In Daughters of the Bride, the three adult daughters of a widow who’s remarrying face their own trials in love and life.
What appeals to you about setting books in smaller, nonurban close-knit communities?
I think it’s fun. Women enjoy community. We enjoy a sense of belonging. I always joke that I can spend the entire day with my best friend and then call her when I get home, and my husband’s like, “What could you possibly have left to say?” We’re women! We can talk forever. When I write a series where we have old friends, there is a sense of going home. I want my readers at the bottom of page one to take a deep breath and relax and to know that they can trust me. It’s going to fun, it’s going to be sexy, it’s going to be a really great journey.
What has been your greatest personal achievement as an author?
I am 140 books in, and I still love what I do. There is nothing else I would rather do with my life than be a writer. There are aspects I hate—I am in the middle of revisions. There are the days when I look at my page and think, “You all just need to get therapy and get out of my life.” Those days are rare. The next day I go back, and we’re all getting along again. I am so lucky that every day I get to love what I do. And then I get to go to conferences and book signings. And people are funny—they’re like, “Oh, is that a drag?” No, people actually take time out of their busy lives to line up and tell me they love my work! I mean, that’s the best thing ever. We all need to have that in our jobs. You know, stand up and say, “Gee, Renee, best bookkeeping job ever!”
Did studying accounting in college influence your writing?
Yes, it actually did. Writing is a business. I can read my royalty statements, which is a blessing and a curse. I have written a lot of heroines who were small-business owners, entrepreneurs, and accountants because I think it is a good, solid kind of profession. Knowing what I know now, I would go back and be a liberal arts major with an English minor because I had to play catch-up on that kind of stuff, but it worked out fine.
What do you love about writing romance?
First of all, I believe that men and women trying to get along is hysterically funny because we are so different. So it is an endless supply of stories. I believe that women are biologically hardwired to bond. We bond with each other. We bond with our partner. We bond with our children. We can’t help it. That’s how we’re built. I think that romance novels affirm that. And at the end of the day, it’s what I like to read. I get to do one women’s fiction a year, and that’s just different enough to be like a little mini vacation, but by the time I am nearly at the end, I am dying to get back to a romance novel. My dad used to say, “Why can’t you write like Tom Clancy?” I couldn’t possibly do what Clancy did—and I am going to go out on a limb and say he couldn’t have done what I do.