Frolic-Exclusive Interview with Author Sheila Roberts

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[Note from Frolic: We’re so excited to bring you this exclusive Q & A with author Sheila Roberts! Her new novel, Beachside Beginnings, is out now!]

About Beachside Beginnings:

Moira Wellman has always loved makeovers—helping women find their most beautiful selves. Funny how it’s taken her five years with her abusive boyfriend, Lang, to realize she needs a life makeover. When Moira finally gets the courage to leave Lang, the beachside town of Moonlight Harbor is the perfect place to start over.

Soon Moira is right at home, working as a stylist at Waves Salon, making new friends, saving her clients from beauty blunders and helping the women of Moonlight Harbor find new confidence as well as new looks. When she meets a handsome police officer, she’s more than willing to give him a free haircut. Maybe even her heart. But is she really ready for romance after Lang? And what if her new friend is in hot pursuit of that same cop? This is worse than a bad perm. Life surely can’t get any more difficult. Or can it?

A super friendly author on social media and perhaps one of the most positive people in the world, Sheila Roberts is celebrating the April 21 publication of new noon Moonlight Harbor novel. A blend of women’s fiction and romance, Beachside Beginnings follows hair stylist Moira Wellman to the small-town beachside community of Moonlight Harbor, Washington, as she leaves an abusive boyfriend to build a new life for herself and her cat, Harry Pawter. 

Frolic-Exclusive Interview:

Why do you think Moonlight Harbor is such a good place for new beginnings?

Sheila: Of course, you have that fabulous setting, the beach. Sand and sea, majestic waves crashing in, gorgeous sunsets—all food for the soul. But I think it’s even more than that. I think I’ve populated the town with some pretty cool people. When we’re hurting, we all need people to come alongside us and help us heal. Good friends make good medicine.

An ongoing theme in your books is the strength of women’s friendships. Tell us about some of your women friends. What do you do to support one another? To continue strengthening your friendships?

Sheila:  I have the most amazing friends. They were all there for me a few years back when I was battling cancer. I had friends bringing me meals, helping with house cleaning, knitting me blankets and shawls. You name it. My writers critique group even hired a gardener to come spruce up our property. The true test of friendship isn’t about being there when times are good. It’s about being there when times are hard. I hope I give back to them as well. I sure try. And I try to keep in touch with friends both near and far, checking up on them when they cross my mind.

With Moira being a hair color specialist in Beachside Beginnings, there’s a whole lotta colorin’ going on in this story. Have you ever had your hair colored pink or blue or another color not on the natural scale? How did that make you feel? 

Sheila:  After chemo my hair came in white (with a little gray mixed in there, too). Of course, I’m thankful to have hair, but sometimes I get tired of looking like a Q-tip. I haven’t yet splurged on a fantasy hair color, although I’m strongly tempted. Instead, I sent away for some hair goop in shades of green, blue and purple, and, when I want to make a statement, I give myself a turquoise streak with lavender highlights. Very fun and it washes right out!

A sign in Moonlight Harbor reads, “Life is Good at the Beach.” You and your husband enjoy spending time at the beach, too. How is life good for you at the beach? How does your daily routine differ when you’re near the sand, sun and water?

Sheila:  Oddly enough, I seem to get more writing done at the beach. Not as many distractions. I do have a great network of pals down at our beach digs, though: tennis buddies, line dancers, a great church, a fun neighbor to do beach walks with and pals to play games with on a Friday night. Life is definitely good at my beach!

When you create a character in a book, how do you go about doing that? 

Sheila:  This is such a hard question to answer. I think every character starts as a glint in an author’s eye. When I came up with Moira, I knew I wanted to write about a woman leaving an abusive relationship and starting over. I wanted her to make a success of her new life and also be an encouragement to others. The details evolved after that.

Do you think opposites attract, or do you think people are more likely to be attracted to people who share the same personality?

Sheila:  Ha! My husband and I are living proof that opposites attract. I’m the outgoing party girl, and he’s the shy guy who holds back until you get to know him. I still remember during our first year of marriage him begging for a weekend of peace and quiet, saying, “You’re partying me to death.” You definitely have some skirmishes when you are so very different, but you also balance out each other. Each person brings something unique to the marriage. At least that’s how it’s been for us.

The Drunken Sailor is the line dancing hang-out in Moonlight Harbor. A birdie told us you enjoy line dancing. Where do you go to line dance? How often do you go? What’s your favorite dance?

Sheila:  I loooove to dance. Line dancing is especially fun, because you don’t need a partner. We have several places here in town where a girl can shake it. One popular one is McCloud’s, a popular steak house that inspired the dance floor in The Drunken Sailor. There are so many cool dances out there it would be impossible to choose. I really like the ones where I can shake some booty. (Because in my mind I’m still thirty and a babe!)

In Beachside Beginnings, a secondary character, Courtney, is perceived as a super strong woman, a quality that Victor, the copy, has found a bit threatening for his taste in women, although another man in town ultimately finds that quality attractive. What qualities do you think attracted you to your husband?

He was sweet and fun-loving and a man of principles. And he played tennis—a big requirement way back when. I spent a lot of years trying to beat him. (We won’t talk about the bet I lost which involved making him tacos once a week for the rest of our lives. I eventually welched. The kids were ready to mutiny.) 

We love this Oscar Wilde quote you used in Beachside Beginnings: “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.” But in order to be yourself, you have to learn to be comfy with what makes you tick, with what makes you happy. What makes you happy? 

Sheila:  So many things! Being with my family, playing games with my friends, planning a party, beating my husband at Monopoly , going dancing, reading a good book, finishing writing a book! 

What is your favorite beach? Why is it your favorite?Sheila:  Right now my favorite beach is the one at Ocean Shores, Washington. Sandy and beautiful, and on a sunny day with the water gleaming there’s nothing like it. I grew up in Seattle, and I’ve always been around water. For me, life really is good at the beach. No, better than good. It’s great!

About the Author:

USA Today bestselling author Sheila Roberts lives on a lake in the Pacific Northwest—and in a beachside retreat. She’s happily married and has three children. She’s been writing since 1989, but before settling in to her writing career, she owned a singing telegram company and played in a band. Her band days are over, but she still enjoys writing songs. Her novel, Angel Lane, was named one of Amazon’s top ten romances in 2009. Her novel, On Strike for Christmas, was a Lifetime Network movie, and her romance, The Nine Lives of Christmas, was made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel. When she’s not speaking to women’s groups or at conferences or hanging out with her girlfriends, she can be found writing about those things near and dear to women’s hearts: family, friends, and chocolate.

Connect with Sheila:

Twitter

Facebook

Beachside Beginnings by Sheila Roberts, out now!

Join USA TODAY bestselling author Sheila Roberts for a seaside escape to the beaches of Moonlight Harbor

Moira Wellman has always loved makeovers—helping women find their most beautiful selves. Funny how it’s taken her five years with her abusive boyfriend, Lang, to realize she needs a life makeover. When Moira finally gets the courage to leave Lang, the beachside town of Moonlight Harbor is the perfect place to start over.

Soon Moira is right at home, working at Waves Salon, making new friends and helping her clients find new confidence. When she meets a handsome police officer, she’s more than willing to give him a free haircut. Maybe even her heart. But is she really ready for romance after Lang? And what if her new friend is in hot pursuit of that same cop? This is worse than a bad perm.

With all the heart and humor readers have come to expect from a Sheila Roberts novel, Beachside Beginnings is the story of one woman finding the courage to live her best life. And where better to live it than at the beach?

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
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