When you are getting ready to start a new book, what’s the first thing you do?
I get out my big 18 x 24 pad of newsprint, I sketch out a rough grid for Acts I/II/III, then I jot down the scenes I’ve already imagined, in the places where I think they’ll go. Then I look at the vast expanse of empty space left over, and panic a little.
How do you celebrate when you finish writing a book?
Hm. I don’t understand the question. “Finish” a book? Like, the first draft? After the copy-edits? When it’s released? Clearly, I have issues with letting go.
Have you had any fun fan moments since you became a writer?
My husband surprised me with a launch party for my first novel. Coming home to a houseful of cheering people, banners, balloons, cake, the whole works, well I burst into tears. I think that book sold all of 700 copies (mostly to people in that room) but the show of love and support was enough to keep me going through some pretty discouraging times.
If you could have dinner, coffee, or drinks with a fictional character, who would you choose and where would you go?
Jack Reacher. Wherever he wants.
Do you usually begin a book with a character or a plot?
I usually have some vague image that’s snagged itself in my brain. A kid sitting in a dark room, clutching a teddy bear. A woman standing in front of a crowd at a funeral. A cowboy watching a strange woman touch a wild horse. Then I let it compost for awhile, see if it’ll settle out into some sort of pattern.
Do you have any hobbies or special interests you’d care to share?
We have a room in our house that I call “The Graveyard of Broken Dreams.” In it I keep: my piano. An easel. A treadmill. Five Pilates tapes. And the litter boxes for our four cats. I fully intend to get my piano tuned and start playing again one day. I paint in between deadlines. I’m over Pilates, but I could start running any day now! Mostly, it’s the cats’ bathroom. And I go to a local studio for yoga.
What was the inspiration for your book?
Two things: I’d just done a bunch of research on wild horses for a different project, and the people I talked with were so fascinating. I just had to create a character with this kind of passion for mustangs. The other thing was meeting a litter of Labradoodle puppies. I’m a die-hard poodle-fan (no more shedding pets, thanks to ahem, four cats) but this combo is a winner. Puppies, horses, the book practically writes itself.
How difficult is if for you to come up with a title for your books?
Lordy, I’m crazed about titles. I have to have a title before I can settle down to write. Even a working title that I don’t really like. Something. Anything. I spend hours noodling about titles.
Who would play your hero/heroine in the tv or film version of your book?
There’s only one actor who could possibly play Carson Granger: Josh Holloway, who played Sawyer in LOST. (Tell your people to call my people. We’ll talk.)
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
I call my blog “The Decades Before Overnight Success” and that’s exactly the mindset aspiring writers must cultivate. It’s not a career path for the impatient. Along those lines, exercise and eat properly because you want to live long enough to enjoy that success.
What jobs have you had on your way to becoming a writer?
I’ve been writing for nearly 25 years, but most of it was spent filling pages of magazines and newsletters. Some of the weirder topics I’ve written about? Feline hairballs. (Lots of experience there.) Air conditioner maintenance. (Zero experience.) How to evaluate a potential stud dog (think about that for a minute), crying babies, sleep deprivation, nipple confusion, caring for pet rabbits, freeing your home from clutter (I can hear you laughing, honey)… I’ve also written steamy love scenes for an interactive-fiction video game. And then read them out loud. To a team of strangers. Yup, like childbirth, that’ll stretch your comfort zone in a big hurry.
Did you have any interesting experiences when you were researching your book, or getting it published?
I was a vet tech in my previous life, and got to help spay and neuter that litter of Labradoodle puppies! And they SURVIVED! Other than that, nothing anyone else would find interesting! Mostly, I sit in front of my computer all day. Or I’m curled up with a book. And getting published? That’s just painful.
Who are your favorite authors? What authors have influenced your book?
Barbara O’Neal, Sheila Roberts, Lee Child, Kristan Higgins, RaeAnne Thayne… so many authors, and all so different, but they’ve all influenced me in that I want to tell a good, gripping, emotional story. Like they do.
Where does the magic happen? Where do you write?
I have my own office, with two desks. One holds my desk-top computer. The other is for my Three-Act Structure charts, my newsprint scratch-pads, my sticky-notes, highlighters, candles, wine glasses and coffee mugs… you get the picture. Oh, and pictures! Magazine clippings of images that trigger something about my story…
Aside from writing, what do you do in your free time?
I walk my dogs, I work on my massive hillside garden, I make soup, I hang out with my husband and daughters, I play Words With Friends (challenge me, I dare you) and I clean up hairballs.
Do you prefer print books or eBooks?
Why not ask me which is my favorite kid?? Browsing through a bookstore and coming across a serendipitous find is one of life’s sweetest pleasures… as is hitting “Buy Now” on my Kobo at 1 am without getting out of bed.
What’s in the works for you?
I’m finishing up the sequel to Three River Ranch, which is Desiree and Zach’s story. Oh, these two are fun! More horses, but in a very different way this time. I love this story!
To save his ranch, he needs a wife. But can she save his heart?
Needing a fresh start from her two-timing fiancé, Aurora McAllister answers a realtor’s ad for a guesthouse on the beautiful, serene Three River Ranch. She shows up at Three River tired, heartbroken, and with no one but her trusty Labradoodle as a companion.
Cowboy Carson Granger has enough trouble in his life without adding a woman and her dog to the mix. There’s the untamed mustang he’s prepping to release into the wild, not to mention his father’s crazy will, which stipulates that if Carson wants to fully inherit Three River, he’ll need to find a bride. Carson wants nothing to do with love and especially not a marriage of convenience. But he soon realizes Rory, and everything she represents, might just be exactly what he needs.
Sometimes love arrives on your doorstep when you least expect it…
Title: Three River Ranch
Author: Roxanne Snopek
Genre: Category – Contemporary
Length: 293 pages
Release Date: August 2012
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