An editor once told me I had to decide which genre I wanted to be published in. She told me I couldn't have a Romantic Suspense with a Paranormal thread. I'd either drop the telepathy and ESP factors to have a 'clean' Romantic Suspense, or drop the mystery and have a clean Paranormal.
Hmmph. Both elements were integral to the story! Taking it apart to suit an editor didn't work for me. So I experimented. I gave the book to a dozen different people, with no forewarning about content. Once they'd read it, I asked what they thought about taking out either the mystery or the paranormal parts and they ALL said they'd prefer I left it alone - several used really specific words.
So. Knowing editors need to fit books into slots, it became clear to me, that I wasn't going to fit their requirements. I began researching independent publishing, and several years later, here I am.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
To put my hands on the keys and have a story spill onto the screen is a feeling that compares to nothing else. And I love, love, love, sharing my stories.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything! I adore making people happy, entertaining them, and putting smiles on their faces.
What are you working on next?
Books 3 and 4 of the Intrepid Women Series.
Daring to Love -- Liz is an empath and Galen has a special talent for extracting information from ladies. This talent puts him in a precarious position with the woman he loves. Meantime, there's a missing child to be found, a child who sounds vaguely familiar.
Voices -- Quinn counsels PTSD patients and assists the in the Meyer family Security Agency by day, and searches for Rachel, his runaway wife, by night.
Both stories are filled with mystery, suspense, adventure, love, romance, steamy sexual tension, humor, horses, cats, fabulous scenery, Canadian and American locations, telepathy, clairaudience, ESP, Etcetera, Paradise...
Who are your favorite authors?
I have shelves filled with Nora Roberts, JD Robb (I own every Eve Dallas Book:), Cherry Adair, Janet Evanovich, Christine Feehan and Kay Hooper.
Other authors I read on a regular basis are: Sandra Brown, Anna Destefano, Tess Gerritsen, Linda Howard, Kathy Reichs.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Daylight. Does that sound corny? For years I worked through sunrise, seven days a week. As a racetracker, your day starts around 4 am. Now, even though I don't get up and haul myself to the track before dawn, I'm often up before sunrise.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading, walking on the beach or teaching on-line courses.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I search for favorite authors, or get grabbed by a cover.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Nope. But I remember the first book I wrote. I absolutely adored the story. One day I hope to rewrite it and publish it.
What is your writing process?
Butt in the chair, laptop in the lap, music on, glass of water on the table, usually a cat on my lap or snuggled beside me, and let the words flow out through my fingertips.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Nope. I've always read. If someone was to tell me I was born with a book in my hand, I wouldn't be surprised.
How do you approach cover design?
I send my cover artist the back cover blurb, and a little bit about the characters, the mood and the important details. Along with that, I send a file of photos as examples of what I think would work on the cover. She then sends me some mock-ups of her ideas. From there we tweak and play. Jen's awesome and nails it every time.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Birthright, by Nora Roberts -- Characters, rhythm, and relationship in this book sing to me. I love Jake. I know I've read it at least 7 times, but probably more like 10 or 12.. New York to Dallas, by JD Robb -- the depth. Eve Dallas is stripped down to her soul in this book and Roarke is amazing. Their relationship is wonderful. I think I've read it about 6 times so far. Naked in Death, by JD Robb -- first of the series and a fabulous sexy relationship story. Have read it about 10 times. Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown -- it spoke to me. The Drake Sister's Series, by Christine Feehan -- love the relationships and the magical powers. The Edge brothers series, by Cherry Adair -- sizzling hot men with super powers, what's not to like :)
What do you read for pleasure?
Romantic Suspense = great adventures, with romance and happy endings.
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