Thursday, January 21, 2010

Simply Divine

Here's a truly unique promo opportunity for an author—get yourself on national (and international) TV by having a famous interior designer create a "writer's retreat" in your home!

From author Teresa Roblin (, who has two humorous paranormal romances at our Cerridwen Press imprint:

Okay ladies and gentlemen, picture this. It’s a clear summer day on a quiet cul-de-sac in the suburbs. Everyone has left for work and the buses have picked up the kids for school. My doorbell rings. I open it and see that my street is filled with nondescript vans. (Just like in a spy thriller.) My heart starts pounding. Drapes move in my neighbours’ windows, women stand in their open doorways, their necks craning to see what’s going on. Housewives gather on their lawns, sipping coffee and excitedly chattering. Everyone is grinning and anxiously waiting for their first glimpse of, none other than—Candice Olsen of Divine Design.

This past year I was truly blessed and privileged to meet Candice and her amazing team, and doubly fortunate that she turned my front/dining room into a romance writer’s retreat. The first question people asked me about the experience, “How was it?”

Where to begin…

High energy? I wondered if they had a battery hidden somewhere. Brainstorming? They were brilliant. I felt like a ping-pong ball as I listened to producers, directors, coordinators, lighting crew, sound crew bounce ideas off each other. Talented? They were awe inspiring. Charming? Absolutely adorable. They made me feel comfortable in an otherwise unfamiliar situation.

And beautiful? Hell, Candice and the Divine Design team were something else. I was blessed to meet a group of people who do what they love. And it showed.

In between takes I got to observe the cast and crew in action and daydream. Is Candice tall and slim? I kept picturing her as a regal vampire queen. Chico? He’d make a fine werewolf. I’m average height (so I wore the highest shoes that wouldn’t kill my feet), I’m huggable (I’m sticking to that description). When it was my turn to step into the shot I asked Candice if she ever wore sandals and asked the cameraman if he would shoot me from my boobs up.

I’m a busy wife and mother who lives in an all-male household. The room I wrote in was cold, drafty and uninspiring. So every chance I got I escaped to my local coffee shop to write. I wanted a space where I could write, meet with fellow writers to brainstorm, to celebrate victories (with champagne) and commiserate over rejection letters (with chocolates).

Candice and the Divine Team were able to deliver just that. She took an empty, cold living/dining room and transformed it into a stylish and romantic writer’s retreat.

She hung soft, gauzy sheers over the Palladian windows. She infused the room with color by using a silvery-gold patterned wallpaper that changes from silvery to bronze depending on the time of day and how the sun strikes it. Amazing to watch!

My desk blends the best of function and fantasy. With its bookshelves, that hold ‘my keepers’, and the beautiful dark wood surface, I have the best of both worlds. I look up and am surrounded by the finest of the romance industry and I can create my own masterpieces.

Candice worked in an L-shaped seating area in front of a gorgeous gas fireplace. She hung large picture frames for my inspirational wall. I’ve already placed the covers of Hocus Pocus and Now You See It… in said frames. I now have a warm and cozy corner to read in, to chat with fellow romance writers, and somewhere to daydream (I mean plot).

Candice set up my dining room with a lovely wooden table where I can gather with fellow romance writers to discuss the business of writing, and for my very loud, lovable family to gather.

Everywhere you look, from the rugs to the chandeliers, from the mirrored hutch that reflects all the wonderful romantic details—this room is a perfect blend of fantasy and reality.

The wonderful people at Divine Design also graciously captured the front cover of my first book, Hocus Pocus, in one of the shots (don’t blink) and Candice reads from Now You See It… (it’s hilarious to watch).

You can catch the transformation of my romance writer’s retreat on Divine Design:
Saturday, Jan. 23 at 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 24 at 3:00 a.m.
Saturday, Feb.13 at 4:00 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 22 at 1:00 p.m.


EilisFlynn said...

I love that show, and I can't wait to see how the team did your space!

Carol A. Strickland said...

I just alerted my RWA group to watch! Love that show! Congratulations!

Unknown said...

Hi Carol, thanks for alerting your RWA group. Much appreciated, Teresa Roblin

Adele Dubois said...

Congratulations! I'm so happy for you. What a great experience.


Carol A. Strickland said...

I watched last night. How incredible that room was! The desk chair looked rather iffy, but other than that -- heaven! I am definitely stealing your sheers.

The romance skits were corny but funny. Wind through Chico's hair -- LOL! And that book got a few more moments of air time than you'd suggested.

Congratulations on your new romantic digs and all that writing energy crackling through it!

Unknown said...

Hi Ladies,

Thanks for your well wishes. Now I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed that sales will climb.

All the best.

Diane M. said...

I saw the begining of the show Saturday and the end. I loved the wallpaper.

Cris Anson said...

What a wonderful thing for you! Tell us, though, how did it come to be? Did you send in a suggested makeover? Win a contest or a raffle?

Congratulations. May you do a thousand (five thousand?) words a day in your new spot.

Unknown said...

Hi Cris,

Since Divine Design is located in Toronto I went on their site and there's a button "Get on the show" that sends you to an application.

I sent it off and kept my fingers crossed. Then the process began with the person who opens the mail accepting my entry. It was then sent off to the next producer, and the next till it hit the network that gave my episode the green light.

That was a nail biting experience. Then the really exciting stuff happened. Like meeting Candice and her team. Wonderful people all of them.

Meeting everyone, the days up to the shooting, the transformation will forever go in my book of memories.

I am so blessed that the good Lord keeps sending the most amazing people my way

Sally Painter said...

We watched the show Saturday and you were wonderful! I love your makeover and I adore DD and Candice and her team. I hope you sell tons and tons of books from the exposure. Congrats!

N.J.Walters said...

That sounds like a wonderful experience. I don't get HGTV, but I'll be watching for the episode on another station that gets the older show. Enjoy your new space.

Unknown said...

From your mouths to Gods ears and sending good fortune right back at you.

RK Sterling said...

Oh, you lucky, lucky lady! Divine Design is one of my all-time favorite shows. I'm marking my calendar so I don't miss the 2/13 episode. Congratulations! I hope you sell loads of books from this. :)

Unknown said...

Hi Kate, (Waving)

Thank you for your wonderful well wishes. Remember, believe in yourself and your dreams will also come true.

Now back to housework and writing.