Q: What distinguishes you from other writers?
A: I treat my readers with the intelligence and respect they deserve. I omit superfluous background and filler, as these items detract rather than enhance the story. While I research my subject matter at great length, I don’t bore my audience with facts and figures. I write how I want to read, making a friendly connection with the reader.
I never know how my story will end. I never use an outline. This is an unorthodox approach to writing, but it works well for me. If I don’t know who the killer is until the last chapter, there is a good chance the reader won’t either.
Q: Where do your story ideas come from?
A: They say “write what you know.” This is a fantastic mantra. While I do considerable research and fact-checking in my books, there is always a part of me in them. Whether it is the place, the main character, or in some cases religious symbolism and paranormal beliefs; I have experienced, tasted or lived it.
Many times, I will have an odd scenario pop in my head while going about my day. I may look at a mirror and wonder if there is a parallel universe on the other side. I have based a whole book around the image of stigmata.
Q: What do you think is your strength as a writer?
A: Dialogue. I love to have my characters relay the story to the reader. I want the audience to love the characters, even the despicable ones, as much as I do. I want the reader to develop a relationship with each person in the story. I want them to relate to them, cheer for them, cry and envelope them. The characters should spring to life, not be pulled from the page.
While my books are fiction, the need for accuracy is crucial. When writing about the paranormal as in Midnight’s Last Light, it was fundamental to research the theory of portals and near-death experiences. Being an amateur paranormal investigator, I love working with spiritual symbolism. A skeptic, I don’t try and debunk in my stories. I let the story unravel naturally.
Q: Why romances? What is the appeal?
A: One may ask, why water? Romance is something we as humans strive for, lust for, live and die for. Whether it be a marriage of fifty years or that tingly sensation of “first love,” the emotion is powerful. Love is the fundamental hero, villain, quest, adventure, triumph and tragedy of all stories. Romance brings love to a higher, seductive level. Who doesn’t want that?
Can you think of anything more human than romance? Animals procreate, and they love their owners. What distinguishes humans from animals is the ability to take love and produce passion. Ecstasy, heart-thumping, gasping, grasping, orgasmic explosions of love are the essence of romance. Can you think of anything more important to the human condition than that?
Q: Do you like everything you write?
A: Absolutely not! I wish some of my earlier works would just vanish into thin air. I once wrote 500 pages of a story only to toss it. I couldn’t find the passion in the characters. I didn’t believe in them or care about their existence. If I don’t find my characters interesting or engaging, why would the reader?
I have to adore my characters, whether they are heroes or villains. I need to connect with them on an honest and human level. They are my friends, my lovers, my enemies, my comrades. If I can’t find that human bond with the character on the page, I regret the work. Writing is so personal, yet authors share with an audience. If the writer cannot relate to the character or the plotline, why would the reader?
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