By Jeff Salter
Roxanne Lambie is another new acquaintance in the stable of authors at Clean Reads. When I learned her first novel was being released, I dashed over and knocked on her door — fortunately, she was home. One of the many things which intrigued me about Roxanne was her high in the sky profession. After you have a look at her bio and photo, read through her excellent responses to my interview questions.
From an early age, Roxanne Lambie fell in love with books and storytelling. Her work as a professional pilot kept her busy, but she never gave up on her dream of writing. It was the combined love of both that sparked QUANTUM.
When she isn’t sitting at the computer or flying high in the skies, you can find her relaxing at home with her family and dreaming about their next vacation.
- We had two children, one who loves to read and one who reads hardly at all. Have you ever figured out how or why some kids gravitate so strongly to reading – as you did – and why others seem to possess hardly any interest at all?
[***RML***] — I wish I knew the answer to this. I have two children as well. One who begs for more reading time and one who could do without completely. If anyone knows the secret, please let me in on it.
- At what point in your childhood did you realize you had a drive to write? Did you encounter any particular encouragement? Any DIScouragement?
[***RML***] — When I was in 7th grade I knew I wanted to write. I attempted a novel, but it was ultimately just a short story at about 60 pages. For years I had given up until one day, the writing bug bit again and this time I had something to prove to myself.
- El Paso is WAY over in west Texas. The border has been in the news a lot lately. Not trying to focus on the politics currently involved, but have you ever experienced any problems being that close to the border?
[***RML***] — Living in El Paso is interesting. Fairly often someone will ask me what its like. We are the second safest city in the nation for our size. I feel safe walking in ANY neighborhood here. I’m not going to say that racial or political problems don’t exist, but I will say that we are somewhat sheltered and seem to have less of these issues than other parts of the country. It is a truly diverse, multi-cultural city that I’m proud to live in.
- As a kid, I went with my family to Juarez and had a wonderful time. What cities in Mexico have you visited… and which is your favorite?
[***RML***] — I’ve been all over Mexico. Most of these “trips” were for work so there are some cities that I’ve never had the chance to explore, and all I saw was the concrete at an airport. One city that sticks out in my mind is Zihuatanejo. I flew in and saw the ocean up against a backdrop of more palm trees than I’ve ever seen. It was absolutely gorgeous. I desperately wished I was there for at least a day, but I was there for no more than an hour. One of my favorite places is the beach between Playa del Carmen and Tulum. My husband and I have done THE MOST AMAZING snorkeling there.
- I see you’re hooked on the show Outlander. What about that show draws your interest?
[***RML***] — Outlander is probably my favorite series of all time. Diana Gabaldon writes like no one else. The show, although not quite like the books, is done beautifully. It’s like re-reading the books with a slightly different twist. I’m anxiously awaiting season 4, but I’m awaiting “Bees” even more.
- What was it about flying that secured your interest in piloting? Were you in the military before working at a commercial airline? Have you ever had your OWN plane?
[***RML***] — The flight that sealed the deal was way back when I was about four years old, sitting on dad’s lap. My dad gave up flying shortly thereafter, but I never forgot that feeling. Years later I started working on my own ratings. I did all my training through the civilian route. I’ve never owned my own airplane. Maybe someday. Maybe.
- I understand you currently fly for a private owner. What’s the most interesting place you’ve flown to?
[***RML***] — Most interesting. That’s a tough one. The best places are the places that I go to with my family, not the places I visit alone. I think there’s a quote that says something to the effect of, “Beauty is only real when shared.” This is so true. But since I feel compelled to answer, some of my favorite flying was in the Caribbean.
- I see you currently fly a King Air 200. If you could pilot any aircraft currently available, which would it be?
[***RML***] — Another tough question. It’s not so much what I fly, but quality of life that rules in my world. So, if I was all trained up and could fly anything…for one hour…F-22. For one day…Cessna 172. For the remainder of my career…737.
- I have a friend (who pilots his own single-engine plane) who described a frightening experience where his engine failed. He managed to work through it and land safely. Have you ever had a scary in-flight experience that you can share?
[***RML***] — There have been plenty. A couple come to mind though. On one trip, I came home and upped my life insurance. A bad day at work will have you come home and hug your family a lot harder and longer than normal. Let’s just say that I’ve had plenty of experiences to be able to write the emergency scenes in QUANTUM easily.
- Wonderful that you take the time to speak to middle school and high school groups. Is that as a pilot or an author? Or both? Which profession do the kids seem to respond to the most?
[***RML***] — I talk about both. My main focus is telling the kids not to define themselves. If I had done that at a young age then I may not be a pilot, or a writer, but I certainly wouldn’t be both. They are two very different jobs with different skill sets. The kids seem to respond to both. Different kids for each career though.
- Sounds like you have quite a menagerie. What possessed you to raise pigs? And why did you stop?
[***RML***] — The whole family are suckers for rescue pets. That’s where it started. My daughter really wanted a pig and we were all on board. We ended up with two instead of one though. Then the boy that we were told was fixed, wasn’t. So, then we had four. Long story. I could write a whole book about the experience. They are truly wonderful, amazing pets, but only if you know what you are getting into. We did, but we weren’t prepared for four of them. Then my husband and I started talking about moving so we found a home for all four at a sanctuary outside of Albuquerque. The people who run it are awesome and we were lucky to find them. We still visit on occasion and there isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t miss our pigs.
- Wonderful that your first completed novel has been published. In my own case, the very first manuscript – though overhauled multiple times – is still in the proverbial “box under the bed”. How did you draw up the confidence to submit that first manuscript?
[***RML***] — My first book was only part of Quantum. Part 1. Then, after much debate and tons of revising, I decided to combine Part 1 and 2 into what it is today. I feel blessed that it was picked up by a publisher. There are so many stories about writers who have written 5-10 books before being published. I’m not sure what the driving force was to keep going after all the rejections, but those are the stories that every writer needs to be reading and sharing. The story of perseverance is always inspiring, at least for me.
- What can you share about your inspiration for the story in QUANTUM?
[***RML***] — I can’t pinpoint the exact moments of inspiration. There were several over the course of a few weeks. One flight where the clouds were especially dark. One drive up to Truth or Consequences, NM when it was raining. Then one night I couldn’t sleep, so I decided to get up and start writing.
- Can you tell us about your current work in progress?
[***RML***] — I’ve had a couple story ideas since QUANTUM and I originally thought I’d write two at the same time, but no, it’s much better to focus on just one. I’m currently trying my hand at middle grade. I wanted to write a light, fun MG that involved pigs, but the story is turning into something a bit darker. I love this new direction though and I feel its something that I just have to write. It’s definitely on my heart to get it out in the world for young readers.
- In five years time, how many novels do you envision having completed?
[***RML***] — I’m a slow writer, but I hope in five years I’ll have at least two more novels done. My current MG. A brand new YA and possibly something more. Time will tell.
Seventeen-year-old student pilot, Willow Ryan, can be in two places at once, but she doesn’t know it.
While on a solo flight, she is transported from Texas to Ireland where she meets a stunning Irish local, Liam Tyl. During her visits, he tries to help her unravel the mystery of how she appears and disappears, but their time together is always short lived.
At home, she has no memory of Liam or her travels to Ireland. There are chunks of time that she can’t account for—moments with her friends and family. Most importantly, memories with her ailing Mom that can’t be replaced.
Liam reaches out to her through letters, and together they discover there are two versions of Willow. Now she must learn how to navigate between her two realities without losing the new love in her life or her family back home. An accident proves that she may be too much like Schrödinger’s cat, and leaves Liam and Willow both questioning her survival.
Question for visitors reading today’s blog:
* If cost wasn’t an issue and you had no inhibitions, what is something that you’ve always wanted to try or learn?