Hi Rosalind! Thank you so much for speaking with me and taking some questions today! Your first two books, The Palisade and The Garden, were both so romantic and enjoyable, I’m anxious to learn more about you and your writing.
I understand you share your name with someone very special. Would you like to tell your readers a little about them?
I sure do! Several people in the MM romance community knew Nancy Hartmann. She had a book published with Wild Ciity, called Not All Angels Have Wings. Though she was a little shy in person, she had quite the presence online and even attended a GRL or two. She was also extremely active in supporting Eric Arvin and all that he went through. And in that vein she purchased a spot in the Rocky Mountain Boys series by donating $1000 to help support Eric. When she chose her character’s name for that series, she chose her birth name, Rosalind Abel. You see, Nancy was adopted when she was a baby. Rosalind Abel was her given name, but her adoptive parents changed her name to Nancy. Nancy passed away earlier this year. She was larger-than-life, sarcastic, hilarious, liberal, and full of passion and daring. This is just one way to keep her spirit closer at all times.
What made you decide to write a series instead of standalone novels?
I love series. Both the kind that follow one character throughout and the kind that, like this one, focus on a place all the way through but each book is about a different character or couple. I’m a huge fan of Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld, and absolutely adored when characters from previous books would show up as side characters in the current installment. By the time you’re done you just have this huge mass of friends and family that feel like your own. That’s the goal of Lavender Shores.
I know that you live in Colorado. Was there a particular reason you chose California for Lavender Shores and is there any real place that inspired the LGBTQ friendly town?
I absolutely love California. If it weren’t for family in Colorado, I would already live there. It’s beautiful, the weather is perfect, it’s a great setting. I’m more used to Southern California, but there such beauty in the northern part as well and varying weather which seemed nice for a series. The town itself is completely made-up although it’s inside of Point Reyes National Seashore, which is very much real. I did play with the feel of small mountain tourist towns though. I’m a sucker for small-town stories.
Two of the characters we’ve met so far, Andrew Kelly and Gilbert Bryant, are members of the founding families of Lavender Shores. Are the families or any particular family members, based on people you know?
They aren’t. At least most of them. Lamont will have some of my personality, at least in regards to his writing career. The only other one you asked me about later so I’ll address that there. Everyone else is completely made up. They’ve introduced themselves to me one at a time. It’s been fun getting to know them.
What came first, the characters or the setting?
The setting came first. I had to understand the town, its history, and all the ins and outs of how it worked before I could understand people who live there. I want to go there so badly. I hate that it isn’t real. Lavender Shores has grown very dear to my heart.
Robert, Andrew’s father, is a very fun and unusual character. How did you decide to create his personality, or did it just develop while writing?
Robert, at least most aspects of Robert, is based off of someone I know. Someone rather closeted, actually. Which definitely isn’t Robert, but still… I will never share who that person is as it would be very offensive to them, but it is not meant in a derogatory way. There’s just so many things that this person says, does, and thinks that constantly make me go, This person belongs in a book. Well, now they’re in a book.
Joel and Andrew in The Palisade were worried about their futures and Gilbert and Walden had painful pasts. Both books had some very sexy scenes! What kind of scenes are more difficult for you to write?
Worrying about the future is a little bit harder actually. It’s more cerebral. Painful pasts are guttural and visceral. That makes it easy. The hardest scenes to write are the sex scenes, without a doubt. But, they are thick and fast in this series, innuendo intended, so I’m learning!
With two books published, can you tell us how many more you have planned?
I have at least seven planned although there are others already playing in the back of my mind. But, at this point I’m only committing to five. The fifth one will be out in October. If people want more, then the other ones playing in my mind will show up. It’s all just a matter of what readers are saying they desire.
What’s the best thing about writing? The most challenging?
I love the act of writing, it’s stressful and terrifying, but I am happiest on the days I have nothing to do but write. Of course, cliche as it might be, there is no better feeling that ‘having written’ even better than the ‘act of writing.’ The challenge is the fear, hope, and desire to please your readers, trying to balance artistry, craft, and story, and all the while dreaming of your writing paying the bills.
Who would be your dream co-author?
This is such a horrible answer, but a truthful one. I’m such a control freak and such a planner that co-writing I think would be a huge challenge for me. There are many authors that I’d love to see my name beside on a book cover, but I fear I may not have the particular talent in me.
Can you tell us what you are working on right now?
You bet! I am working on the edits of book three, The Veranda, and diving into the writing of book four, The Shipwreck. The Veranda will arrive at the end of August, and The Shipwreck, the end of September. I hope you’re as excited as I am!
Describe yourself in three words.
Driven, Homebody, Creative
Short bio please!
Rosalind Abel grew up tending chickens alongside her sweet and faithful Chow, Lord Elgin. While her fantasy of writing novels was born during her teen years, she never would have dreamed she’d one day publish steamy romances about gorgeous men. However, sometimes life turns out better than planned.
In between crafting scorching sex scenes and helping her men find their soul mates, Rosalind enjoys cooking, collecting toys, and making the best damn scrapbooks in the world (this claim hasn’t been proven, but she’s willing to put good money on it).
She adores MM Romance, the power it has to sweep the reader away into worlds filled with passion, steam, and love. Rosalind also enjoys her collection of plot bunnies and welcomes new fuzzy ones into her home all the time, so feel free to send any adorable ones her way.