Enjoy this interview from 2013.
WELCOME ALEATHA ROMIG to Wednesday Writer’s Interview! You cannot imagine how thrilled I am to have you here today! Please sit back and enjoy, and hopefully your answers will only have positive “consequences”.
The goal of my interviews is to talk about the authors and their work…which, yes, is pretty much the definition of an interview. However, I like to do it with fun and humor. We always start out with this first question: Who is ALEATHA and what makes her tick as an author and a person?
Aleatha is someone who has a hard time saying “no”. But, just like some of her characters, she’s doing better.
(Ok, enough 3rd person…) I’d love to say I live a wild and glamorous life, but that isn’t true. I’m your everyday 2013 woman. I have a family, husband, three children, friends, home, job, dog, cat, two turtles, some fish, and a little hobby (writing) – all of which take time and energy. My little hobby has increasingly demanded more of my time. I’m blessed that the people and things in my list have been so supportive. That support is what makes me “tick” as both a person and an author.
So, Tony? Hmmm, no. Tony cannot be the hors-d’oeuvre. He can only be the dessert. One simply does not start an interview with Tony, one must lead up to him. Let’s start with the idea of this Trilogy: Consequences…Truth…Convicted. Where the heck did the idea come from? I mean, this is NOT your run-of-the-mill romance novel.
Ha.. sorry, I’m still thinking about Tony being dessert… ok, let me try to focus… trilogy… oh, yes…
I LOVE that my series isn’t your “run-of-the-mill” anything! I think that may be what has attracted so many of my readers. The idea began with a “vision” – “dream” or “idea” of a woman in a bedroom. It was the opening scene. I didn’t know any more about the story, but I couldn’t shake the thoughts. I wanted to know who that woman was, why she was there, and how she got there? I decided to sit down and write my thoughts. My original draft was entitled “Claire”.
When I wrote Consequences, I envisioned a standalone book. Next, I wanted it to end with Truth. However, as I neared the end of Truth, I knew I couldn’t leave the story there… I had more I wanted to reveal… thus, Convicted.
While we’re on the subject, would you even consider this trilogy a Romance? And yet, it is. How about we give it its own genre? The Tonyesque?
I think it does have its own genre… and although I like the idea of Tonyesque, my agent calls my books, “Contemporary Dark Romance/ Thriller”. When I wrote Consequences, I was thinking “Psychological Thriller with a romantic quality”. I wasn’t thinking “dark”, but I agree with it!
I am trying really hard not to give away too much, because honestly, you have to go into this adventure with as little knowledge as possible. However, as a reader, the first scene of Consequences had me frowning, appalled, cringing for the rest and yet it was IMPOSSIBLE to put down. As the author, how did you feel writing that moment when Claire realizes the unbelievable turn her life has taken?
Perhaps I watch a lot of crime shows, but that scene was what “hooked” me, manipulated and dominated my thoughts… it was why I had to know what happened. I hoped it would do the same to my readers. I also believe, I’d have more trouble writing that scene or some others in Consequences today. Three years ago when I wrote it, I didn’t know Claire; but I do now and I’d hate to put her through that again.
And then there’s Tony. No. Still not the time but I feel I’m getting there. The plot, or should I say the plots with a capital S… Did you ever, at any point, lose your footing? I mean, this is intricate business and definitely NOT your average “Meet – Greet – HEA”.
I didn’t lose my footing, but I have to say – I have very detailed timelines and notes. Interestingly, the timelines and notes came after the writing. The story dictated the plot(s), I just wrote what the characters and story told me to.
This leads me to the ending of Consequences… Those who have read this incredible book will agree when I say: WTH?? Be honest, when writing it did you have an evil grin while mentally saying: Muahahahahaha?
Yes!!! I had an idea how I wanted it to go; but as I typed I was like, “OMG! That works so freak’n well!!!” I couldn’t wait to tell my husband what I’d done!
Okay, so enough with the questions, for now. Could you show our readers just what I’m talking about with a little (and I do stress “little”) snippet from Consequences? Trust me, everyone, you do NOT want too much info.
I believe I can provide a snippet and answer your next question at the same time…
Ahh…Anthony Rawlings. The one. The only. I have a few adjectives that would describe him but I’m wondering if you could give us your favorites.
Here it is…. here are Claire’s adjectives.
She (Claire) pondered the many puzzling sides of his (Tony’s) enigma as she watched him in the mirror. First, looking at him as he removed the towel, her pulse quickened and she forgot about her primping. No one could deny his incredibly handsome physique. Hell, he was gorgeous. Despite the almost twenty-year age difference, she observed his defined muscles, broad shoulders, and firm abdomen. Momentarily, she fantasized about the feel of his skin against hers. Second, he was undoubtedly an extremely successful businessman who desired to keep his personal life private. Third, he utterly and completely believed in appearances. Fourth, he had an insatiable sex drive. In that arena Claire had come to terms with his varying approaches, anywhere from tenderness to domination. The side of Tony that bothered Claire the most was his unpredictability. His temperament could shift without warning making an Indiana tornado seem docile.
Let’s move on to Truth. All is right in the world at some point. Claire is free, life is getting back to normal. And then we have that oh-so-familiar-moment of WTH??? (Yes, the three question marks are a necessity). How about a little taste of Truth, maybe with a side order of Harry?
He (Harry) continued to talk about the accident as Claire warmed the fish in the microwave and heated the sauce on the stove. Next, she refilled the sauce pan for the asparagus. As the faucet gushed water she heard Harry’s voice, but her mind filled with other words — Tony asking, “Who was the expected recipient of that dazzling smile?”
Tears came to her eyes as the realization struck. Her presence wasn’t making Amber and Harry’s life more exciting; she was putting them in danger.
The memories of her parents and Simon’s untimely deaths paralyzed her movements. Water overflowed the pan as she stood motionless staring at the tiled backsplash. It wasn’t the mosaic design holding her trance; it was her new thoughts about Amber. She’s flying home tomorrow from meetings in Houston. Simon died in a plane crash. Claire’s heart began to beat erratically.
Harry appeared behind her. So deep in her sudden rational or irrational terror, she didn’t hear him approach. She jumped as he grasped her shoulders. As if from a tunnel she heard his voice, echoing against the cavern walls, or maybe he was repeating himself, “Claire are you all right? Claire, Claire are you all right?”
Her grip on the handle of the pan failed. The metal pot fell to the depths of the sink as water droplets splashed violently coating the tile, granite, and porcelain. Her body trembled as she tried to speak, “It’s me. I have to leave. We need to call Amber.”
“What’s you? What are you talking about?” Harry tried to calm her; however, she barely heard his words through the commotion within her head.
Finally in desperation she screamed, “Call Amber, now!”
Still unsure of the reason for Claire’s sudden outburst, he turned off the water, reached for his phone and led Claire’s unsteady body to the table. Harry dialed his sister. Once the connection was established, he handed Claire the phone.
Her words ran together as she tried to explain everything to Amber. Claire told her about Harry’s accident, about Tony’s visit, and about her fear. Harry listened to every word. When she spoke about Tony visiting the condominium, Claire saw his neck stiffen and jaw clench. She pushed on.
Amber listened to what some might consider a mad rant. As Claire finished, her voice slowed, reflecting her utter exhaustion. She listened to Amber’s steady voice of reason as tears slipped from her downcast eyes. Her fatigue wasn’t physical; she’d slept until after five. It was psychological. All of the research was well and good. She could plan and possibly implement a great demise. However, none of that mattered, if her friends were lost in battle.
Only after Amber promised a thorough inspection of the SiJo plane prior to departure, did Claire hand Harry back his phone. Harry spoke to his sister for a few moments, hung up, and reached for Claire.
She wanted his embrace, his comfort and support. Nevertheless, she knew if she took what he offered, she’d in fact be condemning him. Resolving to keep him safe, she stiffly returned his embrace. With her head safely against his chest the trembling ceased. She started to speak, but Harry spoke first.
“I want to hear more about that visit. Why did he come here?”
“I was going to tell you about it and other things I learned…” She pulled from his hold and reached for the water goblet. It shook as she tried to make it reach her lips. “I just haven’t had a chance.” Her voice sounded stronger than she appeared.
Harry watched as Claire regrouped. He saw a mixture of emotions passing like clouds before her emerald eyes. Once again, he put his arm around her shoulders, “How about we eat some of this delicious food and then talk?”
Claire stared momentarily into his pale blue eyes. The intensity she’d witnessed as she told Amber about Tony was gone. Now, she saw concern. Claire replied, “I think I need to find a new place to live.”
“Let’s eat and sleep and then discuss it.”
Claire steadied her stance. “We can eat. We can sleep. But it’s my decision and I’m not putting you or Amber is harm’s way for my vendetta.”
Harry carried the dish of tilapia to the table and walked back to the stove for the sauce. Drizzling the white cream over the rewarmed filets, he said, “It is your decision. But I’m the head of security at SiJo Gaming. I’m pretty sure I can take care of myself. And as for Amber, we’ll arrange additional security.” He smiled a feigned smile. “Now eat. Someone made us a wonderful meal.”
Claire obediently picked up her fork. With her hand lingering above the plate he’d dished for her, she considered his words. Finally, she nodded.
Taking his seat across from Claire, Harry added, “And as of tomorrow, you’ll also have around the clock security. No more surprise visits.”
Her chewing stopped mid-mastication. Swallowing became difficult as her mouth dried. She didn’t like his authoritative tone; she’d lived through that once and didn’t plan on doing it again, no matter how pure his intentions. After a much needed drink of water, she said, “I don’t think that’s necessary. Tony won’t hurt me. He wants me back in Iowa, besides; I have Phil Roach watching me.”
Harry started to speak when Claire interrupted, “What are we going to do, ask Phil and the security detail to share a car? I mean with the occasional paparazzi, a private detective and a security guard, I might as well lead a parade.”
Ignoring her attempt at humor, Harry asked, “What do you mean he wants you back in Iowa?”
Claire looked back to Harry. The intense stare from earlier glowed. It surprised her, how the normally soft shade could stay the same, yet appear so different. She answered, “When he was here, he told me the reason he came to California was to take me back to Iowa.”
“Did you respond?” During the last two months, Harry witnessed Claire’s transition from a quiet guarded woman, into one who spoke more freely. Nonetheless, he wasn’t sure she possessed that ability while with Mr. Rawlings. That was part of the reason he’d waited for her after their dinner. He wanted to be sure the stronger Claire still existed. Last night, he wasn’t sure.
“Of course I responded. I said no.”
“And he was fine with that, and left?”
“He left. He isn’t still here.” Claire looked down at her plate as she stabbed another leaf from her salad. “He didn’t argue, but…”
“He said he wasn’t giving up his quest.” She ate some more salad and added, “I’ll consider the security.”
I have seen on your Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/AleathaRomig?fref=ts) page, the huge number of fans praising their love and devotion for Tony. What about Harry? Anyone out there infatuated with that hunk of a man? And how do you feel about him?
Harry has a following… not as large as Tony, but they are there. We even have “Stay Calm and Love Harry” t-shirts. They were the idea of one of my good friends and a beta reader. I showed her the “Stay Calm and Love Tony” t-shirt and her comment was, “There needs to be Harry t-shirts, because NO ONE can stay calm if they love Tony!” I immediately emailed the t-shirt company and “Harry” merchandise was made.
How do I feel about him? I love all my characters. I purposely made Harry very “Anti-Tony”, from his coloring: blonde, blue eyes, to his demeanor. When writing, I felt Claire wouldn’t find herself where she was at that point in the story in the condition to meet Tony face to face without the help of a support system. Harry was meant as part of that support, someone to help build her back up and help her realize she was capable of being her own woman.
And yes, what I’m trying to ask is: can we look forward to some positive “consequences” for him?
Harry is in Convicted… I can’t tell you more. 🙂
Convicted. Book 3 of the Trilogy and the one with ALL the answers. You do realize that I’m here writing this question thinking: I want to know but then I really don’t. So, I’m going to settle for a generic question. How does it feel to be finishing up this incredible adventure? And how the heck are you going to live without Tony?
I have a strange way of writing… I write the beginning of each book, then I write the end. In Consequences it was from the moment you yelled at your Kindle and said, “Don’t do it Claire!” In Truth it was from the point of an enlightening conversation away from cameras. I’ve done the same thing for Convicted. I can honestly say, I started crying when I typed “The End”. Now the thing is, I don’t have the middle done, but I do know, without a doubt where I’m (or should I say, Claire is going and with whom)
I don’t think Tony will ever leave me, nor will any of my characters… I’ve spent too much time with them. They are my “first”… you never forget your first!
Dare I ask for an excerpt of Convicted to hold us over?
Yes – Convicted Excerpt:
Claire fastened the final clasp on her luggage. Sighing she turned toward Phil. “I’m glad you didn’t have to fly back to Iowa to meet with the ICPD.”
The golden flecks shimmered in Phil’s hazel eyes as he responded, “Well, Mrs. Alexander, it wouldn’t be very husbandly of me to let you travel to Venice all by yourself.” Nodding toward her midsection he continued, “And especially not in your condition.”
Claire’s hand instinctively moved to her growing baby. “And, Mr. Alexander, I appreciate that.”
While Phil spoke, Claire made the final adjustments on her dark wig. She’d gotten good at making the fake hair look real. That didn’t mean it didn’t itch. She was beyond ready to forgo the disguises.
“It seems the Iowa City Police Department no longer needs my information. The prosecutor’s office said they had new evidence to investigate. They asked me to keep in touch.”
“Hmm,” Claire said, as she placed a few more hairpins. “I wonder what new evidence has come their way?”
Stepping behind her, he gazed into the reflection, their eyes met as he answered, “Since I heard your end of the conversation, I’d say they were informed of a very …”
A loud knock interrupted Phil’s words. He saw the question in Claire expression. Every contact was suspicious and required scrutiny. Phil straightened his neck and walked toward the door.
She didn’t realize she’d held her breath, until she released it, hearing her husband announce, “It’s the bellhop. Are you ready to leave?”
Allowing her shoulders to relax, Claire took one last look around the suite. The luxurious furnishings paled in comparison to the lovely view beyond the balcony. As the sun rose in the east, hues of blue and sparkling waves danced across the water of Lake Geneva. The unseasonably warm breeze bathed her cheeks as she paused gazing at the sight for one last time. She knew it was time to go; their things were packed and ready. Exhaling she replied, “Yes, I’m ready to move on.”
Phil nodded as he opened the door and allowed the hotel employee to enter.
“Senior, seniora,” Although the predominant language of Geneva was French, the Alexander’s were thought to be Italian, as such, even the staff addressed them in their native language. Truthfully, most residents of the metropolitan city fluently spoke French, Italian, German or a combination.
Claire silently reached for her purse as her husband instructed the staff regarding their luggage. Standing patiently Phil placed his arm casually around his wife’s waist and led her toward the elevator. Their charade remained flawless until they were within the confines of the taxi.
The streets filled with people blurred as Claire contemplated her future. “Are our reservations set?” Claire asked in a whisper.
Phil leaned closer, “Yes, my dear, let’s discuss it further in private.”
Claire sat straight, gazed toward the driver, and nodded. No one could be trusted. She reminded herself to be mindful of listening ears. Disappearing into the night was Phil’s specialty. Doing that with a pregnant wife and multiple pieces of luggage was a new test of his clandestine skills.
As the early morning streets of Geneva passed by the windows, Claire reflected on her last piece of business. The day before she’d made one last visit to the financial institution that essentially made her incredibly wealthy. If the employees were surprised to have Marie Rawls visit for a second time, they didn’t show it. Instead, they willingly took her to the safety deposit box where she completed her business. Claire couldn’t be one hundred percent certain, but her intuition told her, when push came to shove, Tony would make his way to this hidden fortune. She decided his pot of gold shouldn’t be totally empty. She also knew the contents she left wouldn’t make him happy. Nevertheless, this time it was her game and her rules. He’d follow them, or he wouldn’t.
Phil gently squeezed her hand. “You seem far away. Are you going to be all right?”
Claire shrugged, “I don’t know. I guess time will tell.” She wondered how she and Phil had come this far. Given their initial meeting in San Antonio, it seemed unlikely. Sighing Claire turned back toward the window as the car slowed. It seemed very few of the relationships in her life could boast normal beginnings. Placing her hand gingerly over her midsection she prayed for a normal end.
If you haven’t already noticed, I am a fan of this trilogy. I mean, I literally cannot hear the word “consequences” without immediately thinking about his book. What about you, Aleatha, what books, or authors in general, have left that type of impression on you?
Funny you mention the word association – consequences, glitches, accident, truth, convicted, compartmentalize… they all do that to me!
My all-time favorite book has been Gone With the Wind… who doesn’t see Rhett Butler when they hear, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” I enjoy books that mess with my mind. I like Greg Isle’s thrillers. They keep me glued to my Nook. I also enjoyed the Dark Duet. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, even while at work. I wondered, “Is this what my readers go through?”
I don’t read much while I’m into my writing… but right now I’m excited about Game of Thrones Season 3. I think George Martin has created an amazing and complicated world. I love how he has so many stories and somehow they’re all intertwined. I think that’s a fun way to make readers think. Starting a story at the beginning, moving totally in chronological order, and thoroughly introducing each character doesn’t stretch the reader.
Here is my favorite part of the Interview! Please choose one answer and you may explain if you want 😉
- Claire or Catherine? Claire! No explanation needed!
- Tony or Harry? Oh, I can’t … how about Phil?
- Consequences or Truth? (Evil, isn’t it?) Consequences… my first!
- Pearls or Diamonds? Both!!
- Yacht or Private Jet? Private jet! (I’m caught in Spring Break traffic right now – I’d love a jet!)
- The Lake or the Beach? For me, beach… for Claire, her lake!
- Vanilla or Spice? Spice!
Please name One author off the top of your head that you’d like for me to interview next 😉
Again, Aleatha, I cannot thank you enough for taking time out of your busy schedule to spend it with me. I cannot express how impatient I am to get my hands on Convicted. No pressure, really.
Eva, thank you! I’ve had a great time! I promise Convicted is coming! I just have a reputation to uphold. It wouldn’t be the Consequences Series without messing with your mind – that kind of debauchery takes time! **Evil grin**
Wishing you all a great Wednesday!
Writers go write, readers go read!