Monday, August 20, 2012

Interview with Entangled Publishing author Robin Covington

Whether you've met her face-to-face or have gotten to know her online, one thing that always comes through is Robin Covington's warm, southern smile. A smile that, I bet, turned mega-grin when her debut book, A Night of Southern Comfort, released this summer (Entangled Publishing, June 2012). And the heat waves we've had haven't slowed Robin down one bit. Not only has her sexy debut been a sizzling success, she's already multi-contracted for more! Did I mention she's also an attorney, mom and so much more? Read on and you'll be wondering what she eats for breakfast! Grab some iced tea, find a shady spot and help me give Robin a warm welcome.

1.Hey, Robin! As a fellow Southerner, I love the title A Night of Southern Comfort because it brings my senses back to Blue Bell ice cream (Texas anyone?), peach cobbler and sweetened iced tea while lounging by the pool. Other than your heroine Dr. Michaela Roarke's drink of choice, what does 'southern comfort' mean to you? Is there a specific southern comfort that's a part of your writing day or routine?

Aaah . . . I grew up in a little town that is a lot like Elliott, VA and I have such wonderful memories that bring me southern comfort.  Sunday fried chicken lunches, reading while sitting in the branches of the apple trees in the orchard next to our farm, the sound of NASCAR races on the radio and TV. ; ) I think for me it means family, people around that have known me since I was born, a feeling of belonging.  I think ANoSC and the entire “Boys” series evokes that for me – the fact that you are not defined by where you come from but it is the place you can go to when you have to re-center and figure out what it is you truly want. So, long answer to that one – but that is my comfort – home.

My routine involves listening to country music. Old, new – doesn’t matter – but I grew up with it in my house and my relatives playing it so it sparks a creative light inside of me to help me to get in the groove.

2. Albeit a thrilling experience, launching a debut book can also be a time management reality shock. You, however, are hereby dubbed the time management wonder woman! Not only are you an attorney for the Navy, you're also a wife, mom, singer, head faculty for Romance University, a contributor for USA Today's Happy Ever After blog, you run your own Burning Up the Sheets blog and you've been on a blog tour. Wait! Let me catch my breath. Okay. Let's top that off with the fact that you're now multi-contracted with Entangled Publishing...and then there's FB and Twitter. I'm exhausted just thinking about it all. I know that family and writing always come first, but how do you, specifically, approach time management? Is it something the Navy ingrained in you or are you related to the energizer bunny :). Seriously though, any tips on balancing it all?

I’m a huge comic book geek so I LOVE that you call me Wonder Woman.  I totally dig her costume.

Oh man, I do have lots going on but I think many people do.  I am very careful with my time and what I need to do. My biggest downfall is that I am easily distracted by glittery things and I can lose serious time on the Internet or just doing that “one last thing”. I am lazy, a procrastinator and a slacker at heart.

So, I schedule my weeks and I include my social media time and writing time in that week and I guard it like a jealous woman.  I also give up some stuff but it is worth it.  I don’t watch lots of TV. What I do watch is on the DVR  (Hawaii 5-0 (Alex!), True Blood (Joe!), Covert Affairs (Auggie!)) and I will binge watch when I get some time.  Thank goodness for my Kindle “text-to-speech” feature because I can read when I’m driving or cooking.  And, I don’t sleep much – 5 hours a night on average – but I don’t need a lot.

3. You're contracted to write for several different lines at Entangled. A Night of Southern Comfort, the first of your 'The Boy's Are Back in Town' series for the Indulgence line, will soon be followed with His Southern Temptation, Southern Heat and Southern Nights. You are also scheduled for a holiday release, Secret Santa Baby, in the Flirts line this December and a Covet line release in 2013. That's a good kind of busy! How has working under deadline with an editor (especially given the faster e-pub time lines) changed your writing process? Does all the advice writers are given about setting manuscripts aside for a few weeks or sending them off for CP feedback go out the door? Does your schedule allow for all that, or does it come down to sending what you have and waiting on the editor's word?

I also have a Brazen release in Summer 2013 - *grin*. I am happy girl who pinches herself all the time.  I can’t believe how much my life has changed from one year ago.

My process has not changed much on a deadline but it has motivated me to stick to my schedule.  I use a page count tracker that Kresley Cole gives out on her website and I set up a schedule to get the book done on time. I write 7 days a week – lower page count on weekends- but it keeps me in the story and my writing muscle in shape. I have CP’s and we trade chapters as they are completed and they are wonderfully supportive, published authors who are also working on deadline.  We keep each other accountable. So, by the time my deadline arrives, I can send it out the door – with a few days to spare.

I love working with an editor.  They really push me to write the very best book I can and I cannot thank them enough.

4. A Night of Southern Comfort won or placed in numerous contests before it resulted in the night of southern bliss--The Call! Tell us about it!

Yes, it did.  I am a huge proponent of contests as a way to improve your craft and get used to the submission process. That is whole other discussion. . .

I am a night owl and frequently I’m up until one in the morning while the hubby sleeps in the next room (My office is in my 19 foot long closet) and I was up one night and getting ready to sign off for the evening when I decided to check my email one more time.  I saw an email from Lori Wilde with the title in the subject line and I immediately thought it was a rejection because she’d only had the book for one week.

So, I opened the email, steeled myself for a rejection and wondered if I had any chocolate stashed in the house for the pity party for one that was about to happen. I was shocked when I read that she wanted to buy the book, loved the book, couldn’t stop reading the book . . .  totally surreal (I mean, this is Lori Wilde). I woke the hubby up and told him and he stumbled out of bed and went downstairs, grabbed a bottle of champagne out of the wine cellar and we toasted my sale and he went back to bed.  I slept about 10 minutes that night!

5. Surreal and cool! Congrats again :). Speaking of lack of sleep, when people are immersed in the daily grind of a particular career (be it medicine, law, ranching or whatnot), behind the scenes reality can quickly fog up those romance colored lenses. For example, I've heard there's nothing sweet smelling about cowboy sweat, LOL. Now, there's no arguing that your current hero, Jack Cantrell is one hot detective, but given your experience with the Navy, do you plan to write any hot Navy heroes...or would that be too close for comfort?

Well . . . I hate to burst anyone’s bubble but most of the pilots look nothing like Tom Cruise or Val Kilmer.  Sigh . . . and while the work they do is exciting, I haven’t thought of  a single story yet with Navy heroes. Right now, I have ‘The Boys” planned, and a movie star action hero, and my Christmas novella hero is a man who writes video games.  Maybe, I’ll do a Navy guy later.

While, I would write about the Navy, I’m not sure I want to write about lawyers.  Yech!  Too much like work.

6. I totally get that :). Music is also a big part of your life and you've posted many of my favorite songs on your blog, Burning Up The Sheets. What is your heroine Michaela's favorite song and if she and her hero Jack were in a car, would he be beggin' to change the station?

Yep.  I sing in a band and I’ve been in some sort of band for most of my life.  I write with music, make playlists for books – I live and breathe music.  Michaela is huge Miranda Lambert fan because Miranda is a badass and writes songs that flip the world the bird.  So, I think one of her faves would be “Only Prettier” – the chorus says “We’re just like you. Only Prettier.”

Jack would leave it on because he loves to see Kayla happy and he likes her badass side.  But, he likes heavy metal, like Metallica.  His favorite song is “Enter Sandman” – he’s a Hokie from Virginia Tech and that is the song they play when the football team enters the stadium.

7. Love it! Okay. Other than not quitting, what's your best advice for writers trying to achieve publication?

Make goals and write them down and compare everything against that list. Ask yourself, “Is what I’m doing going to help me achieve a goal?”  If it isn’t then you need to think twice about spending your writing time doing it.  Be strategic in your career. Know the house you want. Know the agent you want. Know what you want to write and make every move to make it happen.

8. Fill in the blank: Robin Covington was voted most likely to.......

Be a dirty old lady.  ; )

I love a dirty joke and bawdy humor and I love ogling man candy.  I’ll be the little old lady in the nursing home who pinches the cute orderlies.

9. LOL! I'm thinking giving that dirty old lady a drink might be asking for trouble ;), but if you could create a drink (virgin or not:) and call it 'Southern Sass', what would the recipe be?

Oh no virgin drinks, please!  Let’s see . . .  cranberry juice, lime and southern comfort. I’ve actually had that and it’s pretty good.

Robin, you're a blast! Thanks so much for being here!

BLURB: A Night of Southern Comfort 

One night of passion... 

Detective Jackson Cantrell never imagined that one night with an irresistible stranger would turn his life upside down. He’s spent years living in the shadows, but Dr. Michaela Roarke awakened a passion inside him he'd buried years ago. 

He never expected the woman would turn out to be the governor's daughter...and his next assignment. The governor blackmails Jackson to secretly watch over Michaela and protect her from a stalker, or kiss his dream job at the FBI good-bye. Swearing to keep things strictly professional, Jackson moves in with Michaela. Too bad his heart can't keep the same promise. 

But when the stalker's attacks quickly escalate beyond mere photographs to bodily harm, Jackson must race to save Michaela's life. And he’ll have to figure out how to keep her once she discovers his lie.

BUY IT HERE: (Note - If you're not old enough for a non-virgin drink, then you're not old enough for this hot read.)



  1. Rula - Thanks for having me. This was so much fun!

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  3. Hi Robin! Thank YOU for being here. I had so much fun interviewing you.

    And ditto to what Kate said so beautifully :)

  4. "I am lazy, a procrastinator and a slacker at heart." If this is true, God help the rest of us!

    You and I have been on a similar career path this past year and I have watched your journey with a big smile on my face. I always read your blogs and comments in the WRW chat room and on Facebook. They invariably leave me feeling uplifted and remind me to stay positive when things don't go my way. I chuckle at your FB "Man Wars" with Avery Flynn and Kimberly Kincaid. You are the human embodiment of the Energizer Bunny and something of a role model to me. I am in completely in awe of your endless supply of positive energy.

    And besides all that energy and positivity, you're a talented writer! I really enjoyed A Night of Southern Comfort. Congratulations on all your success. It is well earned and couldn't have happened to a nicer person!

    Kate Worth

    1. Kate - thank you so much. But, I'm not all those lovely things . . .it's is all an illusion. ; )

  5. Great interview, Rula!

    I deleted and reposted my comment because I left out Kimberly Kincaid. As I said on facebook last week, Robin Covington, Avery Flynn, and Kimberly Kincaid, are one helluva high octane marketing menage.

    It is great to see friends so supportive of one another!

    1. We just love hotties . . . Man Wars is a purely selfish endeavor!

  6. Aw, Kate! :) It's hard not to be supportive of someone like Robin because she's so free with her support in return. I love reading about the process Robin uses for writing because I think it's a perfect illustration of how unique and personal writing is for each of us. Robin's writing comes from her heart-- it's easy to see it! And her naughty imagination is quite wonderful too :)

    Great interview, Robin!

    1. Thanks Kimberly! At the risk of soundling like one big lovefest - you are pretty damn awesome yourself!

  7. Hey Robin--it's nice to get to know more about you (we're goodreads friends). I too LOVE country music--but came late to it which means all my New England friends & family think I'm weird. Congratulations on the contracts--as to the call--I did EXACTLY the same thing--you just stare at the screen while this bubble of hysterical excitement forms... Anyway, good luck! Meredith

    1. Thanks Meredith! Welcome to the dark side . . . country music is my fave. It's in my genes. ; )

  8. Blue Bell Ice Cream :) Fantastic interview, Rula!

    Robin, good to see you here. You may think you're "lazy, a procrastinator and a slacker at heart," but the results prove otherwise. And all on five hours sleep. Amazing.

    1. Hi Carol! I do crash like the Hindenberg on Friday night when the week catches up with me. ; )

  9. Great, great interview! And what's with all you authors I follow on FB being super women? I don't know how you do all you do on 5 hours of sleep.

    If you are a slacker and procrastinator I am in SERIOUS trouble.

    1. Stephanie - I should note that I have ananazing husband who really pulls his share of the household load and holds down the fort on his own when I need it.

      I've been doing the EDJ for so long that while it is a challenge I can get it done and go home. Very few late nights or taking home work.

  10. Fun interview, Robin. We watch the same TV shows, and I also write most days. I don't think I could exist on 5 hours of sleep though :)
    It's great that your debut book is doing so well.

  11. Shelley - So, you also have excellent taste in TV! : )

  12. Hey everyone! Thanks so much for hanging out with Robin (who is sooooo not a slacker, LOL).

    Robin, you know halloween is just around the corner. Wonder woman costume. Just sayin' :)

    As for country music, that's what my car radio is set to...and my kids know not to change it!!! Everything there is to know about writing a romance novel, you can learn from country music :).

  13. Interesting interview. Robin certainly does cover a lot of bases, which is a reminder that you only get stuff done if you stick with a schedule.

  14. Rula - Thank you for having me and for being so awesome! Robin

  15. What a fun interview, Rula and Robin!! So many things I learned about Robin here today--I'm so impressed that you sing in a band, Robin! And I am in total awe of your schedule and how you manage it. Thank you for your tip about the tracker on Kresley Cole's website! And best wishes with all of your upcoming projects--you are in line for big, BIG things! :-)

  16. Coming in late, but wanted to say I'm very inspired to Go Write. Been overwhelmed lately and it's time to get in gear. This was just the post I needed. Thanks for having such a great guest, Rula, and Thanks to Robin for the kick-butt message.

  17. Hi J.L., Kathy and Megan! So great to see you here. Thanks for popping in. Robin is truly inspiring.

    Robin - Thanks again for being here! Best wishes with everything.