Tucsonan, Roz Denny Fox, has been writing romance for Harlequin since 1989. Her second book, Romantic Notions, was a 1992 finalist in the Contemporary Category for the Romance Writers of America RITA award. Harlequin reissued that book in a volume of World’s Best Romances. Her work has also finaled in the Holt Medallion contest, twice in the Golden Quill contest, and appeared in several “best of” anthologies issued by Harlequin.
One reader described her work as,
I am especially impressed by the natural way Roz tells the story. The prose is neither dumbed-down nor tarted-up. How difficult to write so that to the reader it seems simple! In fact, the reader hardly notices the writer’s presence. This is mastery.
Her latest release, The Cowboy Soldier by Harlequin Super Romance, is the third in the Home on the Ranch series. Romantic Times Book Reviews gave the book 4 stars saying, “sparks fly between the characters and Fox’s characterization is wonderful.”
The Cowboy Solider
Major Rafe Eaglefeather loves a challenge–the riskier the better. A former rodeo champion, he’s also served his country. So is it too much to ask for a little solitude to heal from the effects of his deployment? With pushy relatives like his, apparently it is. Despite his protests, they’ve arranged for naturopath Alexa Robinson to treat him.
Since treatment involves staying at Alexa’s remote Texas ranch, Rafe sort of gets his wish for peace. Surprisingly, spending time with Alexa helps him feel more like himself. Something about her is irresistible and the attraction between them is growing. It’s so strong he’s tempted to take the biggest risk of all…committing to her.
Ms. Fox took a few minutes to accept some praise and tell readers a little bit about her processes.
Q. I count 49 of your books on your website. That’s quite a career to be proud of. In addition to the series books, some of your work has been honored in anthologies such as The Greatest Texas Love Stories of All Time and American Heroes. Are there any particular stories or characters of yours who have stayed with you longer than others?
I am really attached to all of my characters while I plan and write a story. It’s hard to say good-bye when it’s time to end the book. They’re all like family.
Q. Your writing is very good. Clearly, I’m not the only one who thinks so as your work has been quoted in books on the craft of writing. Specifically, I’m referring to On Writing Romance by Leigh Michaels. Ms. Michaels holds up your dialogue in The Secret Wedding Dress as exemplary of showing a character rather than telling. This is one heck of a compliment, I’d say. It occurs to me that this isn’t really a question, more of an “atta-girl!” What do you have to say for yourself?
I didn’t know that about Leigh’s article. John Charles and Shelley Moseley said some very nice things about my writing in a book called: Romance Today: An A to Z Guide of Contemporary American Authors.
But I’m most gratified when I get a reader letter that says, “I connected with your characters and felt like I was in their story.” One reader touched me by saying she’d read A Cowboy at Heart dealing with homeless teens at the time she was homeless. She read the book at a shelter and it was after she was back on her feet that she wrote to tell me the story gave her hope for her own future. Something I love about writing for Harlequin is getting letters from all over the world where someone in a far off land is moved enough to write and say they would love to meet the people in my stories.
Q. You started out as a secretary who wrote freelance self-help articles on the side. Where did you pick up the great dialogue skills that bring your characters to life? Do you have any hints or tricks for writers who struggle with making it all sound real?
A. If I have acquired that skill it has to come from a genuine liking of people. All people interest me, and I love listening, eavesdropping on all manner of conversations going on around me. My husband used to say he knew when we’d be somewhere, like in a restaurant, and I’d tuned in to what the people were saying who were seated around us.
Q. Your two next projects from Harlequin’s Heartwarming Series are Precious Gifts in March and Linked by Love in May. Can you tell us a little about them?
A. Those are both re-titled, reprints that will have new covers. The Heartwarming special project line will start as a reprint program of very traditional romances with no explicit sex scenes. Both of my books are what I would call family oriented love stories. I think there is an audience out there.
Roz Denny Fox will be appearing in the following panel discussion: How Editors Work with Authors on Sunday March 13 at Integrated Learning Center Room 130 at 10:00.