Thursday, October 4, 2012

Interview with Sheila Roberts

First of all, welcome to Fictionally Inclined! I'm so pleased to be able to interview you today about your current release, Better Than Chocolate.  This book involves a festival all about chocolate (something that is now in my wish list of fictional things I want to come true)!  How did you do research for this?

Thanks so much for having me. It’s great to be able to join you. I have to admit, my Icicle Falls chocolate festival sure does sound like a great time. Especially the Mr. Dreamy contest. I had a lot of fun with that! Most of my research for this book centered around business and banking matters, but I also toured Theo Chocolates, the only organic, fair trade, fair for life certified bean to bar chocolate factory in North America. They’re located in Seattle, Washington, and they probably offer the most exotic variety of chocolate bars anywhere. And they offer lots of free samples. It was tough sampling all that chocolate, but hey, for my readers, anything.

Did you try any recipes you found over the course of your research? If so, was there a particular one you enjoyed?

Yes, I tested the recipes I concocted – love the lavender white chocolate fudge! And the chocolate rose white chocolate truffle is to die for. I had a terrible time making it come out right, so drafted a friend to help me. Every time she made it, it turned out perfect. I’m going to ask her to make some for my book signings. Readers and friends from my Facebook Like page submitted recipes too, and a couple of those made it into the book, which was fun.

Better Than Chocolate was not all about the main romance between Blake and Samantha. Family - both biological and the family that comes from friendships in a small town - was a large part of the book, too.  Did you enjoy implementing that aspect?

Yes, I did. I wanted to show how much we need our family and friends, especially when we’re going through difficult times.

Speaking of family, Samantha's sister Cecily interacted multiple times with two amazing guys, both of whom who seemed to have great possible potential for a story.  I found myself rooting for one to wind up with her, but I loved the other one, too!  Are any of these characters going to appear in future books?

Yes, readers will see Cecily in Merry Ex-mas, a holiday tale about wives and their exes, which comes out in November. I’m hoping that, down the road, she’ll get her own book. Or maybe she and Bailey will share a book. Sisters share, right?

Finally, how do you name your characters?  Do you have a process, or is it different for each?

Naming a character is so important. That name has to fit the character. And often I make it symbolic. I keep a running list of cool names. Any time we’re watching a movie on TV I’ve got pencil and paper handy so I can jot down first or last names that interest me.

Thank you so much for interviewing with me, Sheila!

Don't forget to check out Sheila's recent release, Better Than Chocolate! Sweet Dreams Chocolate Company has been in the Sterling family for generations, ever since Great-Grandma Rose literally dreamed up her first fabulous recipe. But now it looks as if they're about to lose Sweet Dreams to the bank. Can Samantha, the oldest daughter and new head of the company, come up with a way to save it? To make matters worse, the fate of her company is in the hands of her archenemy, Blake Preston, the bank manager with the football-hero good looks. It's enough to drive her to chocolate. But Blake's also enough to convince her that (believe it or not) there's something even better than chocolate. { Amazon || Barnes & Noble || The Book Depository }

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