Q: What inspired you to write a novel?
A: It happened by chance. One day, I was thumbing through a popular romance novel at the library and after reading a few excerpts, I decided that there were equally titillating stories rattling around in my brain.
I’ve always had a sexy imagination. For as long as I can remember, I’ve made up characters and scenarios in my mind. Sometimes the stories are a way of handling insomnia. Sometimes they’re for my own sexual gratification.
I was inspired to bring those stories to life. I went home, started typing and within a few hours, I had 3,500 words and what felt like the beginning of a good story.
I was hooked.
I had no idea if anyone would ever want to read my work or if it would be published. That didn’t matter. I found that writing was incredibly cathartic.
Q: What does a typical writing day look like?
A: When I’m in writing mode, I wake up early and sit down to type out new material that I’ve conjured up while I’ve slept. Everyone dreams, but I tend to dream vividly. Conversations and the story’s details come to life in my sleep, and my early morning is spent getting those thoughts written down.
By seven o’clock, the house comes to life and my role as mommy and then corporate problem solver take over. My characters are always in my mind and the story continues to develop throughout my day. If I have time, I may read and edit existing material, adding detail to the story as I go. By the time evening rolls around and my house is quiet, I usually have enough material to write for another hour or two before crawling into bed and dreaming up another batch of material to write the next day.
Q: Do you write chronologically?
A: Surprisingly, no.
The very first scene I ever wrote ended up being a part of Chapter 3 in Passion, Power, and Privilege. I’d written about Brad and Kate’s first date because that is the scenario that was fresh in my mind, but it didn’t seem like appropriate opening material. I gradually backfilled the story, taking time to introduce and develop the characters and the plot.
Once a set of characters and a storyline is in my head, I begin thinking through the dialogue and experiences that bring the story to life. As I imagine a scenario, I write it.
Q: Are your novels based on true stories?
A: Yes and No. While my books are works of fiction, I find that as an author I tend to draw on real life experiences and events to add depth and detail to a story.
My characters are not based on any one individual, but snippets of personalities and behaviors from people I know in real life are often woven into my fictional characters.
I’m frequently asked if the sexual encounters in my books are based on real life experience. I just smile and say, “Some are loosely based on personal experience. Some are based on conversations with friends, and some are just pure imagination.” That’s the joy of being an author.
Q: What’s in a name?
A: For me, naming characters is one of the most difficult tasks as an author. There is so much in a name!
For me, the process is arduous.
First of all, hero and heroine names have to be generational and age appropriate. That means scrolling through a database of popular names from the decade in which the character would have been born. I shortlist my favorites.
Secondly, I believe that character names should be familiar and yet distinct. I don’t want my readers stumbling over a name, wondering how to pronounce it. I want each name to be comfortable and familiar.
Third, I prefer to use names that can be extended or shortened. Katharine can be shortened to Kate. In an explicit scene, I prefer to have a name that is versatile enough to shorten further, during intimate dialogue. “Oh Kat--”
Fourth, a name should suit the personality of the character. I want to find a distinguished name for my distinguished characters and commonplace names for ordinary characters.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: Up until now, I’ve written about characters that are wealthy, privileged, and childfree.
For my next project, I want to see if I can write about everyday people. I’m currently working on a manuscript with characters that deal with everyday situations. Marriage, children, jobs, and family.
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