Author of the Month
Roni Adams
[March 2008]
Chosen by reviewer Faith V. Smith, MyShelf.Com


    Roni Adams, author of the delightful contemporary romance, Beauty And The Geek, wears many hats; wife, mother, writer and publisher. She began at the early age of eight penning her stories about family and pets, and when she became an adult, she capitalized on a background of writing. Not content to stop there, Roni and her critique partner decided to start their own publishing company, The Wild Rose Press. She is also one of the owners of a wonderful and most helpful site for authors, www.rosescoloredglasses.com


Interview

Faith: Tell us a bit about yourself.

Roni: Well, I live in a very small town in Upstate NY, nestled along the Erie Canal. I’ve been married for 23 years to my husband, Scott, and we have three sons, ages 12,18 and 19 and this year our middle son, Brennan, became a US Marine which was a huge change for our family. When I’m not writing I enjoy camping with my family, baking, cooking, light gardening and my favorite past time would have to be having coffee and cookies with my cousins, cooking and baking. My sister is a published historical romance author (Nicole McAffrey) so you might say writing is in our genes. I have one of those personalities that is constantly on the go, if I’m not doing many things at once, I’m bored. If I watch a movie it has to be a romantic comedy or something light. I can’t stand edge of the seat action adventures, dramas or anything I have to think too hard to watch. I like movies that entertain me, not make me work! One of my guilty pleasures would have to be gossip magazines. I stock up on them whenever I have to fly somewhere (I hate flying). I love meeting fellow writers and authors and talking about the business. No one quite understands that part of your world like another writer.

Faith: When did you become interested in writing?

Roni: I have stories that I wrote when I was probably eight-years-old about my family and my pets. So, I’ve literally been writing my entire life and don’t know a time when I wasn’t interested in writing.

Faith: Did you have any special help in choosing your characters?

Roni: I am what is known as a character-driven writer. I see characters in my head and then they tell me their story Sometimes, its just a hero or a heroine, and I need to really look hard and figure out who the other partner is, but sometimes it’s both of them. I feel a bit like an actor because I have to truly become the characters I write in order to write the story.

Faith: The plot you have is a bit unique. Did it just pop into your head?

Roni: I’ve always loved, adored actually the friendship to lovers plot. I also have a real affection for the male and female who are friends. Through my entire childhood and up to adulthood I had a very close male friend and while we never ventured over the line into romance, I know how the relationship works between a man and a woman who are just friends. I know the pitfalls (jealous girlfriends! Mothers who want you to “hook up”), and the advantages (always a strong shoulder to cry on, always a strong hand to pick you up when you’re down); I just know how the interaction plays out from a personal perspective. So I had all that as a background when I started to write the characters in Beauty and the Geek who are friends from childhood. Louie and Becky, the hero and heroine, actually appeared to me in a book I’d written previously but they were so much fun that I ended up following up with them and their own story and it was published first.

 

Faith: When you write do you outline your plot? Title your book or give your characters characteristics before you begin?

Roni: LOL. No, I am a pantser all the way. I sit down at the keyboard and type page one, word one and I’m off. Scenes unfold as I type, sometimes I see a scene in my head as I’m driving, or I see it unfold in my mind and then I type it up but mostly it happens as I type. In Beauty and the Geek, a character shows up and I had no idea he was coming until my hero answered the door! My story is as much a surprise to me as to my readers.

Faith: What plans do you have for future books?

Roni: As I mentioned above there’s a second book that goes with Beauty and the Geek and its tentatively titled Second Chances. Its the story of Callie and Tom who readers meet in Beauty and the Geek. I hope to bring their story out within the next two years but right now I’m hard at work on a six book series called The Double B which takes place on a ranch in Texas. The first story, “To Tame A Cowgirl” is due out summer of 08’ and if all goes well the second one “The Cowboy Comes Home” is a Christmas story that comes out around Thanksgiving in 08. I’ve also been part of an Anthology, “Tales From Christmas Town,” December 2006; and “Love From Christmas Town” December 07. The four of us in these anthologies have started work on “To Christmas Town and Back Again” slated for December 08 or 09.

Faith: I understand you are a publisher, please tell our readers about how that came about and what you do.

Roni: The publisher part of my life came about just two years ago when my critique partner, RJ Morris, approached me with an idea to open our own publishing company on line. We felt that we could do this as a hobby or something that would start off small and slowly build until we were both of retirement age and then we could run a company while we were retired. HAH! The company took off like a shot and now we have over 75 staff members, a garden of close to 400 authors and a company that is determined to grow like a weed no matter what we originally wanted.

Faith: As a writer, what advice would you give to a wannabe author? What advice as a publisher can you give in trying to get your foot in the door?

Roni: As a writer my best piece of advice is to write. Sounds simple, it isn’t always. You need to make your writing a priority. I work a full time job, I have kids and a house and I own a publishing company and yet I manage to find time to write. You need to carve out whatever time you can find, an hour, a half hour, whatever or you will never get to the next level. Don’t completely focus on writing novels either, sometimes short stories are a quicker sale and can give you both an income and an ego boost as you wait for the email or phone call saying someone wants your book.

As a publisher my best advice is to write the best book you can and make sure its in good shape before you query it to a publishing house. Make sure you don’t have mistakes in it, have a friend read it for typos, etc. This is your product and you need to represent it in the best possible light before you try to sell it. As for the story itself, write the book you feel in your heart, don’t try to write what you think the market wants. Write what you love and publishers will love it. Listen to editors if they give you constructive criticism, listen to what they suggest. Sometimes its hard to have someone tell you what’s wrong with your story but if you open up your mind and just listen you might find that their comments make your story so much stronger and better for it.

 

Faith: Is there any one thing or person you credit your writing success or publishing career to?

Roni: I would have to say that if there was any person or persons to credit my writing to it would be the writers of my original critique group. We met on--line through www.eharlequin.com and came together around the year 1999 and started writing and sharing our stories. These women cheered me on and supported me and pushed me and loved my writing enough o encourage me to keep going. RJ is one of those original critique partners and she still loves what I write and pushes me to write more. I think the other credit I have to give is to this creative magic inside me. I can’t NOT write. I honestly can’t. The stories have to get out and be told or I start to lose my mind. There are also several members of the San Antonio Romance Authors who have guided me and nurtured me along. These gracious Texan ladies took me into their fold and taught me more than I ever dreamed of about how to navigate the writing and publishing world.

Faith: What would you like to say to your readers?

Roni: Thank you. The reviews on Beauty and the Geek have been better than I ever could have dreamed and I am grateful that all of the readers out there are seeing what I aw in this couple. I also hope that you will stick with me through my next series and love my cowboys the way I do. I can’t always write what everyone loves but I do try to write a good story that keeps you turning pages and keeps you surprised by the plots and twists. I love a good sexy hot romance with characters who are smart and sassy and who make me want to get to know them better. I hope you fall in love with my heroes and I hope you find something in common with my heroines. I’m loving being able to share these stories with all of you.

Faith: Thank you so much, Ms. Adams for filling us in on what you are doing to satisfy readers and writers.


Reviews

Beauty and the Geek - REVIEW


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