Good Monday morning readers. Today I have Pandamoon Publishing author, Regina West with us today.
Regina, tell me three words that describe yourself starting with A, B, and C.
What are your three favorite things?
1. Quiet time alone. I am your stereotypical introverted writer. I need downtime and lots of it to process old things and contemplate new things. I get really grumpy if I’m overscheduled, just ask my kids. Saturday mornings, when the sun is streaming in through the windows and the day still seems new and promising, the kids are asleep, my pet budgie is twittering away, and I’ve got a hot cup of coffee…ahhhhh, those are the best mornings.
2. Music. I can’t drive or clean the house without it. Although I can’t write with music on (too distracting for me), it has often been the inspiration for my writing. Words are pretty strong on their own, but once you put them to music, they become transcendent.
3. Books. You saw that one coming, right? In my opinion, every good writer is first a reader. I have learned more about writing and writing well from works of fiction than I ever could from a college course or style manual.
What for you is the best part of writing?
Creating characters is the most fun for me, by far. Building a whole person from the ground up – physicality, personality, quirks – requires a unique mix of creativity and reality. I borrow a lot from people I know, mixing and matching attributes as I see fit. Then, as I go through my daily life, I pretend the character is hanging out with me. What does he think about this or that?
How would she react to what’s happening? It’s a lot of fun.
What is the worst?
Trying to sell my book feels like, in the words of Jerry McGuire, “an up-at-dawn, pride-swallowing siege.” Remember when I said I’m an introvert? Yeah, that part of me hates waving the look-at-me flag, but I have to power through it. The Long Way Home is a great book, and I’m proud of it. How will my future readers even know it exists if I don’t get the word out?
Was there any particular inspiration for your characters or story?
The Long Way Home was very much inspired by real life. The idea came to me after my dad was diagnosed with mesothelioma. I had already lost my mom to cancer, and the prognosis wasn’t good for my dad. As I stared down the barrel of this new loss, I felt suddenly disconnected from my history, and it made me ponder my sense of place. With the loss of both parents, I would no longer have any reason to go back to the home I’d known in childhood. I am a Southern girl by birth and upbringing, but I moved away long ago. I wasn’t sure I’d remained a Southern girl.
As I wrote my book, I let my main character, Twilah, walk a path I simply couldn’t. She not only returns home, but also reclaims it for herself. I was surprised how cathartic it was to process my feelings through my character.
How much is your character like you?
In keeping with my answer to number four, there is a lot of me in Twilah. We are not identical, by any means, but she processes the world, love, and friendship the same way I do. As I continue to grow as a writer, I hope to step further outside of myself with my characters. It’s a process.
The Long Way Home
Twilah Dunn has it all—an exciting life in Los Angeles and a thriving ad agency she owns with her fiancé. Then she learns that her estranged father has died and her business partner is sleeping with her best friend. In one day, her perfect life unravels and the city she calls home is now anything but.
She returns to her hometown in North Carolina determined to sell her father's horse farm in order to buy back her business from her cheating fiancé. But when she sees the farm’s dilapidated state, she can’t bear the thought of selling it that way. Against all reason, she puts her fast-paced, metropolitan life on hold and hires local cowboy Aidan Perry to help restore the farm to its former glory. She’s heard the rumors of his dark past, and she’s wary of mixing business with pleasure—again. But soon she can’t keep her mind, or her hands, off of him.
Can Twilah push through her fear and love Aidan? Will his past prove too dangerous? Has she really left LA behind or will it continue to haunt her?
BUY LINK: The Long Way Home
About the Author
Regina West comes from a long line of romance readers. Anytime her mother and grandmother had a moment of quiet, they immersed themselves in whatever paperback romance they’d picked up that week. So it is fitting that Gina has chosen romance as her favorite genre for both reading and writing.
She grew up in North Carolina, spent a few years moving around the U.S., but has settled in beautiful Colorado. She spends her days working for a non-profit organization and her evenings hanging out with her two smartypants boys. In the middle, she manages to squeeze in writing, editing, classical guitar and knitting. Currently, she’s working on a six-book paranormal romance series.
One day, she hopes to leave winter behind forever and retreat to Tahiti to live in a yurt and while away the hours writing and sipping umbrella drinks.
Where to Find Regina West: