Insider writing tips from author Gina Robinson
I asked successful romance author Gina Robinson to share ‘insider’ writing tips — regardless of genre. But HOW I re-connected with Gina is a story unto itself. I was making a presentation at a large aerospace manufacturing company for the Springboard Academy when Gina’s husband introduced himself. Turns out not only were we at WSU in Pullman at the same time, but his future wife lived in my dorm. And now she’s a romance writer! Given my work with authors, of course we would get together to catch up. And she is kind enough to share her experience as a successful published romance author!
How did you make the switch from engineering to writing romance?
A long time ago in a faraway land…
Wait! That’s how a fairy tale starts. It was a long time ago, but it was right here in Seattle. I quit my job as an engineer with a major aerospace manufacturer when my first child was born. Unlike a fairy tale, I didn’t promise that firstborn to an evil entity of any kind. But I did grow really bored with no adults to talk to all day. So I began making up stories.
I’ve always been a voracious reader, always loved romance so it was a natural step to try my hand at writing one. Following the advice to write what you know, I spent three years writing an epic romantic saga about an Italian mail order bride in 1899. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t exactly what I knew. But I am half Italian and my great grandmas were mail order brides.
How many books do you have out? Thirteen, with a fourteenth novel coming out on February 25th and number fifteen scheduled for release in March. Plus two short stories.
Where do your story ideas come from? Absolutely everywhere. Nothing is safe from my imagination. I was telling Margo recently that I got the idea for my new adult contemporary romances last spring when I went to WSU’s Mom’s Weekend. I saw a mom and daughter wearing short skirts and stiletto heels in the driving Pullman snow and wind, and a whole trilogy wasborn.
The idea for my funny romantic suspense Agent Ex novels came from watching Bond marathons with my son and wondering what it would really be like to be married to James Bond.
What advice do you have for new writers, regardless of genre? Write, write, write! The more you write, the better you’ll get. Don’t be afraid to attack the page or write drivel at first. We all improve with practice.
You have a publisher. How did you get a publisher? The traditional way. Most of the Big 5 publishing houses only take agented submissions. I queried literary agents until I found one that was a good match for me. She and I worked together to polish my manuscript. When we were both satisfied with it she submitted it to publishers. One of them made an offer and my literary career began. That was back in the dark ages before self-publishing existed.
What’s the best part of that relationship? I’ve had really great editors that have taught me a lot about storytelling.
What’s the hardest? Not having control over the marketing, advertising, pricing, or distribution of my books.
Are you self-publishing? How is that working? I have six self-published, ‘indie’ as we often call them, novels out with a seventh scheduled to release in March. I love self-publishing. I have total control over everything. I can write what I want and take chances on story ideas that New York publishing may not be interested in. When a book is finished, I don’t have to wait six to eighteen months for it to be published. I simply publish it myself. I’m reveling in the creative freedom.
When is your newest book coming out? My fifth Agent Ex novel, Love Another Day, releases on Feb. 25th from St. Martin’s Press. In March, I’ll be releasing Reckless Together, the conclusion of my new adult contemporary romance trilogy.
Here’s more info about Gina’s books:
Love Another Day
LOVE IS A DANGEROUS GAME
CIA agent Tate Cox works alone. Everyone knows that. And when the object of his mission is to seduce a pretty RIOT agent for valuable technology, bringing his ex-wife Malene along seems like an especially disastrous idea. But no one bucks Agency orders, not even capable, confident Tate. Flirting with the enemy is in the job description—but falling for his sexy, sassy ex all over again is an unexpected complication…
EVERYONE PLAYS TO WIN
After working for years on cover stories and logistics, Mal has longed for the chance to try her skills at fieldwork. But posing as “Professor” Tate Cox’s graduate student girlfriend at the Cheltenham Festival of Science? Hardly a dream assignment. Yet when gorgeous Tate turns on the charm, Mal can’t help wondering if she let the real thing go much too soon …
The Agent Ex series is:
“A clever concoction of lust and longing.”—Publishers Weekly
“A hilariously brilliant romp.”—Reader to Reader Reviews
If you want to connect with Gina, she’s on Facebook at /www.facebook.com/GinaRobinsonAuthor. Her Twitter handle is @ginamrobinson. And her website is www.ginarobinson.com.
A big ‘thank you’ to Gina for sharing her experience!
Margo Myers, Principal, Margo Myers Communications