Q: When did you first start writing?
A: I didn’t begin writing until I was thirty-eight. I had all of these stories in my head just bursting to get out. It was cathartic to put them down on paper. I would just write them down for my own reading. To date, I have twenty-one stories that are 60,000 words or more, and about twenty shorter stories that are around 30,000 words. I didn’t have a computer when I began, and it was just me, and a pen and paper. That was how I began, with a pen and a tablet, just writing down my daydreams and storylines. Sometimes a storyline will just pop into my head, and I have to get it down before I could do anything else.
Q: Why do you write about Rubenesque or Plus-size heroines?
A: I love to read. I’ve been reading since I was young. But as I got older, I found that most of the books I read had heroines that seemed to be what society deemed perfect. They were petite, skinny, and mostly White. Rarely did I read about biracial, multi-racial, or plus-size women finding love and romance with the hunky leading man. To me it said that big girls weren’t good enough to catch the hunky man. When I read about the young, perfect size four, blonde, petite, corporate executive, living in a New York City loft, and having all of the money in the world to shop, travel, and land the filthy rich playboy, I couldn’t relate. I lost interest. My storylines are usually about everyday women and men. I want readers to read my books and imagine that it could be them. That it isn’t too farfetched from reality.
Q: Is it hard to be so explicit with the sex scenes in your book?
A: Sometimes it can get very, very hard. That’s a pun, in case you didn’t catch it. No, it isn’t hard to write a sex scene. I used to read some books that I would get completely into, and then the characters would be in an intimate setting, and I would be waiting to hear all of the details only to have the author say something like, “He kissed her passionately, and took her to be his.” What happened? I want to hear all about what happened. What it felt like. I want to try and use all of the senses, telling my readers how it felt, tasted, smelled, sounded, and most of all, I want them to close their eyes and see it all happening in front of them. If they have to get up and get a drink of water, or if my readers want to have a smoke after reading an explicit scene, then I’ve accomplished what I’ve wanted.
Q: Why do you write about biracial, multi-racial, and interracial relationships?
A: In a perfect world, no one would look twice at a man and a woman of different races in a relationship. But no matter how far we think we have gone in society, it is still not the norm. My parents were of mixed race. My daughter will soon be married to a man outside of her own race. I want people to know that love comes without regard to race. When you fall in love, you fall in love. Nothing is Black and White anymore. There are so many different spectrums of race, and I want to show that in what I write.
Q: What is your writing routine?
A: Unlike some writers, I don’t have to have a special place or room to write. I don’t have an office. I write sitting in my comfy chair in my bedroom in front of the TV. Sometimes, I stop and play my Sims game on my computer. I can make up characters in my game and storylines that give me inspiration. Sometimes, I have to lie down and daydream about a storyline. But when it comes to actually writing, it’s only a matter of getting comfortable.
Q: How many pages do you write a day?
A: That depends. Sometimes when I’m on a roll, I can write an entire chapter, or maybe two. That can be anywhere between nine to almost twenty pages. If it’s a sex scene, I can’t stop until it’s finished. I suppose that’s kind of like sex itself. You just can’t stop in the middle of it. But on average per day I can write about five to six pages until life interrupts me, as in family, dinner, bills, dogs, favorite shows, etc.
Q: Where do you get inspiration for your storylines?
A: It can be from anywhere. My inspiration forA Taste of Sugar came from watching two of my favorite shows. I imagined one of the male characters in a rugged cowboy hat, well-worn jeans, and a white T-shirt. On another show, I loved the accent of one of the contestants. She had this country drawl that was cute. Then I imagined the two of them together, and things just took off. Sometimes, the military plays a part in my storylines, because my husband was in the military. I have gotten inspiration when I was on vacation. In some of my books, my heroine has children because I have children. Once, I was on vacation in Mexico at an all-inclusive with my sisters, and POP! I had an idea. My imagination springs to life most anywhere.
Q: Do you ever get writer’s block?
A: Gasp! Don’t say those dreaded words. Yes, I do. Sometimes it can last for what seems like an eternity. But when the block breaks, I don’t care where I am. I have to put down my revelation, be it on a napkin, the back of an envelope, or hopefully on my laptop. It’s like a lightning bolt striking my brain at where I need the story to go. I have several books that I haven’t finished due to writer’s block. But I have recently been able to know the direction I want my characters to go. I have a file on my laptop labeled “storyline breakthroughs”. It has all of the blocked storylines that I want to complete to fruition.
Q: What is the one thing you’ve learned about yourself as you have been writing?
A: Just one? Well, I’ve learned to have confidence in my writing. In the past, I wrote for myself. I wrote stories that I wanted to read, and at times I would give them to family or friends to read. But I was afraid to send a book in to be published. I had sent a sample synopsis and query to an agent when I had first started to write. I had no idea she had switched to handling only Christian romance writers. The letter she sent back to me was not at all favorable, stating that she was surprised that I would write something so vile. I suppose it deflated my enthusiasm. But I have it back by the bucketful. I’m just happy to have found Siren-BookStrand, who published my first book.
Q: What kind of books do you read, or what authors are you a fan of?
A: Funny enough, I don’t read romance much anymore. That had been the genre that I had first started to read in the adult capacity from the age of sixteen. When I started to write, the romance novels I had once loved no longer held my interest. I used to read Sandra Brown, and Harlequin Romance. Then I switched to Laurel K. Hamilton when the vampire, werewolf craze started. Now, if I read a romance novel it will be Marilyn Lee, or authors like her. But Mostly, I’m a horror fan; Stephen King, Robert McCammon, or Dean Koontz. The bloodier the better.
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