1) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Fortunately, I’ve always known what I wanted to do, and I was talented enough to earn money writing as a career. I started writing poetry about Garfield when I was 7 years old. In junior high and high school, I was on the yearbook staff and I won my first short story contest in high school. In college and grad school, I worked for the school newspapers, and afterward I got a job in magazine editing.
2) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Insane. I honestly have an insane “work” schedule. If I think too much about it, I get nervous. Seriously, in addition to writing, I teach college (at multiple schools), work part-time in an office, edit books and magazines, do some freelance writing. All of that doesn’t include being a mom, and wife, and working on self-promotion. I also volunteer with my local RWA chapter, Orange County. (And they have meetings twice a month.)
Oh, wait, back to writing: If I’m on a strict (coming quick) deadline, the I write much more often. Honestly, I try to do at least an hour a day, or 1,000 words. That means it should take me two months to write at 50,000 word book, but usually with life and edits I need three months. While I write late at night, I edit during the daytime when the brain is “fresh.”
3) Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Sometimes I wonder myself. As a trained journalist, I’m a good observer. I like to watch others, and listen to conversations. On a daily basis, I’m struck by something that sounds like it could be a good story. Some those elements may work their way into a storyline. I also like looking at the “calls for submissions.” Most of the time, I think: “I’ve got nothing for that!” and then an idea pops up a few days later. Most recently, it was a call for erotic threesome re-tellings of mythology. I submitted by short story to that anthology, so fingers-crossed!
There are times when the characters speak to me, too. Further in the interview, I mention an upcoming release, Chains of Silver. As soon as that book was finished and submitted, I thought of a sequel that continues with Silver’s storyline. She’s not finished yet. Now, to only have the time to write it!
4) Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
You know, hon, one of my goals is to help you become a published writer! Seriously … Be honest with your writing, and let your creativity flow without boundaries. One reason why I write late at night is because I turn off my filter. Drinking alcohol doesn’t seem to work well for me because after two glasses of wine all I want to do is sleep! But, put it in the story and you can always take it out … if you feel like you need to.
5) If you were to do your career as an author again, what would you do differently, and why?
That’s an extremely difficult question to answer. I’ve been fortunate to sell a few short stories to Ravenous Romance, and then met with Editorial Director Lori Perkins, who also owns the L. Perkins Agency. She took a chance on me with offering a contract for an as-yet-unfinished book. I sold on proposal. I also ended up signing with one of her agents, Saritza Hernandez.
Overall, I’ve been very fortunate. That said, maybe I would have started finishing my novels sooner. I finaled in a writing contest about six years ago, and an editor requested a full. I never sent it in because I was finishing a second master’s degree and then undergoing infertility treatments – two extremely stressful events. But if I hadn’t taken this path, then who knows where I may have ended up?
Mostly, I don’t believe in regret … just moving forward and embracing one’s past.
6) Have you ever been surprised by a controversy among fans or reviewers - for example, you created a character without thinking too much about what people would think of him, and found some readers loved him and some hated him?
The more I write, and am published, I’m learning that people have such varied tastes. When it comes to erotic romance, I go for pretty much everything. When my first book, Sex University: Physical Education was released, I received some negative reviews because while it’s primarily a M/F novel, it contains one voyeuristic M/M scene and a F/F scene. The reviewer wanted straight M/F without any same-sex, but me it’s a sex school! Anything goes. (And it wasn’t the primary characters involved with someone else.)
With The Vampire, The Witch & The Werewolf: A New Orleans Threesome, I’ve had a few reviewers/readers say that they love Lawrence, the vamp, and Trevor, the were, but why did Lily have to come along? Personally, I like reading M/F/M ménage. I like putting myself into that scene. But, others don’t want it. So – for them, and me – I’m working a on Christmas-themed prequel right now titled The Vampire & The Werewolf. Law and Trev were together for five years before Lily came along, and I’m going to give a peek into that storyline.
7) Favorite dessert?
Can I really eat anything I want, without gaining weight or getting sick from it being too rich? If so, it would be some sort of rich, creamy chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and vanilla ice cream. Sigh. Something most don’t know, I’m lactose-intolerant and can’t do that too often! But, I can dream about it. What I get in real life are Smartees or Licorice.
8) Favorite way to relax?
As a writer, it’s a good thing that one way is actually writing. When I haven’t for a while, I get all tied up in knots and nervous. I’ve always said, too, if I wasn’t a writer, I’d be a chef. So being alone, in the kitchen, and creating something fabulously delicious is a turn-off. (Having to do it with two kids, hubby and two dogs underfoot gets annoying.)
9) What TV shows do you watch?
Survivors ready! Yes, I’m a long-time Survivor fan. I also regularly watch Castle, Body of Proof and Ringer. OnDemand, I tend to choose shows like Food Truck Race and Chopped! But, with two small kids keeping up with shows can be tough. I stopped watching True Blood after the first episode this summer because my kids got up and came inside five times in the first 15 minutes. With all the wild sex and violence, it’s not something you want your 4-year-old seeing!
10) Tell us about your newest release.
I’ve got a “coming soon,” that has been turned in but hasn’t been given a release date yet from my publisher, Ravenous Romance. Follow my blog for information.
The Vampire, The Witch & The Werewolf 2: Chains of Silver
Adopted at birth, Silver Ashe discovers her blood-brother Trevor Pack is a werewolf, with a vampire and witch for lovers. All her teachings about the evils of the paranormal Others come into question. She runs to a family friend, Nick, for help.
Nick Stake takes his hobby as a vampire hunter personally. He strives to rid the world of evil bloodsuckers. When his best friend’s “kid” sister comes to him for advice, Nick discovers Silver’s more than grown up. He battles his growing desire for Silver and blindly holds true to his convictions.
Once Silver reaches her sexual maturity, she’ll inherit her full genetic heritage and turn into a werewolf. When death comes calling, Silver and Nick must face their darkest fears in order to break free from the chains that bind.
Where can readers find you (What websites, emails etc)?