Q: Do you write only historicals?
A: No. I started thinking about the historical genre when my husband was working in the west and I was in the east. "West" just conjures up "western" in my mind, and I imagined the pioneers who took the chance of a new life by heading to the western U.S. What a journey! That formed into Regan's story. Then I thought about a family with four sisters who all ended up in the west, loved by strong, sexy men, and I had The Sisters O'Ryan stories. I will write in other time periods and genres, but all with the benefit of a ménage story at the heart—strong women loving strong, good-hearted men.
Q: Do you draw from real life when you write?
A: Every writer draws from things in his or her life. That's what gives the words a sense of realism. I frequently write about locations where we've lived—and since we've traveled and moved a lot, that opens up a bit of territory! Right now we are in the great Northwest, in the Palouse hills. You will see books set here in this lovely area in the very near future.
Q: Do you ever write with other people?
A: In my other persona as Dee S. Knight, I've been lucky enough to be in several anthologies, and to write with wonderful people like Francis Drake, Rhiannon Neeley, Vanessa Hart and others. It's fun to share the creative process with people you like and admire!
Q: How do get started on a new book?
A: I usually have an idea—just a small idea—and I let it sit in my mind until it starts to grow. When I wake up in the morning and the first thing I think about is that idea, I know it's ready for the writing process. I think about the characters and fill out a long form about each of the major characters, with things like hair color, likes and dislikes and their goals. That's all the planning I do. After that, I sit at the computer and type what comes to mind. I edit each chapter after a few days, and then read through the whole book. I don't get stuck because I have a great husband who talks through the whole process with me. If I have a problem with how to do something, he has a suggestion—which is usually perfect.
Q: Do you work? How do you juggle real life with writing?
A: I don't have children to care for, but I do work full-time. It's difficult, sometimes, to find the time to work and write and have a life, but it can be done. I usually write during lunch using my AlphaSmart, and do more after the hubby goes to bed. Doing that, when the juices are flowing, I can write nearly a chapter a weekday. On weekends, I might write two-three chapters. Fortunately, hubby is very supportive, which is what it takes to write enough to make a difference.
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