Robyn Carr was a young mother of two in the mid-1970s when she started writing fiction, an Air Force wife, educated as a nurse, whose husband's frequent assignment changes made it difficult for her to work in her profession. Little did the aspiring novelist know then, as she wrote with babies on her lap, that she would become one of the world’s most popular authors of romance and women's fiction, that 11 of her novels would earn the #1 berth on the New York Times bestselling books list.
In the eight years since Robyn's A Virgin River Christmas scored her first New York Times success in 2008, the Las Vegas author's novels have spent 231 weeks on that prestigious list. Amazingly, sales of her books in digital and print have risen with each successive novel. Her 20-book Virgin River series alone has netted more than 13 million copies. That series’ sixteenth title, Bring Me Home for Christmas, scored the #1 slot not only on the New York Times list but on two others as well--Publishers Weekly and Barnes and Noble.
As an author of heart-warming, toe-curling romance, what misconceptions about the genre bother you the most?
The worst misconception is that they’re not smart books because they’re read mostly by women. In fact some of the greatest novels ever written have been romances. They come in all shapes and sizes from light fairly uncomplicated reads to great, complex stories. Romances are not necessarily frivolous entertainment just because they’re romances. One of the best romances I’ve read in the last few years was Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, a deeply emotional story that covered many controversial issues.
What’s the best line from a book, movie or TV show that you wish you wrote?
The best opening line to a novel is Deanna Raybourn’s Silent in the Grave. ‘To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor.’
And then there’s always, “Frankly, Scarlett, I don’t give a damn.”
Her success did not come early and was certainly not a fluke – I’d love to talk writing with her. Both her work in fiction and what little I’ve read of interviews and the forward she wrote for the reissue of the Shell Seekers seems so wise, so worldly and compassionate. I’m not that much younger than she is but I greatly admire her wisdom and good sense about her craft.
If all the words dried up tomorrow and you could no longer write, what would you do for a living?
At this point in my life I would not begin a new career. Not that I don’t have the energy – I’ve worked and worked hard at this writing gig for over 40 years. I would read and read and read, take long walks, join book groups, maybe write reviews. Nancy Pearl, the greatest librarian, writes many reviews and she never wastes space on books she cannot recommend – I would be that kind of book critic. I love to read biographies – a pure indulgence. I think I would do all the things there just doesn’t seem to be time for. When I was young I fantasized being a great singer. One problem – I’m tone deaf. I sound like Lucille Ball trying to sing.
The zombie apocalypse has hit (as we all knew it would one day). Which TV or movie characters do you want as part of your crew? (no superheroes…that’s cheating)
I don’t know anything about zombies. Do they get to read? If they get to sit around and read and watch their favorite movies I have a stack of favorite books to occupy me and my husband and I have our comfort movies – Love Actually, The Right Stuff, Independence Day, Day After Tomorrow… I am a disaster film junkie. I’ve seen some of the biggest cities in the country destroyed by earthquake, asteroid, aliens and extreme weather. So – if I’m banished to a deserted island I’ll need my books and favorite movies. And Tom Selleck.