Q: What made you decide to start writing?
A: After seventeen years as a paralegal with a Fort Lauderdale law firm, I lost my job due to the economic downturn. I decided that the time was right to make a long-time dream come true and try to write a romance novel. When my daughter gave me a Kindle for my birthday this past summer, I realized that an opportunity existed for romance writers of shorter stories. I ended up writing four books for the Le Club series.
Q: What made you decide to write “Romantica,” or “Erotic Romance?”
A: I downloaded a free BDSM book to my Kindle and enjoyed it so much that I downloaded a few more, and I thought that I could write these stories. I decided to give it a try just to see if I could actually finish a story. The first draft of Book One took seventeen days to complete. The editing, however, has been harder for me than writing the original story. It was interesting that I wrote the four Le Club books without ever even doing an outline. I just started writing, and the stories poured out. I have been having an absolute ball with these stories—the hotter the better! Yes, these stories were written by a Grammy!
Q: How do you pick your characters and are they real to you?
A: I have no idea where the characters for the Le Club series came from. They were just there in my head. One of the fun things about writing is that these characters are in my head all the time, and when the series is over, it’s going to be hard to say goodbye to them. I might do a fifth book for the series, or I might do a spin-off series about horse racing. I love Ocala, Florida. I have a small farm/vacation home there, actually not too far from the fictional Devereau Plantation South! The Historic District (including the infamous town square and gazebo where Mike and Robbie made love) are actually there.
Q: What type of writing schedule do you keep?
A: When the muse is singing, I try to be at the computer. I usually wake up early with some snippet of dialog in my head, which I immediately write down on a pad I keep next to my bed. If I don’t write my thoughts down, they have a tendency to slip away. I then walk my dog, grab some breakfast, and sit down at the computer in my office. Sometimes I will take a break for lunch, but often I find myself eating at my desk. A few times, I have still been at the computer at 8 or 9 pm. The wonderful thing about writing is that you can take a day off to spend with the kids if you want to. Tomorrow we are taking the boys to the Zoo Miami. I couldn’t do that when I worked at the law firm.
Q: Why do you often include a horse or other animal as a character in your stories?
A: My life has revolved around my family and my animals for so long that a story without an animal presence would not seem normal. Only the first book in the series does not have an animal character. I have always had dogs. Since I live in Davie, Florida which is known as “cowboy country”, I decided to start taking riding lessons at age 30, and bought my first personal horse—Shadow, a 15 hand black Morgan— shortly thereafter. Although I have always enjoyed riding, I personally now prefer driving a carriage, which is really fun! My daughter has been riding since age seven, and she is currently a dressage rider. We also have ponies for the grandchildren. It’s amazing what a close partnership develops between a rider and their horse, even though they don’t live in the house with you like a dog or cat. Ollie was my best friend for many years, and one of the most painful things in my life was having to say goodbye to him.
Q: Are the animals in your stories taken from your life?
A: The mannerisms of the horses in my stories are taken from my actual animals. They can be very demanding just like Jester who made his debut in Book Two and was a presence in Books Three and Four as well.
Q: What do you like about writing?
A: I like being able to be someone else for a while and do things I might not actually do in real life. I like to be able to introduce readers to things they might not have had a chance to experience— like the polo game in Book Two. I like being able to put small pieces of myself in the stories and knowing they will be immortalized. For example, in Book Three Anne had breast cancer as I also have, and Paula wore my wedding dress in Book Four.
Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A: I absolutely love Nora Roberts and would like to be the “Nora Roberts of Erotic Romance.” It’s a high aspiration to shoot for, but if you don’t try, you will never know if you might have succeeded. I really enjoy Nora’s series stories. My favorite is the Bride Quartet. I love to follow the characters through all the different books and see how they are doing after their particular story is done. I hope my readers will enjoy following my Ocala friends through the different books. I also really particularly enjoy Sandra Brown and Janet Evanovich.
Q: Do you currently own a horse?
A: No. After my last horse, Oliver J. Hardy (a/k/a Ollie—“This is a fine mess you’ve gotten us into Ollie!”), a red roan appaloosa with a white face, red mane and tail, and beautiful blue eyes with a bandit patch over one eye, had to be put down at age 25, I decided to take a break from horses and just enjoy my daughter’s and grandsons’ horses for awhile.
Q: What would be your dream horse?
A: If I get another personal horse, it will be a Gypsy Vanner—or maybe a black Friesian like Jester! To be truthful, the Friesian would probably be “too much horse” for me—just like a Maserati would be “too much car!” But a Gypsy Vanner would be perfect! They are amazing animals.
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