Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Break Out the Bubbly and the Dark Chocolate: Celebrating Robin Bielman's Debut Novel WORTH THE RISK

Hi Everyone: I can't wait to introduce you to a very special writer friend who has her debut novel WORTH THE RISK debuting this month. Robin and I met during the 2009 MOONLIGHT & MAGNOLIAS Regional Conference. We were Maggie Finalists and sat at the same table. I had so much fun getting to know her and we've kept in touch during the years that have followed. I'm so happy for her about her debut and can't wait to share her writing journey with you all.

Pop*Bubbles*Pour--Welcome to the Veranda, Robin!

Author Robin Bielman

Thanks so much for having me, Christine! You are awesome to invite me, and I’m so happy to be here. 
I'm happy you are celebrating your debut! How did you end up becoming a writer? 
I’ve always liked to write and after I graduated from college I got a job with a local production company where I wrote commercials, corporate videos and cable programs. That led to freelance writing when I had my kids, and finally to writing fiction. I really wish I’d realized earlier that I wanted to write novels, but it’s always taken me a while to figure things out.
I'm a late bloomer as well. But now here we are: writers talking about writing.  What is your favorite genre to write? 
I love to write contemporary and paranormal. 
Are you a plotter or do you follow the muse? 
I am a total pantser! I love sitting down to write and letting my characters lead the way. Since writing WORTH THE RISK, though, I do briefly outline my stories, just so I have some idea of where I want to go. But that often changes—and I love when that happens! I love when my characters take me in a direction I didn’t see coming.
I think you might become a hybrid writer, Robin. A Plantzer as Roxanne St. Claire likes to call the method. How do you relax after a writing day? 
Relax? What’s that? Actually, at the end of the day my favorite thing to do is curl up on the couch with my hubby and watch TV.
I do, too. It's the perfect way to chill. What do you read? What are your favorite genres? Who are your favorite authors? 
I wish I had more hours in the day so I could read more! My favorite genre is romance and I’ll read anything in that genre. I love it all! I also love young adult and women’s fiction. I have tons of favorite authors in those genres, so how about if I share my two favorite authors outside of those genres ~ Jim Butcher and Thomas Sniegoski. I have a major crush on the heroes from both of their series.
Gorgeous cover!!
Oh, I'll have to read their books. Yummy heroes are a definite hook for me! What is your current project? 
I recently finished a second novella that features McCall, a character I introduced in Worth the Risk. (I love him!) And I’m currently revising a contemporary YA novel.
McCall sounds super divine. I can't wait to read my copy! Where do you get your ideas for your stories? 
My idea for Worth the Risk started with my hero, Dean. I’m a big fan of Outside magazine and I was reading an article about the Best Jobs when one on heritage protection caught my interest. I knew right then that I was going to write a story about a guy with that job, and who loved the environment more than anything else. Then I came up with Samantha – the girl from his past that he’s never stopped loving.
Love the way you got that idea. I'll have to start reading Outside just to find new stories. How long were you trying to get published before you got the “call?” 
I’ve been writing fiction for five years. I love being in my writing cave (I’ve named it Maui) and losing myself to my characters, but there were definitely days when I wondered if I’d ever get the “call.” I truly believe things happen when they’re supposed to happen, and this was my time to happen.
I agree. Everyone has a different path and journey toward publication. How did you celebrate the “call?” 
First, I jumped up and down and squealed! Then there were lots of hugs from my family, tears from my mom (over the phone), and then more jumping up and down. The next night my hubby took me out to dinner.
Sounds like a lot of fun and excitement. Dinner out with hubby is a great way to celebrate the news. Was the “call” an actual phone conversation or an email or a snail mail? 
It was an email. I was so stunned and delirious that I had my hubby read it to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. A phone call with my editor followed. We talked for almost an hour and I couldn’t stop smiling. He was/is awesome! I felt immediately comfortable with him and he had such nice things to say about my book. I am thrilled that my first book is coming out from Entangled Publishing and I hope to contract many more books with them!
I'm very excited to watch your career blossom with Entangled. Do you have an agent? 
I don’t have an agent – yet!
You will soon! What advice would you give aspiring writers? 
Oh my gosh – I often still need advice myself! I guess the most important thing is don’t give up. Keep. Going. And enjoy the journey. I always tried to remind myself that I was lucky that I got to do something every day that made me happy. Regardless of the end result, time spent writing is a gift.
I love your take on writing. "Time spent writing is a gift." Very well put. What encouragement can you give writers who face rejection? 
There's a teaching I like to read whenever I’m feeling down about my writing. It reminds me to keep a positive attitude even when it’s really hard. It’s a Cherokee teaching called Two Wolves:

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, "My son, the battle is between two "wolves" inside us all.
One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?" 
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Robin, I love that story. I'm printing it out and putting it on my happy wall. 

Christine, thanks again for having me here on the Veranda! You’re wonderful company!

Here's the blurb just to tease you.... 

Their love was ancient history...until their paths crossed again.
Samantha Bennett put Dean Malloy out of her mind five years ago, when he broke her heart after a summer fling. But now he's back in her life, and ready to steal a heritage protection contract that could make or break her career--if he doesn't steal her heart first. Samantha's vowed to hate him, but it's more than anger heating the competition between them.
With sparks flying across the conference table and sizzling in every touch, Dean proposes a weekend liaison. Anything to have Sam again; anything to get her out of his system. But the unresolved feelings between them complicate both their personal and professional lives, and one wild weekend could turn into a disaster that would destroy the one job that means more to Samantha than anything. For a shot at it worth the risk?
Read the first two chapters here:

Robin Bielman lives in Southern California, a bike ride away from the ocean if she’s feeling really adventurous. She loves books and baking and running on the treadmill while watching her favorite TV shows. When she’s not reading or writing her next story, she’s spending time with her high school sweetheart husband and two sons, most likely watching, playing, or discussing baseball. She drives too fast, drinks too much caffeine, and if every day were Cupcake Day, she’d be a happy camper! She loves to connect with readers. You can find her online at or on Facebook - and Twitter -!/RobinBielman

And remember, a lucky commenter will receive a copy of Robyn's book WORTH THE RISK!!


Robin Bielman said...

Hi Christine! Thank you again for having me! The bubbly and chocolate are yummy this morning. :)

Kathy Bennett said...

Hi Robin!

What a great interview! (good questions, Christine)

I love reading about writer's journeys to becoming published. One of the best things is the relationships we make with other writers along the way.

Can't wait to read Worth the Risk!

Stephanie Jones AKA Alicia Pace said...

Great interview. I love reading stories about "The Call" or in this case, "The Email."

The book sounds awesome! I can't wait to read Worth the Risk.

robena grant said...

I loved the book, Robin. Also love the Cherokee quote you gave above. That's a fabulous reminder.

Lynne Marshall said...

Loved the interview and the excerpt. Looking forward to reading this book!

Also - Christine - I am so impressed with your bio. One mold doesn't fit all and you certainly have proved there are many paths to adulthood and success. I could see that hard-as-nails woman as a heroine in a romance book! :)

Robin Bielman said...

Hi Kathy! Thanks for stopping by! I so agree that one of the best things about writing has been the friends I've made. I feel very lucky to know Christine!

Hi Stephanie! Thank you so much!

Hi Robena! I'm so happy you loved the book! Thank you!!

Hi Lynne! Thanks for visiting! And I'll second being impressed with Christine's bio. :)

Christine said...

Hi Robin, I'm so glad you're visiting the veranda today!! So much fun. I'm running out to get more chocolate and a second bottle of champagne.

Hi Lynne: Thank you so much for your kind words. I do tend to write feisty heroines *grin* but then I have to layer in vulnerability to create sympathy.

Jennifer Probst said...

Hi Robin and Christine! I'm so happy for your release and cannot wait to read it! And this interview was fab - I love the story with the wolves and it's always resonated with me too. Thanks for sharing and hope to see both of you at RWA!!

Shari said...

"Regardless of the end result, time spent writing is a gift."

Oh, I LOVE this, Robin -- and it's so very true. It's easy to get swept up in all that's difficult about this industry, but even more important to focus on all that's good. The joy, the inspiration, the hope, the heart ... how lucky are we to experience it? :)

Robin Bielman said...

Hi Jennifer! Thank you SO much for stopping by! I would love to meet you in person at RWA! I'm so happy you'll be there. :)

Hi Shari! Once in a while I say something clever. LOL Honestly, though, I do remind myself often that writing all my itself gives me great joy. Thank you for stopping by!

bas1chs said...

Great interview! Thanks for having Robin on the blog today. I can't wait to read Worth the Risk.

Katherine Bone said...

I'm late to the partay, but I wanted to extend my congratulations to Robin on her debut novel with Entangled!! Yay! Can't wait to get my copy. The book sounds fantastic!

Robin, I love the Cherokee quote and have copied it to post near my computer. What an excellent story. Native Americans have such a wonderful way at looking at life, don't they?

What have you learned that you wished you'd known before you sold?

And, what's your next book going to be about?

Caryn Caldwell said...

Great interview! Robin, I'm so glad you're going to do a novella for McCall! I just loved him. He seemed like the perfect fodder for another story. There was clearly a lot to him, and some layers I'd love to unwrap...

Oh, and Christine, were you in Roxi's RWA class last week? Wonderful, wasn't it?

And, finally, please don't enter me in the contest because I bought my copy immediately. Seriously, I kept refreshing the Amazon page until it finally appeared and I could get it. So keep me out of the drawing and save the copy for someone else. :-)