Writer's moments

Welcome Author Robena Grant

IMG_6729RToday, I’m Interviewing Romantic Suspense Author, Robena Grant, whose new 3-book Desert Heat Series begins releasing this month with the first book,  Unlock the Truth. Robena writes contemporary romance about ordinary women who are thrust into extraordinary circumstances. Travel and discovering new places brings her great pleasure, and she often includes these discoveries in her stories. She is Australian by birth, lives in Southern California, and has two grown children. Robena may be contacted at: www.robenagrant.com where she blogs weekly, or follow her on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

So, Roben, tell me: When did you first begin writing romance?

I started writing in 2000. I thought that I was writing romance but soon discovered (when I joined RWA) that what I’d written were two women’s fiction novels. I tried for several years to write for Harlequin, but my stories were too long and never fit cleanly into a line. I was always crossing genres. Then about three years ago I developed an interest in romantic suspense, and wrote the Desert Heat series.

How do you get ideas for your stories?

My ideas come from observing something or hearing something said. My mind then takes whatever it was and toys with it. Before I know it I have the beginning of story. I really enjoy observing human nature and for me the character generally shows up first, then I put him or her in an appropriate setting and it takes off from there.

Which writers have influenced you?

Jenny Crusie, for her ability to make me laugh about the most ordinary of situations, Pat Gaffney for her pure writing brilliance, and Amy Tan for introducing me to a culture that I know little about but showing that the human condition changes little from one culture to another.

What are you working on at the moment?

I just finished a contemporary romance with a European influence, and I’m halfway through a second one, and although I’d intended writing no more suspense, there is a suspense trying to insert itself. ; )

What do you find most challenging about writing?

Sitting in the chair, and not because I don’t want to write, or don’t have enough new ideas, but because I have low back pain issues. I’ve tried writing standing up but can’t do that for long periods of time.

Do you have any special quotes or sayings that you keep visible in your work environment to help inspire, motivate, and encourage you?

“Don’t be defeatist it’s very middle class.” ~Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess, Downton Abbey~

“Hope…the thing with feathers.” ~Emily Dickinson~

What’s the best advice you’ve been given as a writer?

“Every love story, buddy story, partnership story, is about the exchange of gifts: emotional, spiritual, or personality, and they come from the character’s strongest traits.” This quote was taken from a course that I took from Laurie Hutzler, Media Consultant for film and television.

What advice do you have for a new aspiring writer?

Don’t try to write like anyone else. Don’t be afraid to let loose and put your true feelings on the page. You’re offering the reader something of value…a little piece of you.

When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?

Travel is my number one joy. Reading is a close second, because if I can’t afford the first I can always travel in my mind if I have a good book.

UnLocktheTruth_w7273_750Unlock the Truth is available in print and all digital formats at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, and The Wild Rose Press.



  • Marlin Vaughn

    This book was an okay story, the mystery and writing were okay, as were the characters and romance. I’m glad I read it but it wasn’t one of my faves. There was quite a bit of action and suspense. I didn’t really “like” the characters-everyone seemed a bit immature for their ages and overly reactive to any event small or large. The chemistry between the two main characters didn’t seem like it was setting the room on fire. All in all, this book was okay, but nothing I would go out of my way to read.

  • Antoine R. Soto

    That’s how I would describe this debut novel by Robena Grant. It’s a compelling murder mystery with intense pacing and a sweet love story with just enough sex.I say it’s ‘in the rough’ because there are passages that could flow smoother but it’s a diamond, nonetheless. It had me up all night reading it because I didn’t want to stop.Energetic Dena brings light and love into the life of lonely Zeke as their unfolding love story wraps itself around the dark mystery of who killed Dena’s sister, Carli and Zeke’s friend, Susie.The secondary characters are done really well also. I loved the ones I was supposed to love, questioned the ones I was supposed to question, hated the ones I was supposed to hate and went back and forth with the complex ones who did not reveal themselves so easily.This book is the first in a trilogy and I will definitely be going back for book 2, The Blue Dolphin, out now.I enjoyed this book tremendously.

  • Leigh Court

    Congrats on the release, Roben! I love, love, love the quote from the Dowager Countess of Downton Abbey: “Don’t be defeatist — it’s so middle class!” Brilliant!

    I may stick that on my computer for inspiration 🙂


    • Nan

      What a fun day of celebration for your book, Roben! So glad you could join me today! Big congratulations and lots of hugs!

      Oh, and Judy, thank you! Book 2 comes out this summer, book 3 will follow it shortly after…stay tuned, baby!!

  • Judy, Judy, Judy

    Hey Nan – One great writer interviewing another great writer – always a good thing.
    I’ve read all 3 of Robena’s books. Glad to hear there is a contemporary romance or 2 and another suspense in the offing.

    BTW where is book number 2 from Nan?

  • Sam Beck

    Congratulations Roben, on your official release! Loved Unlock the Truth, loved The Blue Dolphin and can’t wait to dive into Desert Exposure!

  • Skye

    Yay for the official release! I hope you sell boatloads of books and go on to write boatloads more. I have one or two of your books on my phone in my TBR list. I look forward to reading them.

  • Robena Grant

    Thanks guys, (scuffs the toe of her sneakers in the hot desert sand) I appreciate all of your comments and good wishes.
    Lynne, I’d better go over to TWRP and take a look. ; )
    And Veronica, a friend wrote this morning about seeing a peacock standing by the side of a road in the PNW, she said, “There it stood in all its wonderful featheriness observing the traffic.” I had an instant visual, and thought of Dickinson. ; )

  • Kay Hudson

    Hi, Roben! Congratulations on the paperback release. I just checked to see that I have all three of the Desert Heat books on my Kindle (thanks to Amazon for keeping track!)–now all I need is a little more reading time. Well, no, a lot more reading time. Looking forward to them.

  • Lynne Marshall

    I’m so excited for you today. I got the e-mail from TWRP and there was your lovely book cover. I hope you continue to sell like hotcakes!

    Nan – this is a lovely website.

  • Robena Grant

    Thank you so much for hosting me today, Nan.

    I appreciate this so much and know your house is turned upside down with all of the renovations going on, so it’s even more lovely that you’ve taken the time to do this.