Author Interview with Roz Denny Fox

October 12, 2009

Today we have the privilege of interviewing Roz Denny Fox, author of over 40 contemporary romance novels, mostly for the Harlequin SuperRomance line.

Welcome to The Hope Chest Reviews, Roz.

1. Since we share our home state of Arizona, I am curious to know if you are a native Arizonan, and what you like most about living here.

I'm not a native Arizonan. I was born and raised in the Northwest. A small town in Oregon. When I met and married my husband, we lived in Hawaii. Then California and then made Seattle our home for a long time. I see another question gets to our time in Texas, so I'll address it there. We spent a few years in Phoenix with my husband's job---and I worked for Deer Valley School District. Loved Phoenix. Always thought we'd go back there. But when my husband retired---I had problems with Phoenix air quality. (asthma) Tucson was a great second choice and I love it and all of Arizona.

2. Your most recent release, The Baby Album, is set in Texas, and I've noticed that many of your other books are too. Have you lived in Texas?

We lived several years in San Angelo, Texas. My husband was a telephone engineer. Loved Texas and traveled extensively there. I like setting books there, because of the diversity of the various regions.

3. When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?

My youngest daughter and her friends talked me into trying to write a romance. The girls read a lot of Harlequin and Silhouette books. I wrote the school newsletter where I worked as a secretary. The girls liked the newsletter and thought I should try to write. I found out it was harder than I thought.

4. When was your first book published, and how long did it take from the time you started writing it until it was released?

My first book Red Hot Pepper, for Harlequin's romance line was out in 1990. I started to get serious about writing when we were transferred from Phoenix to Seattle. I joined RWA, took creative writing classes at the junior college. Met a lot of other serious writers. I went to the RWA conference in 1988, came home and said I knew what I wanted to write---a fun story. I worked full time, so I wrote it over a year, sent it in and was very lucky that Paula Eykelhof, editor for the romance line liked it and bought the book. I used a pseudonym of Roz Denny for my first 6 books for the romance line. Then when my editor moved to Superromance and asked me to try to write a Super story, we added my real last name of Fox. Roz and Denny is a combination of my first name and my husband's first name.

5. What was the title of your first book and what was it about?

Red Hot Pepper. The heroine was a feisty part Hispanic woman with too many controlling brothers. She met the hero on the highway. She drove a hot sport's car with the license plate of Red Hot. She and the hero had a rocky beginning, but had to work together later in the book.

6. Out of the dozens of books you've written in the past twenty years, do you have a favorite?

Like my children, no I truly don't have a favorite. Some have been easier to write than others. But I don't like them better than the ones that went together with more sweat and tears.

7. What part of writing do you find to be the most challenging?

Getting the middle of the book to flow well. I always have an idea for the start and finish. The middle I have to work out always.

8. Who or what has inspired you the most in your writing career and in what way?

My editor, who believed in my stories was very gratifying. And readers, of course, who take my characters to heart.

9. I understand that you husband assists you with technical details, and that he is the Denny in your pen name. Can you give some examples of things he has helped you write?

He's always the man to check out my car info, adventure issues, military stuff, and in general whether a man would act the way I have my heroes act. Denny is a huge supporter of my work. I can't give him enough accolades.


10. In The Baby Album, Wyatt and Casey are the photographers for a 50th anniversary party. Was the inclusion of this scene a nod to your own milestone anniversary?

I hadn't thought of it, but maybe subconsciously. My sister-in-law and her husband celebrated their 50th shortly before Denny* and I celebrated our big anniversary. His other sister is close behind us. Our family has longevity when it comes to marriage, which is one reason I like to write about romantic relationships that endure.

*We are saddened to report that Roz's beloved husband, Denny, passed away on April 1, 2010. Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family. We want to thank Denny for his contribution to the romance genre through his support of and assistance with Roz's writing.


11. It seems like you and your husband have built your own happily-ever-after romance. What do you think is the secret to a long, happy marriage?

I attribute our making it through so many years to his mellow disposition. I'm more volatile and he lets me stomp around, slam cupboard doors, and in general never gets upset about anything.

12. I love photography as an artistic medium, so I really enjoyed Wyatt and Casey from The Baby Album both being photographers. Do you share their interest in photography?

I have to say in the family I take the pictures of family gatherings. I have copies made and ship them to everyone. I have boxes of photos, and pull them out whenever anyone in the family wants to make a special album. I'm not, however, the best person for the picture taking job. I get too much extraneous background in the photo.

13. Your novella, Nate's Anatomy, is one of the current featured online reads at e-Harlequin. I think that it has a very different storyline about a doctor/scientist who is searching for a universal antivenin, along with some medical drama involving spider and snake bites. How did you come up with the idea for such an unusual plot?

It was a spin off character from one of my books, Real Cowboys, out around that time. I was a medical record technician for a number of years, and worked 12 years for 3 pediatricians. So I also love things medical. It's an ever changing field and so much going on always. Doctors and nurses are some of my favorite people.

14. The heroine of Nate's Anatomy is Asian American, as are the heroines of a couple of your other novels. Asian characters don't seem to be very common in romance, and fans of inter-racial romance that I have spoken with have expressed appreciation for them. What inspired you to write these characters?

I love to study other cultures and have lived in places where there have been multiple cultures blending in to make for interesting communities. I think if we spent more time enjoying parts of cultures unlike our own that the world would be a better place. I visited China when it first opened its borders. Had a fascinating trip.

15. I personally enjoyed the Native American connection in Nate's Anatomy and the use of their alternative medical treatments. Do you have an interest in alternative medicine?

I do like alternative medicine. Interestingly enough, my next book out in July 2010, but is untitled as yet---has the heroine as a holistic doctor. She's an osteopath who is an herbalist and acupuncturist. Like regular medicine I find the possibility of using both natural and medical to be interesting.

16. What are you currently working on?

I just told you about the heroine of my next book. The hero is a wounded war veteran. It's also set in Texas. In the Big Bend country. One I haven't used before. A beautiful and still wild country. I hope readers look for the book and like what I've done with Alexa and Rafe in that story.

Thank you so much for visiting with The Hope Chest Reviews today, Roz. It has been a pleasure interviewing you, and we wish you all the best.

Thank you for the great interview. I hope you know a little more about Roz Denny Fox, writer and person now.


Read our review of The Baby Album.

Read our review of Nate's Anatomy.

Read our review of Real Cowboys.