Interview with Darrell Grob

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The characters! I love my characters, and I know each one of them intimately. They're friends. Everytime I need a little boost, I sit down and write a little dialog with Carol, Monica, Marie, or any of them. It's a great experience.
When did you first start writing?
When I was a little kid I wrote short "radio scripts" that I read and recorded on a tape recorder. There were short stories, mini-monologues, and even a few commercial parodies. The Unconventional Affairs series started as me finally writing down an idea for a scene that I had for decades.
What is your writing process?
It usually starts with a scene idea. For instance, The Unconventional Affair started with me writing the end climax scene. (It's the scene where Carol and Doug are reunited in the office building atrium.) I then had to write about how they got to that point. The second book in the trilogy, Tangier, happened because the lead character, Monica Kessel, was in a scene at the very end of The Unconventional Affair. I liked her as a character, so I developed her into an ugly duckling story. The actual process I fall into is pretty simple. I write out a skeleton story, then go back and add and embellish. I don't outline, but I do make notes of key points I want to get in the story. I also write a timeline. For instance, the entire Unconventional Affairs series takes place over a five year period; I had to keep that straight to make the trilogy work properly. Perhaps one thing I do that isn't commonplace is that I use online photos I find as character and scene inspirations.
How do you approach cover design?
Color! Color! Color! I try to stay away from the standard romance novel design tropes. You know what I'm talking about: a raven-haired damsel being held by a shirtless bodybuilder with oil covered skin. I like covers that a reader wouldn't be embarrassed to show in public.
What do you read for pleasure?
I always like to spend time with a boating cruising guide or a memoir from a fellow boater. As far as fiction goes, I gravitate to science fiction or seafaring stories. However, I must confess that one of the reasons I write is because they turn out to be what I like to read myself.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle app on my phone and tablet.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Directly promoting my books to individual readers on Facebook, Twitter and online forums.
Describe your desk
I use a laptop with an ergonomic keyboard. I sit on a padded stool so my arms are in a more comfortable level and position. I'm an early riser so most of my writing is done before sunrise. "A place for everything, and everything in its place." (That doesn't mean it's not messy. I just know what all the mess is.)
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I like the ease of use of Smashwords; it doesn't add to the angst one feels about the actual act of publishing. I also like that it processes new publications and changes quickly. Waiting and waiting and waiting is a pain.
What are you working on next?
I think I'm going to be diving head first into my travel material for a while. Our cruising season for 2018 is a very busy one indeed, and we'll be visiting a lot of new and exciting destinations.
Published 2017-12-07.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Tough Cookie Part 3 of The Unconventional Affairs Trilogy
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 74,810. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Marie “Tough Cookie” Kessel, a gung-ho member of the Coast Guard, thought she had it all. Then she met Mark. She wanted him even more. But there were obstacles in the way: confusion, doubts, even the pall of death. It looked hopeless. Would they fulfill their destiny? It's an Unconventional Affair. Rated R for mature adult readers.
Tangier Part 2 of The Unconventional Affairs Trilogy
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 70,440. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
In Tangier, young, nerdy, geek Monica had no one to love or to love her. But she got to go a Las Vegas convention where she met mysterious hot Gabe. He stole her heart, and love at first sight blossomed. And there were wonderful secrets revealed. But the oppressive shadow of a bitter woman threatened everything. It's an Unconventional Affair. Rate R for mature adult readers.
The Unconventional Affair Part 1 of The Unconventional Affairs Trilogy
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 75,860. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Middle-aged Carol thought she was washed up romantically. Abused early in life, her confidence damaged, she surrendered to what she thought was her fate. That was until she met Doug at a big Las Vegas convention—everything changed. But her troubled past resurfaced to try to destroy her and Doug's love. It's an Unconventional Affair. Rated R for mature adult readers.
Outside the Channel Volume 1 Just Hangin’ Out
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 19,870. Language: English. Published: December 7, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » Specialties & interests, Nonfiction » Travel » Specialties & interests
Life cruising on a boat is a fun and adventurous way to live. There's always something fun and interesting to see and do. Outside the Channel Volume 1 Just Hangin’ Out is a collection of quick takes on the things we experience during a recent cruising season. With everything from the importance of a great hat to binging on the best donuts in Canada, Outside the Channel is a great read.
Pickleball Is For Lovers: The World's First Pickleball Themed Romance Story
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 40,020. Language: English. Published: March 4, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Rated R for mature adult readers. Pickleball Is For Lovers – The World's First Pickleball Themed Romance Story. Beautiful, single mom, Natalie, got tricked into going to a pickleball party.There she met Rick, the country club tennis pro. He turned her world upside down not only romantically, but athletically as well. Her life was never the same. Hot! Fast! Fun! Very R-rated for mature readers.
Our On Board Life -- A Love Story About Two Rookie Boaters Living the Dream, Loving the Lifestyle, and Learning Everything from Scratch
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 75,910. Language: English. Published: May 4, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Travel » Trip Journals, Nonfiction » Travel » Cruises
It is rare when someone gets to actually live their dream, but Skipper Darrell did! Follow him, along with his wife, on their good ship Why Knot, as they cruise America's Great Loop, America's greatest boating adventure. It's not a guide book or travelogue, but a collection of the best stories of their adventure.