Rochelle Weber (Author Interview)
October 23, 2015
Please tell us a little about yourself, the romance subgenre(s) in which you write, and your newest book.
Hi, Anna. I’m from a middle-class family, and I grew up on the Northwest Side of Chicago—in the city, not the suburbs. I served in the Navy for two years and married a submarine sailor. We divorced because of my bi-polar disorder.
I write sci-fi romance because I hope someday there will be a permanent cure for mental illness—something like a pacemaker for the brain, so I began writing Rock Crazy, about Katie McGowan, a woman with bi-polar disorder who is afraid of the surgery. Her husband takes her to the Moon and divorces her, leaving her to face her disease on her own.
She distrusts the political prisoners who first settled the Moon and is shocked when she learns her boss and his wife were among the first wave. I thought I’d write a paragraph or two of their back-story. The next thing I knew, Rock Crazy was on the back shelf and I was writing Rock Bound, the story of Jake Johnsrud and Annie Peterson.
My newest book, The Thin Person Inside, is contemporary because Kristen Jensen is fighting obesity. I figure by the time the Moon Rock books take place, science will have conquered that problem.
What inspired you to write romance fiction?
I guess I’m a sucker for “happily ever after.” Even my sci-fi has to have some sort of love story and H-E-A.
Some people love them, some hate them. What’s your stance on alpha heroes?
I guess I prefer a man who works with the heroine. I like it when couples are partners. Both Jake and Sean are injured and Annie and Kristen help nurse them back to health.
Tell us about your favorite hero from one of your stories. What do you love about him?
Sean’s the one I dream about. He’s a combination of two of my favorite singers, he’s beyond wealthy, and he lives in my dream home. But Jake’s good in a crunch. If I had to be stranded somewhere, I know I could count on him.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve learned while researching a story?
That the mountains on the Moon are round from being pelted by space dust. I expected them to be jagged.
Rochelle Weber is a Navy veteran with a BA in Writing from Columbia College in Chicago. Her novels Rock Bound and Rock Crazy are available in both e-book and print. Her third book, The Thin Person Inside, is available at MuseItUp Publishing, Inc. Ms. Weber edits for Jupiter Gardens Press, The Author’s Secret, and publishes the Marketing for Romance Writers Newsletter, winner of the 2013 Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll for Best Writers’ Resource. She also started Roses & Thorns Reviews and currently has two partners.
Ms. Weber battles bi-polar disorder, quipping, “You haven’t lived until you’ve been the only woman on the locked ward at the VA.” Her song, “It’s Not My Fault,” won a gold medal in the National Veterans Creative Arts Competition. She has lost over a hundred pounds and kept it off for over three years. She lives in Round Lake Beach, Illinois.
Kristen Jensen, a Navy veteran, tips the scale at a crippling three hundred pounds. In desperation she asks her VA therapist if she can go into treatment with the addicts and alcoholics, where she meets Sean. With black hair, blue eyes, and a perfect body she figures the reason he’s speaking to her is that she’s the only other person in the room.
The Haystack told their lead singer, Sean Wesley, to get clean or get out. But none of the big-name clinics worked. Sean’s a Desert Storm vet, so they send him to a VA in the middle of nowhere. When he meets Kristen the first day, he thinks it’s tragic such a pretty girl’s trapped in a huge body. And her honesty, intelligence, and bravery are even more impressive. Sean’s drawn to Kristen, but she’s had decades to build layers of defense.
Sean Wesley went into the snack room to help himself to coffee and a roll. He’d probably gain weight while he was here without his personal trainer and weight room. He’d been a fat kid—always the last to be chosen for games, and stuck in right field when he did play. He’d been saved from a life of obesity by a growth spurt in his late teens, a judge who gave him a choice between jail and the Marines, and switching addictions from food to booze and then cocaine.
By rights, Sean shouldn’t be at a VA facility. Celebrities like him usually got sober at places like the Betty Ford clinic or Hazelden. Actually, he’d come from Betty Ford, but he’d still felt shaky so his manager, Don Nelson, had done his homework. Danville, Illinois, was in the middle of nowhere. The program was different, based on Rational Emotive Therapy, and Sean was a veteran. While he made too much money to be treated at the VA, there’s money and then there’s money. Sean had money—the kind that opens doors and breaks down barriers. The kind that makes even the Federal Government say, “We’ll see what we can do,” and then do it.
So here he was in the middle of a cornfield in bum-f*** Illinois at a shabby old VA hospital. An enormously obese woman came into the snack room interrupting his reverie, and Sean thought, “That could’ve been me. What a shame—she’s so pretty.”
* * * *
Kristen noticed the table of goodies and the drop-dead-gorgeous man perusing them in the break room when she went in there to put her lunch in the refrigerator.
“Want one? I heard they send ’em over every morning. I guess they’re yesterday’s leftovers.”
That’s right. Offer sweets to the fat lady. She managed a tight grimace. “Thanks, but I’m here because I’m a food addict.” She held up her orange.
“I’m Sean.” He prob’ly wouldn’t give a fat chick like me a second look anywhere else. Still, what is it about men with black hair and blue eyes that makes me go all mushy?
“I’ve heard of food addicts, but what makes ya call yourself that?”
“When my kids were little, I left them without a babysitter while I went to the store and wrote a rubber check for ice cream and M&Ms. I’d say I’ve been about as desperate for my fix as any addict or alcoholic.”
“Wow! Yeah, I guess so.” He held the door for her as they exited and then followed her into the Day Room.
Buy it at