Before we get started talking about your writing, tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, what you do for a living (if you’re not a fulltime writer) what hobbies you have, etc. Whatever you’d like to share.
I’m from Louisiana, a Florida transplant, and a reading teacher. I’ve previously taught language arts, English, and creative writing, and I sponsored a creative-writing club in Florida for a number of years. One of my students was published in a Chicken Soup for the Soul book. Before that, I co-sponsored a creative-writing club for a decade with my Louisiana partner teacher. You might say she mentored me, and I gained so much from her, I was able to create and sponsor my own writing club when I moved to Florida.
I’m a mother of two boys and two girls, a stepdaughter, and a grandmother of twelve. Two dogs also consider me their mother, a golden retriever named Honi and a golden cocker spaniel named Sunflower. Sunflower is a character in my novel Last Resort, also a romantic suspense, which is set in Florida. I have a wonderful husband, and Jesus is my best friend.
1. How did you get started writing? When I was in the third grade, my teacher submitted a pet story I wrote about my dog, and it was published in the local newspaper. This encouraged me to write. Years later, , my first college essay was published in another local newspaper, which continued to motivate me. I’ve always loved books and have been an avid reader, so I took a creative-writing class in college, and wrote a short story for it. It won first prize in the university’s fiction-writing competition and was published in the campus literary magazine. This really encouraged me to continue to write, so I developed that short story into the novel Southern Superstitions that released in January, set in Louisiana. I became a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and learned so much through my critique group that I decided to further hone my skills and craft and joined Long Ridge Writers Institute where Karen O’Connor was my writing instructor. I also joined the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild at the same time and studied under mentor Eva Marie Everson to complete the Apprentice and Journeyman levels. Then, I decided it was time to submit my work and get it out there, so I submitted to Desert Breeze Publishing and found my publishing family.
2. What genre(s) do you write in and why? I write in romantic suspense usually because I love romance and mystery and suspense, and it allows me to weave a story with all those elements. I love a page turner, and the elements of mystery and suspense provide one.
3. What is your favorite part of writing? Creating another world through characters is fun and my favorite part of writing is when I write that ah ha moment or discover something for myself through writing, such as an epiphany. But, my favorite part of all is it allows me to draw closer to God and hopefully inspire others through my novels.
4. What is your least favorite part of writing? I don’t think I have a least favorite part since I enjoy it all, unless I say the technical part of formatting the manuscript. That can sometimes be tedious, and it’s not fun, but I love writing and even editing. I love to complete a novel and let it set, then go back and layer and edit.
5. Where do you get the ideas for your stories? I get my ideas from watching people, TV, radio, and life. I remember my college creative-writing instructor saying you had to live before you could write. He said he couldn’t teach us to write, we either had it or we didn’t, but he could teach us skills such as foreshadowing. I used that skill in Southern Superstitions, and The Romance Studio book reviewer said she thought it created the most intriguing suspense and such a beautiful love story. I have to credit my creative-writing class instructor for that skill. He taught me well.
6. What is it that makes your writing different from all the others in your genre? My stories are about life with romance and suspense just as any other author’s, but I think I’ve found my own unique voice, and my novels are all Southern. I’m a Southern, and it comes out in my writing. Some readers have said they enjoyed the Southern voice and language. I use my real-life experiences to create realistic fiction, such as my strawberry picking and packing experience years ago. That’s how I earned spending money as a kid, working for a local schoolteacher and on my aunt’s strawberry farm in Springfield, Louisiana. That experience provided me with knowledge and so did surviving two floods in my own lifetime. This allowed me to write about a strawberry farm who experienced a flood in Southern Superstitions. I lost my youngest sister to an eating disorder and six years prior to that, I lost my mother to cancer. I used those experience in Last Resort in hopes of helping others.
7. Are you an avid reader? When you do read someone else’s writing, what is your favorite genre? Yes, I’ve been an avid reader for years. I used to join the book club at the local library every summer when I was in school. As a young mother, I devoured books from the book mobile that came every two weeks. When I moved to Florida, one of the first things I did was get a library card. I’ve purchased paperbacks and gotten many for free for completing book reviews on my blog at http://barbarajrobinson.blogspot.com. If I’m not writing and working on my own WIP, I’m reading someone else’s great novel. Some of my favorite authors are Chris Fabry, Jerry B, Jenkins, Eva Marie Everson, Karen Kingsbury, and Lynn Austin. I have also discovered some favorite authors among my Desert Breeze colleagues. Shawna K. Williams, Naomi Musch, Nike Chillemi, Regina Andrews, Danielle Thorne, and there are honestly just too many to list. All I can say is if you haven’t checked out the Desert Breeze authors and their books, you’re really missing out on some great writing and stories.
8. Tell us about your next book & when is it being published? It’s another romantic suspense which will be released by Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc. August 15 titled Whispering Cypress. It’s set in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
After a decade of no contact, a woman purchases the campground a man from her past dreams of owning and hires him to repair and remodel the cabins. She discovers she still has feelings for him, and the sparks are still there — smoldering like embers from a left-over campfire, but a young girl is attacked, and he’s arrested. You’ll never have peace here. Leave the past where it belongs, or it will ruin you. Spring Showers stared at the cutout newspaper letters pasted on a sheet of typing paper. Her heart pounded harder than any nail gun, and she placed her hand over her chest as if to still it. Nothing about the rundown campground prepared her for such a threat. Who could possibly care if she restored it?
I also have a YA novel releasing October 15, One Rainy Summer, set in Florida. It will be my first in that genre. I decided to try my hand at it. Two love stories entwine as young and old love blossoms. Hope learns some things are worth waiting for, like the love of your life. Granny has a secret and rekindles a relationship. Hope scoots out the door and back to her own room, dashes to the window, and peeks outside. The moonlight reveals a funny sight. Her beach-ball granny climbs a ladder like the prince climbed Rapunzel’s hair. A man stands at the bottom and holds it. He gazes up at Hope’s window, and she shivers and lets the curtain drop. Grandma is a grown woman. Why is she sneaking around with this mystery man? What’s going on? Why is her honest, respectful, Bible-reading granny slipping out her bedroom window in the middle of the night?
Last Resort by B.J. Robinson
Last Resort by B. J. Robinson released July 15, 2011, from Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc., a sweet Christian romantic suspense set in fictional Bridal Wreath, Florida, and Key West, Florida.
Faith tore out of the jail’s parking lot and prayed she wouldn’t get a ticket. She turned Old Blue into the flowing traffic. Her heart pumped faster than a race car engine. Dear God, please don’t let me be too late. She reached down and punched Matt’s number again. Come on, Matt, where are you? Pick up. Still no answer. She snapped the phone shut and focused on the road ahead. Who could possibly have it in for him? He was such a great guy. She gassed the truck as she passed the city limits and left the jail behind. Why wasn’t he answering? She’d never had a problem before. This wasn’t like him.
Faith whipped into the drive. She jumped from her pickup, strode to the side door, and knocked. No answer. She pulled out her cell and tried again. It rang and rang, then went straight to the voicemail. This time, she hung up without leaving a message.
She yanked the screen door, and it flew open, unlatched. The door knob turned, and she shoved the door open and yelled, “Matt, are you there?”
No response. She briskly marched through the house and called his name. She checked each room. In Matt’s office, the swivel chair faced the door. Blood spotted it. Faith’s heart lurched. Oh, God, please don’t let me be too late. She spotted blood droplets on the carpet and followed them back through the kitchen and to the garage. Matt’s truck ran. Dear God, what will I find when I open this door? Please let me be in time. Why didn’t Matt use his pistol?
Faith jerked the garage door, but it wouldn’t budge. She ran to the kitchen and hit the automatic door opener. The door slowly opened. She raced inside the garage, and the gas fumes nearly knocked her out. She coughed and held her nose with one hand. Her eyes burned, but she yanked open the driver’s truck door. Matt tumbled out.
She let go of her nose and turned off the truck. Faith slid her arms under Matt’s and locked her hands in front of his chest. She hefted. He didn’t budge. She had to get him out of there. Now. No time to waste. She hauled in a breath, grunted, and heaved. He lifted, and she pulled him toward the door. One foot. Two feet. Three more.
“Matt, we’re out of the garage.” Please, Lord, help me. She couldn’t drop him now. The outside air hit her face and tears of relief filled her eyes. She tenderly laid him on the grass by the side of the cement drive and yanked her cell from its holster. She dialed 911.
Assured the ambulance was on its way, Faith closed her phone and felt for his heartbeat. She rubbed her knuckles against his breast bone and stroked his face. So still. She touched his neck and held her breath. No response. She tilted his head and lifted his chin, then put her ear to his mouth and listened. Nothing. She looked for chest movement. Nothing. She listened for air blowing through his mouth or nose, or on her cheek. Nothing. He wasn’t going to die if she had anything to do with it.
She ran her tongue over her lip and tasted perspiration. Why did sweat always taste salty, and why would she even think to question that at a time like this? She took a quick, shallow breath and whispered, “Come on, Matt. Breathe! BREATHE!”
It’d been a long time since she’d trained for CPR. Would she remember what to do? A bluish pallor stole over Matt’s complexion, and his body became a dead weight. She had no time to lose.
Faith pinched his nose and made a seal over his mouth with her own. She breathed big enough to make his chest rise, let his chest fall, and repeated the rescue breath again. She listened for an intake of breath, an exhale, but the only sound was the pounding of her own heart in her ears.
Book trailer for Last Resort: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juwF0dLLX6M&feature=youtu.be
See five-star reviews at Amazon.com. Here’s what early readers had to say:
“B. J. Robinson’s Last Resort is an inspirational romantic suspense story that keeps you hanging on the edge of your seat — both to see if the villain is overcome and to see if Matt and Faith end up together. You don’t want to miss this one with its twists; it’s a great read!” Deb Haggerty, Author and Speaker
“The warm, sweet romance, yet insightful story, will touch your heart with its simplicity and charm.” Janet Perez Eckles, Author and Speaker.
Don’t miss B. J’s sensational strawberry romances
B. J. Robinson makes her home in Florida with her husband, a cocker spaniel named Sunflower, a character in her romantic suspense novel Last Resort, an adopted shelter cat named Frankie, and a golden retriever named Honi. She’s been writing since the third grade when her story about her pet dog was published in a local newspaper and hopes people have as much fun reading her novels as she did writing them. As an animal lover and for all pet lovers, her novels contain pets, usually dogs, but sometimes cats. Visit her at http://barbarajrobinson.blogspot.com. Don’t miss her August 15 release, Whispering Cypress.
FMI about B.J. Robinson and her books:
http://barbarajrobinson.blogspot.com where I review books and post updates about my own.
View the book trailer for Southern Superstitions here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNoo962DbF0&feature=share
Book trailer for Last Resort: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juwF0dLLX6M&feature=youtu.be
BE SURE TO COME BACK to read an excerpt from B.J.’s novel, SOUTHERN SUPERSTITION , on Wednesday’s Karen’s Killer Book Bench