Q: What is your inspiration?
A: When I was young, I was bullied a lot. It made me very shy and I would always keep to myself. So I spent a lot of time reading. When I picked up a book it made me feel less alone. It brought me to places and times that took me away from my own pain. I went on adventures with Laura Ingalls on the prairie, and sailed the seven seas with Captain Ahab, fighting the white whale. So I wanted to give that same feeling to someone else who was out there feeling lost and alone.
Q: What made you write in the M/M erotic romance genre?
A: I read one of these books by accident and to my surprise, I found that I enjoyed it. So I started reading more of them. I thought this was a great thing for today’s homosexual community. That they could now read about characters that they could relate to and connect with. There are a lot of young people out there right now feeling lost and alone, trying to come to terms with their sexuality. If they could read a book where they relate to a character and their sexual preference, then maybe that will help them realize that no matter what others say, there’s nothing wrong with them. This is how they were created, and they are not alone.
Q: Who influenced your work?
A: I have always been a huge fan of the horror/suspense genre. I love Stephen King and Dean Koontz. I will read anything they put out there. But in finding the M/M erotic romance genre, I found Stephani Hecht, Gabrielle Evans, Lynn Hagen, Toni Griffin and Joyee Flynn, as well as so many other talented writers. I loved their stories and characters so much the it inspired me to create my own. I am also a huge fan of Adam Lambert, who as you know is a gay man. I think he is a great role model for not only the homosexual community, but for everyone. He lives his life out and proud, and inspires others to be who they are. A lot of his lyrics inspired me to finally step out of my box, my comfort zone, and take a chance on me for once.
Q: What did you want to be when you were a kid?
A: Believe it or not, I wanted to be a veterinarian. Until I turned eight and found out everything they do to help animals. I didn’t think I could do that. When I was about ten I thought about writing. I loved books so much, that I wanted to do that too. I was told by a teacher once that being a successful writer was a long shot and would never make me any money. I have always been good in the arts, so I went to Photography school, and loved it, so I thought maybe a photojournalist. I could combine all the things I loved.
Q: What is your writing routine?
A: I get up every morning at four a.m., whether I want to or not. It’s this internal clock that has taken over my body. So I get up, walk the dog, make a cup of tea, and sit down and read what I wrote the day before. I fix things that need to be fixed, make sure I like the flow of the story, how the characters are developing, and if the scene works right. Then after the kids leave for school and I am alone, I start writing again and write for about four to six hours. It depends on how things are coming out of my head and landing on the page. When I lay down at night to go to sleep, I jot down new ideas that are roaming around in my head for the story I’m working on, or a different one.
Q: Which comes first, the story or the character?
A: With Betrayal The story came first. With its follow up, Secrets the character came first. I loved writing the character Taylor and he needed his own story.
Q: Do you plan on continuing the series? Or do you have other stories?
A: I plan on continuing The Angel Pack series as long as the characters keep talking to me. And as long as people want to read about them. Right now I am just about done with the third book in the series, and I have started number four. The other night a thought popped into my head for one of the other characters, so I will continue it for now. I also have a few ideas for stories that are not related to this series. I have been jotting down ideas and trying to develop the main characters.
Q: How personal is your writing?
A: Very. Each of my characters has something in them that reminds me of someone in my life. Being the baby of thirteen children, I have a lot of different personalities around me. But writing is something I have wanted to do for so long and kept pushing it away for one reason or another. So finally putting myself out there after all these years and trying to make that dream a reality, is very personal.
Q: I want to be a writer. How do I start?
A: Well, I’m new to all of this too, but the best I can tell you is to be true to yourself. If you find a genre that speaks to you, even if it’s not mainstream, and people look at you like, “What the hell, really?” start there. If you have an idea, write it down, go back to it a few days later and read it, see if the seed grows. Add to the idea, think of how you want the story to end, and then write how you would like to see it go from point A to point B. But most importantly, believe in yourself. Be your own biggest fan. Don’t let others pull you down, or tell you you can’t do it.
Q: Some people wonder how you can write M/M erotic romance, when you’re a straight woman. How can you write what you don’t know?
A: Not all writers write what they know. Stephen King doesn’t know what it feels like to be an outcast teenage girl with a nightmare for a mother. But Carrie was pretty successful. I have gay friends and a few gay members in my family and I know the walls they have run into and have had to climb over. Yes, my characters are gay men, but they are also human beings. I am a human being, I know pain, I know love. I know what it feels like to want to be accepted and loved. The people who think there is a problem with me writing in this genre are part of the problem. What we need more of in this world is acceptance of others differences. Not more anger and hate. We need to stop judging each other and start seeing people for who they are and how they treat others, not what color they are, what religion they are, or who they are attracted to.
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