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Author Interview - Roxanne St. Claire + Giveaway

Friday, August 31, 2012
Today, I am interviewing with Roxanne St. Claire, author of Don't You Wish.

Book Synopsis
When plain and unpopular Annie Nutter gets zapped by one of her dad's whacked-out inventions, she lands in a parallel universe where her life becomes picture-perfect. Now she's Ayla Monroe, daughter of the same mother but a different father—and she's the gorgeous, rich queen bee of her high school.

In this universe, Ayla lives in glitzy Miami instead of dreary Pittsburgh and has beaucoup bucks, courtesy of her billionaire—if usually absent—father. Her friends hit the clubs, party backstage at concerts, and take risks that are exhilirating . . . and illegal. Here she's got a date to lose her V-card with the hottest guy she's ever seen.

But on the inside, Ayla is still Annie.

So when she's offered the chance to leave the dream life and head home to Pittsburgh, will she take it?

The choice isn't as simple as you think.

Author Bio
Prior to launching a full time career as a novelist in 2003, Roxanne spent most of her professional life as a marketing executive and public relations consultant. She is a graduate of UCLA, an active member of several national writing organizations, and a lecturer on a wide range of writing-related topics. She lives in Satellite Beach, Florida with her husband and their two teenagers, and if you know her, you call her Rocki.

Thanks for joining us here today, Roxanne. Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into writing.
First of all, thanks for inviting me here! So great to get a chance to reach your blog community and talk about books! Like most writers, I’m a reader first and that’s probably the reason I chose this crazy career path. I’ve had my fingers on a keyboard or in a book for as long as I can remember, but never really dreamed I could be published. About twelve years ago, I decided it was time to try -- after my brother wrote and published a book with Random House. That’s when it occurred to me that mere mortals could sell their stories (who knew?), so I put my heart and soul into my first novel and made it my goal to write for publication. Thirty books later...I still put my heart and soul into every book!

It's cool how your brother and you both write! You mention in your About page that verbs are the key to life and that your favorites are "Love. Work. Play." Would you tell us more about this?
These were three verbs that were “given” to me by one of my best friends in a wedding toast when I got married. She was (is!) a friend who understood that I actually love to work -- so much that it can be play to me. Even before I became a novelist, I was a professional publicist and I loved my job so much there was a very fine line between work and play for me. The thing I love about those verbs is that they are also nouns!

You're so lucky to have had two jobs that you love doing! You've written over thirty books in various genres. What made you decide to branch into the YA genre?
Young adult novels have been my “comfort read” for many years, long before Twilight made it cool/acceptable for adults to read teen novels. I love the freshness of the characters, the voices, and the first-time situations for teenagers. I never thought I could write one, but then I had teenagers of my own -- and writing for and about them seemed like a natural fit.

Where did the idea for Don't You Wish originate?
True story! I was online reading an Architectural Digest story featuring the 25,000 square foot palatial home of my ex-boyfriend when my (then 13 year old) daughter walked in. I happened to joke that if I had married that guy, we could be living there. She was taken with the idea (maybe a little too much!) and bombarded me with questions about what she’d be like if I had married him. I explained that she wouldn’t be her, but her questions (and that amazing house) instantly sparked the idea for the book. It was one of those “I can’t breathe until I write this down” moments and once I’d spilled a story idea onto the page and shared it with my agent, I knew we had to sell it. Writing this book was pure joy for me.

I love how a chance occurence can spark the idea for a story! There's some Physics involved with the parallel universe concept. What kind of research did you do for Don't You Wish?
I did enough research to become completely enamored with the idea of parallel universes and quite certain they exist. I will say that the research also opened my eyes to other spiritual and incomprehensible aspects of the universe that have had a lasting impact on me and how I view this world. That never happens when I research a crime for a suspense novel! In addition to reading and combing the internet for facts, I interviewed a physicist who put the whole concept into plain English and really helped me keep parallel universes (and travel between them) simple but “realistic” in the book.

Annie wakes up one day to find herself going from a nobody to living her dream life. How would the story be different if the story were about Ayla taking Annie's place?
I’m having trouble answering this! I’ve had to think long and hard because I have so little desire to tell Ayla’s story; she’s not a character that excited me too much. She’s not really in this book at all, more of a shadow cast over Annie’s new life. But I suppose if I switched those universes and Ayla Monroe had been shoved into a sub-par house with a hoarder father and barely enough money to get by after living like a princess...well, that could be a whole different lesson/story with its own merits. The problem from a writing standpoint is that Ayla would be so unlikeable at the beginning that too many readers would put the book down before she transforms into a relatable character!

Annie and Charlie are awesome people, and I loved reading their story. What are your favorite scenes in the book?
I have many favorite scenes in the book because this one was a pleasure to write. I love every scene with Charlie (and so, it seems, do the readers!) especially when he’s with his sister, and the reader can see his super tender side. I love the moment when Annie/Ayla has to go into the boys’ bathroom and save him because that scene shows just what she’s made of and how much she values her friends. I also love the end -- in 30+ books, this one has my favorite last scene of all. Again, the ending gets a lot of love from readers, which is a true compliment!

I absolutely love the ending. It is so sweet! Family and friends are important to defining who Annie is and in reminding her where she belongs. Who in Don't You Wish would be your family member (and what relation) and who would be your best friend?
Well, I have to say that her older brother in the “Ayla world” is kind of based on my 19 year old son who has a heart of gold but an ego the size of a small country. I had fun playing with that and my son read those scenes and cracked up. (There are some direct lines of his in the book.) Also, Annie’s best friend, Lizzie, is based on one of my daughter’s dear friends, who I’ve been trying to steal and adopt for years but her parents won’t let me have her!

It must have been a lot of fun sharing the story with your children and seeing their reactions! What are you working on right now? (Will we be seeing more YA from you?)
I will definitely be writing more YA, as I have a “thriller” type YA planned for release with my publisher, and am developing an epic fantasy that I will probably write under another name. I’m hard at work on my contemporary romance series called “Barefoot Bay” with the first out now and the second coming in a few months, followed by two more in 2013. Lots of writing ahead, and I’m grateful for that!

It's exciting to hear that we'll be seeing you around in the YA world. I can't wait to read your next work!

Roxanne has generously donated a signed copy of Don't You Wish for one lucky US winner!

The giveaway is open through September 13th.

To enter, follow Imaginary Reads and leave a meaningful comment on the interview. Extra entries for tweeting about the giveaway and commenting on my review of Don't You Wish. Then fill out the form below. Do not leave your email in the comments section.

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27 comments on "Author Interview - Roxanne St. Claire + Giveaway"
  1. That's really neat about Roxanne consulting a physicist for help with the *parallel* universe thing! A friend of our family is a physicist, and I'm always picking his brain lol

    I've had Don't You Wish on my own wish list since I first read the synopsis, and cannot wait to get to read this super fun story! <3

    Mary DeBorde M.A.D.

    Ps - thank you & Roxanne for the sweet giveaway :)

    1. Thanks, Mary! I hope you get a chance to read it and love the story. And the physicist -- wow, smart guy!! xo

  2. Book looks great thanks for the giveaway'

  3. Great interview!! Don't You Wish Sounds really good!! Thanks for the chance to win!

    1. Thanks, Natasha! I do love the book and hope readers love it, too!

  4. I love the way you came up with the idea. Aren't little kids soo cute and helpful? :D

    1. Loved this book! It's so cool that she pulled from her own life.

  5. Wow! She's a busy lady. This book looks awesome. This interview had just enough teasers to make me really wanna read it now. Charlie sounds amazing!

  6. Thanks for the great interview! I'm sure she had a lot of fun doing research with a physicist for the whole parallel universe thing. Sounds like this is a great book! I'll definitely be adding it to my tbr list : )

  7. Great interview! I've read a lot of Roxanne's romances and am so stoked to read this YA.

  8. I have yet to read one of Roxanne's books, but I've had my eye on this one for a while!

    What an interesting way to conceive the idea for the book! Reading about her ex-boyfriend online, haha! Totally unique, don't think I've heard that one before!

  9. I would love to read this book. Your review sounds great. Thanks for the giveaway.

  10. It's so awesome that both her and her brother write!

  11. Wonderful interview. I will be looking forward to more from her in the future.

  12. I think this was a fun interview. I liked this questions you asked. I wish I had to awesome jobs :)

  13. Thanks for the great interview! I think it is really cool that the concept of parallel universes was actually researched on a scientific level for this book. It should make it more believable.

  14. I don't think I've read a book about parallel universes yet, but this books makes me want to. I mean, who hasn't at one point in their life thought about how it would be to live a different life? This book and the author both sound great and I can't wait to read the book (:

  15. The interview's great. See how little children can spark up very good ideas. :) I got to have this book! :D

  16. What a neat idea! And I love the name Ayla, it's one of my best friend's names. And I had no idea she had already published so many books! I'm excited to read this one :)

  17. Wow! Sounds like a really great book! I can't wait to read it. Definitely going on my TBR list. Thanks for the chance to win!

  18. I've heard a lot about this book. Sounds good :)

  19. This will be on my to-read list! Thanks for the opportunity for the giveaway! :)

  20. I've been wanting to read this book!


  21. This one looks SO good! I can't wait to get my book loving hands on this pretty looking book! Fabulous interview Kris! I like the look of thrillers on the horizon from Roxanne! :D


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