Interview with Robin Perini, Author of In Her Sights
Award-winning author Robin Perini’s love of heart-stopping suspense and poignant romance, coupled with her adoration of high tech weaponry and covert ops, encouraged her secret inner commando to take on the challenge of writing romantic suspense novels. Her mission's motto: "when danger and romance collide, no heart is safe."
As a writer, Robin is devoted to giving her readers fast-paced, high stakes adventures with a love story sure to melt their hearts. Robin’s strong characters and tightly woven plots have garnered her seven prestigious Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® finals, and Golden Heart Winner in 2011. Stolen Lullaby, will be published by Harlequin Intrigue® in May, 2012 as Finding Her Son. Her other 2011 Golden Heart® Finalist, In Her Sights, will be published by Amazon's Montlake Romance November 29, 2011.
By day, she works for an advanced technology corporation, and in her spare time, you might find her giving one of her many nationally acclaimed writing workshops or find her training in competitive small-bore rifle silhouette shooting. She's a voracious reader and a die-hard fan of the T.V. series, BONES.
I've been writing forever, but it's storytelling that grabbed my interest first. I lost my heart to storytelling when I was a child, sitting at the knee of my great-aunt. She mesmerized me with her tales of 'The Little Match Girl' and 'How the Tiger Got its Tail.' She wrenched my heart, made me laugh and cry. She fed my love of reading and learning. Perhaps it was inevitable that I followed in her footsteps.
My love of writing was her gift as well. When I was eight, I attended a Camp Fire Girls' camp for a week--it seemed like a month. I wrote tear-stained letters to my great-aunt and after I returned home she told me I had a gift. That my letters evoked pictures in her mind.
My great-aunt has long since passed away, but I look up and smile sometimes. My inner fire for storytelling and writing was her gift to me. I pray I do her justice.
Do you have an agent or are you looking for one?
I have an amazing agent. Jill Marsal from Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. Jill took me on as a client before I sold my first book, In Her Sights, because she believed in me and my writing. It's a blessing to have someone in your corner with such faith, enthusiasm and savvy.
What is this book about?
This is my debut novel, so it's a real dream come true for me to even be here. For a long time, I had to wonder if it would happen. Jazz's story has been with me a long time, and while I've written other manuscripts since she first came to life in my heart, this has always been a story I really wanted to tell. I'm so thankful that Jazz found a home at Montlake Romance.
Jasmine “Jazz” Parker is the only female sniper on Jefferson County’s SWAT team. Always at the ready with calm nerves and steady hands, she never misses a shot. Strong, dedicated, and dependable, Jazz has committed her life to defending the helpless by exacting swift and uncompromising justice, all the while harboring dark, devastating secrets from her past. Secrets she thought she'd buried for good as a teenager.
To keep her past hidden, Jazz keeps a low profile and avoids getting too close to anyone, including the one man she thought she could love—ex-Army Ranger turned reporter Luke Montgomery. So when Luke runs a front page story about Jazz, calling her a hero for her recent victory—saving the life of the governor’s daughter—she feels uncomfortable with the exposure, and rightly so. A vicious enemy from her past takes notice of the article and sets out on a mission to reveal Jazz’s secrets and ruin her life in the process. At the same time, a corrupt cop is out to take Jazz down at any cost. As her world begins to unravel, Jazz is forced to rely on Luke for help—putting his life and the lives of those closest to him in danger.
What inspired you to write it?
I love learning, and one of the opportunities I try to take advantage of is a day-long research event hosted by the Kiss of Death chapter of Romance Writers of American®. One year, the group visited the Arvada Police Department in Denver, Colorado. And the SWAT Team was there. I stood back as others asked questions and studied the interplay between the elite members of this team. My mind started whirling. What kind of man would be a sniper? What would his relationship be with the other members of his team? Then I learned that a woman could be a SWAT team member as long as she could meet the physical requirements. I didn't really put it all together until I was speaking to another writer friend. I told her that women could be members of SWAT. She asked, "What if your sniper IS your heroine?"
Jazz was born. In Her Sights was born. All the questions I'd been asking—including what does it take to be a sniper—crystallized, and the story was inevitable from that moment on.
Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
In Her Sights is available on Amazon.com in kindle and paperback formats. Paperbacks are also available at BarnesandNoble.com. It can also be ordered from most bookstores through Ingram Book Company and Baker & Taylor.
Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?
I love to hear from readers. Please connect with me. You can get in touch via my website, http://www.robinperini.com/ where you can view the In Her Sightsbook trailer, read excerpts, read reviews, sign up for my mailing list and even request trading cards or a Kindlegraph. I'm also on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads. I'd love to hear from you.
What is up next for you?
November 29, 2011—the release date of In Her Sights—was the culmination of a lot of years of dreaming, and I hope the beginning of dreams I never imagined. So much has already happened since I sold In Her Sights. Within months I sold three more novels to Harlequin Intrigue.
So, in 2012, three romantic suspense novels will be released from Harlequin. Finding Her Son, which won the 2011 Romance Writers of America ® Golden Heart® Award in Contemporary Series Romance: Suspense/Adventure as Stolen Lullaby, will be released in March 2012. In the story, a woman determined to find her kidnapped son, and who is suspected in her husband's death, reluctantly teams with the embattled SWAT cop assigned to prove her guilt. Cowboy in the Crossfire, in which a woman desperate to protect her young son after he witnesses a murder, is forced into an alliance with the disgraced Texas Sheriff who her family framed, will come out in July, 2012. A third book will hit the shelves, Christmas, 2012.
I truly hope there are many more stories to tell!
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?
There are three keys that I would like to share (because goodness knows, I talk too much to share just one).
1. Study the craft…always. This may seem obvious, but life can interfere with writing and learning, as I'm sure many of you know. Over the last decade I've worked full time, gone to school at night for my Masters degree, and survived a serious illness. The most important thing I've done, however, is study the craft of writing and storytelling. I've been lucky enough to teach an amazing online class with author Laura Baker called Discovering Story Magic. The class required me to analyze other writers' stories. One of the best ways to learn is to teach. I highly recommend developing workshops that require you to understand the craft. It's been a blessing to me. This advice goes hand-in-hand with my second bit of advice. Never stop learning and growing as a writer.
2. Trust yourself. I don't know about you, but sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder how I've fooled everyone for so long. Don't do it! Trust your instincts. Believe in yourself. Listen to your gut. I had to learn this lesson the hard way. I had to really decide who I wanted to be as a writer. I tried writing numerous books in numerous subgenres. But I finally discovered the kind of stories I really want to tell. I love optimistic stories of suspense. I love heroes and heroines who grow and change and win. I love poignant love stories. That's what I do. Heart-stopping suspense and heart-wrenching romance. That's a Robin Perini book. Know who you are as a writer. It will help when you doubt yourself.
3. Persistence. Get a motto: Mine is: "Never give up, never surrender." My theme song could be Tubthumping - "I get knocked down, and I get up again." Don't get me wrong, there are times I almost quit. I am a writer. Are you? If you want something badly enough, don't let the setbacks stop you. Learn more, grow more, find your path, find yourself. You'll be glad you stuck with it. I know I am.