Today we welcome back for an interview contemporary romance and romantic suspense author Reggi Allder who likes nothing better than tales of heroes and heroines who discover love and then wonder if they'll live long enough to enjoy it. Her main characters cope with longings, secrets, lies and betrayals. They control their panic and manage their passion as each fights to discover a hidden strength. It's a strain for them to remain motivated as the world offers temptations and puts them in untenable situations. Can they survive multiple ordeals and carry on to reach their goals and find a future together? Learn more about Reggi and her books at her website and blog.
When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
Writing was something I wanted to do for as long as I can remember. Even as a child I fantasized about writing. My family worried I’d never make a living and suggested I do something practical like nursing or teaching. At UCLA I studied screen writing and creative writing. But later I worked as part of the support staff in a large city hospital. I also worked as a newsletter editor and as an advertising manager. Even though I didn’t know it at the time, my various career moves and life events now help me craft my books.
What was the best writing advice given to you?
Don’t worry; just write. You can always edit.
Where do you write?
Though I am lucky enough to have an office in my house, my mind writes anywhere—in bed, in the shower, using the vacuum. I stop and make notes. Yesterday I was driving from the mall with one of my kids. A country song was playing and suddenly I had an idea for the title of my latest book, triggered by the song. With no way to write my idea down, no tablet, etc, my daughter found the only paper in the car, the sales slip from the shopping bag and she wrote my idea on it while I continued to drive.
Is silence golden or do you need music to write by? What kind?
No not always, sometimes I have music. It ranges from classical, to boy bands, to country. It depends what I am writing at the moment. I even have the news on if I’m writing about a current event.
How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?
The plots and characters are from my imagination. I try not to use real people in any way. On occasion a news event will be in my book such as a reporter returning from Afghanistan as in Money Power and Poison. But no real person or event is followed. As for my own life, I’ve lived in small towns and large cities so I can draw on those experiences.
Describe the process for naming your character.
Often a name comes to me before I start a book. For males I like strong names like Brick or names that are not overused. For the females, I use names that are easy to remember and ones that fit the ethnicity of the character. I have a file with names and look at it when starting a new book or when looking for a new character’s name.
Are the settings real or fictional towns?
Both, Money Power and Poison is about a software developer, so it seemed obvious to use the real Silicon Valley. But I set the book in nearby Carmel-by-the-Sea/ Monterey, California, a real and very beautiful place. With my family I kayaked, swam and went sightseeing in Carmel. We enjoyed Point Lobos State Reserve, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Seventeen Mile Drive, just to mention a few of our favorites. Watching the waves on the beach during one of the visits, I realized the tranquil beauty and perfect beach weather of the area could be a counterpoint to a dark mystery punctuated by imminent danger.
Shattered Rules, also a romantic suspense, takes place in the area around Lake Tahoe. Another great place for winter or summer vacations.
In my current contemporary book (working title Her Country Heart) I made up the town of Sierra Creek in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California’s gold country. I was able to give it the population and look I wanted. It also allowed me to fashion town situations that worked with the conflict in the couple’s relationship. This book will be out later this year on Amazon.
How do you find titles for your books?
Titles are hard for me. Some of my books have had multiple working titles. It is easier to write a ninety-thousand word book than to find a good title. I have a great critique group who come up with ways to help me find titles and that’s helpful, but for some unknown reason it’s still like pulling my own teeth for me. So you can see why, even while driving, getting the title idea written down was so important.
What’s on the horizon for you?
Finish the contemporary novel Her Country Heart and then to make Sierra Creek a series of books continuing with the original characters in this book and following the other people in the small town. I also have plans for a series with the characters from Money Power and Poison as they search for answers in the continuing mystery of the heroine’s past.
Is it true no good deed goes unpunished?
Looking for love Kelly Shaw made a terrible mistake. Now a killer and the FBI are searching for her. But she has a secret to keep. Can she trust Brick Larsen her sister’s ex-fiancé, to help? When she was a teenager she secretly loved Brick and would have put her life in his hands, but that was years ago.
Unknown to Kelly, Brick has been assigned to make contact and find out what she knows. A workaholic, he loves his job and doesn’t need personal relationships. And the last thing he wants is to get involved with Kelly. But it’s his job and he lets nothing and no one gets in the way. Soon an FBI agent is dead and Kelly and Brick are on the run. Can they survive when they have shattered the rules?