What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My debut release, Clear As Day, is a sweetly scorching contemporary romance about two friends with benefits facing the fears and uncertainties of their changing relationship.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I’m currently hard at work to finish and submit the sequel to Clear As Day, another contemporary romance tentatively titled Love Burns. I love this new couple, who are two of Nate and Kay’s friends, and I have enjoyed seeing their story come to life as they work through their personal trials and find their own happily ever after together. And other friends will be joining Kay and Nate in falling in love at the river. I also have a fantasy romance series in the works.
Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favourite?
Choosing one story over another is a little like favouring one child over another, but Clear As Day has been a story of my heart in many ways, so seeing this story bloom and come to life as a full-length published novel has been a dream come true.
How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I’ve always loved writing and making up stories, beginning back when I used to act out epic fantasy tales with my dolls. (My Barbies had swords and knew how to use them.) I remember carting home armloads of books from the library, loving all the different stories and worlds and I wanted to write the stories I imagined, too. I remember studiously writing out pieces of stories in spiral-bound notebooks and on backs of school papers. I even have a degree in Literature, but it wasn’t until 2004 that I wrote my first full rough draft of romance novel and began gathering up my nerve to pursue publication. I fell in love with writing romance and have focused on that ever since.
Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them? ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
I have a wonderful critique group. I can’t thank all my lovely ladies enough for the advice and support they’ve given me over the years that has helped Clear As Day become a better story. Our members hail from different states and countries, different romance genres, and different stages of our writing careers. They are a critical editing eye, encouraging sounding board for ideas, mentors, cheering squad, shoulder to whine and cry on, and very great friends.
Do you read all the reviews of your book?
Yes. It can be nerve-wracking, but I think it is important to receive feedback on a story. I like hearing readers’ impressions and what parts they’ve enjoyed. I’ve been delighted with the overall lovely reviews of Clear As Day, which began with the awesome 4 1/2 star scorcher review from Romantic Times Book Reviews.
Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
I’m definitely a pantser. It’s all very organic. The only plot goal I have in the beginning is that my hero and heroine will reach their happily ever after at the end. I start with a scene and a character and the story grows like Topsy in every direction until I discover how it all works out. In writing Clear As Day, my character Kay appeared first in her lakeside camp site, already independent, reserved, and commitment-shy. Then the man who would become easy-going, globetrotting photographer Nate showed up to disrupt her careful, comfortable rut in life. As I explored why he’d shown up on her beach and his connection to Kay, their simple friends-with-benefits relationship proved not so simple and their conflict, love story, and their tight-knit group of friends bloomed from there. I do create an outline as I go deeper into the story to keep track of scenes and start to build the synopsis, but the story comes first and outline second. I’m often as surprised as my characters are along the way. Plotting would be much more efficient, I’m sure, but I’ve given into the fact my mind doesn’t work that way and now I enjoy the unexpected on the journey to The End.
Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
I had fun with Clear As Day, adding in bits of my family’s trips to the river, other camping and fishing experiences, and my own enjoyment of watercolors, music, photography, and the desert.
What is your favourite book and Why? What are you currently reading?
Among my many favorites are: J.R.R. Tolkien, Inez Kelley, Toni Blake, and Eloisa James. I love them all for their story-telling and vivid description. I just finished reading The Goblin King by Shona Husk. I’m now reading Rough Ride by Keri Ford.
What do you think about book trailers?
Book trailers can be a fun accompaniment to book promotion. I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of making the trailer for Clear As Day. http://youtu.be/E1ur-avq5YI
What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Never give up on your dreams and keep on writing. Clear As Day started life years ago as that “story under the bed you love but can’t do anything with.” There were many times I felt like giving up, but I kept on writing new stories. Then, the day came I finally knew how to really write Nate and Kay’s story. Because I didn’t give up, now I can share this story I love.