Jennifer's Journal


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Interview with Connie Cox

From time to time, I like to interview authors of talent and promise. My guest today is Connie Cox, a fellow member of NOLA, North Louisiana chapter of RWA, who is currently writing for Harlequin. Please help me welcome Connie.

JB: As a start, Connie, tell us when you decided to become a writer.

CC: I’ve always loved to read, but never considered writing (Writers were those special, elite folks who lived in mansions in New York, right?) until I dropped into Betty’s Books one day and she told me about this new group of romance writers in town and said I should join.

The timing wasn’t right, but the idea wouldn’t go away, even after 8 years, a move away from the area and a move back again.  So, I joined an online group, gained some confidence, then put on my brave girl panties and went to a monthly writers’ meeting.  I’ve been hooked ever since.

JB: Did you read as a child? If so, what were your favorite books?

CC: I was an obsessed reader. I hid my novels inside my textbooks at school, walked down the hallways reading, read in bed using the crack of light that streamed under my bedroom door…. I was indeed a childhood reader. My fav books were the Trixie Belden series.  I also read all the Louisa May Alcott books.

JB: Do you read much now? What is in your To Be Read pile?

CC: I read daily, but not continuously as I did when I was a child.  Grown-up stuff interferes, you know?  I’m very eclectic in my reading.  I LOVE magazines of all kinds—Southern Living to Wired to Redbook. Right now, at the top of my stack are books by new medical romance authors Wendy S Marcus, Tina Becket, Louisa George and Susan Carlisle. One of my favorite authors of all time is Barbara Samuels O’Neal. She’s such a smart writer.  I also re-read Dwight Swain’s Techniques of the Selling Writer at least once a year.

JB: You write in the romance genre. Do you consider yourself a romantic at heart?

CC: I think I’m more of a pragmatist. There’s a whole lot of life to be lived by a couple beyond that first moment of attraction. The men and women in my novels have more than an initial  attraction to bind them together.  To paraphrase Jack Nicholson in one of his movies, ‘He/she makes me want to become a better person.’  I think true love brings out the best in all of us, and that’s what I expect from my story people.

JB: Your book, THE BABY WHO SAVED DR. CYNICAL, is labeled a Medical Romance. Tell us what that term means to you.

CC: Being a medical professional comes with a brand of stress and expectation like no other.  Preserving life, accepting death, are every day requirements, day in and day out. In a world like that, a person needs someone to understand, someone to find comfort and joy in more than in any other profession.  So writing about medical personnel, people who must maintain their logic at the epicenter of emotional chaos, means creating strong people who need strong relationships. Strength-found-in-love are the stories I like to tell, and medical romance is the perfect background for them.

JB: Do you have a background for writing about the medical field?

CC: I’m an electrical engineer by training and worked in the field for over 25 years until I started to write full time.  My first job was with GE Medical Systems were I repaired major diagnostic equipment like MRI scanners and nuclear scanners.  As a ‘fly on the wall’, I was privileged to observe how medical professionals balance the stresses of their work and still remain compassionate and sane.  With their stoic calmness, they are people like us, who ache like we do and seek joy as we do.  I think we forget that, seeing only what they are trained to show us. I write to expose that vulnerable part that makes us all human, crafting stories that are a tribute to their heroics.

JB: What made you decide to write for Harlequin?

CC: I’ve loved Harlequin ever since I discovered them on my mom’s TBR pile somewhere in my pre-teens.  I love that the stories which show, time and time again, that a loving relationship is the core of our humanity.  I especially like that neither the man nor the woman ever settles for second best, but loves themselves enough to enter into a relationship with someone they love even more.

JB: What is your favorite thing about being a Harlequin author? And your least favorite?

CC: I LOVE that Harlequin is sold internationally!  I had a Facebook message from an internet friend that she had just purchased my book from a shop in Belfast. Awesome, isn’t it?  And I love my editors. I’ve had two so far, and each one knows just how to encourage me to stretch farther and dig deeper, to unearth character emotions and the motivations behind them. What I like least? I can’t write fast enough to send them all the stories I want to write!

JB: What is your ultimate goal in writing?

CC: I want to give readers the same thing all the authors have given me.  I want to type “The End’ on a book knowing that I have expanded my own life’s view by living vicariously through my characters.  I hope my readers come away with the same life-expanding experience when they read my stories.

JB: Tell us what a typical writing day is like for you. What is your day like when not writing?

CC: Typical writing day: I eat breakfast with my husband, play on, and longer than I should, then I get down to work. I’m a morning writer and focus best before noon.  After lunchtime, I still write, just in shorter spurts.  Sometimes I have to bribe myself to pay attention i.e. thirty minutes typing and then I can do another row on the crochet project I’m working on.  Then another thirty minutes, etc.  When I’m on deadline, I usually work 5-6 hours a day at the computer.  But the story is always working itself out in my head, 24/7.  I like to think those hours count, too.
When not writing, I like to crochet. I’m getting into cooking (which means I buy cooking gadgets off the dollar rack, though I haven’t used them yet.) I used to like to garden and plan on getting back into that this spring.  And, of course, I read.

JB: Do you have a book in progress at present? Tell us a little about it?

CC: My writing life is a busy one right now. I’ve just had two more story ideas accepted at Harlequin Medical Romance and I’m going over final edits on a single title my agent will be selling for me as soon as I send it to her.  So many stories to tell, so few hours I can spend at the keyboard….

JB: What would you like readers to remember about your books?

CC: After reading one of my books, I would wish for readers to recognize the inner strengths of the characters and to acknowledge and celebrate their own inner strengths in their own life stories.

JB: No writer could hope for more. Thanks a million, Connie, for stopping by, and the best of luck with your career!

For more about Connie, check out her website at:

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Blogger liztalley said...

Wonderful interview! Loved seeing the process...even if I already know the process. Can't wait to see more by Connie Cox :)

Thank goodness we will see more by Connie Cox!

1:43 PM  
Blogger connie cox said...

Thanks Liz!

10:38 AM  
Blogger Winnie Griggs said...

Great interview!

11:45 AM  
Blogger connie cox said...

Thanks Winnie!

2:45 PM  
Blogger Lindalee said...

I'm on the third chapter of Connie's new book...enjoying it very much!!

10:15 AM  
Blogger Lindalee said...

I am reading Connie's new book and enjoying it very much!

10:17 AM  

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