Yeah, that's me and Lizbeth "acting" goofy for the camera. We didn't have to try hard. Talk about having so much fun, she's got a great sense of humor and so kind. She even made me an honorary Minnesotan. You betcha! By the way, hiding behind us are Lena Diaz and Kay Thomas. The chickens!
I've made some great friends through Avon, and I'm so proud of Lizbeth. She's a Rita nominee. For those who don't know, the Rita is romance writing's Oscars, presented by the Romance Writers of America.
Who are your top five authors to read?
What is your go-to book to read over and over again?
Who influenced your writing the most? Why?
This is the easiest question always for me to answer—my writing heroine is LaVyrle Spencer who probably influenced more budding romance writers in the '80s and '90s than anyone else. I devoured her books, I read them over and over, and I used them in my very first classes on how to write a romance novel. I don’t think I write like she did, but to this day I can’t shake my love of gentle, beautiful, descriptive, lyrical writing—even though today’s reader has less patience for that kind of a novel.
Describe where you are the most productive when you write.
I have an office in my house and that SHOULD be where I write best. But, truthfully, I am the most productive at a coffee shop or place where I’m stuck in one spot and can’t be distracted by my house, the internet, or the ability to get up and wander as soon as a scene gets sticky. I have a critique partner I write with once a week and those are my most productive days.
Tells us a little about your current book?
I have two new books coming out from Avon Impulse this fall and winter. The most current one, the one that needs to be turned in by today(!) is about a minor character from my first three books—a mechanic named Duane “Dewey” Mitchell. Dewey has lived in the small town
of Kennison Falls, Minnesota (the setting for my Avon series) all his life and is beloved by everyone. He’s a former football hero and now the go-to guy for anything that needs fixing or doing. If Dewey can’t get it done, nobody can. But the hardships in his past have left him wounded, and in some ways he’s the loneliest guy in town.
(Up until now Rose and Dewey have had a contentious attraction to each other. Now, after hearing that her son Jesse is having trouble his first day of school, Rose gets the very first inkling that Dewey isn't really the aloof jackass she thinks he is.)
Until the new town librarian shows up. Rose is smart and pretty—and she has a son with Asperger's syndrome. The ten-year-old is friendly and smart like his mother—but he definitely has quirks. And he falls in love with Dewey almost as fast his mom does. Dewey knows he isn't good father material for a geeky kid with awkward social and absolutely zero athletic skills. But as he finds himself less and less able to curb his attraction to Rose—he learns a lot about what he’s made of. And a lot about what love really is.
Show us your one favorite scene of dialogue from that book.
Rose hung up and stared around her seat in a haze of anxiety, her brain racing, thrust into the very mode she and Dewey had been discussing—how to plan the immediate future. Call the high school principal, call Kate . . .
“Is everything all right?”
His voice short-circuited the whirling, and she caught her breath, surprised—again—to see concern newly etched into the lines beside Dewey’s eyes.
“My son got into a scrape at school.”
She regretted telling him the instant the words were out. Clearly her mind wasn't planning all that well.
“My my. Young Jesse Loren Hanrehan?” His broad smile wiped out all the good will they’d built the previous ten minutes.
“If you think this is remotely humorous—” She tried desperately to soften the steel in her voice.
"Hey, now, I didn't say that."
"That idiotic grin said it plenty loudly enough."
“C'mon, look. You have a son. I have three brothers. I remember what it was like to be a boy at school. My mom came to haul us home by the scruffs of our necks for fighting more than a few times.”
“Excuse me.” Indignation burned a hole in her atom of remaining self-control. The man was a complete ass when it came to kids. “My son does not get into fights. And I have no intention of hauling him anywhere.” She gathered her purse and scooted sideways on the booth seat. “For your information, he’s been punched in the nose hard enough to make it bleed, and he’s terrified.”
“This really isn't any of your business, Mr. Mitchell.”
The calm-but-stern tone that wrapped itself around her name forced her to stop. When she allowed herself to meet his gaze, the teasing had been replaced by calm self-assurance. She wanted to find arrogance there, too, but she found something that looked more like understanding.
“Dewey?” She glared, unwilling to forgive his earlier insensitivity, and perched, ready for flight, on the edge of the booth seat.
He leaned forward, forearms on the table. “Do you always go off to him in such an agitated state?”
“What on Earth is that supposed to mean? Do I go off worried sick? Of course. You've never been a mother; I wouldn't expect you to understand.”
She swore he blanched slightly, but he swallowed and leaned a little further across the tabletop. “Just wait for two minutes. You don’t do a kid who’s upset any favors by running into the room panicked. Take a deep breath and tell me what happened. I won’t say anything, but you can sort it out and calm down.”
He dared tell her to calm down? Where did the man find—
He kept saying her name with that compelling force, yet his deep baritone softly reached something within her pounding heart that eased her low-level alarm.
“What do want? Why do you care?”
“I don’t.” He wiggled his brows. “I just don’t want to have to fix your sweet little Mustang when you crunch it up because you’re upset and distracted.”
Her mouth opened of its own volition to berate him again, but she stopped. Her brain engaged. He wasn't serious. The tension left her shoulders and she relaxed back into the seat.
“You’re a pain, you know that?”
“I do. You aren't the first to say so. But tell me. What happened to Jesse Loren Hanrehan at school? Maybe it’ll help to tell someone.”
What do you believe makes a man sexy?
To me, the sexiest thing a man can be is gentle and caring. And funny! I’m a total beta hero girl, which is a little unusual in this day of popular hot alpha heroes. But a man who’s strong yet doesn't know it, who’s not afraid to let a woman help and heal him, and who can make her laugh—he’s got all the right stuff for me.
Of course, a sexy pair of hands and a nice strong chest doesn't hurt a bit!!
Lizbeth Selvig writes fun, heartwarming contemporary romantic fiction for Avon books. Her debut novel, The Rancher and the Rock Star, was released in 2012. Her second, Rescued By A Stranger is a 2014 RWA RITA® Award nominee. Liz lives in Minnesota with her best friend (aka her husband), a hyperactive border collie named Magic and a gray Arabian gelding named Jedi. After working as a newspaper journalist and magazine editor, and raising an equine veterinarian daughter and a talented musician son, Lizbeth entered Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® contest in 2010 with The Rancher and the Rock Star (then titled Songbird) and won the Single Title Contemporary category. In her spare time, she loves to hike, quilt, read, horseback ride, and play with her four-legged grandchildren, of which there are nearly twenty, including a wallaby, an alpaca, a donkey, a pig, two sugar gliders, and many dogs, cats and horses (pics of all appear on her website www.lizbethselvig.com). She loves connecting with readers! Find her on Facebook (LizbethSelvigAuthor) and Twitter (@lizbethselvig).