Q: Can you tell us a little about how you started writing; was it something you have always wanted to do?
A: Unlike most writers, I did not grow up wanting to write stories. In fact, I didn’t even consider writing until I was in my thirties. For about a dozen years, I read romance novels constantly, at least one a week, sometimes as many as three. A few years ago, I picked up one I still think of as the worst romance novel I’ve ever read. I thought, “How did she get this published? Even I could do better than that.” So I decided to prove it. I found it to be a lot more difficult than I expected.
Q: Are you able to write as much as you would like? Could you tell us about your writing schedule? What do you enjoy doing when not writing?
A: There is never enough writing time. I work full time and have a family. Writing time is limited, but the vast majority of my free time is spent writing or doing writing related activities like promotion and stuff. There’s no schedule to speak of unless you consider “every night after supper” as being scheduled time.
If I do have a moment when I’m not writing, I’m probably reading. I gave up most television a long time ago.
Q: Who or what has been the biggest influence on your writing? Who has been your biggest support?
A: I’d have to say that some of my favorite authors were the biggest influence. One of my dreams is to write a novel as good as some by Julie Garwood, Teresa Medeiros, Connie Mason, or Victoria Alexander. I am blessed to have a whole network of support. My family is supportive, dozens of friends beg to proofread for me, and I’ve found a host of wonderful online writing friends who support me in too many ways to name.
Q: Most authors are avid readers; what is your favorite genre to read? What titles would we see in your TBR pile?
A: Usually I prefer either historical or paranormal romance, but as long as it’s romance, I’ll probably enjoy it. Currently I have over three hundred books in the TBR pile. There is a stack of Stephanie Laurens Cynster novels. Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series is there. I’ve got several of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s books, and a wide variety of other “new-to-me” authors I want to try. It’s a good thing I got an e-reader a while back, or the TBR pile would likely require another couple of bookshelves. Hello, my name is Nita, and I’m a romance novel addict.
Q: What do you feel are the essential elements of a great story?
A: First, I need a hero to fall in love with and a heroine I can identify with. Throw in some conflict, some ups and downs. Then it must have a happily-ever-after. I personally would never consider a story “great” without that.
Q: Do you feel your writing is character driven or plot driven? How do you balance these two elements?
A: Definitely character driven. My characters show up one day out of the blue and hound me until I start writing. I often find that after the first two or three chapters, I have to stop and sketch an outline to be certain the plot elements are there. Whether my characters like it or not, I have to make sure there’s a plot.
Q: How would you describe the sensuality level in your books? Do you find it difficult to write love scenes?
A: I’d say the sensuality level is “spicy.” I’ve never had any trouble writing an explicit love scene. The key word there is love. I think most readers will find that I put a lot of emotion into my stories and books. For me, there needs to be a connection between the two people. I guess I’m just too much of a romantic. But I’ve yet to write a story where the bedroom door is closed to the reader. Heck, that’s the good part! Readers will find hot, detailed love scenes with very little (if any) graphic or coarse language.
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