This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Roxy Wilson. She's a fellow SCP author, and her new book, He's So Into You, was released last month. I enjoyed getting to know Roxy, and I'm sure you will, too.
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Christina: Welcome, Roxy. For starters, tell us a little about yourself, please.
Roxy: I’m the wife of a wonderfully supportive husband, a mother of three precocious but precious kids and a high school lit teacher. Maintaining strong familial bonds is important to me, so no one should be surprised when I spend lots of time with the people I love most, my family.
Christina: Besides writing, what activities do you enjoy?
Roxy: I love reading, which I think is the flip side of writing. I also like cooking, particularly West Indian cuisine, and island hopping. Mind you, since 9-11, I’m a bit scared of flying, but I do like the idea of being in a different country. My favorite islands to visit are St. Lucia, Dominica, St. Maarten/St. Martin and the USVI.
Christina: What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
Roxy: Most people don’t know that the number 7 pervades every aspect of my life. For instance, my dad was born on 7th March, my mom on 17th May, my sister and brother on 27th and 17th January respectively, and I on 17th September. I was married on 27th December, 1997. On our honeymoon in St. Lucia, my husband and I stayed in Suite #207. My first and second vehicles had license plate # 17 and # 7221 respectively. At present, my address begins with #7 and each of my phones has the number 7 in it. Hmmm…. Perhaps, it’s evidence that I’m truly a lucky lady.
Christina: Favorite music?
Roxy: Wow! Where do I start? That encompasses the whole gamut of music by Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, U2, Foreigner, Phil Collins, the Bee Gees, Bryan Adams, Bob Marley, David Rudder (a calypsonian), New Edition, Air Supply, Whitney Houston, Chicago, Luther Vandross, Bruno Mars, Machel Montano (a soca singer) and so many more.
Christina: I love meeting a fellow music-lover, and I'll be checking out some of your favorites. Now, let's move on to He's So Into You. What was the inspiration behind the story?
Roxy: Sadly, four persons boarded a plane in a Caribbean island, which was bound for another, and within moments of taking off, the plane crashed. All but one person died. I was deeply moved by the story.
A few days after the crash, the lone survivor, said he passed out just before the impact. He suffered injuries to his leg. So I asked myself, “If this man was travelling with his fiancée, what would his story be?” And I started to brainstorm ideas, and He’s So Into You was born.
Christina: Who is your favorite character from the book, and why?
Roxy: That’s an easy one. Definitely Raina and that’s probably because she’s bits and pieces of me. She’s a plus size woman, who has struggled for years (and still struggles I might add) with her weight. She has body image issues. She has sister locks. She’s of African descent. She quotes poetry at odd times. The only ways in which we differ is the fact that she has an abusive ex, and she goes out on a blind date.
Christina: Raina sounds very interesting. I'm especially intrigued by her habit of quoting poetry at odd times. I do that often! So, how did you choose your title?
Roxy: There’s a movie called He’s Just Not That into You, which deals with people who wrestle with problems with the opposite sex. It’s interesting to see how we women don’t see the signs, don’t recognize when a guy is just not into us, no matter how hard we try to accommodate him, pander to his ego, and make ourselves seemingly irresistible to him. However, in He’s So Into You, Raina is just herself, and Jordan is still smitten by her. He has his own issues, but for that one night, he is really into her, hence the title for the story.
Christina: Will there be a sequel?
Roxy: Yes, there will be two more. Raina and Jordan’s story is far from over. He’s So Into You has a happy for now (HFN) ending as it stands. The sequel will show some of the conflicts they face before they get their happily ever after. Jayce and Caleb, their two meddlesome friends, will also have their own story. That will be one wild ride, and will certainly test the strength and patience of even the oldest saint.
Christina: I know you have an excerpt from the story to share with us, but before we get to that, I've got just a few more questions. When did you know you wanted to be a writer, Roxy?
Roxy: Since I was in the sixth grade. Actually a classmate and I collaborated and wrote a mystery, similar to Famous Five and Secret Seven. He did the illustrations since he drew so well, and I wrote the story. It was only last July, though, I decided to write romance stories. How did that happen? One of my Facebook friends posted an article. I read it, I was inspired by it, and I decided to write an interracial romance story. Within two months I was finished and the rest is history. It’s in the R&R stage right now. He’s So Into You is my second story, though.
Christina: What’s the most enjoyable thing on the journey?
Roxy: Interacting with other writers, especially those whose works I already admired. It’s really cool, actually. And they’re so approachable, ready to answer questions I may have about the business of writing and marketing my work. Some of them are hilarious, and that’s fine with me because I’m always ready for a good laugh. I like the camaraderie I see among writers, the way they are willing to host fellow authors on their blog and promote each other’s work, just as you are doing right now, Christina. I think that’s what fraternity among authors is supposed to be.
Christina: Now, for one of the tough questions...LOL. You're a busy lady. How do you manage your schedule to balance writing with other responsibilities?
Roxy: Schedule? What’s that? Lololol. Actually, I don’t have a schedule but I have loads of responsibilities. It’s very difficult for me to fit in writing. I’m hoping one day I’ll be able to get it right. That I’ll be disciplined enough to have a schedule, and produce a certain number of words each day. Don’t see it happening right now, though. Still, I can hope… *sigh*
Christina: I think a lot of us understand how you're feeling. It's not easy to balance "real life" and writing. Now, let's get back to He's So Into You. The cover is gorgeous, and I can feel the emotions in the story. I'll get out of the way now, and let you share He's So Into You.
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About the Story:
Leaving an abusive ex and ending an unhealthy relationship with food still aren’t enough to help Raina Abbott overcome her feelings of insecurity, but her best friend Jayce convinces her that going on a blind date is the first step to boosting her self-confidence and feeling good about herself again. Jordan Cooper shows her that she’s beautiful, both inside and out, but can a date and one night of passion assure her that he’s really into her?
“May I ask you a question, Raina?
“I just wondered why you’re here with me.”
“Because you invited me to your room, remember?”
It was obvious she evaded his question. It was the first time Jordan noticed Raina wasn’t altogether comfortable. So why in the world is she here?
“You know what I mean. Why are you on this date?
“Why shouldn’t I?”
“You’re beautiful, charming and intelligent. I would think you’d have men lining up just to be with you.”
Raina laughed without humor. “The trouble is, the guys I know either don’t want to be romantically involved with a full figured woman or just pretend they do.”
“You’re telling me you’ve never been seriously involved with anyone? Never been in love?”
“What’s love anyway?” she asked mockingly, and then shrugged her shoulders. “Maybe it’s just the irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.”
“You think quoting Robert Frost is a satisfactory answer?” Jordan shook his head. “Be honest with me.”
Raina stopped swaying to the music and looked at him seriously. “Okay, you want to hear the truth? The truth is, I met a man who threw kindness my way, flowers, late night phone calls, the works. Within three months I moved in with him, much to the angst of my family. It didn’t dawn on me that he never took me anywhere, never invited his family or friends to our apartment, until I had invested so much time and effort in the relationship, I felt I shouldn’t leave him. He treated me like crap, insulted me, nothing I said or did met his approval. I became a chicken-shit, afraid of him, afraid of my freaking shadow, for god’s sake. I felt like such an idiot, because I didn’t even realize what I had become. Everyone noticed but me.”
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Christina: One final question, Roxy. Now that you've intrigued us with the story, where can we buy He's So Into You?
Roxy: The book is published by Secret Cravings Publishing. It's available on their website, and at other online booksellers. Here's a list of places where readers can find He's So Into You.
Christina: Thanks again for being my guest today, Roxy. Best wishes on the book!