Not sissy books

A few words from best-selling romance novelist (and Henderson resident) Robyn Carr

I absolutely am not one of the tortured writers,” says romance novelist and Henderson resident Robyn Carr.

"I absolutely am not one of the tortured writers. I’m having a good time, and if I wasn’t I’d do something else. I don’t like to suffer. Depression doesn’t work for me—I think I could have a good time at a car wreck.”

“True women’s fiction deals primarily with women’s issues as a plot. And that ranges from family life and interpersonal relationships with other women to issues like domestic violence and domestic assault. So when you have an ongoing character, as I do, who’s a nurse-midwife, that’s what she deals with on a daily basis.”

“My reader mail is incredible. I’ve gotten about 4,000 letters just since earlier this year. I carefully read every letter I get, I answer every letter I get, and I pay close attention to what they say they want.”

“I have absolutely no idea [where stories come from]. I think maybe banging your head on the desk helps.”

“In my fiction there will always be some kind of resolution from the problems people encounter. That’s a positive thing.”


Robyn Carr at the Paseo Verde Library
Carr will interview best-selling romance writers Debbie Macomber and Jodi Thomas in front of an audience.
Sept. 8, noon.
280 S. Green Valley Parkway.
Beyond the Weekly

“I didn’t want to come to Las Vegas. We were living in Phoenix, and my husband said, ‘I’ve got a great opportunity in Las Vegas.’ And I said, ‘Well, it’s not that far away—just send money and commute. I don’t want to go.’ He said, ‘Keep an open mind.’ So we looked around Henderson and Summerlin, and it took me exactly one weekend to fall in love with the suburbs—where people actually lived and not partied.”

“Even at this late date I have moments where I think, ‘Oh, I knew eventually I would run out. Eventually the well has to be dry, and I don’t have a single decent idea.’ And three days later I think of an idea. I don’t know how it happens.”

“I don’t outline. I just write.”

“The last book had to do with a soldier returning from Iraq who’d lost a limb. I got many letters from amputees; they were very grateful that someone got it right.”

“Romance is probably the biggest-selling genre in the country. So it amuses me when fun is poked at it. Because you can’t possibly find a genre in all of publishing that’s going to make more money.”

“I didn’t know my [unpublished] first book was trash. I thought it was probably Gone With the Wind.”

“At first I was getting male readers that got books from their wives and sisters. Now I’m getting male readers who get books from other men. The books might be labeled as romance, but they’re really not sissy books.”

“If [The New York Times] reviewed the books that are on their list, it would be a very different publication!”

“Quite a long time ago, I went to a town in Mendocino County to hear Alice Walker read, and I was standing out in the road with one of the locals when a camouflaged helicopter flew over. He said, ‘That’s the DEA. This is the biggest pot-growing area in America.’ And my writer’s brain went ding-ding-ding. And so I researched it and wrote a little series called the Grace Valley series—the first one came out in, I think, 2000, and they put out one a year for three years. I was a fun little small-town drama set right in the middle of a big marijuana-growing area. People loved that series, and they kept writing me long after it was done. They wanted the series to go on. I didn’t want it to go on. It was complete in my mind. My solution was to create another small town, not far away, where my new characters could get to know my old characters, and that would let readers check up on people they’d grown attached to. So I wrote Virgin River, and realized before I was finished that there were enough characters, enough drama and enough story there to go on and on. Now we’re up to something like 16 books. The last three that came out, in February, March and April, spent 12 weeks on the New York Times list.”

“It’s the place where I feel most comfortable and most confident—when I’m sitting in front of the computer, creating a story. I have a 10-year-old car with only 50,000 miles on it. Does that tell you something?”

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