Author Q & A - Robyn Carr

Author Bio: After more than 20 years penning screenplays, historical romances and even a psychological thriller, New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr found her genre — some would say her calling — writing a particular kind of women’s fiction.

“I was always meant to write about women,” Robyn says, “women who were tougher than the women of their time, smarter and more courageous ... characters who would never trade places with anyone.”

That’s the impetus behind her Virgin River series for MIRA Books. Set in a small town (pop. 600) of retired marines and the independent women they love and against a backdrop of northern California redwoods, the Virgin River books are inspiration for those who, like Robyn, believe in the power of healthy, positive relationships.

“It’s a nice way to live ... and love,” she quips.

Industry opinion-makers, readers and Carr’s fellow authors seem to agree. The American Library Association’s Booklist magazine named the series debut book, Virgin River, one of 2007’s Top Ten Romances, and New York Times bestselling author Clive Cussler declared it: “A thrilling debut of a series that promises much to come.”

The series has also drawn a community of loyal readers, with Virgin River fans creating a virtual Jack’s Bar (a nod to the family establishment of the same name that doubles as the center of Virgin River’s social scene in the series) at There readers swap stories, visit weekly with Robyn and dish about the goings on in Virgin River.

Their favorite topic of conversation?

“Who would play Jack in a movie,” says Robyn, with a laugh, noting all the men in her life think they’re Jack Sheridan, the man behind Jack’s Bar—especially her husband, an Air Force pilot-turned-airline executive.

As for Robyn, writing about women who would marry a marine or veteran comes naturally. She was a military wife herself. In fact, she started reading romances as a young mom-to-be confined to her bed on a Florida air force base. After the children were born, she simply plunked Jamie and Brian in a stroller and headed to the local bookstore. Eventually, she quietly bought a notebook and some pens and sat down at the dining room table and tried to write a book of her own.

“The notebook grew and grew,” she recalls. “Finally, I had to admit what I was doing so Jim would buy me a typewriter.”

By then, six months had passed and Robyn was hooked on the writing process.

Robyn says her first book remains buried—“and will never be seen by human eyes.”

But her third novel, Chelynne, sold, as did eventually her second.

In 2011 Robyn’s publishing schedule includes a new Virgin River trilogy—Promise Canyon (January), Wild Man Creek (February) and Harvest Moon (March), and a Virgin River holiday gift hardcover to be published in October. In January Robyn and her Virgin River series were highlighted in a USA Today feature that explored the popularity of military-themed books and TV series.

Robyn and her husband, Jim, make their home in Las Vegas. She makes the occasional foray into Humboldt County in nearby California, where the Virgin River series is set. She enjoys interacting with her readers via Facebook and her free Robyn Carr mobile phone app.

**We at the Bibliophilic Book Blog are happy to have Robyn Carr here today for a short Q &A session:

Q: Do you work with a specific ‘image’ in mind when creating your characters? Do you base them on people you’ve met or know, or are they more composites of real-life and your imagination?

A:Never a specific image – that’s cramping for me.  I love to take a few dominant characteristics and build the character throughout the story.  Watching them evolve is the fun.  And they’re never based on people I know, but certain characteristics from people I’ve known or met are completely useful and fun to blend.  Composites – always composites. 

Q: Every writer has her own routines and methods. How do you spend a typical writing day?

A:  All the adventure happens in my head, believe me.  I wake up early, stumble to the coffee pot, then to the computer and write in my pajamas till at lease mid-morning.  I fluff and buff (that’s a Robynism for primp and put on clothes), maybe do a few chores – but not too many – and write until dinner time.  About ten hours a day, every day.  I take breaks for appointments or the very rare lunch out.  Otherwise it’s constant writing and except for my wonderful family, the best part of my life.  I’m still having fun every day. 

Q: When you first created Virgin River and started writing novels based there, did you have upcoming characters—like Leslie and Conner from Hidden Summit—in mind, or has that come since you created the town? How has the series evolved?

A: Most of the Virgin River novels have evolved out of the first. When I began I thought I was writing one novel. By the time I’d written 100 pages I knew there was potential for more. By 250 pages I realized that out of 9 marines in a squad that stayed tight, 5 were still single—including Jack and Preacher. It took me 4 books to settle 5 marines and then, since my readers weren’t ready to stop, I tapped into the Army with Luke Riordan, the first of 5 military Riordan brothers. Others have come along the way—friends, relatives, newcomers to the town. Virgin River is a large canvas—lots of people coming and going all the time.

Thank you, Robyn!!

Please pick up and enjoy the latest Virgin River novel, Hidden Summit!


  1. Great interview.

    The routine is intense, but I understand that if you are doing what you love it's fun.

  2. I have the about the same schedule as Robyn...only I'm reading! Her writing schedule is intense.

    Great Virgin River so much, I'm ready to move after reading each novel


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