In 2009 and no, not at all. One day after a particularly sad event, I pulled out a notebook and scribbled what eventually became the prologue to my holiday romance, Christmas Dinner. Those words were written as a coping mechanism.
A few months later, I pulled out that notebook and thought what I’d written was pretty good. I brainstormed some ideas and thought it would be fun to create a holiday romance around it. That it’s now part of my book is very special to me and a special tribute.
What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
It was a long three years of writing, revising and taking classes. I’m a huge fan of Savvy Authors and online workshops through Maryland Romance Writers association. I also took a three-month mentoring class that was hands down the best thing I ever did. The techniques I learned not only help me get an offer for Christmas Dinner but helped me write faster. Destination Wedding was written in four months. I simply wouldn’t have been able to do that without the knowledge I gained from the mentoring class. I highly recommend the investment in an online mentoring program for aspiring authors.
Where did the idea for your story come from?
I knew I wanted to write a fun, romantic comedy involving mistaken identity that began on a plane when a heroine is struck by in-flight panic and doesn’t realize my handsome hero switches seats with his twin. I hate to fly and only wish what happened to my heroine would one day happen to me! I might then not mind flying!
Why did you pick the setting you did?
I wanted a tropical backdrop for all the antics that happen after “the kiss in the air.” Both Waikiki and Maui were the perfect settings for a destination wedding.
Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
I’d be lying if I said they were completely imaginary. I’ve planned many events over my career so having my heroine, Kate, be a wedding planner wasn’t a far stretch.
Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them? If not, what's your secret?
I was stumped on how Kate would discover that it was Luke who kissed her silly and not Drew on that original flight to Honolulu. Once an idea finally hit me, it really helped set the stage for the third act of the book. The “incident” on the beach cracks me up every time.
What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after?
How attached readers have become to Drew and Lauren – my secondary characters. The number One question I get is am I writing their story next. (Drew had some words for me on this topic recently on the Crimson Romance blog! Check it out!)
Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
My writing space is my Dell Ultra Book and my lap. It’s super light so I can cart it everywhere, and I do. My favorite space is my room, with a romantic comedy playing in the background and my kitty nearby.
What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble?
Because I write romantic comedy, internal conflict has always been my Achilles heel. I’m working on giving my characters rich internal conflict.
What are some of your favorite books and why?
The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks (the twist master!), The Blue Bistro and The Castaways by Elin Hildenbrand are three of all my time favorites. If you haven’t read any of Elin’s books, I highly recommend. They are the best summer reads! (Besides my own!)
What are you working on now?
Ooooh! I’m so excited. My current WIP involves magical batter (yep, cake batter!) and a town full of handsome bachelors. I’m hoping to have it completed by September.
Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre? Which one and why?
Right now, no. I love, love, love writing romantic comedy with super cute happy endings.
If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?
I’m lucky! I love my full-time job which is working with college student leaders around the world. I plan an annual convention for 700 attendees each August and have a blast. If I weren’t doing that and writing – well I’ve always thought I’d be an awesome Nancy Drew! Although my detective hunches are usually wrong!
Wedding planner Kate Ashby’s fear of flying is eased by a sexy stranger and one slow lip lock that rockets her into another obit.
CEO Luke Cannon has just traded seats with his identical twin. Little did he know that an innocent kiss while pretending he was his brother would soon create havoc. What happens in the air doesn’t stay up there.
Once on tropical land, Kate believes that the handsome stranger who gave her the best kiss of her life is now her new client, Drew Cannon, fiancé to the beautiful and wealthy Lauren Kincaid. While Kate struggles with the intense feelings she thinks she has for Drew, Luke discovers Kate’s been hired to plan his brother’s destination wedding. He also realizes the initial sparks they shared 30,000 feet up are now mistakenly aimed at Drew.
Can Luke get Kate to realize that the feelings she has are for him? He’s got forty-eight hours in paradise to try.
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About Robyn: Robyn Neeley is an East Coaster who loves to explore new places; watches way more reality TV than she cares to admit; can’t live without Dunkin Donuts coffee and has never met a cookie she didn’t like. If you have a must read romance suggestion or a fabulous cookie recipe, she wants to know.