In a word - WOW! Ms. Novak has been around the romance world for quite some time, and I don't mind admitting that I'm a true girl fan. A New York Times and USA Bestseller, her romance and suspense novels are well known and loved. An advocate for diabetes research, it's amazing to see the success she's also achieved with her annual fundraisers. I had fun doing this interview and getting up close and personal with such a phenomenal woman, and hope you will too!
My favorite book was JANE EYRE, which I consider a romance. I was also reading Jude Deveraux's KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR when I first felt the inspiration to become a writer, so romance was a natural for me.
2. What did you do with your first royalty check?
I have five kinds, so it went to their support. :-)
3. Frequently you may write 3-4 novels a year - Wow! With 5 kids how were you able to manage such a huge feat? What's your secret? By the way, I loved the suspense series of The Hired Gun: Body Heat, White Heat and Killer Heat from 2010.
I'm so glad you liked the Dept. 56 trilogy! Thanks for saying so. My kids are all out of the house now (my youngest just left for college), so being able to work is a lot easier. When I look back, I'm not sure how I got everything done, to be honest. I just kept juggling, kept plugging away and making the most out of every day. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to have children who were well-adjusted and happy without any huge challenges (except Thad's diabetes), so that helped.
4. Obviously, a lot of people know who you are. When you go shopping, do you find that people ask you for advice on love or writing?
No. Fortunately, there aren't many authors who are recognized on sight. When I give my name some people will recognize it, which is fun. They don't usually ask for advice, but they are generally excited to have met an author.
5. Will any of your kids be writers?
I don't think so. I've asked them, and I haven't yet had one express an interest. I'm sort of sad about that. But they're all very talented, so I'm sure they'll do something equally exciting.
6. People would be surprised to know____________Fill in the blank.
That I was once on a reality TV show. ;-)
7. That's pretty amazing! Every May, you're on fire for your on-line auction in support of diabetes which is awesome and your goal this year is to reach donations of $2 million dollars are more. How did you get this started and did you find when you initiated it, there was immediate response or did it take time to grow?
Actually, last year we hit $2.4 million, and I won't be running the auction this year. After ten years, I'm taking a break. But I am putting together another fundraising effort. I'll be publishing and selling a cookbook, all the proceeds of which will go to diabetes research. I've also curated limited edition three box sets filled with brand new stories from some of today's most popular writers--SWEET TALK (contemporary romance), SWEET DREAMS (thrillers) and SWEET SEDUCTION (hot romance). They're currently on pre-order at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Apple, Kobo.com and anywhere else e-books are sold for only $9.99, which is less than $1/story. All the proceeds from this effort will also go to research.
8. I fell in love with curvy bombshell Callie and tall, brooding Levi when reading When Summer Comes. The topic of the heroine needing a liver transplant touched my heart because it was so real. Also, despite being a man's man, Levi displayed quite a bit of tenderness beneath that rough exterior while having his dog bites tended to by Callie, and he made sense as her soon to be partner. How did you come up with this fantastic storyline and how long did it take to write?
My roommate from college needed a liver transplant about ten years ago, so that's where I got the idea. She's a beautiful woman who came through it well and is doing just fine, so I knew Callie could also survive and flourish. WHEN SUMMER COMES took about four months to write.
9. What are the last 3 books you've read?
THE ROSIE PROJECT
ME BEFORE YOU
10. What movies or television programs are you watching these days?
I'm madly in love with OUTLANDER, DOWNTON ABBEY, HOMELAND and VIKINGS. The writing for these shows is simply amazing.
11. Which is your favorite to write - romantic suspense or romance?
Jeez...I like both equally. Romantic suspense is harder, because of the puzzle. But they are both really fulfilling.
12. Would we ever see you at a neighborhood yard sale or thrift store?
You bet! I love bargains--except that I'm not out a lot. My deadlines are too tight this year. LOL
13. It was fun to see that you hung out with a few of my favorite authors like Jayne Ann Krentz, Robert Crais, Susan Wiggs, Susan Elizabeth Phillips and James Rollins. You also met Denzel? How in the world did you get to meet everyone and did you have lunch? (lol)
I met the authors at various conferences or book signings. I met Denzel outside a Broadway theater in NYC.
14. Lucky you! What does your family think about your chosen career?
They've been very supportive.
15. What's your favorite food to prepare?
Soup! I love to make various homemade soups--because that's what I love to eat.
16. Awesome and looking forward to seeing some in your cookbook!! What's the most romantic thing you've ever done for your husband?
Ha! Sad, but I can't think of a good answer for this. I've dedicated some of my books to him, and I've given him five children. Is that romantic? LOL
17. When working in anthologies, do you get to choose the authors who will be in the book? Also, who determines the deadlines of when everything should be completed?
My publisher is the one who invites me to participate in various anthologies--and they pick the authors I'll be with. They may ask if you can have the story done by a certain time, but they usually try to accommodate your schedule.
18. What's your pet peeve?
Rude people who feel as if they can say or do anything as long as they are hidden behind a computer screen.
19. I totally agree with you, and actually blogged with that topic a week or so ago. You have a new romantic release coming out in February entitled, This Heart of Mine. Tell us about it and who your inspiration was.
This is another Whiskey Creek story--Riley's story. It's a redemption story, which I find particularly powerful, and it's my favorite of the series so far.
20. Great, we're looking forward to seeing this next month! Do you have framed quotes throughout your home? (lol)
No. I mostly have pictures of my kids.
21. How did your husband Ted propose?
We were very poor--just students--when we met. So he bought my ring from a pawn shop. LOL He had his friend carry it around all day (in his shoe since he didn't have any pockets) while we walked around Nogales, Mexico (on a day trip). Then he proposed at a nice seafood restaurant in San Diego that evening.
22. Do you ever regret not getting your degree from Brigham University?
I do and I don't. I wish I had a degree, simply because I'm someone who liked to finish whatever I start. But even if I had a degree, I'd be doing what I'm doing now, so...it's become sort of a moot point.
23. Ebooks or Print - which is your favorite?
I'm 50/50--I love both.
24. Where will you be in the next 5 years?
Older than I want to be. LOL
Isn't that the truth for most of us, huh? (lol)
Best of luck with your blog, Ro!