Author Interview: Robin Woods’ New Release!

Robin Woods Has a New Release!

So you’re probably wondering where I’ve been for a while…. Let’s just say life got away from me, and familial responsibilities usurped time, and stress robbed me of talent. But I’m back! Long story short, RIP dad, mom’s loving life with us, and, yes, we have five cats now!

Without further adieu, I have an announcement to make, except I just made it a couple of times already. Three times’ a charm, though, right?! My longtime friend and colleague, Robin Woods, has a new release, and it’s a treasure! Do you like retellings? How about a fairy tale gone grown-up? Beauty and the Beast has never been so tumultuous and sultry! This new novel of Robin’s explores a Vikings spin on the classic. Yes, you heard me! Take some romantic heat, blend in some action, paint a landscape of fantastic, craggy shores, and go on this sultry journey with Brandr and Saxa in STORM AND SOLACE. In classic Q & A style, I have interviewed Robin on this new release that hit the ground running on Amazon’s Vella first. Say, what? Read on…

Author Interview

What is Amazon’s Vella, and why start there?

Kindle Vella is Amazon’s newer platform and is a way for authors to release stories in serial form (that’s one chapter at a time). It also allows writers to include commentary and polls at the end of each episode/chapter. Readers get to preview the first few episodes for free.

This platform has been wildly beneficial for some authors and is definitely something to try. I enjoyed the experience with my latest release and managed to be crowned as a top fave for over a month!

Once your novel is complete, you need to wait a month, then you can publish it as a completed work on KDP (and elsewhere). I went ahead and left my story on Kindle Vella. So, you can still check it out and read the first chapters for free.

What is your new novel about?

My new novel is called Storm and Solace: A Beauty & the Beast Retelling. It is a fairy tale retelling mashup. The beast is a woman (a cursed Norse goddess) and the beauty is a man. Everything is set in the Viking age where gods still roam the earth and anything is possible.

Official Book Description:

In this Beauty & The Beast role-swapping mashup, Saxa is stripped of her powers and cursed by her two sisters. She has twelve weeks to change her ways or lose everything—including her life.

Brandr, shipwrecked after a terrible storm, is swept into the world of gods and goddesses. When he trades his life for his brother’s, he sentences himself to a world he knows nothing about.

When their paths collide, nothing is as it seems. Who will survive this game of immortals?

What inspired you to choose Beauty and the Beast for your retelling?

I’ve always loved fairy tales and the thought of a role-reversal intrigued me. I started and stopped the project for many years. When it finally clicked, I wrote it quickly. I began posting on Kindle Vella after I had a complete outline and five completed (and professionally edited) chapters finished.

It was inspiring to have people following me as I wrote. It kept me at a two to three completed chapters per week rate. Next time, I think I will have ten completed chapters first to give me a little more time if something goes sideways.

What does a writerly day in the life of Author Robin Woods look like?

7:00 AM: Up with coffee, saying goodbye to the kids, social media maintenance

8:00 AM: Work on a writing project 

10:00 AM: Do something physical for my body and to clear my head

11:00 AM: Back to writing projects coupled with graphic design

3:00 PM:  Off to pick up the kiddos and be present for the family

8:00 PM: Finish up loose ends and write my to-do list for the next day

What is on the horizon?

I’m working on three projects currently. The first is another book for my Prompt Series.

The new workbook is specifically for kids. There will be lots of animals (as requested by many fans) and prompts that will help grow self-esteem, as well as, their writing skills. 

The second is another fairy tale retelling using the Snow Queen. I have super exciting things planned.

The third is still a secret. Mu ah ah ha. If you would like to be the first to know about new releases, get a free urban fantasy book, AND get access to my Writer’s Tool Kit, you can join my very sporadic newsletter on my website.

And That’s A Wrap!

It’s been a pleasure learning more about your latest release, Robin! Kindle Vella sounds amazing, and what an intriguing way to have access to stories in the making! If you don’t Follow Robin on Amazon, you should do that right now! It’s like being in a secret club! I see on Amazon that you have the novel in eBook, Paperback, and Hard Cover, too! What are you waiting for, peeps? Time to snag this retelling and settle in for a wild ride! Robin, I wish you all the best with this new release! Thank you all for joining me for this author interview! Until next time…


Robin Woods is a former high school and university instructor with two and a half decades of experience teaching English, literature, and writing. She earned a BA in English and an MA in Education.

In addition to teaching, she has published six highly-rated novels, and an award-winning creative writing workbook series, and has multiple projects in the works.

When Ms. Woods isn’t chasing her two school kids around, she’s spending time with her ever-patient husband.



A Lesson in METAPHOR

Metaphors got you all floating on air, sliding in and out of reveries, dancing on sunshine and rainbows? This darling poetic device can rock someone’s world or slip in between the cracks of anybody’s ordinary thoughts on paper.

Emily Dickinson nailed it with her take on hope. Of all her poems, this is easily in my top three. Her ability to capture exactly what we all think and feel then weave it into something so clipped and emotional … {sigh}.

Metaphors make great hooks for essays, fodder for existential proclamations, and, of course, sparkling nuggets of gold in an otherwise ordinary poem. For this exercise, wedge one of these bad boys into your verse and watch it go from interesting to provocative. Dig deep and let the words fly.

Here are some metaphorical phrases to get you started.

Metaphors to start a verse:

Their bed of lies …

Your heart of stone …

His iron will drove him to …

The open book that is her life …

Each chapter in his journey …

His words were food for his/her soul …

The storm inside her head kept …

His/her countenance was light and life …

Those words igniting the child’s imagination with blazing …

Metaphors to end a verse:

… broken hope but mended with gold

… hidden in the gray area of our circumstance

… lost in the sea of tranquility

… buried deep in the caverns in his heart

… cherishing all the stars in her eyes

… with all the joy bubbling over

… kindling the fire in their hearts

… reaping the harvest of bitterness

… whispered between the lines of love and hate

Now, go forth my rock-solid poet and smash some oddball thinga-ma-dillies together followed by some enlightening connection we all couldn’t see without your help! I bet you’ve gotten all warm and fuzzy and have already made your own list of metaphorical phrases to put into that phenomenal poetry of yours. I can’t wait for you to share your work with me!

~Brooke E. Wayne




Whether you’ve stumbled upon this section of my website by accident, or if you zapped one of the QR codes in my latest publication, WELCOME!

Repetition, as a poetic device, can seem like a shortcut to making your poem longer, but it’s actually a multifaceted technique that makes your poetry shiny and reflective. You’ve heard of the poem about all the miles to go before that guy can sleep. You know the one where he’s trudging through the woods on a snowy evening. Ring any bells? No? Frost, anyone? Anyone? Celine Dion borrowed his line for a song; I even stumbled across a weightloss blog that lifted the phrase, too. The point is, repetition sticks in people’s heads, so they use it (even if it’s someone else’s line). People like it, connect to it, and feel all cozy and familiar because of it. That’s not a bad thing. You want your poem to be remembered, right? Throw a catchy line in it, then lather, rinse, and repeat every stanza or so.

Notice how Adelaide Crapsey uses the phrase, “properly scholarly attitude,” like an excuse, a weapon, a fault, a badge, and even an unattainable burden? As the inventor of the Cinquain poem, she knows her way around repetition in all sorts of manifestations. In this poem’s case, the meaning of the repeated phrase changes with every utterance due to its context.

As my “Dear Writer,” section of my poetry workbook and journal explains, REPETITION comes in different flavors. You can have the standard repeating of a word, phrase, verse, or more (think couplet/quatrain, etc.) You can also sprinkle a bunch of synonyms in your poem, and voilà, there’s a concept repeated. Patterns, rhythms—you name it—do it more than once, and check off this device as done.

The other thing you might want to know about repetition as an FYI thing is that it takes on specific (Greek and Latin rooted fancy-shmancy) names depending on where you plug your repetition into your work and how. (For example: Anaphora—a word or phrase that hangs out at the front of a line … Mesodiplosis—a word or phrase that hangs out in the middle of every line …) Shall I go on? Overwhelmed much? I’ll save the full-blown college course on all these types of repetition for another blog (or workbook) … Let’s keep it simple with what’s commonly referred to as a REFRAIN (which hangs out at the end of a stanza, like in Crapsey’s poem above) for this exercise.

Here are some one-liners you can use in your work, if you want, but no pressure, mm-kay?

… for all the reasons why.                                        

… because no one could.                                           

… underneath the shimmering stars.

… when I look into your eyes.                                  

… inside my heart.

… around the merry-go-round to me.                        

… before we knew it all.                    

… into the mist they went.                                       

… until the world grows wise.

… between the lines.                                                 

… where I find my place in you.       

… beyond the realm of reality.                                   

… behind the lies comes truth.

… somewhere inside my heart.                                 

… after the rain came to an end.        

… amid the burning embers.               .                                   .

Now, go forth, my suave poet, and use one of these prompts or come up with your own prepositional phrase to make some memorable poetry. I can’t wait for you to share your poetry with me!

~ Brooke E. Wayne