work when you are breathing down its neck.” I have that pinned to my wall because often, I find myself breathing down its neck. And that’s when things shut down.
Nicole: If you could have a celebrity lunch, who are the five people you would invite and why?
Roni: I’m so introverted about things like this that I probably wouldn’t want to go to lunch with five celebrities, lol. I’d be too intimidated.
Nicole: I understand that you’ve published before, but what does it feel like to have this new book ready for release? How do you feel about “”saying goodbye”” to these characters?
Roni: This will be my 13th release I think, so I feel like I’ve gotten slightly used to the craziness. But it never ever gets old to see a new book out there and to hear what people think about it. It’s thrilling. Every. Single. Time. (Well, unless everyone hates the book I guess, lol. That wouldn’t be thrilling.) And I don’t feel like I’m saying goodbye to characters because often they show up in future books, so I can revisit them. I will say that whenever this series comes to an end, then I’m going to feel a loss. That will be a true letting go process because I’ve been writing in this “world” with these characters for almost six years now. They feel real to me in a lot of ways (says the crazy writer, lol.)
Thanks for having me!
Roni Loren is getting ready to publish her new book, Break Me Down, on October 27th, and I know she’s probably as excited, if not more, than I am! (I might be a little more excited, maybe. *fangirl squeal*)
So, there it is. My “chat” with Roni Loren. I really hope that you check out her books, if you haven’t done so already. Remember, for those of you that were looking for something after 50 Shades, this is it!
Have you read her books yet? Which are your favorite? 🙂