With more than 40 novels under her belt, including several popular romance series, it’s no wonder that Robyn Carr is the 2016 Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award winner. “I’ve been secretly lusting after that,” she admits to Show Daily. “I’ve been writing women’s fiction and romance for 40 years, and it’s been quite an interesting ride, so I thought, ‘I think I actually qualify for something like that!’” She adds, “You dream about things like that, but you don’t think they’re ever really going to happen. I was completely quiet and then my first comment when I got the call was, ‘Are you sure?’” She’ll receive this year’s award at the RWA conference in July.
Meanwhile, Carr is at BEA to plug her contemporary novel, The Life She Wanted (Mira, Sept.), inspired by the 2008 Bernie Madoff scandal headlines. “I’d been thinking about what it would have been like to be married to a crook, how that would feel. Then the bigger question was, what would it be like to have been the wealthy woman who hired the help and then became the help. So I have a character who was worth hundreds of millions of dollars—her flower budget was more than she can currently make in a year—and now she cleans houses, yet she feels richer.”
Show Daily asked what it was like for her to write both formula romance and contemporary women’s fiction. Carr says, “It seems in romance it’s a matter of finding that forever love, and in women’s fiction, it’s more about finding yourself.”
Carr especially loves coming to Book Expo. “I see all the editorial people regularly, but I don’t see all the other hands that have fingerprints on my books, all the reps, all the marketing people. It’s really a thrill to spend time with them. I also get to see the booksellers and librarians who have been buying me, who are my best customers, and I get to listen to what they appreciate about my books, what they like best. I find that I have fans here, and these are actually colleagues, we are working together to sell these books. So it’s always enlightening, very social, and a lot of fun.”
There will be several opportunities to meet Carr, and she will be signing 100 galleys of her latest novel at each appearance. Today she will be at the Harlequin booth (2240), 10:30–noon, and at Autographing Table 1, 2–3 p.m. Tomorrow she’ll be back at the Harlequin booth, 3:30–5 p.m. Saturday at BookCon, she will be signing 100 finished copies of Four Friends at the Harlequin booth, 1:30–2:30 p.m.
This article appeared in the May 12, 2016 edition of PW BEA Show Daily.