Thursday, September 14, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe

R.T. Wolfe Writes From the Heart

The Write Way Café welcomes R.T. Wolfe, who follows her stars to write stories of her heart.

How did you become involved with the subject or theme of Island Secrets?
Oh! This is such a great story. I’m really glad you asked. I watched a random, yet fascinating, clip about sea turtles and thus started this game of ping-pong in my head.
     Ping: In the back of my mind an eccentric family who raises goats on their roof and grows herbs on their porch lives on a small island. Each devotes their life to sea turtle conservation.
     Pong: But, sea turtles? Really? I live in the Midwest. I’ve written about dogs, eagles, dogs, whooping cranes, and dogs. But, sea turtles? A few weeks later a box turtle crawls out of the pond behind my home, up my berm and digs a nest on the side. I about came out of my skin, videotaping and taking pictures for over an hour.
     Ping: The eldest brother of said family goes missing during an underwater treasure hunt causing the entire family to pour their lives into finding him.
     Pong: Okay, okay. Divine intervention seems to be taking place but still…I would need a conservation group willing to talk to me and place to stay and when would I go? How does Nora Roberts do this all the time and everywhere she goes?
     Ping: Raine, Willow and Zoe Clearwater. What perfect names. Each sister will have her own book. I could start with the youngest, Zoe. She, of course, carries the most guilt with the loss of their brother. It was she who was set to be his diving partner the day he went missing, except she was too busy building her scuba diving business and blew him off.
     Pong: A colleague of mine offered me her condo on Anna Maria Island off the west coast of Florida. I tried not to get my hopes up, but this was getting out of hand. The stars just kept lining up.
     Ping: Zoe sells her business to her childhood treasure hunting nemesis, spends her days with the island local turtle conservation organization, her evenings working as an employee for the nemesis, and her weekends diving in caverns searching for clues for her lost brother.
     Pong: Suzi Fox, the Primary Permit Holder of the Anna Maria Turtle Watch and Sea Bird Monitoring, offers me the opportunity to shadow her for the week this condo is available. I spent 7 days on the island and never put my swimsuit on once. Suzi took me under her wing and we were off. It was a non-stop week of chasing turtle watch volunteers, excavating nests, saving injured turtles, protecting nestlings and releasing several into the wild. It was a week that turned into several return trips and a great friendship I will cherish forever. Plus, a fantastic trilogy in the making.

Can you share some stories about people you met while researching Island Secrets?
Suzi Fox is the Primary Permit Holder for Anna Maria Island which, in my mind, basically means she runs the island. (Hi, Suzi! Sorry, but it’s true. ☺) Her along with her expert assistants, Glenn and Claudia Wiseman and so many, many others who volunteer their time for the incredible cause of saving these endangered species have changed my life forever. What amazing, selfless people who have dedicated their lives to helping sea turtles and assisting with an amazing story.

What are some of the references that you used while researching Island Secrets?
The turtle conservationists often wanted to educate me on the ins and outs of saving turtles. What they didn’t realize was that I was taking most of my notes on the conversations and scenarios between and around them.

For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of Island Secrets, where should they start?
With the book, of course. It is available in ebook form from all retailers and in print through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

What is the most important thing that people DON'T know about your subject/genre that they need to know?
Romantic suspense novels come in vast varieties of time periods, settings, range of violence as well as of heat level. R.T. Wolfe books are intelligent writing for today’s contemporary romantic suspense reader. They could be compared to a PG-13 rating in both violence and love scenes.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
I recommend using fans for naming characters. That’s what I do. Zoe, Willow, and Raine are all names suggested from followers on my Facebook Page. It’s all about the readers. ☺ So dang fun.

Are you a plotter or a pantster?
Both, if that makes any sense. I plot my outline, but the characters always seem to have minds of their own and cause me countless revisions to my outlines.

Is there a certain type of scene that's harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?
No way! If that were the case, I would stick with romance only or possibly the suspense genre. Authors write what we love to read for sure.

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
I do read my reviews and try to respond to each but have been overwhelmed with that as of late. The bad ones are killers for sure. Many are just plain hateful, but some are quite helpful. So, I force myself. --glutton for punishment--

What did you find most useful in learning to write?  What was least useful or most destructive? What is your best marketing tip?
Most useful? The never-ending path of learning to pull a reader into the head of the character. The least useful? All of the rules the powers that be say are set in stone that mean very little to the people who matter…the readers! Best marketing tip? I say leave that to the people who do that for a living. The best marketing for an author is to get out the next book.

What’s next for R.T.?
My current work-in-progress is Island Pursuit, Island Escape Series book 2, and then onto book 3. Life is good when I can get to Panera, warm up my coffee and power up my laptop.

Thank you for having me, ladies. Love, love, love your blog.

About R.T.:  R.T. was born and raised in the beautiful Midwest, the youngest of six ornery children. She married at a young age and began her family shortly after. With three amazing small boys, life was a whirlwind of flipping houses and working two jobs in between swim lessons and Candyland. Now that her boys are nearly grown, R.T. spends much of her time on the road traveling from one sporting event to another serving as mom and cheerleader. She works to assist the several non-profit organizations that have supported her books and promote the work they do for those who cannot help themselves.

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HiDee said...

Your posts are always so much fun! It's interesting to hear how everything lined up. Definitely the stars aligning! Thanks for being with us today R.T.!

RT Wolfe said...

Thank you, HiDee! I'm so very happy to be back.