Cover of Shelter My Heart by LG O'Connor
Cover of Batter Up by Robyn Neeley
L.G. O'Connor author photo
Cover of Caught Up In Raine by LG O'Connor

Welcome to my new AWESOME AUTHORS segment! I'm here interviewing authors that you might not have heard of but should definitely check out.  Let's learn a little bit more about our guest!


Today we get to spend a little time with Robyn Neeley as she shares a little bit about herself. Welcome, Robyn!

Everyone likes to know more about a new author (to them), so let’s start with the basics, taking a few minutes to talk about what you do.

What do you write?


Hi Dorothy! Thanks so much for having me. I write laugh out loud romantic comedy. Sometimes with a dash of magic (sometimes with a dash of spice.) I am currently published with Crimson Romance and self-published. I’m currently working on a super cute office holiday romance for Entangled’s Lovestruck line, which I’m over the moon excited about!

What is your typical writing day like? Do you jump on the keyboard the second after your feet hit the floor in the morning, or do you have to sneak up on your computer and wait until it’s not paying attention?

My schedule tends to vary. I take my iPad wherever I go, so it’s not uncommon for me to write on the commuter train on my way to work; duck into a conference room and get a few words in at lunch; and then back at it on my way home. During the weekends, my go-to place is my favorite grocery store – yep, grocery store – Wegman’s. They’ve got an amazing second floor dining area that is PERFECT for writers. Great music, buffet, coffee and restsroom are all right there!

Is there a genre you don’t write in now but think one day you might? Why or why not?

I always think it would be fun to write a Scottish historical, but I’m horrible with history! My hat is always off to historical romance authors.

If you have more than one book out, which is your favorite, and why?

That’s a hard one. I would probably say TANGLED UP. It’s the second book in my Bachelors of Buttermilk Falls series, and I just loved Brandon and Abby and the amnesia trope (thanks to a cupcake spell). Poor Brandon had no idea what was going on, and that made for some funny scenes. CHRISTMAS DINNER would be my second because it was the first book I wrote shortly after my cat, Sydney, passed away and got me started writing romance. (The book has a happy ending!)

How long have you been published?

Since 2013. Though CHRISTMAS DINNER was the first book I wrote, my romantic comedy DESTINATION WEDDING came out first in July that year.

What is your favorite type of book to read?

I love contemporary romance. My go to books lately have been in the Entangled Bliss and Lovestruck lines.


Do you have a spot you seek out for inspiration?


Not really a spot, but I often will go back to the places that inspired me in past books. For instance, there’s a Christmas tree farm that I always stop in on my way to New York for the holidays because it was the place that inspired me to write about a heroine’s whose quirky family owned a Christmas tree farm in CHRISTMAS DINNER. 

Can you tell us about your latest release?

I sure can. The HOLIDAY HOOK UP is the 4th book in my Bachelors of Buttermilk Falls series. All the books center around Batter Up night, a night that involves the town’s bachelors gathering around the Sugar Spoon Bakery, in which one lucky bachelor learns the name of his soul mate thanks to a shimmering pink mixing spoon, cake batter, and a magical spell. In HOLIDAY HOOKUP, the tables are turned when hometown funnyman Adam Reed is given a shimmering blue mixing spoon to predict soulmates for bachelorettes. It’s full on Christmas, filled with lots of holiday cheer and hope—and cake batter!

 Which book(s) have you read more than once, and why?

You know, I don’t tend to read books twice BUT one that I just started reading for the second time is TWO TICKETS TO THE CHRISTMAS BALL by Donita K. Paul. It’s an adorable holiday romance.

 If you could have one constant companion for the rest of your days, who or what would it be?

Easy. My gray cat, Carly, but with less of her cattitude!


What do you do when the plot Just. Won’t. Work?

I stop writing and start brainstorming. Because I write romantic comedy, I expect a lot of humor. I’ll step back and really examine where I’m going with a story to make sure it’s not only funny, but has a fresh and unique spin.

Do you prefer sunrises or sunsets?

Definitely sunrises. I’m an early bird! This summer, I spent a couple of days in the Outer Banks, North Carolina and watched the sunrise on the beach while spotting three dolphins. That was AMAZING!

Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what kind?

Yes, and sometimes it depends on what I’m writing. For SWEET TEXAS CHARM, I spent a lot of time listening to country music (and love it!) For my holiday romances, I tend to set Pandora to a Christmas music station. I also love anything 80’s and would die without the 80’s channel on Sirius radio in my car!

The weather is horrible outside: what are you going to do today?

Write, write, write! Hopefully I had the good sense to run to the grocery store and get a dozen Dunkin Donuts or stocked the house with chocolate!

Thanks for having me! BATTER UP, the first book in my Bachelors of Buttermilk Falls series is FREE December 22 – 26 on Amazon.  For more information on any of my books, or to sign up for my e-newsletter, you can visit www.robynneeley.com.

 

Today's guest is Liz, and she writes under the name L.G. O'Connor. I was fortunate to meet Liz at a writer's conference a few years ago, and I am happy to interview her and introduce you to this wonderful author. She's here to tell us a bit about herself and her books. So, tell us, Liz, what do you write?

I have an urban fantasy / paranormal romance series about a group of 20-somethings who are working on the side of the angels to thwart Lucifer, which is set in NYC, San Francisco, and Paris. The second to last book in that series comes out this year. For something completely different, I’m finishing up a Romantic Women’s Fiction trilogy, which could be considered Contemporary Romance, about a family of women on their road to redemption and their second chances at love. Caught Up in RAINE is the first book in that series. Finally, on the drafting board I have a Stephanie Plum-like romantic suspense trilogy.

What is your typical writing day like? Do you jump on the keyboard the second after your feet hit the floor in the morning, or do you have to sneak up on your computer and wait until it’s not paying attention?

The most creative time of the day for me is 6:00 – 7:30 a.m. That’s how I start my day before work each day, since writing isn’t my full-time gig. I also try to put in an hour or so at night, but I tend to be tired, unless I’m pushing myself during National Novel Writing Month, because—hell , yes!—I’m that competitive! Then approximately 10 hours every weekend.

Is there a genre you don’t write in now but think one day you might? Why or why not?

The one I mentioned above, the Stephanie Plum-like one came out of a fake story outline I wrote one day for a blog post. When I read it a few years later, I decided to workshop it at a writer retreat and ended up with an outline for a 3-book series. It’s definitely a little out of my comfort zone, since it will a more central law enforcement theme going on, which I’ve only touched on peripherally with one of the my heroes in the contemporary series.

If you have more than one book out, which is your favorite, and why?

Hmm. That’s hard to answer, because it’s like picking a favorite child! But, I would choose Caught Up in RAINE, since writing it was the most organic experience I’ve ever had. It almost wrote itself in 6 weeks, and it was 95%+ good to go. It’s probably the one I’m most proud of, and it quickly turned into a series from a standalone.

How long have you been published?

Since April 2014


What is your favorite type of book to read?

My two favorites are the genres that I write. I guess it’s that “write what you know,” thing. My reading shelf consists of primarily paranormal / fantasy (could be young adult or adult), and smart contemporary romance. When I say “smart,” I mean that there’s some complexity to the plot and it’s not a formulaic romance. Colleen Hoover is one of my favorites when it comes to offering up some plot with her romance. Oh, and all the stories I read need to have a little spice unless it’s YA. I try to offer all that in my stories as well.


Do you have a spot you seek out for inspiration?

Not really. I have a writing office, but I tend to wander into different parts of the house, depending on my mood.


Can you tell us about your latest release?

Ah! I’m super excited about my next release. It’s the second book in my Caught Up in Love trilogy, and it’s called Shelter My Heart. Release date is tentatively set for March, since I’m just not sure if I’ll be releasing it indie or with a publisher (I’ll find out next week if I’ve been offered a contract by Kindle Press). It’s about Jenny (the niece of the heroine in book 1). To make it easier, here’s the blurb. Let me know what you think!

Devon, an ailing, young CEO-in-training due to inherit his dead father’s conglomerate saves the day for Jenny, an engaged young woman on her way home to see her family. To repay his kindness, she agrees to be his date for his family’s annual society gala and convince the board that he’s healthy and going to marry. Two weeks are all Devon needs, and two weeks are all Jenny can give—until the stakes rise, forcing Jenny to answer the question: How far is she willing to go to save Devon’s life?

Wow! What a great blurb! Tell us some more: Which book(s) have you read more than once, and why?

There aren’t many beside my own, and my other author friends who I’ve beta read! Since I’m an avid reader, I’ve probably read 5,000 books over my lifetime, but here are some of them: The Little Prince, the 4th book in Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire series where Eric loses his memory, It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover, The Stand by Stephen King…I’m sure I’m forgetting some.


Some people have had characters in their head their whole lives, and others have had characters thrust upon them. Which is your category?

Neither, really. Being a writer wasn’t on my radar until I hit my mid-40s. LOL. Writing was almost like a religious experience for me. Literally, one day I woke up and was like, “I’m going to write a book,” and I did over a period of a year or so. Then I was hooked. I worked closely with several editors and really did my best to learn craft and revise my book until it was good enough to release with a publisher. I’m still learning. Every day. RAINE was the third book I wrote, but in a totally different point-of-view and voice. It’s only AFTER I started writing that the characters come alive and hound me in my head. I love it. That’s one of the best parts of being an author for me, breathing life into characters and making them achingly real.


What is always present on your writing desk?

My Trinity Stone paperweight which represents my first series, and the first book, Trinity Stones. Also, a pair of crystal angel wing earrings that I received as a birthday present from a dear friend of mine who ghostwrites for major NYT bestselling authors. One of the scenes in my upcoming fantasy release inspired her so much, all she could think about was peach wings for a solid week.


What do you do when the plot Just. Won’t. Work?

Like a good London Broil, I let it marinate in my mind until the puzzle pieces slide together. Works every time. Just not as quickly as I’d like sometimes.


What do you do when your characters Just. Won’t. Listen?

Ignore them, and pay attention to someone who will.

Do you prefer sunrises or sunsets?

Like the Little Prince, I enjoy sunsets J


If you could live anywhere or any time, where would you go?

Up until a month ago, I thought this was the best time to be alive and be a woman. LOL. I’ll reserve judgment going forward. But I wouldn’t choose any other time period than the one I’m in now.

Someplace you’ve been beckons you back; where is it?

Always and forever, Scotland.

Favorite hero or book boyfriend?

Jamie Fraser from Outlander.