Q: When did you decide to become a writer?
A: I never really made a conscious decision to be a writer. I've just always written and assumed it would always be something I would do and something that would always be a part of my life. I decided to write for publication some time in the early 1990's when I began submitting my work. I had my first pieces (a short story and a novel excerpt) accepted in a genre magazine and a local newspaper, respectively around 1994. Several fiction and poetry writing contest wins, places and shows followed along with publication of some poetry and short stories in several small magazines before I eventually broke into e-publishing with my first novel, a New Age paranormal urban romance.
Q: Did you choose your genre or did your genre choose you?
A: Actually, it was a little of both. I write romance because I've always enjoyed reading stories with a happily ever after. I inject paranormal elements because I've always enjoyed books and TV shows with a supernatural twist and/or elements just off the beaten path. It was a natural progression from reading and watching these types of stories to wanting to write them.
Q: Tell us about Beneath The Surface.
A: Beneath the Surface is the first book in my The Matchmaker series and my first book published by Siren Publishing. It is an erotic romance in the typical boy-meets-girl vein except for the elevated sensuality level and some paranormal twists and modern-day, controversial hot-button issues like suicide and same-sex relationships added for spice and realism. EJ and Tabitha (the hero and heroine) each come to the story with emotional baggage, EJ's being his inherited psychic abilities and the loss of a past lover by her own hand. Tabitha has a bipolar, chemically-dependent mother and a father who left her to the foster system when she was eight, so she's dealing with some abandonment issues of her own. Both find something in one another that the other needs, and coming to terms with their own internal conflicts and past relationships makes things difficult. If not for EJ's persistence and the guiding hand of his matchmaking, psychic older sister, he and Tabitha would never work.
Q: Where did you get the idea for In Plain Sight?
A: Several elements were at work that brought the premise for In Plain Sight to fruition, one of the more important ones being my interest in the paranormal, specifically as it relates to the afterlife and the possibility of reincarnation. Reincarnation presents a perfect opportunity for my characters to complete business that they were not able to complete during their lives. Also, I love dealing with family relationshipsthe dynamics of siblings, but especially the dynamics between identical twins has always fascinated me.
Q: Was the story inspired by any real-life experiences and/or your own personal beliefs?
Q: I've never had any experience with the afterlife or reincarnation personally, but I'd like to believe that there is that possibility and that this existence here and now is not all there is to our lives. Also, my favorite personal themes to write about are those dealing with healing and redemptiontwo of the major themes that run through In Plain Sight.
Q: In Between Darkness and Daylight, are episodes of stalking and vengeance such as the one Zane experiences common for individuals in his profession?
A: I don't believe so. For the purposes of telling a dramatic, larger-than-life story in Between Darkness And Daylight, I took the every day threat of a threatening phone call and a dissatisfied customer to the extreme. Zane's experiences were extreme, but there's no denying what a disgruntled but, more importantly, obsessed and mentally unstable client or family member can do if he/she feels they have been slighted and wronged by "the system."
Q: In Terms of Surrender you deal with the Dominant/submissive relationship between a White Dominant man and his submissive, an African American woman. Not many writers seem to want to tackle this subject. As an African American woman, how did you approach this controversial pairing and/or did you pull from any personal experience to portray Nick and Slany's relationship?
A: First off, I enjoy BDSM-themed romances, both reading them and writing them. I also enjoy interracial romances. Writing Terms of Surrender was a challenge but also a natural step in my writing career, one I enthusiastically took and without reservation. And no I wasn't "writing what I know" or pulling from any personal experience (never been in an interracial relationship nor a BDSM relationship). As far as the interracial issue is concerned, I didn't focus on it as much as I focused on the individual characters and their personal demons and issues while they tried to reconcile their feelings for each other and deal with the D/s dynamic between them, and the much more pressing and essential issue of them trying to stay alive while being stalked by a serial killer. Though not a moot point, the racial issue took a back seat to the demands of the D/s and suspense conflicts.
Q: As a woman writing m/m romance, how do you get inside two male characters falling in love and experiencing a sexual relationship? Do you treat them the same as you would a f/m relationship? Is there a difference in your mind?
A: I think love is love, no matter how or by whom it is expressed or experienced. Males and females definitely have different mindsets and approaches to life and love, but in the end I think we all want and need the same things out of a relationshipsomeone we can trust and who trusts us, someone with whom we can share our most intimate secretes, hopes, passions and dreams, someone to make us feel safe and secure, and someone to hold us and who we can hold.
Q: Do you have any social issues that you feel strongly about and want to share?
A: I guess I'd have to say that I feel strongly about safe sex and I'm pro-choice. As an author who writes contemporary erotic romance, you can imagine these are two issues that come up quite frequently in my writing. I try not to get on a soapbox, preach or let my views overshadow the story or characters though. Since I write m/m romance too, I'm sure you can imagine, I'm also in favor of same-sex marriage.
Q: Do you find it difficult at times to write love/sex scenes?
A: Over the years, and once I realized it was okay to keep the bedroom door open and show my characters together, I've grown to love writing love/sex scenes. It does get difficult sometimes being creative and not repeating the same old synonyms for putting slot A into slot B, but I enjoy the challenge of trying to be inventive and keep the sex scenes hot and fresh between my heroines and heroes, or in the case of my m/m stories my heroes and heroes.
Q: What does the word romance mean to you?
A: Romance to me means dedication and hard-work. It's not all roses and romantic dinners and horse-drawn carriage rides. It's work; wanting to be around for the long haul with the person you love and care about; willing to sacrifice for that person and build a life together.
Q: If you could have one hot guy for a day to do your bidding who would it be and what will he be doing?
A: One of my own heroes/guys or someone else like sayan actor? Only one? Okay, if it's one of my heroes, I'd have to go with E.J. Vega from Beneath the Surface. And as to what I would have him doing? Hmmm, sexual slave sounds like a nice duty for him. I'd love to do to him what Tabitha did a couple of timestie him up and have my way with him until he begs for mercy. If it's an actor, I'd have to go with one of my recent flavors of the month, Karl Urban for all the same duties as E.J. Mmm-mmmyummy. Sexual slave, yep, that's the ticket.
Q: Who are some of your favorite authors? Do you find it hard to find time for reading in between writing?
A: I'll try to narrow this list down so that it's not going on for days (no particular order): Octavia E. Butler is my mainstay. Then there's Shannon McKenna, Michael Barnette, Lara Santiago, Morgan Ashbury, Tonya Ramagos, J.R. Ward, Lara Adrian, Nalini Singh, Sherilynn Kenyon, Tina Wainscott, Karen E. Quinones-Miller, Khaled Hosseini, Erin McCarthy, Laura Baumbach, Ally Blue, Joey W. Hill, Lucy Monroe, Jill Shalvis, Joe Haldeman... As to finding the time to read in between writing, it's definitely a balancing act, but I have to feed the muse in order for her to work for me. I can't not read. One way or another, I get it in, if it's only 20 pages a night on the exercise bike, a few more while taking a bath, or 20 more on the train/commute to workI feed (now I sound like one of my succubus characters, LOL).
Q: Do you believe the pen is mightier than the sword? Why?
A: Yes, I believe the pen is mightier then the sword because when all is said and done, after men have died and blood has been spilled, words live on to incite and inspire future generations and "fight" another day.
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