“I love figuring out what makes people do what they do.”
Interview with Canadian romance writer Bobby Hutchinson
Bobby Hutchinson lives, breathes, reads and writes books. She lives in a coal-mining town in the Rocky Mountains of B.C., Canada, a town remarkably like Starwood, the setting for her series of short, romantic, clean reads, STARWOOD CHRONICLES.
She isn’t an RCMP officer, she doesn’t waitress anymore, she’s never shot a stalker – but some of her wonderful female friends have done (most) of the above, which made for fantastic research for the series.
In this interview, Bobby Hutchinson talks about BIGGEST LITTLE TRUCKSTOP, book one in series STARWOOD CHRONICLES
Your favorite quote is, “When you change the way you look at a thing, the thing you look at changes.” Do you see this happening with your fiction?
Ever wake up in the morning with a feeling of dread in your belly?
Sometimes it’s money stuff, or health, or too much to do—or not enough. Or problems with your kids or your car or your significant other or the tax department. Or, lord help us, all of the above?
Whatever the reason, it’s a bad feeling.
The best solution, I’ve found, is to do something for someone else, because what happens then is like a miracle. You let go of your own stuff and let God do Her stuff.
Which is why Facebook and Instagram and Twitter can be so valuable—you can always find someone who needs an encouraging word or a prayer or just a laugh.
Or something fun to read.
How do you feel about ghosts?
I was writing this book called MEDICINE WOMAN, about Mary Ferguson, who became a doctor on the Canadian Prairies in 1908. As in all great romances, Mary has to make a decision—does she follow her heart or her career? At that time and place, women couldn’t do both. But when she attends a train wreck outside of Medicine Hat, she meets David, a man trying to find balance between his Indian mother and his white father. David is returning to his people on the western prairies.
So where do the ghosts come in? Well, I researched train wrecks on the western prairies (writers research extensively, we want our fiction accurate.)
Going along in my 77th year, happily alone. And bingo, the Universe pulled a fast one. This guy whom I’d known years ago came emailing into my life again, and through a series of amazing circumstances, we’ve ended up living together. How crazy is that? Here we are, Stan and I. I’ll tell you the rest of the story in another blog post.
Romance is all about relationships and beginnings. Two people meet, and sparks fly—sometimes not romantic sparks at first.
They might have a ferocious argument right off the bat, or maybe they’re on opposing sides of a situation they care deeply about. The secret for the writer is the intensity of the reaction they have to one another.
And then during the development of the story, they find that intensity develops into love.
Here’s the thing: I’ve been writing romances and selling them since I was in my forties. I’m now in my late seventies, and wouldn’t you think I’d have learned through the course of sixty plus published books how to write a romance?
I’ve always wondered what it was like to be a woman doctor in the early days on the western frontier. It was hard enough for pioneer women even without an MD attached to their name. So I decided that Mary, the feisty baby born at the end of Lantern In The Window, would be tough enough to take on the challenge.
A funny thing happened to me on the way to the next book
I woke up one morning and couldn’t breathe. An exciting trip in an ambulance to the nearest large hospital resulted in my being told I had embolisms in both lungs, life threatening, probably caused by an underlying cancer.
There’s this hospital, St. Josephs Medical Center, in Vancouver, B.C.
A doctor I know really well works there. She’s an ER doctor, she performs well under pressure, she’s cool in emergencies, she’s talented and smart and inventive. She’s married to Cameron Ross, RCMP Sergeant, who’s working undercover on drug squad. They’re very much in love, and they love the life they have.
Sometimes it’s magical how miniature scraps of observation come together to form a book.
STAND BY YOUR MAN is a detective-love story. I was at the hair dressers one day when a gorgeous woman beside me took a call on her cell, and from the ensuing conversation, I figured out she was a detective. A private detective, she was kind enough to tell me. And she agreed to let me buy her lunch.
Everyone knows books begin with an idea. But where do ideas come from? In the next series of blog posts, I’m going to take each book I’ve written and explain the seminal idea that created it.
ISLAND SUNRISE is my latest Amazon ebook. It began years ago when I was staying at a surfer’s camp near Haleiwa, Hawaii. Located about one-hour drive from Waikiki, Haleiwa and the North Shore of Oahu are known as the surfing capital of the world. Haleiwa, pronounced hah-lay-EE-wah is an old community dating back to the 1900s devoted to the sugar plantation industry.
Everyone who reads romantic fiction has an opinion on this touchy subject (no pun intended.)
For me, the essence of a romance novel is the relationship between the main characters, and relationship must involve more than the sexual aspects.
So how the characters interact before they have a sexual encounter, their problems, their strengths and weaknesses, are far more engaging than the sex scenes themselves—not that well written sexual encounters aren’t fun reading, they absolutely are. (Emphasis here on well written.)
My name is Bobby, and I’m a Gabaldon addict.
I regularly re-read the Outlander series, working my way through one after the other, thousands of pages, as entranced as I was the first time I discovered them. I read when I should be sleeping, and then dream about Claire and Jamie, about Brianna and Roger. I’ve already pre-ordered the new one, Written In My Own Heart’s Blood. I’m terrified that Gabaldon will decide Jamie has to die, or Claire. I need an intervention.
Okay, so every book has a romantic hero–or heroine, or both. They’re the ones we cheer for as the story unfolds. They’re the ones we fall in love with. They’re strong, and smart, and honorable and generous. Sure, they have their faults–after all, they’re human, right? (Well, within the context of the story, they are.)
Who are the most memorable? I can hear you hollering, Rhett Butler, from Gone With The Wind. Johnny Depp, from Pirates of the Caribbean. Jamie Fraser, from Outlander. Gandolf, from Lord Of The Rings. James Bond. Tarzan. The Cat In The Hat.