Q: When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?
A: The middle of the night has always been wildly inspirational for me. My muse revs up in the wee hours. Unfortunately, obligations get in the way of hedonism and since my husband’s alarm goes off at half past the crack of way too darn early, I write from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. weekdays. Weekends it’s about ten hours a day.
Q: What’s your writing space like? What’s always within reach?
A: I’ve commandeered the smallest bedroom in the house. I’ve got a U-shaped desk that fills most of the room, some book shelves and a lot of clutter. Two dictionaries (different versions and different eras), my thesaurus and a good baby-name book are always on the corner of the desk. To keep myself motivated, I frame my covers and they’re on the walls. Oh and there’s usually a squeaky ball or other dog toy rolling around the floor.
Q: Where did your most unusual plot idea come from?
A: While I was showering. I felt a tickle on my backside, like the cat had jumped into the shower with me and brushed me with her tail. I swiped my behind, twice, but the tickle wouldn’t go away. Turned out it was just a hair from my head but that gave me the idea for a sci-fi story, where the female lead’s in the shower, feels a tickle on her backside only it turns out she’s getting caught in a space-travel bubble.
Q: Plotter or Pantster? Why?
A: Plotter, always. When I made the decision to stay at home and write full time, I was putting my family’s financial future on the line. I just can’t stand sitting in front of the computer, wasting time figuring out what happens next when my husband’s working his hinny off out in the real world, keeping a roof over our heads. I tried writing by the seat of my pants once. It lasted one day before I got so frustrated I wanted to knock my head against the wall.
Q: Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
A: I’m dull. Really dull. I spend so much time inside my head that when I finally get around real people, I’m a sponge. I’m enthralled by their ideas, interests, the sound of the human voice. Basically, I ask questions, listen, and not much else.
Q: Ever been told, “Um…sweetie, that’s not how it works?”
A: Oh yeah. My first editor, she grilled me on the choreography of one of my sex scenes. I had the hero stretched out on the bed, and the heroine crawling up from the foot of the bed. My editor kept telling me the body positions didn’t work, couldn’t work, and if I’d try it out myself, I’d know that. Well, I HAD tried it out (giggle) and it DID work. Nowadays, I realize it wasn’t the choreography, but my description that was rubbish.
Q: Any tips for aspiring writers?
A: Write. Seriously, just plunk your backside in a chair and write something. Anything’s better than that sentence you DIDN’T write down. Join a local writers’ group. (I recommend Romance Writers of America, for starters.) The fellowship’s terrific, you’ll hear about seminars and courses, you’ll pick up all sorts of cool, insider information from published members.
Q: Do you have a guilty pleasure?
A: Chocolate. But then there’s not really all that much guilt involved.
Q: What kind of books do you read for fun?
A: Steamy romances, horror, suspense…Jan Springer and Barbara Sheridan are two of my favourites. I’m a huge Stephen King fan, Patrick O’Brian too. I re-read the Harry Potter series every other year or so. I adore Pride And Prejudice but (I’m prepared to dodge flaming pitchforks here) Austen wrote from her socio-economic sphere and didn’t tell us anything about the lower or serving classes. Whenever I read one of her books, I make up side stories in my head, about the lives of the servants that she glanced over.
Q: What do you do to unwind and relax?
A: Walk the dog, hang out with my husband in the evening, work in the garden, do laundry. Yes, laundry. Life spins out of control sometimes and being able to clean and fold something that was messy and disorganized, helps center me. Jeesh, does that mean I’m going a bit psycho?
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