Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”
A Center Stage Moment shines a spotlight on writers who give us great places to visit with characters we love and want to call friends.
Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you Riley Edgewood!
Riley lives in the DC area and spends most of her time with her characters, playing with her toddler and husband, and pretending she knows how to be an adult. Former dancer. Current writer. Lifelong lover of accessories, books, and the beach. And cats. Can’t forget the kitties. Of which she has two.
Without further ado, here’s Riley’s interview…
I love reading the bios of authors. Many of them did not start out as writers. Sometimes people stumble upon the craft. Have you always wanted to be a writer? I have! My grandmother was an author—and my uncle was, too. I grew up wanting to follow in their footsteps. From the moment I could hold a pencil/work a sentence… I even used to give family members stories for Christmas when I was in elementary school. (My poor family members…)
Why did you choose to write Romance? I write romance because it’s always been my favorite thing to read. To watch. To dream about. To live. With the exception of the aforementioned Christmas stories (which were horror!), romance has always been a main element to what I write.
What is the strangest subject or topic you’ve ever written? I once wrote a story (which will never see the light of day) in which a character gets swept into a story about the past where a woman is burned at the stake, and I had to research what the scent of burnt human flesh smells like…
What are you currently working on? I’m working on an adult romantic suspense. It’s gritty and dark and sexy and I’m having the best time writing it! (When I don’t want to kill my characters for being uncooperative, of course.) I’m also about to start a prequel novella for my Summer Love series, that will be free for newsletter subscribers! [Yay! I’m a subscriber!]
What motivated the plots of the books you write? My most recent book, Truth & Temptation, was motivated by several things: 1. Teagan, the main character, was a total jerk as a secondary character in another novel (Rock & Release) and I knew she needed her own story. 2. Because I wanted to tackle mental health and learning disabilities—both of which Teagan deals with—in a way that gave readers a chance to see that even neurodiverse characters deserve their happily ever afters. 3.I’ve always loved the taboo and sexy, secret office romance stories, so I thought I’d try my hand at writing one! (Which, by the way, is the main plot of Teagan’s tale. Her chance at romance. I’ve never had so much fun writing a hero who’s perfect for my heroine before. Which Alec, her guy, totally is.) [Coming Soon: A review of this book will be featured on the blog.]
What was the hardest story for you to write? So far, also Truth & Temptation. Some of the depression Teagan handles hits pretty close to home for me. So it was hard to figure out where the line was, at times, between personal and fictional. Also, a lot of readers hated Teagan after Rock & Release, so I knew I had to do her story justice to change their minds. (So far, from the feedback I’ve received, it worked!)
What process do you use to plan your novels? I used to be a hardcore plotter. These days I’m much more of an in-betweener… I plot the bare bones and let my characters guide me to the key moments. [Like minds…] Though it honestly changes with every single book. And I also do a ton of research for the elements of the book I’m unfamiliar with.
Who has been your favorite character to write and why? I swear my answer changes every time I’m asked this! But I’m going with Sawyer, from Surf & Surrender. He’s rough and sexy and full of heart. He’s got skills in the bedroom most girls only dream of—and he feels things so, so deeply. I just love him. [Oh man, another book to add to my TBR.]
Do any of your characters reflect facets of your personality? Every one of them. Even the bad ones.
Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it? Heh. Every day. I have an awesome support group of other authors and readers who push me to write even when I don’t have it in me. And then it’s just putting one word down at a time until I get past the block. Often I discover I’m stuck because something isn’t working and my subconscious is trying to get me to figure it out.
If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be? Fantasy! Or paranormal… Or sci-fi. Ah, so hard to choose! I love reading anything that brings in otherworldly (or technological) elements that really let me escape reality—and I love writing it, too. Just haven’t published any of it so far. [Looking forward to it!]
Which authors inspire you? Most of ’em, honestly. But the first who comes to mind is Colleen Hoover. Nobody packs an emotional punch like that woman does, and my biggest goal is to someday be able to make readers feel things the way her books do. (Specifically Maybe Someday. Oh, man.)
What novel would you read multiple times? I don’t reread very many books because I have so many I need to read for the first time and not a ton of time these days, but probably once a year, I reread: Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger, Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover, The Passage by Justin Cronin. (Such a random mix, but I love them all!)
If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or deceased, who would it be and why? I could name fifty, ha. But today, let’s go with Hermione Granger. I feel like my reasoning is pretty obvious 😉 She’s awesome.
What is your favorite quote? “What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly? ~e.h. (Erin Hanson) [Lots of inspiration in that one!]
What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary? Cats! Chinchillas! Unicorns or phoenixes or dæmons, oh man I could list animals (real or imaginary) for days on end. I love them all, really.
What is your favorite color? Deep dusty blue—like the ocean during a storm.
When you’re not writing….I’m a stay at home mom to a toddler, which is basically a full-time job with hella overtime. (But I love it.)
You can catch up with Riley online…
This was a lot of fun! Good luck writing your next book.
Thank you so much for being a part of my Center Stage Moment! Join me next week as I feature author Ali Winters!