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1. What made you want to become a writer? And why romance?
I think I've always been a writer. For me, it's not something that I became, it was something I was born into. And why romance? As a teenager, I loved romance. All my friends did, and girls with lots of romances to lend were the popular ones. Later I got deep into horror and police coequals, for about ten years, but I guess you always go back to your first love, and here I am, back with romance.
2. Unlike most of the
black romance writers who are American, you hail from the twin islands of
Trinidad and Tobago. Did this make getting published more difficult?
Being from Trinidad, and living here, has made it a little lonely, as I am out of the loop: no Romance Writers of America chapter meetings or coffee club meetings or book signings for me. But modern communications has made writing and being published as easy for me as for anyone living in the US. I met my agent over the Internet, and my critique partner in California reads my manuscript by e-mail. I handle all business communication with my editor, my publisher and my fans by e-mail, phone, fax or courier. So distance has certainly not been a problem for me.
3. Tell me a little bit about SOUL'S DESIRE.
SOUL'S DESIRE is different from NIGHT HEAT and MESMERIZED in that it was my first attempt at setting a novel in the US, which is, to me, a foreign country. I've visited the US several times, though, and I think I did a pretty good job. It's also different in that my lead characters, Zhara and Cole, are not perfect. She's a self-confessed thief, and he's a detective with a past who's obsessed with her case. But I believe that we are all entitled to redemption, and although they find love, they also find a way to resolve the issues of their personal pasts and learn to like themselves.
4. Besides writing what do you like to do?
I love being in my garden, although I have to admit I'm a little haphazard
at it. I also try to sneak in a little reading when I can, and I am a FABULOUS cook. However, the writing life is such that you find very little time for anything else. Not that I'm complaining!
5. Of the books you've written which is your favorite?
NIGHT HEAT will
always be my favorite, because it was the first book I ever published. No
matter what I write afterward, it will always have the softest spot in my heart.
It's a bit like a mother having an especial love for her firstborn.
6. You wrote a book, A THIRST FOR RAIN, which most would consider literary fiction. How different was it writing that book compared to the romantic fiction you write?
To be honest, in some ways, literary was easier. There are fewer restrictions to it, as the romance genre has clearly defined expectations, such as love and a happy ending. In literary fiction, anything pretty much goes. I like romance because it's so optimistic, and you can really go over the top with some really incendiary love scenes! But I love both genres equally, and I'm glad to have these two different avenues for self-expression. Who knows, one day I'll probably strike out in a new direction, write a good psychological thriller, and give Dean Koontz a run for his money!
7. Are you a full-time writer?
Not at the moment. For years, I dreamed of writing full time, but lately, I have come to realize that my full-time job in Public Relations is as much a part of me as writing is. So I have been quite content to find a balance between the two.
8. What's next for Simona Taylor (or Roslyn Carrington)?
I am just putting the finishing touches on my second
literary novel, which is a sequel to A THIRST FOR RAIN,
which has been very well received by critics and readers alike. It's
tentatively called EVERY BITTER THING SWEET, and should be
the shelves in a year, published under the name Roslyn Carrington. I am also beginning a new romance set in lovely idyllic Tobago, but I can't give a
date on when I expect to complete it, as I am under contract with Kensington for
yet another literary novel, due next year. Writing multiple genres is
9. Any special message for the aspiring author?
The best advice I can give is to remember that your work is never as bad as you think it is. We writers are always down on ourselves, and constantly compare our work to that of our idol authors. It's nice to have a hero, but remember that you're a hero, too, and that what as long as you work at it, polishing and polishing, your work will one day shine.
ROMANCE IN COLOR wishes Ms. Taylor the greatest success!