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.)
FIND ROBIN HERE: