I live near Charleston, SC with my two biggies (my dogs). I have had a slightly unconventional life. Moving almost every three years, I've had a range of day jobs that included everything from working for one of the worlds largest banks as an auditor to turning wrenches as an outboard repair mechanic. I've always regretted that we only get one life and have tried to cram as much as I can into this one.
Throughout it all, I've always read books, feeding my need to dream and fantasize about what could be. An avid reader since childhood, as a latchkey kid I'd spend hours at the library earning those shiny stars the librarian would paste up on the board after my name.
I credit my grandmother's yearly visits as the beginning of my obsession with romances. When she'd come, she'd bring stacks of romance books, the old fashion kind that didn't have sex in them. Imagine my shock when I went to the used bookstore and found out what really could be in a romance novel.
I've working on my own stories for years and have found a particular love of erotic romances. In this genre, women are no longer confined to a stereotype and plots are no longer constrained to the rational. I love the anything goes mentality and letting my imagination run wild.
I hope you enjoyed running with me and will consider picking up another book and coming along for another adventure.
Q: So, you're a new author and Siren is publishing your first two books. How does that feel?
A: Yeah and hopefully several more to come. It feels like being over the moon and very scared that it's all an illusion. Strangely enough, I think my mother might be more excited than I am. She's been listening to me talk about my story ideas and writing for years. I think she has that parent's pride at their child accomplishing something. Either that or she's just glad to listen to me talk about something different *Grin*.
Q: You've been working toward this goal for a long time then?
A: Toward this goal? No. I never really thought about publishing. I just had to write. Most the people I know daydream or fantasize. They say that they'd love to write, but they try and nothing comes out. For me, I daydream in words. As images play out in my mind, there's like this internal voice that is reading the scene from some imaginary book. That builds up until it spills out and you just have to write it down. It was really my mother who pushed me to try to publish. She's been after me to do it for years, but I held off. Then e-books started rolling out and I reconsidered.
Q: So you wanted to be an e-book author? Why not traditional print?
A: It's nothing against print because my books will go into print at Siren. It just always seemed so daunting to submit to traditional print publishers. It was just easier for me to take the chance when all I had to do was e-mail a publisher. It made it easier to take that step. I do love e-books. They have three big benefits for me. I can take my reader anywhere and have access to my whole library. There is instant gratification for the most part. You want a book, you download it, no waiting for shipping or driving to the bookstore. Also, I move around a lot. It's nice to cut down on the heavy boxes of books.
Q: What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome to become an author?
A: There were many. Probably the biggest was and still is that I'm not good with grammar. I edit most books five or six times trying to catch all the mistakes before I submit. Then the publisher sends it back and I see how many I missed. The other biggest obstacle for me personally was lack of focus. For years I would start one story, then get half way through it, then I would become obsessed in another story. Suddenly at thirty I had five books all half written.
Q: What did you do to overcome your lack of focus?
A: I recognized the problem and forced myself to finish what I started. I keep a schedule now for when certain things are to be done a personal timeline. Also, I always work on two stories at the same time to allow myself a break from one story, but not to get lost writing five.
Q: Do you have a ritual writing day or style that helps you focus?
A: No ritual to my days, but I do have what could be called a ritual to the way I write. I'm an outline baby. I outline a story and write it in that order. I don't edit or read what I wrote until I've completed the entire book. It's hard sometimes. I want to be writing a different scene, but I'd never get a book done that way.
Q: Where do your ideas for books come from?
A: There is no one place. A lot of my characters come from other books. I'll read a book about cowboys and then have ideas about cowboy stories floating around in my head. My plots may come from books, TV, a dream, just an idea that comes to me. I have a lot of ideas, but most of them don't make it into my writing.
Q: What makes you choose one idea over another?
A: Personal appeal. I spend a good deal of my day driving and listening to the radio. As I drive around I'll latch onto an idea and scenes will start playing out in my mind, ordering themselves into a cohesive story. That will be the idea that makes it into print.
Q: Have you ever written a book based on an idea that didn't meet that threshold?
A: Yes, series. Series do require a good deal of focus from a writer. You're head might be spinning with new stories, new series, but you do need to finish what you started.
Q: Do you ever get ideas for books other than romance? Do you write them?
A: I get them all the time. I do outline some of them, but no I don't follow through. Maybe one day I will, but right now I love the genre I'm in.
Q: Besides writing, do you have hobbies or interest?
A: Besides reading, I am one of those home improvement junkies. Every three months I get an itch to rearrange everything, paint walls, that sort of thing. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of time to do them. There was a time when I would start, stall and live with a half sanded table for months. So now even when an idea comes to me, I sometimes hold back the impulse and make myself face reality.
Q: Is there anything else you would like readers to know about you?
A: Just that I like to write fast paced, fun books. I love macho heroes and take charge kind of women. Beyond that anything goes. My ideas stem the range from contemporary to fantasy, from paranormal to straight up love stories. So, if you don't like werewolves/paranormal stories, don't worry. I'm working on other themes.
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