Anyway, Robyn has written the most delightful story about mistaken identity, in a glorious setting. And here she is, to tell you all about it. (Is anyone else humming "Surfin' Safari" yet?)
Thanks for having me, Becky!
Tell me about yourself, and your writing journey to this point.
I currently live in Washington, DC, working for an association that supports higher education. I manage a program working with college students around the world (it keeps me young!). My commute to work is 1.5 hours each way (no joke). It was on the train that I started to write.
I used to hate the commute but now I consider it precious time that I devote to either writing, editing or reading – and sometimes it’s great fodder for ideas for my books. One morning, a guy sat next to me literally piecing on his suit. We’re talking buttoning shirt, zipping pants, putting on buckle … someone had a good night! That experience made it in to my holiday romance!
Inspiration can come from anywhere, can't it?
Destination Wedding is your debut novel. How did you come up with the idea for your book, and when can folks purchase it?
I wanted to write a book that involved twins and mistaken identity. I also thought it would be fun to start the book up in the air with a heroine with a major case of in-flight panic that she doesn’t even realize her hero and his twin switch seats mid-flight. What happens up there really set the stage for the tropical antics when they land.
It was super fun to write and is available now on Amazon.
I noticed on your website that you’ve signed three contracts this year. Tell us what we can expect from you soon. (Vanessa and Jack’s story, I hope?)
My holiday romance, Christmas Dinner will be coming out November 11, 2013 by Crimson Romance. Even though Destination Wedding is my debut book, Christmas Dinner is the first book I ever wrote. There’s a wonderful twist in it that I’m hoping is the level of a Nicholas Sparks kind-of-twist. Even if it’s half as good as his, I’ll be happy.
I’ve been teasing my characters that Vanessa and Jack *could* be the couple getting hitched in the sequel. Although, the working title is Shotgun Wedding—I don’t think their kids will go for it!
The destination for your book’s wedding is Hawaii, and you do a beautiful job describing your setting. Have you visited there, and if so, how much time do you spend there?
Thank you! All of it was research by reading books and searching the Internet. I’d love to visit one day. The problem – well, I like my heroine, have an intense fear of flying over water.
Now if, like my heroine, I was to have a handsome man sit next to me and kiss me silly all the way to Honolulu … well, that might work! If you know anyone Becky . . .
I love the mistaken identity trope, and think you did an excellent job using the identical twins. I especially enjoyed the way Luke used his 4-minutes older claim to his advantage. My brother used to hold the same thing over his twin sister’s head. Do you know twins or do you just have an active imagination?
I did talk to friends who are twins. I wanted Luke and Drew to be different enough that the reader wasn’t confused who was who, but I wanted them both to be good men at their core. I really love Drew. He and I were recently guests on the Crimson Romance blog where he pretty much demanded his happy ending. Check it out here!
You seem to understand the wedding planning business, too. Tell me how you got the idea of using a wedding planner for your story.
I’ve planned over 100 events and conferences during my career. I’ve never planned a wedding, so this was a fun opportunity to write about one.
How do you manage the obligations on your life? Do you have a set time for writing, and no one can enter the room, or do you fit it in between all your other activities?
I fit it in each and every day. I often will write first thing in the morning and then as I mentioned, will write, edit or read on the train. On weekends, I try to ramp it up. I set monthly goals. Having an entire month to reach the goal is much more doable and less stressful for me than setting daily or weekly goals that might not be possible to achieve.
Destination Wedding Blurb
Wedding planner Kate Ashby’s fear of flying is eased by a sexy stranger and one slow lip lock that rockets her into another obit.
CEO Luke Cannon has just traded seats with his identical twin. Little did he know that an innocent kiss while pretending he was his brother would soon create havoc.
What happens in the air doesn’t stay up there. Once on tropical land, Kate believes that the handsome stranger who gave her the best kiss of her life is now her new client, Drew Cannon, fiancé to the beautiful and wealthy Lauren Kincaid. While Kate struggles with the intense feelings she thinks she has for Drew, Luke discovers Kate’s been hired to plan his brother’s destination wedding. He also realizes the initial sparks they shared 30,000 feet up are now mistakenly aimed at Drew.
Can Luke get Kate to realize that the feelings she has are for him? He’s got forty-eight hours in paradise to try.
To learn more about Destination Wedding and purchase links, visit www.robynneeley.com/books
Robyn Neeley is an East Coaster who loves to explore new places; watches way more reality TV than she cares to admit; can’t live without Dunkin Donuts coffee and has never met a cookie she didn’t like. If you have a must read romance suggestion or a fabulous cookie recipe, she wants to know.
Website – http://robynneeley.com
Twitter – @robynneeley
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/robyn.neeley.1
Have we teased you enough? Want an excerpt? Well, guess what we have for you!
"I do. I do."
Wedding planner Kate Ashby quietly repeated her calming mantra. Paralyzed in her window seat, she stared at the illuminated fasten seatbelt sign while her hands gripped the metal buckle strap. Please turn off. Please turn off. They had to be close to cruising altitude. Soon, she'd be able to request a strong drink to knock her out for the duration of this bumpy flight. She sat still, trying to ignore the terror pulsating through her. Why hadn't she bought sleeping pills before boarding a twelve-hour flight from New York City to Hawaii? Now, that would have been the smart thing to do.
Glancing out the tiny passenger window, she clutched her gold "K" necklace. It was completely irrational to be terrified and she realized the odds of her and her fellow passengers landing safely in Honolulu were more than in her favor. Still, this was her first time flying such a long duration. Departing Manhattan this evening in turbulent thunderstorms had shot her nerves. She was grateful that her boss had sprung for a first class ticket for the long flight.
A loud rattle caused her to grab hold to her armrests. "What was that?" She turned to the stranger sitting next to her. He had short blondish brown hair and was wearing a blue blazer. His face had a nice tan. She had failed to realize that her row mate was incredibly handsome. Usually the person sitting next to her was a grandparent or couldn't speak English. Perhaps he could help her ease her nerves? "Um ... I think it's the drink cart. Would you like something?" He folded his Wall Street Journal.
Sexy and smart. "I'll take a tequila and tonic," he said to the flight attendant.
And likes his drinks strong. This could be fun.