Veronica Scott for AMAZING STORIES: Welcome to my periodic series of author profiles. Today I’ve chosen the husband-and-wife writing duo who comprise Tiffany Roberts and spin tales featuring some of the most inventive world building and monster heroes I’ve ever seen. Time and again they amaze me with characters I didn’t think I’d fall for (four armed aliens? half men/half kraken? a spider warrior?!) and by the end of the book all my emotions have been stirred and I’m ready for MORE.
VS for ASM.: What was the first scifi romance book you wrote, when, give us the 2-3 sentence logline.
TR: Dustwalker was the first sci-fi romance we wrote back in 2016. We wanted to publish it after releasing Make Me Hunger, but our editor at the time advised us to finish our fantasy series first. We were bummed because we were really passionate about the book, but we were ultimately grateful for the delay because it allowed us to improve our writing skills and do the story justice. We published Dustwalker in 2017. Logline: A robot searching for a purpose. A woman who brings him to life. A sanctuary hiding dark secrets.
ASM.: I loved Dustwalker even though it made me shed a tear or two along the way. Which of your SFR books is the bestselling?
TR: Our Spider’s mate Trilogy (Ensnared, Enthralled, and Bound) are our bestselling books. We never imagined these books would take off like they did considering the hero is a spider! Wait, sorry, we mean he’s a vrix. But we are so grateful that so many people have given the trilogy a chance. Logline: Ketahn did not want a mate. But fate has a different plan for him. She’s not of his kind at all, and yet, the moment he sees her, he knows the truth in his soul—she is his heartsthread.
ASM.: I must admit that like so many readers, I balked at a spider (I mean vrix) hero but you definitely pulled it off with panache and made me care. And want to read more set in that world! How do you go about world building? Do you do elaborate planning, keep a big file, use post its, wing it – what method works for you?
TR: We brainstorm together and create a document where we flesh out the world(s) with all the details. The environments, climates, number of moons, lengths of days/years, appearance and color of vegetation—whatever details we need for the book (and usually a little extra that doesn’t make its way into the story but helps us form a clearer image regardless). We follow a similar process to create alien species, usually beginning with their appearance, figuring out some fun evolutionary reasons for why they look the way they do, and then moving on to their homeworld, culture, religion, and mating details (because we all know that’s important!). Of everything we prepare before starting a book, the worldbuilding information is the most likely to expand as we write, gaining in breadth and depth as the story helps us realize and add new details.
ASM.: What was your most recent book and what was the story spark or inspiration for that story?
TR: Our most recent release was Vengeful Heart, an installment of our Infinite City series that continues the story of Shielded Heart and features Arcanthus as the main character. We wanted him to go back to Earth and take care of some…unfinished business regarding his human mate, Samantha. Because he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe, and he’s not the type to forgive any wrongs done to his mate. Even if those wrongs happened years before he ever met her…(Editor’s Note: The author has also recently published Yearning for Her, a paranormal/fantasy romance, blurb below).
ASM.: Which book was the most fun to write and why? The most challenging and why?
TR: Three books stand out as the most fun because they were all books where the characters and situations leant themselves to humor. Whether it’s the banter between Arcanthus and his crew in Shielded Heart, Thargen’s general approach to life in Savage Desire, or all the fish-out-of-water humor from Claimed by an Alien Warrior, all three stories were a delight to work on from start to finish, and we made both ourselves and each other laugh out loud many times while writing.
The most challenging book, on the other hand, was probably Lover from the Waves, the final installment in our Kraken series. While writing that book, we would struggle for 10-12 hours a day just to hit a wordcount that normally took us an hour or two. There were several reasons for it. The characters are quite a bit older than us, so we had more trouble seeing through their eyes and understanding how their years of experience would’ve shaped them. We were hitting a period of burnout after writing and releasing books at a fairly rapid pace (for us anyway) since the start of our careers. And in many ways, we had already moved on from the world of the Kraken, so reconnecting with it proved more difficult than we’d anticipated. All in all, though, we can look back on it (and all the other books we struggled with in part or in whole) and be proud of what we accomplished in the end. Lover from the Waves turned out to be a sweet, heartfelt book that we think ties up the saga of the kraken nicely.
ASM.: Which of your characters do your readers love to hate? Why?
TR: Lara from Dustwalker. She is such a misunderstood character. We find that readers can sometimes be a little judgmental of heroines in romance books, especially if they perceive the character’s personality as too strong. Due to all that Lara has experienced in her past and how she has to fight everyday for survival, her disposition is brash, and she is hot-tempered, especially when it comes to robots. She hasn’t lived an easy life.
ASM.: Your own favorite tropes? Least favorite tropes?
TR: I (Tiffany) absolutely love monster/alien romance, fated mates, enemies-to-lovers, friends-to-lovers, touch-her-and-die, villains, and the he-falls-first tropes. I pass on love triangles.
ASM.: Can you tell our readers a little bit about the other genres you write? How does writing a book in those genres compare to writing an SFR?
TR: Sci-fi romance will always be the main genre we write in, but we sometimes write paranormal and fantasy romance as well. We love writing in all those genres, and sometimes that change gives us a much-needed palate cleanser. We’ve found over the years that a good way to combat burnout is to switch to a contemporary (usually paranormal) setting where the worldbuilding can center around whatever inhuman beings are involved instead of having to build entire planets and civilizations. It lets us focus a lot more on characters and story and just have fun. Many times, we blend our love of those genres together. For example, in our Infinite City series, we took a lot of aspects that we love from fantasy and tied them with sci-fi with a sprinkling of cyberpunk flavor.
ASM.: What’s next for you?
TR: …we’ll be diving into the spin-off of our Spider’s Mate Trilogy, The Vrix series. (Editor’s Note: The Weaver is scheduled for release in mid-June.)
ASM: What’s on your To Be Read List?
TR: I (Tiffany) am so excited for Doves & Demons by Clio Evans and From the Grave by Kresley Cole (which I have been waiting years for!). Rob has been in a reading slump lately, but might be diving into the Witcher books by Andrzej Sapkowski.
ASM: Give us your short author bio and where you can be found on social media.
TR: Tiffany Roberts is the pseudonym for Tiffany and Robert Freund, a husband and wife writing duo. The two have always shared a passion for reading and writing, and it was their dream to combine their mighty powers to create the sorts of books they want to read. They write character driven sci-fi and fantasy romance, creating happily-ever-afters for the alien and unknown.
YEARNING FOR HER
A wicked incubus. A curvy, delectable human female. One night of passion that changes everything.
Willow Crowley’s world comes crashing down when she discovers her boyfriend has been seeing another woman. The dream she’d held of a life with him is shattered in an instant, leaving her alone with nothing except heartache.
She vows to never open herself to that hurt again…
Until a seductive, otherworldly stranger with white hair, piercings, and icy blue eyes promises her a single night of pleasure. No strings attached.
But that night isn’t enough for him. He wants more, more than she’s ready to give. How can she trust him not to break her heart when he isn’t even human?
Kian has lived promiscuously for four hundred years, feeding on the desire of the humans he and the fae considered prey. But when he locks eyes with a purple-haired female, something inside him shifts irrevocably.
No one else can sate his hunger.
He wants her.
Yearns for her.
Yet she refuses to submit to the carnal delights he promises. She wants more. She wants…love.
Can he mend her broken heart? Can he love a mortal woman?