Saturday, December 5, 2015

An Interview with Marina Adair - Romance Author par Excellence (and the May RBC author)

I have known Marina for a number of years now and have read several of her books.  She is definitely one of my favorite romance authors.  Now, we not only get insights into her writing and background, but we also have her booked for our RBC.  She'll be coming to the store on Wednesday, May 25, 2016, and will be discussing book 3 in her Sugar, Georgia series - A Taste of Sugar.

Q&A with Marina Adair

1.    What are your books about?
I love stories that deal with women reclaiming their identity after a divorce, suffocating parents, or a major life-altering experience. Exploring how women learn to balance life and career excites me. And I also love exploring different kinds of healthy love, and of course finding new and fresh ways to give fictional characters their happily ever after.

2.    What made you decide to write novels?
I began telling stories when I was six or seven. I was sick a lot as a kid, so stories were my escape. I would sit in my room for hours on end making up elaborate scenes with Barbie and Ken. I didn’t start writing professionally until about 10 years ago. Screenwriting was my gateway into the industry, but after years of canceled projects, and living in LA, I decided to try my hand at novels and discovered I loved it. I loved the freedom that comes with writing novels. Instead of just being in creative control of the dialogue, I am the screenwriter, the director, the set dresser, the editor, and the marketer.  

3.    What is your writing routine?
My daily goal is 2000 words, so after the kiddo is off at school, I pull out my laptop and get to work. Hopefully I finish before it is time to pick her up, but if not then I am back writing after everyone goes to bed so that I get in my word count.  

4.    Do you belong to a writing group?
I belong to the Silicon Valley Romance Writer’s of America chapter. I met so many lovely women who have helped me through all of the ups and downs of the industry. My first advice to aspiring writers is always join a structured writing group! 
5.    How did you get your publisher?   
I have a savvy and dedicated agent, Jill Marsal, who carefully selects which editors from the different houses she is going to submit me to. She has a talent for setting up the right authors with the right editor. So all of my books have been sold through my agent. 

6.    Do you have other books written that are waiting for publication?  
I just finished editing the third book in the Heroes of St. Helena series, NEED YOU FOR MINE, which comes out March 2016. It is a friends to lovers romance that follows elite smoke jumper, and all around ladies’ man, Adam Baudouin, who finds himself in a faux-mance with the town’s good girl. Only one kiss and Adam learns that there is more to the milk and cookies art teacher that he’d love to explore. But first he has to convince her to trust the town’s most notorious playboy. 

I also have a new series coming out in August of 2016, the Destiny Bay. It centers around a small costal town in Washington State, where romance blooms as readily as apples. There will be nosy old biddies, small town charm, and lots of emotion and romance. Oh, and did I mention the men? Rugged, sexy, and looking for love.    

7.    Who edits your books?
My publisher.

8.    How much time does it take from signed contract to published book?
It varies by publisher. My first St Helena Vineyards book, KISSING UNDER THE MISTLETOE, was published six months after it was contracted. But then SUGAR’S TWICE AS SWEET, the first book in my Sugar, Georgia series, took three years to publish, and that was after they had contracted a completed book.  

9.    How do you come up with titles and covers?
Titles I usually brainstorm with my agent or editor, and coming up with great titles is hard for me. As for covers, those are up to my publishers.

10.  How long does it take to write each book?
I once wrote a book in 20 days because I was pressed for a deadline, but they usually take me 3-4 months from conception to finished piece.

11.  How many books do you write in a year?
Between 3 and 5. 

12.  Do you have a mentor?
I have had many along the way, starting with the brilliant screenwriter and my grad school mentor, Barnaby Dallas, who told me, “The only thing you have to do to become a writer is sit down and write. Everyday.” As of late, I look to author friends Catherine Bybee and Skye Jordan for advice. They are both savvy, successful, and extremely generous with their time and information. And, of course, my agent, Jill Marsal, is constantly helping me reshape and define how I want to build my career. 

13.  Do your characters speak to you?
No! I wish they would. I have never had characters speak in my head and am always jealous of writers who do. I knew when I went into this that I wanted to build a career that could support my family, so being fickle and waiting for inspiration was never a luxury I had. And I imagine that if I ever did have characters that spoke to me, they would do it on their own timeline.

14.  Do your characters dictate what happens in your books?  Or do you know
       ahead of time where they’re going?
Lordy, no! I am a major plotter—to the point that it drives my author friends and loved ones crazy. I plot out time to plot . . . seriously. I even make a plot chart that shows all of the major turning points in each of my plotlines, color coded of course, so I can make sure that they all work together.


  1. Now that impressive and prodigious. Welll done.

  2. Wonderful interview! So loved understanding how the wonderful Miss Adair works!