Monday, January 24, 2011

Interview and Giveaway with Robin Kaye

I recently read Yours for the Taking by Robin Kaye, the fourth book in her Domestic Gods series. (My review here) This is a series I really enjoy and I was thrilled when I got the opportunity to interview her:

Book Addict: I love the “marriage of convenience” storyline but usually I see it in a historical novel. Was it difficult to work that into a contemporary setting?

Robin Kaye: The “marriage of convenience" storyline happened by accident. I was writing Too Hot to Handle and my heroine, Annabelle had just broken up with Mike, the hero. She was in her office, talking to her best friend/boss, Ben, still holding a tissue box and wiping her tears when Ben surprised the hell out of me and proposed to her. I was shocked. I had no idea that he needed to get married in with a year. It worked really well with the plot of Too Hot to Handle and when something unexpected like this happens I’ve learned to just go with it. I think my subconscious works a few books ahead and doesn’t bother cluttering my conscious mind with unnecessary information. I wrote Breakfast in Bed next, and when my editor called and asked for Ben’s book, the “marriage of convenience” storyline was a given. Since the reason for it had already been set up in Too Hot to Handle, I found it pretty easy to put a modern twist on it. Ben needed to marry to keep his grandfather from selling the ranch where Ben had lived with his parents before their death. When Ben proposed the idea of a marriage as a business deal to Gina, she had her own reasons for accepting it. It would give her some much-needed cash to right a wrong she’d felt guilty about for most of her life.

Book Addict: After reading the last book in the series, Breakfast in Bed, I didn’t think I was going to like Gina, but once I started reading I was really rooting for her happiness. Do you know your character’s stories before you’ve written their book?

Robin Kaye: Yes, I do, but that doesn’t mean the reader does. When I “met” Gina in Romeo, Romeo, I knew she had one hell of a backstory. She fascinated me and it wasn’t long before I learned her life story. Still, she was a secondary character, so as a writer, I struggled to keep Gina and the rest of the secondary characters in their place until they earned their own books. Both Gina and Ben tried repeatedly to take over the books they were in. I was thrilled to finally write theirs.

Book Addict: Yours for The Taking is set in the city and the country. Have you lived in both places? Which do you prefer?

Robin Kaye: Yes, I was born in Brooklyn and lived in and around New York for years. When I was about 7 years old, my dad bought a farm with his two best friends in Nampa, Idaho (right outside of Boise). We’d visit my dad’s friends and ski in Boise. A year or so later, they bought a condo in Sun Valley. I grew up visiting Idaho and when I was about 8, I remember sitting on a chairlift with my dad on Bogus Basin (the ski mountain right outside of Boise) and telling him that when I grew up, I was going to live in Boise. He said “What the heck are you going to do in Boise, you’re from Brooklyn?” When my husband and I married, we honeymooned in Sun Valley. As we drove back to Boise to fly home, I said “Let’s move to Boise.” He liked the idea, we moved eight months later and lived in Boise for ten years. I can’t wait to go back. As for which I prefer, I guess I’d have to say Boise. I love the weather, the mountains, and the fact that there’s so much to do there. My family and I adored living in Boise. Still, if I could afford to, I’d live between Brooklyn and Boise.

Book Addict: I’ve heard some authors talk about their characters controlling the storyline. When writing, do you control your characters or do they tell you what they want to do?

Robin Kaye: I like to think I control the characters. I tell myself that my subconscious works a few books ahead and when it seems as if the characters do something I’m not expecting, I chalk it up to my subconscious mind just not clueing my conscious mind in on the details. It’s taken me a while to formulate my “excuse” but it works for me. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

Book Addict: I see on your author profile you’re from Brooklyn, and your books contain a lot of “Italian family”-type settings. Do you draw on your own experiences to use in your books?

Robin Kaye: I’m from a very Italian family so I guess I do. Though, to be truthful, my family is way over-the-top—if I used them in my books, no one would believe it. I’ve taken what I know of my family and friends and toned them down to come up with more believable characters. I’ve always been a people watcher and I think that helps as a writer. It’s easy for me to come up with fictional characters. They come alive in my imagination with their quirks and their own voices. That’s what makes writing so fun. For me it’s like making new imaginary friends.

Book Addict: How many books are you planning for the series? Do you have any new projects coming up?

Robin Kaye: Yours for the Taking is the last book in the Domestic Gods series, but I’m writing a connected series called Domestic Gods Gone Wild. This series features Ben’s cousins who all make an appearance in Yours for the Taking. The first book On the Wild Side is Hunter Kincaid’s book and is currently in revisions. I have two more under contract—Trapper and Fisher’s books. There’s a possibility of a fourth, we’ll see if people want to read Karma Kincaid’s story. I know I want to write it!

Book Addict: I read your “Top 10 Reasons Why Women Love Domestic Gods” (here) and cheered for each one. Is your husband the model for this list? :-)

Robin Kaye: My husband is a Domestic God but he’s not the world’s most romantic man. In my Top Ten List, I’ve added a few romantic details my DH has a habit of leaving out. But then I do write fiction.

Book Addict: Robin, thank you so much for stopping by and congratulations on the release of Yours for the Taking!

The Giveaway: Thanks to Sourcebooks, I have two (2) copies of Yours for the Taking to give away! (US and Canada addresses only please) To enter, leave a comment below; giveaway ends Friday, February 4.


He might be too good to be true…
Ben Walsh shouldn’t be single. Handsome and wealthy, Ben is equally at home in Idaho where he grew up and in Manhattan where he’s now an art dealer. Suave and successful with impeccable taste, he normally has women beating down his door. But the one woman he wants can’t be convinced that he’s for real…

She isn’t sure if she has time for fairy tales…
Gina Reyez has fought for every bit of her success, and it’s about time for things to start going her way. So when Ben makes a proposal that will allow her to take care of her family the way she wants to, she agrees. Besides, a guy this perfect would never be interested in her...right? By the time Gina figures out that she’s read Ben all wrong, the arrangements are made, the papers are signed…but what exactly are they getting themselves into?

Robin Kaye is a professional writer and winner of the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart award for her first novel, Romeo, Romeo. Her romantic comedies feature sexy, nurturing heroes and feisty, independent heroines. She lives with her husband and three children in Mt. Airy, Maryland, where she is working on a brand new series for release 2011 and 2012. For more information, please visit


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