Q: Why did you become a writer? Was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
A: Being a writer is the only dream I've ever had. I think I was 8-years-old when I wrote my first piece of fiction, an 'episode' for my favorite TV show at the time Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea. I can't tell you why it was my dream, though. I can tell you that my father was a writer, and so is my eldest son. Maybe it's in the genes.
Q: Tell us what a typical writing day is like, please
A: Lately, nothing is typical! Ideally, I'm up by 8; as the computer boots up, the coffee drips. I begin with my e-mail, then I check to see if I have any promo spots to do, or chats scheduled. Then I open my w.i.p. and tell myself to get writing. On days when the words don't want to come, I go to my online writing group and see if there are some critiques I can do for beginning writers. Often, just the act of putting ideas down will free up the rest of my words. Generally, I treat writing as an eight hour a day joband then some.
Q: What do you love about being an author? Is there anything you dislike?
A: I love everything about writing, every aspect of it so there is nothing that I dislike.
Q: How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
A: In most cases, my stories begin with a 'what if'. What if I had a story about a man and a woman who not only appear total opposites, but have a strange role reversal thing going (Made For Each Other)? What if I write a modern Beauty and the Beast, and reverse the roles again have the guy beautiful and the woman of a beastly nature (Beau and the Lady Beast)? What if I have an older woman who has never discovered her sensuality, or her self esteem, get together with a much younger man from her past (Lily In Bloom)? What if an older woman says out loud that she believes in Fairy Godmothers, and they hear her (Magic & Love Trilogy)? And right after the 'what if', come the charactersand finally the plot.
Q: What would you want readers to take away from your books?
A: Each novel is a great romance with that extra bit of heat, but I try always to put something more in it. So the reader can feel free to simply enjoy the love story for a couple of hours and escape their cares, and if that reader has had a pleasant break from reality, then I'm happy. But if that reader picks up on something that resonates within their own lifebe it fear of commitment, or a searching for self, then I'm thrilled.
Q: What do you think is the biggest misconception about erotic romance fiction?
A: That it's 'dirty' or 'naughty' or 'porn'. My novels are all romances, first. The relationships involve people who are working toward a lifetime commitment. In telling their story, I want to give the reader the full experience of it, and to do that, I have to keep the bedroom door open. The purpose of my novels is not to arouse the reader, but tell a story of human relationshipa conflict that needs to be resolvedand to engage the reader in the total romantic experience.
Q: There are so many publishers out there, how did you decide who to submit your work to Siren?
A: It had to be Karma! I had registered for the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in Daytona Beach in 2006, and had requested an interview with Ellora's Cave. And then the unthinkable happened: E.C. announced they were not accepting any appointments for that convention. Well, since my beloved had so generously decided we were going all the way from Toronto to Daytona for my career, I had to see someone! I looked at the web sites of all the publishers of erotic romance who would be represented there. There was just something that drew me to Siren Publishing. As I was reading the submission standards, one line stood out for me, ten feet tall: Stories must be at least 50% romance. That was important to me. So I met with the publisher, and she invited me to submit. That was in May of 2006. I signed my first contract in August that same year. I've never looked back. I'm very blessed to have found them, and they treat meand all of their authorsexceptionally well.
Q: Who or what has been your biggest influence as a writer?
A: I'm influenced by life. Inspiration is everywhere. Also, I do share my birth date with Ernest Hemingway.
Q: Your work is very popular with readers and reviewers; how does it feel to have such positive recognition for your work?
A: I'm thrilled. Truly! Sometimes I get e-mails from people who have read my books and enjoyed them and it almost makes me cry.
Q: What do you consider to be the key elements of a great story?
A: Characters. Writing good stories is all about creating characters the readers will not only identify with, but love.
Q: What do you wish men understood about women?
A: That when we say "put the seat down" we mean "put the seat down"!
Q: What is your favorite thing to put in your mouth?
A: What a question to ask an author of erotic romance! And the answer is...fresh warm cinnamon rolls with lots of butter.
Q: Besides your spouse, who makes your heart beat fast and why?
A: Sometimes, you're someplace you've never been before. There are people all around you but for some reason you look to the left, and there, just there, is a handsome, intriguing stranger. Just then, he looks up and for a few seconds your gazes meet. Slowly, he smiles, and then sends you a saucy wink. Your heart pounds, your skin tingles. It's only for a moment, and only for that time-out-of-space, but in that moment you're reminded of your youth, when everything was new and fresh and possible
Q: What do you do to relax?
A: My daily swim relaxes me, as does a good book to read.
Q: Any advice for aspiring authors?
A: Yes!!I have two pieces of advice: keep writing, and never give up on your dream. Yes, it's good to take writing seminars, to help you learn the technicalities. But to my way of thinking, the one thing you can do to become a better writer is to keep writing. And never, ever surrender your dream to anyone, for any reason. If success can come to one person, it can come to you, too. You're entitled to your dream. I truly believe that the majority of people who 'never make it' are people who quit. So don't quit, keep writing, and eventually, you'll be where you want to be!
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