Format: Audiobook, Ebook, Paperback
Genres: Age Gap, Romance, Singer
My author feature interview today is with Robinne Lee (pronounced Robin).
Robinne is an actress, writer, and producer.
She has numerous acting credits in television and film, most notably opposite Will Smith in both Hitch and Seven Pounds, Don Cheadle in Hotel for Dogs, and Jennifer Garner in 13 Going on 30.
You may recognize her as Christian Grey’s trusted COO, Ros Bailey in the movies, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed.
Most recently she has played Bea Hastings in the Syfy channel’s series, Superstition and in the thriller “Til Death Do Us Part,”
Robinne has served as a producer on various independent films and regularly speaks on panels regarding the roles of women and actors of color in the industry.
INTERESTING ROBINNE FACTS
★ Her birthday is 6/16
★ She’s 5”4″
★ She was born and raised in Westchester County, NY
★ She’s the daughter of immigrant parents from Jamaica
★ She attended Yale undergrad and majored in Psychology
★ Robinne graduated from Columbia University with a law degree
★ She passed the bar in New York
★ She started a company with a friend that managed singing groups
★ She worked with a New Kids on the Block member’s group
★ She worked as an Editorial Assistant for ELLE Magazine, both in New York and Paris
★ Robinne currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.
★ She has long had an affinity for travel and the arts
★ She is an avid runner, a mediocre ballet dancer, and a huge fan of cheese
★ She spent a year and three months writing The Idea of You
★ The name of the band in the book, August Moon came from a lyric from a Duran Duran song, “Wild Boys.”
★ She named all of the models Hayes encounters in the book after Duran Duran’s wives
★ Robinne is also the narrator of The Idea of You audiobook.
★ She’ll be attending Book Bonanza and I can’t wait to meet her.
Her debut novel, THE IDEA OF YOU was released 6/13/17
It isn’t a romance, it’s a love story in it’s purest form.
(Solèn’s name is pronounced So-Lynn. Her parents are French)
When Solène Marchand, the thirty-nine-year-old owner of a prestigious art gallery in Los Angeles, takes her adolescent daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favorite boy band, she does so reluctantly, at her ex-husband’s request.
The last thing she is expecting is to make a connection with one of the members of the world-famous August Moon.
But Hayes Campbell is clever, winning, confident, and posh, and the attraction is immediate.
That he is all of twenty years old further complicates things.
What begins as a series of clandestine trysts in various cities quickly evolves into an impassioned relationship.
It is a journey that spans continents as they navigate each other’s disparate worlds: from stadium tours to international art fairs to secluded hideaways.
And for Solène, it is as much a reclaiming of self, as it is a rediscovery of happiness and love.
When their romance becomes a viral sensation, and both she and her daughter, the target of rabid fans and an insatiable media,
Solène must face how her new status has impacted not only her life but the lives of those closest to her.
This compelling story was beautifully written.
It deals with the double standard of how age is perceived in men and women, motherhood, life after divorce, new love and the complexities of celebrity and privacy.
As a reader, I was easily pulled into their journey and became emotionally invested in the relatable characters to the point that I still can’t seem to let them go.
I’m glad Robinne created Twitter accounts for both Hayes and Solène so I can at least “re-visit” them.
This book has everything I love in a story –
Witty, playful banter, amazing dialogue, a strong intelligent heroine, a non-game playing swoony book boyfriend, complex secondary characters, angst, steam, a unique storyline, and depth.
It was extremely thought-provoking. It touched on what it means to be a woman, a parent who always puts their children first, a lover, a friend, a co-worker and to be true to oneself.
I think Robinne’s background as an actor enhanced the flow as the story unfolded and touched on our senses with her attention to detail.
For me, it mentally painted each scene vividly and I felt the raw emotions right along with them.
That was the sound I made at the end of this book.
It was a 5 star read for me and I’m very stingy with those.
It’s been a long time since I’ve experienced this magnitude of a book hangover or cried both for and with the characters.
I can only cross my fingers that in the future, not only will there be more of a story to tell but also that it would be made into either a movie or series.
Sidenote – – one of my favorite lines in the book that says SO MUCH using SO LITTLE words is –
When describing Hayes and the attention he receives, she says, “He is a walking exclamation point.”
Also, did you notice the reflection in the cover model’s sunglasses?
1. Where is the strangest place you’ve ever gotten a great story idea?
✧ I was at a political fundraiser when I got the idea for “The Idea of You.” In the spring of 2014, I co-hosted a small reception for Marianne Williamson who was running for Congress.
My husband Eric had just returned from a business trip to NY, and we were standing in my friend’s kitchen shortly before the candidate was to speak. I joked with Eric that I was going to leave him and our two kids for a much younger guy in a band that I’d discovered earlier that week. Eric laughed and then said, “You know, that would make a great book.”
And from that second on, my mind was preoccupied. I went home after the reception and began jotting down notes immediately.
2. What is the last book you’ve loved?
✧ I read “My Oxford Year” by Julia Whelan this past fall and was immediately besotted. I’ve been telling everyone I meet about it. Fortunately, it’s being released this Tuesday, April 24th, and so the rest of the world will be able to share in the magic.
3. What is your favorite TV or Netflix series?
✧ I was absolutely blown away by Big Little Lies. Extraordinary in every way. Writing, acting, direction, editing, music – even the set design was perfection.
4. Bucket list vacation spot?
✧ I’d love to make it to Bali one of these days and stay in one of those Aman Resorts. Something sexy and luxurious and far, far from the maddening crowd.
5. Who is your favorite book boyfriend from another author?
✧ Will Traynor. From Jojo Moyes’ “Me Before You.” I don’t typically have book boyfriends. But I think if you cry enough over a character and you find yourself still thinking about him years later, well that’s pretty damn close.
6. What is your all-time favorite song?
✧ “Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran. Not because it’s the best song ever written, but because it captures a moment so specific and special in my life and every time I hear it I am completely swept up in the nostalgia.
7. What are your favorite pizza toppings?
✧ In France – where I used to live — they do this thing where they lightly bake an egg on the top of your pizza and then when it arrives you break the yolk and smear it all over. And I know to Americans that sounds gross, but it’s one of the best things ever. And then you drizzle a peppery olive oil on top. So, that, atop something salty: tuna (also a French thing) or capers or olives or onions. Yum.
8. Who is your unicorn author?
✧ Judy Blume. She was the formation of my entire adolescence.
9. What is your favorite brand of mascara?
✧ I’m a Great Lash by Maybelline girl. It’s tried and true. And I cannot tell you how many makeup artists’ chairs I’ve sat in over the years, and it’s their top choice as well. You don’t mess with a good thing. Plus, it’s affordable.
10. What’s your favorite name out of all your characters either in your book or any movie or TV show you’ve been a part of??
✧ Hayes Campbell. Without a doubt. When I started writing this book, at the very beginning I came up with two options for this character: Hayes Campbell and Campbell Hayes. It was never going to be anything else. Hayes is my husband’s last name and I didn’t take it when we got married, so this was kind of my nod to him.
I don’t usually fall in love with the names of characters I’ve played, but I like that other people do. Just last week, I went to retrieve my car from a valet at a hotel here in LA, and the guy behind the stand greeted me with “Cressida Baylor!” which was my character’s name in “Hitch.” That movie came out in 2005, and this guy looked to be about 22 years old, and it threw me for a loop, but I kind of loved it.
I get called “Avery Daniels” by strangers a lot, which was the role I played in “Being Mary Jane.” And so I’ve come to identify with that name, as well.
Robinne was beyond helpful and appreciative.
I look forward to following her career as both an author and an actress.
★ Be sure to enter my Autographed by E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey DVD Giveaway: http://bit.ly/2JsW4Tu
✦ Purchase THE IDEA OF YOU:
✧ US Kindle: https://amzn.to/2qT6qUY
✧ UK Kindle: https://amzn.to/2r2j0BB
✧ Paperback: https://amzn.to/2JgT1Oo
✧ iBooks: https://apple.co/2HVVmij
✧ iTunes Audiobook: https://apple.co/2HK0tUV
✧ Join her Facebook reader’s group:
✧ Like her Facebook book page: https://www.facebook.com/TheIdeaOfYouB…/
✦ If you’ve missed any of my other 13 author interviews, check them out on my blog site:
✦✦ GIVEAWAY ✦✦
Winner’s choice of The Idea of You in paperback, ebook, a $10 gift card to go towards the audiobook
If you own The Idea of You already, a $10 Amazon Gift Card.
✦ TO ENTER ✦
➜ LIKE my DIRTY BLONDE BOOKS page (if you don’t already) AND this post.
**must be a “liker” to win.
➜ LIKE Robinne’s Book Page: https://www.facebook.com/TheIdeaOfYouB…/
➜ COMMENT BELOW with the TITLE OF YOUR LAST 5 STAR READ.
✦ BONUS ENTRIES (not required) for:
❥ TAGGING a friend
(2 additional bonus entries if the friend isn’t already a Dirty Blonde Books ”liker”)
❥ SHARING this post
(All the cool kids are doing it. Sadly, it’s the only way to be seen on FB)
❥ Liking and sharing the Autographed Fifty Shades of Grey DVD post & giveaway
✦ ✦ The winner will be chosen at random on 5/1.
★ The video has music so turn down the volume if you’re in a quiet place.