Regina West is the first novelist in this series of interviews I’m beginning here and elsewhere in my social media. Someone has to be the first, right? Well, why save the best to last?
She’s a romance and erotica novelist who signed with Pandamoon Publishing last year. Her first novel, The Long Way Home is due out later this year:
Forty-two-year-old Twilah Dunn has it all – a thriving ad agency in Los Angeles she shares with her business partner who is also her fiancé. But one phone call changes everything and leaves Twilah with a dead father, a cheating fiancé, and a score to settle.
She returns to her small hometown in North Carolina determined to sell her father’s horse farm and use the money to buy her business out from under her cheating fiancé, but her plans change when she sees the farm’s dilapidated state. She can’t bear the thought of leaving it that way.
Against all reason, she trades her fast-paced, high-stakes city life for a down-home, country one to restore her childhood home to its former glory. But she knows she can’t do it alone.
She hires sexy, forty-something cowboy Aidan Perry to help her do it. Soon, she can’t keep her mind or her hands off him, but rumors of his dark past loom. Besides, she’s been burned before by mixing business with pleasure.
Will Twilah push through her fear and let herself love Aidan? Will his mysterious past prove too dangerous? Has she really left Los Angeles behind? For some, the way to happiness is the long, winding road home.
Regina is a mother of two boys, plays Classical guitar, lives in Lakewood, Colorado and says she’s a huge fan of chocolate. I asked her a few questions and this is how it went.
Q. Imagine for a moment that you’re a famous, bestselling author. They’re making a movie out of your last book. What do you do next to top that you’ve already achieved?
A. I gotta say…if that happens, I doubt I’ll bother topping it. I’d keep writing, sure, but I’d spend an inordinate amount of time rolling around naked in my piles of money while sipping umbrella drinks at my beach house in Tahiti.
Q. Creative people tend to be spontaneous. In particular, most people think that writers are at least a little crazy. Tell us the most unusual thing you have done in your real life that doesn’t directly relate to writing.
A. I am way too much of a control freak to be spontaneous. Crazy, yes. Spontaneous, not so much. I suppose the most unusual thing I’ve done was go-kart racing. Most of the time, I was the only girl racing, and, believe it or not, I was good at it. Not many women have that claim to fame. I tend to think of myself as a NASCAR driver – driving too fast, doing fishtails in empty parking lots. Just ask the Colorado Highway Patrol.
Q. Creativity comes in many ways – for example, painting, photography, sculpture, music and theater. What other things do you do or have you done that are examples of using your imagination or other artistic talents?
A. As a child, I took dance lessons for many years and spent a great deal of my spare time choreographing routines. Even now, if I hear a catchy song on the radio, I can envision dance steps in my head. In adulthood, I began taking classical guitar lessons and fell in love with that, but, unfortunately, with all the other things going on in my life, I’ve had to put it down for now. I truly miss making music.
Q. Where do you see yourself at this moment in your life had you never decided to write a book?
A. I think I’d be right where I am now. Writing is a lovely, all-encompassing experience, but the pay sucks. So, for the most part, I think I’d still be working full-time, spending time with my kids, and generally growing as a person. I’d probably spend far less time on social media, though.
Q. Family and relationships are important in peoples’ lives and so, it is little surprise that there are relationships between characters in books. How closely do the interactions in your books mirror your real life?
A. Well, I write romance, so I take the sexual tension everyday real-life people might feel and ramp it up about a thousand notches. That said, there are bits and pieces of me and people I’ve known in all the characters I’ve ever created, so the interactions are similar, albeit far more dramatic.
A prime example from The Long Way Home is when my introverted main character, Twilah, meets her future best friend, Victoria. Victoria is bold, outgoing, and has nothing to lose, which chafes against Twilah’s more cautious nature, so her first reaction is an odd mixture of curiosity and mistrust. I’ve had the same initial response to my extroverted friends. It can take a long while for someone who spends a lot of time hiding behind her personal inner walls to understand someone with no walls at all, but once the trust is built, these two opposites become inseparable pieces of a puzzle.
Thank you, Regina for taking the time to answer a few questions. The Long Way Home, her first novel, will be released through Pandamoon Publishing on June 30, 2014. For more information about her book check her out on her website or the social media links below: