Ever read a book or watch a film and think to yourself, "No! It should end this way?" That's a good theme song for my writing career. To me, writing is like watching any other story unfold, but with the advantage of being able to tweak the circumstances the way I want (usually). In my versions, you'll never find out everyone dies at the end, that's for sure. I'm a sucker for Happily Ever After, which is probably why I gravitate toward romantic fiction.
Besides my fanaticism for writing, I'm an avid movie buff, reader, and am interested in paranormal pursuits and mysticism. These themes do show up from time to time in my writing, though I'm always exploring new things to add to my fictional universe.
Q: Do you have a favorite line or moment from your books?
A: I have a favorite line or moment from each of my stories, but one right now that plasters a special grin on my face is the final sex scene at the dojo in Kata Sutra. I won't give it away, but it was the culmination of a rather naughty fantasy that formed the basis for the entire book. If I could replicate it in person, you bet I'd try!
Q: What writing habit of yours would readers find most bizarre?
A: Perhaps the sheer randomness of it. You can guarantee I'll write in November, which is National Novel Writing Month, but otherwise I've got no writing schedule. Inspiration strikes at odd times and places. When the Muse phones it in--typically when it's least convenient--I'm his slave until completion. (Yes, my muse is a gorgeous hunk, though quite the smart alec.) I took a course in fast drafting, so I can usually complete a concept in a matter of weeks. Then the Muse may leave me alone for a bit, or demand the next project immediately. He's like that relative who disappears for a while, then shows up for a surprise visit as though they'd never been away. Still, I can manage several titles per year this way, so I'm not complaining. Much.
Q: Do you have your family or friends read a manuscript first, to see if they like it?
A: Gave that up years ago, as my spouse tends to find too much wrong, and other friends/family too little. The latter is awesome for my ego, but not necessarily best for the process. I stick with trusted author/editor colleagues to work me over, er, I mean give my work the once over.
Q: You've said, "Writing for me is another form of reading." How so?
A: I find this true for most authors, but especially those like me who don't do a lot of "plotting." I tend to come up with a concept, set the stage, then let my characters tell me the story rather than vice versa. So a lot of scenes and revelations are as much a surprise to me as they are my readers.
Q: What's the weirdest/funniest assumption people make about you?
A: That I--and all authors--are fabulously wealthy and lead decadent, glamorous lives. Even my closest friends, who should be able to take one look and know better, seem to think this way. A fellow author once told a group of us that we must always dress to the nines with hair and makeup perfect, even to go to the grocery store, because there's this expectation of us we don't want to disappoint. While I'd certainly hate to disappoint readers with a poorly written story, I think they'll forgive me showing up to the market in flip flops and jeans.
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