“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?
Absolutely. If I look at fiction and writing as a job that I need to do just to earn money, I lose the magic and it becomes work. The words don’t flow, ideas are hard to come by. I struggle. But if I can get out of my own way and truly realize that the writing isn’t mine at all—that it just comes through me—the result is a surprise, the concepts far more intricate than anything I could come up with on my own. It doesn’t happen all the time, unfortunately, but when it does, I am so humbly grateful.
The Starwood world could pretty much be a micro-cosmos of everyone’s life… How much has your own small town influenced the setting and narrative of your novels?
My town, Sparwood, the place where I was born and came back to some years ago is a small coal-mining town in the B.C. Canadian Rockies. Its main attraction is The World’s Biggest Truck, parked on a lot just as you come into town, just like Starwood. The people in both the real town and its imaginary alter image live and love and suffer and learn, like people everywhere. Showing how they do it in my short love stories is my challenge and my delight. Do I base characters on real people? Sure I do, but they’d never recognize themselves. As Robbie Burns said, “would the power the giftie g’ae us, to see ourselves as others see us.”
In BIGGEST LITTLE TRUCKSTOP you continue with your “sweet romance and small town nosiness” style. What attracts you to this genre?
I love figuring out what makes people do what they do. On the surface, actions can be puzzling. Why would she suddenly pack up her car and leave, not certain where she’s going? Why would he have weird signs all over the walls of the café? I believe what doesn’t, at first glance, seem like love is actually a call for love in some form. My job is to dig beneath the surface of these people in my books and find out what motivates them. And then help them fall in love and live happily ever after.
Do you have a plan for Kate, the heroine of BIGGEST LITTLE TRUCKSTOP? What’s coming in the next book of the series?
Kate now lives in Starwood. It’s a small town, she’s a member of the community, she appears in Every Little Thing, the second in the series, and she’ll appear again and again as the books in Starwood Chronicles proceed. The beauty of creating a world is meeting the people you know and love over and over again, learning different facets of their characters.
As a romance writer, what does mysterious Mac from the Truckshop represent for you?
Mac, like all of us, has challenges to overcome. He has Aspergers, and he has to struggle more than others to cope. It takes an unusual partner to see beyond the surface and love the delightful man trapped inside. So my job as a writer involves not just Mac, but the loving woman—Kate—who is strong and wise enough to do that.
I have a beautiful son, David, who was born deaf. His struggles always influence who my heroes are, and often I give the poor guys in my books an equally huge challenge to deal with. All you can do, as a mother or as a writer, is love them, right?
Thank you for your time.