As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
A Charlie’s Angel. And am totally serious… so then I wanted to be a cop. Then an actress on a cop show (see a pattern here?), and then, finally, a writer. A Marine Biologist snuck its way in there too along the way. Basically I have always craved adventure and drama. It took me a little while, but eventually I figured out how to have everything I wanted. I needed to write.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I wrote my first book because of a crush. It was a fantasy of a ‘what if’ scenario. I still have it and the hero of my story will always have a special place in my heart.
Do you have a specific writing style? I would say yes, but to be honest I don’t know. I guess I do, although I wouldn’t know how to explain it. I just write.
Has your environment/upbringing colored your writing? Yes and No. I am a child of divorce and I suppose that has fueled a lot of the fantasy. I come from a family of strong women, so all of my female characters are strong women. So in that aspect, yes it has.
How did you come up with the title for your book(s)? Very carefully (lol!). Titles are tricky, my current release, Serenity Lost, is one in a three book series that in fact started as one book. When we decided to split it into three I had to come up with three new titles! I struggled with the three titles for a while until something fit, and here we are. I think the three titles I have selected reflect what is happening in that particular part of the series. Don’t know what I mean, guess you have to read and find out. To be honest, sometimes finding the title of a piece is instantaneous, other times it is a struggle. Depends completely on the book.
How much of your work is realistic? I am very conscious of anchoring my story and characters in reality, although I will totally use dramatic license when called upon. I try to stay within the realms of the believable, although I may bend it a little to suit my needs.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Action sequences. We have a love hate relationship. I love to put them in…hate to write them. Although, thanks to my awesome editor, I have gotten better.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? Nothing. And I am even surprised by that answer. I can honestly say the Trust Me series is exactly how I imagined it. I am in love with the story and the characters. Everything about it, to me, is perfection, and I am very proud of it.
Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?
My writing has opened so many doors for me already. I will follow the path and see where it takes me!
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Write what you know. Write what sparks your inner muse, your passion. Stay true to it and the rest will come.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
On occasion, yes, and I write my way through it. I just keep writing until the spark hits and then I am back on track.
How did you deal with rejection letters?
Rejection is always hard. I tried to look at it as it was one more step towards yes!
What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
First, dialogue. You can tell the whole story with dialogue alone if you are good enough. The other note that stands out in my favorites is a center, a core to the piece. It is called the theme, but I don’t like the term as it scares people. What is your story about? Beginning, end, down to the nitty gritty. When you figure it out you stick to it. Every line, and description, is attached to your core and it is the glue that holds your prose together.
How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
Plot and characters are always fun and I don’t have a set formula perse. When I have an idea, I work out a loose interpretation of it in an outline. From there I start writing…the characters, the expanded plot and where it goes just grows from there. It may be a little unorthodox but it works.
What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
A thesaurus, access to Google, a notebook, and a plethora of pens. For me, along with my computer I am set.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Beginning to end, including rewrites and editing, approximately six months.
What is your work schedule like when writing?
I write everyday, no excuses.Usually from 6:30am to 8am and then from 8 pm to 11 pm during the week. Weekends are as much as humanly possible (working of course around 3 kids a job and a so-called life)
What are your current projects?
Books 2 and 3 of the the Trust Me Series are in final editing at Ecstasy Books (Book 2 is due to be released in Dec 2010).
I am working on the rewrite of my second series, currently untitled, which I hope will premiere in 2011.
I have also become a contributor for the Red Lipstick Journals, an erotic blog anchored by some of the best erotica writers in the market right now.
Last, but not least, I have become a contributing editor at Bella Online for their Prime Time TV category.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Well, Book 2 and 3 of the Trust Me series get seriously twisted. While Rebecca struggles with her feelings for Eric, the stalker keeps escalating until the unthinkable happens, ripping everyone’s world to shreds. In Book 3, not to give too much away, but let’s just say an old face comes back to haunt Rebecca, and a string of unexpected events soon follow!
My new series is centered around the meeting of Jack Tucker, local celebrity player and Dallas Radio personality and the love of his life, FBI Agent Kate Weiss.
Jack has everything he needs, a life, a career, money. A complicated life wasn’t worth the energy in Jack’s eyes. Why make it harder than it needs to be?
Kate is recovering from an undercover operation gone wrong. Her physical and emotional wounds still fresh. She stays with her mentor for a few weeks, helping out at his radio station.
Take these two independent souls, throw in a little intrigue, a dash of conspiracy, and you have the makings of an edge of your seat thriller!
What is the last book you read?
I just finished Earthwalker by Julie Achteroff. What an amazing story, absolutely loved it!
If you could be any character in fiction, who would you be?
Diana Tregarde from the Mercedes Lackey novels She is a pychic and a romance novelist! All of my dreams rolled into one!
Tell us about one of your worst habit or quality?
Too nice. How can you be too nice? You don’t learn how to say “NO.” I overwhelm myself by not saying no. I have gotten better though…
How do you tackle stress and define stress?
Stress. Funny you should ask this, I am going through a very stressful time at the moment. Stress to me is chaos. Now, I don’t mean regular chaos. I mean the train is running full speed off the track and you keep pulling on the broken brake in the hope of a miracle. I am a self-admitted control freak and I can handle a moderate amount of chaos in my life (I do have three kids after all, and choose to be a writer), but when real stress is one mess after another piling up, a girl can only handle so much!
If you were an animal what kind of animal would you be?
A house cat. I would love to be lazy all day!
What is your favorite color?
Green. To me it is the color of life.
What would I find in your refrigerator right now?
Yogurt, four gallons of milk, five bottles of Vault, hazelnut creamer, roast beef, and swiss cheese.
If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional who would it be?
Too many choices! Aghhh…Audrey Hepburn.
What was the last movie you went to see?
Cats and Dogs 2.
If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
According to my kids Super Hugs and Super Kisses. Oh, and shape-shifting into a Hippo.
Finally, you know there’s a HUGE work up on Vampires lately. So: Vampire Diaries, True Blood or Twilight, and why?
True Blood definitely! Out of the three it is the most realistic. I do enjoy the other two, I watch the Vampire Diaries but my favorite is True Blood.