Today we are very happy to welcome author, Denise Robbins to Book Lovers Inc! Denise’s new book Never Tempt Danger was released last month and we’re stop #3 on her blog tour. Denise and I sat down to talk about the authors that have had the most influence on her writing and sometimes her life. Thank you, Denise for being here today and sharing with our readers!
Okay, BLI readers let’s give big round of applause for Denise Robbins!!!
The Obsessed Lover: What books did you read as a child?
Denise: Of course I read books like Sammy the Seal and Danny the Dinosaur. By the way, those are still my two of my favorite children’s books. In early elementary school I remember reading Misty of Chincoteague. At the time I loved horses…still do.
My parents will probably laugh when I tell you this, but I used to read more than books. Whenever we got into the car to go on a trip I would read every sign I saw. . .aloud.
I suppose that was the better than being the kid who sat in the back seat that and asked, “Are we there yet?” or “How much longer?”
The Obsessed Lover: Okay, hang on I just have to say two things, #1 – I love Danny the Dinosaur and #2 I pretty much learned to read by sounding-out & reading street signs, out-loud whenever we went anywhere!
Okay, now back to your regularly scheduled interview…When you were a teenager what did you read?
Denise: Wow, Heather that’s just too funny! Here I was feeling unique in my silliness. As for your question…By the time I hit my teens I was more into sports than books, but what I did read were a lot of the same books my father read so he was more of an influence on me than an author or story. At that time my dad read more non-fiction than fiction.
As I moved into my twenties I read true crime stories.
The Obsessed Lover: I bet those made you sleep with the light on. Who did you read?
Denise: I read every book by Ann Rule. She is an amazing writer who makes you feel as if she is sitting across a table from you and telling you the most horrific stories about a serial killer. And she does it without sharing too much of the gory details, but enough to scare the pants off you, or take a second look at your next door neighbor. At the same time I was introduced to John Douglas true crime novels. John Douglas is the original FBI profiler. Now his stories will make you sleep with the light on.
It wasn’t until I ran out of true crime novels that I started on fiction again and moved into mysteries. This was like hitting the jackpot. So many good book, so many great authors.
The Obsessed Lover: Why mysteries?
Denise: Mysteries took the best part of a true crime novel, the mystery or puzzle of who is the killer and gave me the ability to fall in love with characters. OH! And I fell hard. I read every mystery I could get my hands on by Jonathon Kellerman, Faye Kellerman, John Sandford, Michael Palmer, Michael Connelly, Patricia Cornwell, Sue Grafton, and Tess Gerritsen, Janet Evanovich, and David Baldacci. The list goes on and on and once I found an author I loved I devoured every book I could find by that author.
Eventually, those authors couldn’t write fast enough for me.
The Obsessed Lover: Don’t you just hate it when that happens?!
Denise: Happens all the time. Drives me nuts. But having four books behind me and the fifth one dogging me, I can relate to those authors.
The Obsessed Lover: So what did you do?
Denise: This brings us to today and to those authors that influenced me beyond all others. Having run out of mysteries to read, I was browsing in a bookstore one day and ran across a book title Open Season by Linda Howard. My mind leapt right to open season killing. . .on people. Yes, that is how my mind works. Just by the blurb on the jacket cover I bought the book, read it, and fell in love with romantic suspense.
I couldn’t imagine it, romance and mystery all wrapped up in one book.
I had never even heard of romantic suspense until that book. Once again I found an author I fell head-over-heels for and had to find every book ever written by her. In between Linda Howard novels I found other romantic suspense authors like Carla Neggers, Iris Johansen, Heather Graham, Julie Garwood, Elizabeth Lowell, and more.
As I look back on it now I realize that the majority of my favorite mystery/thriller authors have a little romance in their novels too. Makes sense. Life is full of romance and adventure.
The Obsessed Lover: That is so true. But you said that these authors influenced you beyond all others, why?
Denise: I explain it this way, Linda Howard’s writing introduced me to romantic suspense that led me to also reading romance. One of my first romance books was Born in Fire by Nora Roberts. In the story the heroine is a glass artist who makes beautiful sculptures or works of art by blowing glass. That book and Nora’s writing made me need to learn more about glass blowing, so much so that I took a glass blowing class. Several of them now.
Romance novels cover so many areas of interest that I would probably never even know about if not for that author. Those novels make me interested in learning more.
The Obsessed Lover: You know, you’re right.
Denise: It was Linda Howard who made me finally want to truly write a novel. I had loved reading and writing since I was a kid and even considered going into sports writing when I was in high school. But, it was Linda Howard’s All the Queen’s Men that made me want to put fingers to keyboard and write my own stories to share with the world.
I was reading that novel when I was struck with the urge, the idea, the NEED to write, to put down on paper all those words running around in my head, create characters you love and love to hate, throw in a mystery with some hot romance and voila! You’ve got a terrific read that will take you away from your life and into someone else’s world.
The Obsessed Lover: You literally started writing right then?
Denise: Yup! I was compelled to put my words on paper and I haven’t stopped since. The fun part is that I get to show or expose the readers to different technologies in all my techno-romantic thriller novels.
The Obsessed Lover: So who do you write like?
Denise: Hmm. I don’t think I write like any one particular author, but I’ve been compared to David Baldacci, Janet Evanovich, Linda Howard, Michael Connelly, Carla Neggers, and Suzanne Brockmann.
Denise: Who do you think I write like?
The Obsessed Lover: Of the authors you’ve listed, I would definitely have to say your writing style reminds me of Linda Howard. Like you I had no idea there was such a thing as Romantic Suspense/Romantic Thrillers/Romantic Mysteries until I read my first Linda Howard book, which was Dream Man. Great book by the way if you somehow missed that one, pick it up sometime. In addition to Linda Howard, your writing also reminds me quite a bit of an author who is not on your list, Fern Michaels. Particularly her series Sisterhood. I could totally see Charley, Gilly, Ruby and Samantha invited to join the Sisterhood.