Q: When you were little, were you shy or bossy? How about now?
A: That’s really funny. Bossy, of course, and still bossy!
Q: You write about strong, smart women? What inspires you to write these kinds of characters?
A: Women are amazing. Everyday, I see women balancing families, businesses, and life in general with grace under pressure and with humor, exuding love. My own life required me to be strong and to find my own way. I wanted to write stories that depict women unafraid of life, sex, and love.
Q: If you weren’t writing erotic romance, what would you be doing instead?
A: Ha! I would be the person who names wall-paint colors. I just think wall-paint color names are a total hoot: “Lunch Bag” is on the walls in my basement rec room. “Hot Sugar” and “Chivalry Bronze” are in one of the bathrooms. Hey, those colors could be book titles...
Q: Is there a real Honor Creek Farm?
A: No – Honor Creek Farm is a wonderful, imaginary place. But, it’s based on what I know about high-level training barns around Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Florida. And Georgie and Freddie are based on a composite of some of the brilliant horse-women I have the privilege to know and love.
Q: What challenges you most about writing erotic fiction?
A: Making the characters really interesting and the story captivating. It’s fairly easy to write the erotic parts: I always tell my husband that it’s “time for practice” when I want to try something to see if it will “work” when I describe it in words! But, seriously, when it’s necessary for me to convey a story to a reader who must see herself in the character, THAT is a real challenge. Making it believable, exciting, and interesting all at once takes planning and thinking.
Q: Where do you find your stories?
A: Mostly, they come out of something someone said or did at the barn. I ride at a beautiful facility with many wonderful women. About once per month, the women have a late Friday afternoon ride. We either do a long trail ride across neighboring farms, or we do “pretend” barrel racing or maybe even silly competitive trail riding things like trying to get the horse to walk over a wooden bridge, while holding a pail full of carrots, without getting distracted! Then, of course, we have wine and tell stories. I “borrow” lots of ideas from those wine-drinking pals of mine!!
Q: How did you decide that horses would be the “context” for your stories?
A: They are part of the context of my life and I couldn’t see any other way to be able to make the stories I wanted to write. I’m not one of those lucky writers who can conjure up fantastic freaky worlds of “other-beings” – I just don’t have that talent. So, I’m writing in the context, in the settings, in the language I know. As for the hunter-jumper world, I did notice lots of cowboy books out there, but not a lot of stories with English riding as the setting.
Q: Do you have a writing process or do stories just “come” to you?
A: Both, actually. Something sparks an idea and I write it in my journal. I have maybe 8-10 story ideas floating around at any one time. Then I see or hear something that crystallizes an idea for me and I start writing around that. I like to use note pads first and usually get the basic story down by hand before I begin typing it into the computer. By the time I’m typing, the story has shape – an arc – that makes sense in terms of character, scene, follow up, conflict, etc. Remember, I taught writing for years. So all the tricks and tips I told my students, I still use. I edit as I go.
Q: What do you do when you are not riding or writing?
A: I love to cook, so I usually have something going on the stove or in the oven. There is such satisfaction in making something my husband really enjoys. Cooking is my release – I pour a glass of wine and jump in. It relaxes me. I also like to make jewelry. Beading is so creative. I find that I give most of my stuff away. Finally, we have a boat and since we’re on the Chesapeake Bay, it’s hard to ignore. You’ll see all of those elements in my stories.
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