Rachelle Vaughn-smPerfect for February and red-hot lovers of romance, we have this month's PDB Featured Author, Rachelle Vaughn. Take a few minutes to step into Rachelle's world of hockey, romance, and her thoughts on Nora Roberts.
PDB: Welcome, Rachelle Vaughn!  Congratulations for becoming the Polka Dot Banner's Featured Author of the Month. You are the perfect author to feature for February and Valentine's Day! Please share with us about your romance novel, Home Ice.
RV:  Thank you so much, Jane!  Home Ice is a sweet hockey-themed romance novel about a regular girl whose life collides with a star hockey player's. It's a modern day fairy tale with a twist because in this case, Cinderella can't quite give in to the idea of Prince Charming coming in and rescuing her from all her problems.
PDB:  How did a California girl like you become such an avid fan of ice hockey? 
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RV: Hockey first attracted me because it is such a fast-paced game.  And once I actually attended a game in person and saw how thrilling it is, I was hooked!
PDB:  I noticed in your blog profile that among your favorite books you've said, "anything by Nora Roberts."  As she is one of my favorites as well, (I have copies of all her books, some autographed), let me ask you what makes Nora special to you?
RV:  Ah, yes.  Nora Roberts, the Wayne Gretzky of the writing world!  Nora is inspirational not only from her impressive body of work, but because of her compelling characters and amazing attention to detail.  The descriptiveness in her novels puts the reader right there with the characters.  No matter the subject, Nora writes about it as if she's lived and breathed it herself.
PDB:  You subscribe to Kindlegraph. Please explain what it is and how it works, for those authors who are new to the concept.
RV:  Kindlegraph lets authors send personalized inscriptions and signatures directly to the electronic reading devices of their fans.  With so many books being read electronically, it's a great way to connect with readers.
Rachelle Vaughn-lrgPDB:  Many writers take a while to settle on a particular genre (some of us never do!), but you've known since you were ten or twelve that you wanted to be a romance novelist.  What is it about romance writing that has satisfied your passion for writing this long? (Please pardon the pun!)
RV:  I think most young girls secretly dream that their prince will some day ride in and sweep them off their feet.  In the romance genre, I love how you can take two people from different or similar worlds, smash them together and see what happens.  The possibilities of love are endless.
PDB:  Many romance novels tend to have an obstacle that keeps the lovers apart.  How do you know when you've let the tension build enough, that it's time to resolve the issue and let the pair get together?  (It must be a difficult balance to lead the readers on, yet not lose them to frustration or even anger, asking, "How can he/she/they be so stupid?")
RV:  Sometimes I wish I could just let them be together from the beginning, but then there wouldn't be much of a story!  Only when the character has resolved or made peace with their own issues can they really be freed to give in to love and devote themselves to another person.  Unfortunately not everyone is smart (and lucky!) in love.
PDB:  Do you have any advice to share with authors who've never written romance, but are considering it?
RV:  It may sound cliche, but write what's in your heart.  If you really believe in something, whether it be a concept, subject, or character, put your whole heart and soul into it.  Sure, you might feel vulnerable and a bit exposed, but you can go to sleep at night knowing you gave it your all, no matter what anyone else says about it. 

JaneNWhite-75SqDr. Jane Nixon White, award-winning poet and essayist, is a veteran teacher whose writing crosses genres. Her first book, Life and Things Like Rocks, is an anthology of poems and prayers for children. She is also the author of The Taming of Corky, her first novel. Jane is currently working on a two-book series on World War II, which is the posthumous memoir of her parents.