Q: How much do you draw on your own life when writing fiction?
A: Surprisingly, very little. I say "surprisingly" because I think it is natural to use your own life as a blueprint of sorts, and I am not a particularly creative person, either, so stealing from my own life would seem the natural course of events. However, I am fairly private so tried to avoid that path. I do have a handsome, Euro-husband and I am indeed an animal-lover, and both of those things definitely show up in Amore and Pinot Grigio. But most of the rest is extrapolation or what I call my ‘parallel-universe’ life. I’d love to be as gutsy and independent as my heroine, not to mention as beautiful, but alas, ‘tis not the case.
Q: What made you want to write a romance novel?
A: I have done an awful lot of academic writing in my life, and one day, when I complained to a friend about how tedious it was, he suggested I try my hand at fiction. At first I balked, but then I realized that as counterintuitive as it seemed, it could also suit me. At the risk of sounding hideously corny, I believe in love, and at the risk of sounding mercenary, I love travel. I thought writing a story set in a magnificent European capital would be fun for me and entertaining for readers. And if readers like it I can perhaps write a sequel, which would give me an excuse to travel some more, for research purposes, of course!
Q: What is a typical writing day for you?
A: Well, first of all, there is one. I am a creature of habit and I like as close to a nine-to-five day as I can manage, though mine is more like seven-to-three. I have pets and they don’t let me loll about in bed all morning. And once I’m up for them I stay up for me. I work pretty steadily but never past about four p.m. or so. I keep evenings for my husband. I never want to be one of those writers who stays up till three a.m., though admittedly, on deadline, that has been known to happen.
Q: Is there anything different or new you hope you can bring to the contemporary romance genre?
A: I would not be presumptuous enough to say I can bring anything new to such stories, but I do hope my heroine in Amore and Pinot Grigio isn’t silly. And that goes for any future books I may write. I do get tired of female characters never appearing to have much intellect. I don’t mean they aren’t smart in the "common sense" sense. I mean often they don’t seem to talk about politics or history or books or the world around them. That bothers me. All of my female friends are terrifically engaged and I don’t think they are representative of some odd minority.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: A glass of wine, right now.
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