Event Location: Live Interview at the Summer Lovin’ Indie Author Event in Pomona, CA
Friday, July 12, 2013
On Friday, July 12, 2013, we (Rachel and Arlene) had the pleasure of attending a Summer Lovin’ Indie Author event at the Pomona Mining Company. We have a separate post that will go live on July 22nd, so be sure to stay tuned for that because there will be some fun book updates and giveaways.
However, there was one event that happened that evening which left us absolutely star-struck, and we couldn’t wait to share with all of you!! During the party, we got the chance to mingle with the author CJ Roberts who many of you know is the creator of the highly addictive series Captive in the Dark. During the evening, we worked up the nerve to ask her if she would entertain a live interview from us, and to our absolute surprise she said YES!
|Captive in the Dark, Seduced in the Dark & Epilogue by CJ Roberts|
As part of this post, we’re excited to share some of our Q&A discussion with CJ Roberts as well as a SIGNED Series giveaway so stay tuned!!
Q&A Discussion with CJ Roberts
Waves of Fiction (Arlene): “First off, thank you so much for taking the time from this event to talk to us about your books and your writing process. We are both huge fans of your Captive in the Dark Series! What we’d first like to know is what kind of reaction have you gotten from your books?”
CJ Roberts: “The reaction kind of surprised me because it’s been mostly good.”
Waves of Fiction (Arlene): “What’s been the harshest reaction?”
CJ Roberts: “I get the harsh reactions too. I mind the reviews when they slam the content especially when I’ve put a warning label on it. You know what this content is, and they’ll be like ‘OMG, it has kidnapping and it has violence!’ The second one is where they attack you personally... I am not writing a book about human trafficking and how it’s awesome. I’m wrote a book about two characters who find themselves in very extraordinary circumstances. Obviously, it’s not the experience most people have and really especially with Caleb’s character. What interested me about him was I’ve always had a thing about villains. I love Lex Luthor. I have a thing about the baddies, but the thing I wonder about the bad guys is - Why are they bad? What made them this way?”
Waves of Fiction (Arlene): “How long did it take you to write these books?”
CJ Roberts: “I started it in 2002… I write stuff all the time just for me, instead of keeping a diary… I sent out the whole query letter, but the thing is nobody knew me and the book’s subject matter so I got rejected by everybody. And he’s (husband) is a big techy guy so he knew about the whole self publishing thing and thought I should try it. I said okay, but I thought for sure people would be what the f*^% is this?” *laughing*
Waves of Fiction (Rachel): “Well, let me tell you... YES! That’s what you think when you read it but…” *lots of laughing*
Waves of Fiction (Arlene & Rachel): “You can’t stop reading them!!”
Waves of Fiction (Arlene): “Did you do any research for the series?”
CJ Roberts: “OMG, I did tons! I did a lot of research once I knew I was going to be putting it out there. Before I didn’t care it was choppy - paragraph here, just what I wanted for that day. And then once I decided I wanted to publish it, I had to go back and make it something that other people could read and understand. If you notice in my books, I don’t have a lot of descriptions. I will describe, but I mean character descriptions. Because I already know the characters, and I never felt the need to be like this is what the characters look like.”
Waves of Fiction (Arlene): “You know what, though, I felt like Caleb was very well described. I had a vivid picture of him in my head.”
CJ Roberts: “Right.”
Waves of Fiction (Rachel): “Everyone thinks he looks like Paul Walker.”
Waves of Fiction (Arlene): “I didn’t so much with Livvie, I couldn’t picture her for the longest time.”
CJ Roberts: “That’s because all authors in the very beginning write themselves, some version of themselves into the work, so I didn’t have to describe Livvie because I already knew what she looked like. I was writing in the first person. It’s hard to write in the first person and be descriptive at the same time. In the first version there was no third person perspectives. It was all first person Livvie, the whole book.”
Waves of Fiction (Arlene): “So when you wrote her perspective in the first books, how hard was it switching over to Caleb’s perspective in the final book?”
CJ Roberts: “I didn’t write two books. I wrote one book, and it was awful. But I sent it to a beta reader and she said ‘You know what, I loved it so much, I wanted it to be better.’ So I took two years and made it better, and that’s when I wrote Caleb in. That was really cool, that was my - I’m going to write a character for someone to understand.”
Waves of Fiction (Rachel): “Where did you get the idea of the whole series?”
CJ Roberts: “It started when I was in the military. I got to Germany and when I got there I had no cell phone, no friends, knew no one in the country and staying in a hotel. I thought I could disappear and no one would know anything for weeks because I hadn’t checked into my new squadron. They could wonder ‘Wasn’t someone supposed to show up a few weeks ago?’ My mom wouldn’t even know who to call because it’s a foreign country. It scared the shit out of me. So I just sat in my hotel and started writing, just because I was bored and that’s what I do when I’m bored. After that I started having dreams and it just nagged me, so I’d just keep writing. Another reason I wrote the series is because I wasn’t finding something I wanted to read, so I wrote it myself.”
Waves of Fiction (Arlene): “Do they talk to you? Some authors say their characters talk to them.”
CJ Roberts: “Yes, I think my characters are real people. In my mind they’re real people.”
Waves of Fiction (Arlene): “So when you wrote that last page, how did you feel? What was it like saying goodbye to them?”
CJ Roberts: “Which last page?”
Waves of Fiction (Arlene): “Oh, good point.” (Rachel): “Epilogue, let’s go with Epilogue.”
CJ Roberts: “I never planned on writing Epilogue. I write as I go, so when I got to the end of Seduced in the Dark I was really sad. I had spent ten years with these people. How do you say goodbye to ten years? I think I wrote the book but that last chapter took me six weeks by itself because I could just write forever. So I cried at the end of that. But then I wrote Epilogue and it’s not really goodbye then because I felt like it goes on. Anytime you want to go back and visit people you get to know them like I got to know them.”
Waves of Fiction (Arlene): “Did you have the ending in mind; did you know where it was going to end?”
CJ Roberts: “No. I had no idea where it was going to go, which sucks for timing because I can’t tell people when it’s going to be done or when it’s going to be out.
Waves of Fiction (Arlene): “So you didn’t know how it was going to end?”
CJ Roberts: “No I didn’t , so for the second book I knew I could write forever so I thought maybe I’ll just write down a rough outline so I had a little plot point thing. However, around Chapter 19, I just took a like a hard freakin’ left and my outline went to shit. So I told myself, I’m going to go over here now, I guess. So I didn’t’ know what was going to happen until it was happening.”
Waves of Fiction (Rachel): “Where are you with Agent Reed’s story?
CJ Roberts: “I have some really good ideas. He’s become my new obsession. I’m going to start writing in September.”
Waves of Fiction (Arlene): “Publishers, any hits?”
CJ Roberts: “Yeah, I do have some interest, but they want me to change the book and edit some of the language and do this and that and other things. I really didn’t want to do that, so, um…”
Waves of Fiction (Arlene): “They’ve already taken a life of their own.”
Waves of Fiction (Rachel): “I think you’d have a huge outcry from your fans if you changed.”
CJ Roberts: “That was the big thing for the people who’ve been with me this whole way, they would…and that matters to me. When people read book one, they can review it 5 stars or 1 star. Whatever people’s opinion is, that’s fine. But when they get into the second and third book those are people who’ve been with the series and those opinions matter to me most, especially with the third book. I don’t have many negative reviews, by far the good reviews outweigh the bad but any negative review that far into the series, I’m like oh I’m sorry, I let down a fan. I hope I get you next time.”
Thank you so much to CJ Roberts for taking the time to sit and chat with us. It was fun talking about squeezing kittens and falling in love with baddies. We had a blast! J We can’t wait to read Agent Reed’s story. Happy writing!!
To our Waves of Fiction followers, we hoped you enjoyed the Q&A discussion we had with the author.
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|CJ Roberts SIGNED Series!!|
For those of you that haven’t had a chance to read CJ Roberts’s Captive in the Dark series, we are offering a SIGNED SERIES Giveaway. So be sure to read the content disclaimers and the giveaway details. If you feel it’s something you’d like to try, be sure to fill out the rafflecopter and share a thoughtful comment about the interview for a chance to win. Good luck!
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