I was recently interviewed by Hollie at Coffee Time Romance. The interview was a lot of fun. Here it is:
Another Interview with Samantha Rhodes
Hollie: I have a treat for you all today. I have Samantha Rhodes joining me with her book Passion's Professor and I’m hoping she’ll bring her sexy Latin hunk with her. Hi Samantha I’m Hollie, how are you this evening?
Samantha: I'm fine, thanks.
Hollie: Are you ready for Christmas?
Samantha: I don't celebrate Christmas, but I do celebrate my anniversary on December 25th. This year it is our 36th. We were married by a justice of the peace on Christmas Day 1972. Right before we got married, my husband worked as a department-store Santa Claus. On our marriage license it says his profession is "Santa Claus." So I married Santa Claus!
Hollie: I’ve finished today I’ve just got the fresh food to pick up on Wednesday. I’ve finished reading Passion’s Professor and I must say that is a sweet little story.
Samantha: I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Hollie: But before we talk about your book a little bird has told me that you also write poetry under another name. Would you like to tell us about that?
Samantha: Yes. I've been publishing my poetry since 1993. My poems are online and in print in lots of literary journals and anthologies. My poetry chapbook, To-wit To-woo by Peggy Landsman (FootHills Publishing), came out in January 2008. Peggy Landsman is the name my parents gave me. All my writing, with the exception of Passion's Professor, is under that name. I have a web site, "Peggy Landsman: Selected Poetry and Prose."
Hollie: That leads me into my second question why did you choose to write under two different names?
Samantha: When I completed the manuscript of Passion's Professor, I decided that Peggy Landsman didn't sound like a romance writer's name. I made up the name Samantha Rhodes.
Hollie: In what order do you write? Beginning to end or by combining ideas in random order?
Samantha: It depends on what I'm writing. When I wrote Passion's Professor, I wrote from beginning to end. Of course, I had to rewrite sections along the way. "Writing is rewriting." (I don't know who said that, but it is true.) I found that frequently I would write out my ideas first, in an almost essay-like form, and then I would have to go back and dramatize them. What I loved about writing Passion's Professor was that I knew how it was going to end, but I had no idea how I was going to get there. I just had to keep moving forward, letting the scenes unfold as they did, and letting my characters talk. I had the distinct impression that I had to be present, but not get in the way of the story.
Hollie: If you could be an animal what animal would it be and why?
Samantha: I am a human animal, but if I could be another kind of animal, I would be a bottlenose dolphin. They are very smart and playful. Their home is a very big world with no apparent borders. They can swim everywhere. I love that they can talk and listen at the same time; they can carry on two conversations simultaneously. They have lots of sex. I also love the way they look and how strong and athletic they are.
Hollie: What is the most sexy to you in an alpha male? The way they walk, the clothes they wear or the overall confidence they project?
Samantha: The overall confidence they project. And the light, the fire in their eyes.
Hollie: Moving on to Passion’s Professor would you like to introduce us to your professor? What makes him tick?
Samantha: Professor Rafael Segura is a brilliant, handsome, charismatic man, and a wonderful professor. He has, unfortunately, been the subject of a lot of gossip and he's been typecast as a Don Juan, which he absolutely is not! He has a lot of pride and integrity and does not believe he needs to explain himself to everyone. He likes to keep his private life private. As a professor, he is very popular and very strict. As a man, he does not suffer fools. As a lover.... You just need to read the book.
Hollie: Which of your characters do you relate to the most and why?
Samantha: Elise Richards. I had to relate to her the most because she is the main character. The whole story revolves around her. Also, she shares lots of my interests. I got my B.A. degree in Spanish. I love to paint, especially in oils. I love music, literature, and art. I lived for many years in Berkeley, California, and used to jog around Edwards field, the same track where Elise jogs. I used to play chess a little bit. I guess she and I have a lot in common.
Hollie: The idea of a professor and a student could be risky. What made you write what could be a controversial topic?
Samantha: When I sat down to write Passion’s Professor, I had already spent a good deal of my adult life at colleges and universities. I knew many professors and students, some of whom had become involved with each other and went on to marry. As a matter of fact, when I was in high school, one of my classmates was sleeping with our algebra teacher! They got married. I believe they are still married. Anyway, I had a real feel for university life and the story just seemed like a natural one for me to write.
Hollie: Elise is a complex character with some insecurities although she shows an amazing strength. Is she based on a person you know or is she totally fictional?
Samantha: Although she does share many of my interests, she is totally fictional. She is a product of my imagination.
Hollie: Why Spanish? Is it just the ‘Latin Lover’ ideal or is there another reason you chose a Spanish Alpha male?
Samantha: As I said, I received my B.A. degree in Spanish. It was fun to use some of what I had learned in my Spanish courses in the writing of a romance novel. In my course on Spanish romanticism, we read several of the Don Juan plays. That character certainly suggests the Spanish alpha male. But, in fact, Rafael Segura just sort of showed up. He himself mentions the Latin lover stereotype. He is angry that anyone could think of him as "a notorious Latin lover."
Hollie: Thank You for giving your time so close to Holidays.
Samantha: It was my pleasure. Have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year.
Hollie: Thank you for joining me today and I hope you have a successful 2009.
Causes Peggy Landsman Supports
Green Peace, Pro Literacy Worldwide, International Planned Parenthood, Doctors without Borders, National Jewish Health