Frequently asked questions:
1. How long have you been writing?
I started writing in 2010 right after I turned 40. I have always scribbled down stories and put them away. Yeah, I wanted to write a book but that would happen “someday” – when I was done with law school, after I established at work, after I had kids, when the kids got older . . . you get the picture.
And then a close friend died of breast cancer at the age of 42 and I realized that I might never get “someday”. I sat down and started writing. I sold my first book two years later.
2. What is your process?
I start with the first line of the book – crazy – and then I figure out the characters and the plot from there. I do plot my books. Not in detail but I have a general bullet point outline that I follow and modify as I need to. I use plain old Microsoft Word right now but I’m trying to learn Scrivener.
3. Do you have an agent? How did you get your agent?
Yep. Her name is Liza Dawson and she is with Liza Dawson and Associates.
Liza and I found each other due to NYT Bestselling author, Robyn Carr. Robyn is also a client of Liza and she made the introduction. To be honest, I just thought that Liza was being polite but then she read my first book and emailed me about getting together at RWA Nationals. We had an amazing first meeting and the rest is history.
4. Do have any advice for an aspiring author?
Write. Write. Write. – You get better the more you write.
Read. Read. Read – Reading great books is like taking a master class on writing.
Study. Study. Study. – Study the best books on craft you can find. My faves: On Writing by Stephen King; Goal, Motivation, and Conflict by Deb Dixon; Revision and Self Editing by James Scott Bell; and Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maas.
Get off your ass. – You will be a better writer if you are healthy. Exercise, take care of yourself.
5. Will you read my manuscript?
Nope. You don’t want me to. I’m a terrible editor and I would only screw you up.
6. Do you have a critique partner?
Yep. I have two of the most wonderful critique partners you could ask for (Avery Flynn and Kimberly Kincaid). What we do for each other has evolved as we have progressed along our careers but we have each other’s back, read through those awful first drafts, and support each other’s releases.
But, I highly recommend hooking up with a writing group for support and accountability. Writing is a solitary and often lonely pursuit and I find that I get the best information about the publishing industry from my fellow authors. For my time and money I would join Romance Writers of America (www.rwa.org) and Writing GIAM (www.writinggiam.com). RWA is a professional organization that requires you to pay dues each year and GIAM is free and has a free critique partner matching program.
7. Do you get to pick your book covers?
No. But, I do get to fill out a Cover Art form and provide pics that I think are evocative of the tone of the book. And, if I really hate a cover, my publisher is super about listening to me.
I have total control over my independent book covers and I work closely with my cover designer to make them gorgeous!
1. Do you really write in your closet?
Yep. My closet is 8 feet by 22 feet long. The first 11 feet is my closet and the last 11 feet is my office. It was a gift from my hubby, The Main Man.
2. Is Chris Evans really your boyfriend?
Yes. Yes he is.
The Main Man calls him my “Ding-Dong Boyfriend” meaning that if Chris shows up on our doorstep, rings the bell and asks me to run away with him – I get a serious hall pass.
3. Do you write full-time?
No. By day, I’m a lawyer for the United States Navy. I write in my spare time – usually late at night – because I’m married and I have two young children and I like to see them once in a while.
4. Do you sleep?
Not since 2002 when I had my son. ; )
5. Are you a dog or cat person?
I like cats but I currently have two dogs. A 110 lb German Shepherd named Dutch who thinks he is a lap dog and is the biggest baby in the world. I have my sweet baby Dixie Joan Wilder, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, who we have quickly nicknamed “Killer” for her ferocity. Yes, she is named after “Joan Wilder” (the romance novelist character in the movie “Romancing the Stone”) and I always ignore the Main Man’s eyeroll.
6. What books do you like to read?
I love super sexy, edgy and emotional romances. My faves are Santino Hassel, Rhys Ford, Shannon McKenna, Jo Davis. Harper Fox, Hank Edwards, Josh Lanyon, Bella Andre, Lisa Gardner, Pamela Clare, J.R. Ward, Laura Kaye, K.L. Mitchell, Jet Mykles, Jennifer Armentrout, Lori Foster, Robyn Carr, and Carly Phillips.
Let’s pretend I’m on TV . . .
I love watching Inside the Actor’s Studio and I always want James Lipton to ask me the famous Pivot questions but since I cannot act . . . this is as close as I’m ever gonna get.
1. What is your favorite word?
2. What is your least favorite word?
3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
Music. Any kinds. All kinds – except rap or opera.
4. What turns you off?
5. What is your favorite curse word?
F*ck (sorry Dad!)
6. What sound or noise do you love?
My kids talking together in the back seat of my car.
7. What sound or noise do you hate?
My kids fighting in the back seat of my car.
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
9. What profession would you not like to do?
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
I loved your books!
I love hearing from readers! So drop me a line and ask whatever you want . . . I always answer! firstname.lastname@example.org