Q. We will start with something simple – what’s your favorite food?
A. Curry. It used to be doughnuts, but now it’s curry.
Q. Because everybody always gets asked - where do you get your ideas?
A. Most writers hem and haw around this question with answers like ‘they just come to me.’ But I’ll try to be a little more specific.
My ideas come from three places. The first is a scene - a beautiful vista, a cozy den, a city sidewalk with a blood stain.I ask what happened here or what will happen here.
The second place is from dialog. I overhear a person on their cell phone; ‘Tomorrow night at 11:00. I’ll be there.’ or an argument, or even just part of a single line, ‘…wailing like he did all the time…’ and I try to imagine what the rest of the conversation was and how the conversation will resolve itself.
The third way I like to generate an idea is with a premise; a ‘what if’. What if you had a person who couldn’t ask questions? And then just go from there. Why couldn’t she? How would that affect her? What kind of trouble could that cause?
Q. Why romance?
A. It’s the love angle. It’s universal. You can be a banker, a slave, a space alien and you will still know love. Love is so much a part of our species that I think we often take it for granted and I want to explore it as deeply as I can not only for myself but also for my readers.
Q. Are you afraid of how your sexual content will affect your children? Are you concerned about how your children will react when they are old enough to read what you write?
A. No. I hope they will be proud that their mother wrote what she wanted despite potential criticism and I hope they will learn to have confidence in themselves at an early age. I would like for them to learn that consensual, safe sex with someone you love is a wonderful thing and not shameful, whatever you bring to the table. I would be concerned if I wrote things that supported hatred or bigotry.
Q. What is your writing schedule like?
A. It’s loose to say the least. I think of new ideas or improvements to current projects in the shower or in the car, or washing dishes. I think Agatha Christi said “the best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes.” I have a dry erase board by the sink so I can jot things down. I have a voice recorder in the car to tape my thoughts. I tend to write best at night after everyone goes to bed. But I don’t always feel like writing. Sometimes I’m tired, sometimes I’m just not feeling particularly creative. But I try to write at least something every day even if it’s only a few lines of poetry. I have a giant dry erase board by my desk also and I just think of words I like and then try to string them together into a poem. If I have a deadline, I force myself to write.
Q. Who are your favorite writers?
A. Anthony Burgess is my very favorite. I also like Clive Barker, Sylvia Plath, and I’m a sucker for Edgar Allen Poe.
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