Q: What do you think makes a good story?
A: Love. I have argued many times that love is what makes the world go round. It is the underlying driving force behind everything. I believe it motivates more than money or anything else. My characters must always earn love through an evolution the reader experiences with them. Telling the reader is not enough. The reader must feel it. My books are long, my plots are involved, and while I adore a hot love scene and my books have many, I have been told my intense storylines are what set my romances apart from others.
Q: Do you have any idiosyncrasies as a writer?
A: Yes! I have dyslexia so I am a terrible speller and extremely visual. An entire wall of my office is painted in dry erase and my stories are outlined there so I can scribble any idea as it strikes. I need silence to write, but I edit to music. Every book I write is accompanied by a soundtrack on my iPod. My favorite time to write is 4:30am before anyone is awake and after each chapter I use my Kindle to edit. I am also quite OCD when I write and once my stories are near the end I usually write for 12-16 hours at a time, at which point I live off of coffee and bananas.
Q: Where do you get your information or ideas?
A:People. I am always watching. I try not to read anything similar to my work(s) in progress because I don’t want to be influenced by others’ plots. I want my ideas to be my own. I also don’t watch much TV. People inspire me. Not how they live, but who they are. If I can pinpoint what makes a person different, what makes them tick, I like to base a character on such traits and see how far I can push their limits. I also love doing research.
Q: What does your family think of your writing?
A: My five-year-old thinks it’s a crying shame my books don’t have pictures. My husband thinks it is amazing that I have managed to make a living out of a dream. Everyone around me has been so supportive. I consider myself truly blessed. I do blush when someone reads something dirty I wrote, but I am also realizing I am here because I write what people love to read, so apparently I am not the only one with a dirty mind.
Q: Why do you write?
A: I write because I must. Before becoming my livelihood or even a hobby, writing was a compulsion. If I am not writing, I am thinking about writing. When I write I do so like a woman possessed and literally will not stop until I am completely exhausted. The fact that I can actually make a career out of something I am so passionate about is truly magical.
Q: How long does it take you to write a book?
A: It varies depending on the demands of my life. I try to dedicate 40 hours a week to my craft, but it can range from 20-100. I tend to knock out about 6,000 words per day. I once wrote a novel in 10 days. I usually write in 30,000 word chunks. Then I walk away for a few days and come back to it like one does a freshly painted room. All in all, I would say I need 30-60 days to complete a novel I am proud of. Life dictates how close together those days are.
Q: When did you write your first book and how old were you?
A: I wrote my first book when I was twenty-seven. It started as a journal that ended as a novel.
Q: Why erotic romance?
A: Because that is what I love to read! As much as I enjoy all romances, it’s the ones with the open door policies that I love most.
Q: What are your top five favorite books by other authors?
A: This answer will never be the same twice. Off the top of my head, Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas, Lover Mine by JR Ward, Sweet Persuasion by Maya Banks, Lorelei James (anything from her Rough Riders Series), and probably something by Tymber Dalton, but it’s too difficult to choose just one.
Q: As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
A: When I was four I told my parents I wanted to be a picketer because we drove past a group of men and women on strike holding signs. I think I knew even then I had something to say, but I couldn’t find a sign big enough so I wrote a book.
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