Q: Why did you start writing romance?
A: In the summer of 2006, a friend of mine challenged me to write a loving, positive sex scene. After waffling about it for a bit, I did, and surprised myself with how well it came out. I decided to keep writing romance and erotic romance, just to see where I went with it. That scene, incidentally, decided it belonged in a novel, one which I’m currently revising so I can submit it.
Q: Do you ever base any characters on people you know?
A: On occasion, but never without checking with the person first. Sometimes I don’t realize I’ve based a character on someone in my real life until I’ve finished the story; when I revise, I ask them if it’s okay with them. Only one person has ever said he didn’t want me to use him in a story, and he amended that later to say as long as no one who knew him would recognize him, it would be all right. Several of my heroines are based on me, in whole or part; and I have one or two heroes who are based on my fiancé, who proudly calls himself my “research assistant.”
Q: What do the people who know you think about what you write?
A: Not everyone who knows me knows that I write romance and erotic romance, and I use a pen name to keep it that way. Of those who know, which includes my parents and my fiancé's parents, the general reaction is that it’s pretty cool, and that they wouldn’t expect me of writing that kind of thing. I’m pretty mild-mannered in real life.
Q: When you look back on the first story you ever wrote, what do you think of it now?
A: Unfortunately, I can’t look at my first ever story; a flood in my parents’ basement when I was about 11 destroyed it. However, when I look at the stuff I wrote in high school and college, I cringe just a bit. A whole lot of “telling” instead of “showing”, and some plots that just don’t make sense. Even when I look back at the romance and erotica stories I wrote a few months ago, I sometimes cringe. I’m learning more about writing and revising almost every day, and there’s always room for improvement.
Q: Describe a typical day in your life.
A: Typical? What’s that mean? Most weekdays, I’m up around 5:30 or 6:00 to start checking emails and message boards. I consider promoting my work an important part of writing, and the message boards give me a chance to do that. At 6:30, I wake my daughters for school; they leave at 7:30. I haven’t had a day job for a few months now, so once the kiddos and my fiancé have left for the day, I start in on writing, revising, and promoting. With the three combined, I usually spend about 4-6 hours a day, sometimes a bit less if I have errands or appointments. My children come home between 2:30 and 3:00, and I check in with them about homework; my fiancé's arrival time home depends on what season it is. I take a break for about an hour around noon each day, and at 6 or 7 pm, I’m off the computer for the night to spend time with my family.
Q: Anything else you’d like readers to know?
A: I’m living a romance novel. In December 2006, I left an abusive marriage. For the next year and a half, I dated occasionally, but gave up on dating in May 2008 when I decided I was looking for the right thing in the wrong places. Two nights later, my now-fiancé and I met at the home of a mutual friend. It was literally love at first sight from his point of view; it took me a few hours that night to admit that I felt an attraction as well. He’d also given up on dating, until he met me. He’d never been married or even lived with anyone, and he’d pretty much decided he would be spending his life alone because he couldn’t find the right person. Within two days, he decided to drive two hours after work to see me, and soon after that, he started spending most of his time off with my kids and me. We started talking about moving in together “someday” before we’d known each other a month, and he told me he loved me for the first time on my birthday a month after we met. We actually did move in together in June 2009; he proposed in September, and our wedding is planned for April 2010. He treats my children and me wonderfully; he’s the man I always dreamed of finding and never believed I would.
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