My characters. They become family and friends through some are my ancestors. At least one of my ancestors are in every book I write. The characters must become real to me in the writing process before the storyline begins to flow. Interestingly enough, there is a special joy in getting the story and characters out of my head. And lastly, it's having a reader tell me how much they enjoyed my books.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. After all, without them I’d just be an old fool with some books taking up space on Amazon and Kindle’s bookshelf. We write believing that someone is out there reading our books, falling in love with the characters and slipping into a world that’s not their own. Messages from my readers have inspired me to keep writing, and picked me up when I’m feeling down. It is a most precious symbiotic relationship.
What are you working on next?
The next book I'll be publishing is The Duchess of Innocence set in 1216 England. Lady Josephine Lynette Carter was pledged to the church at birth, and spent her life in a cruel world confined to serving her family as the seamstress, and studying for her life as a nun. Duke Ethan Lanark is searching for a bride and his main criteria is a sweet nature, and not jaded by the nobility life. Learning about Josephine he makes an offer to her greedy parents. The lure of gold and future benefits out weighs the promise to the church, or God. Suddenly Josephine finds herself thrust into a life and world that she doesn't understand, and isn't prepared for. It blends into my first series, The de Clare Chronicles that is built around the part my ancestors played in the fight for the Magna Carta. The Duchess of Innocence should be released later this year.
Who are your favorite authors?
Lord, there are so many excellent writers out there! I would have to begin with the late Kathleen Woodiweiss, she was amazing. Roberta Gellis, Jude Deveraux, Denise Domning, Katherine LeVeque, Maeve Grayson, to name only a few. My genre is rife with exceptionally talented and gracious writers. It is an honor to be in their company.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
As a rule it's my Turkish Angora cat, Syndi. She gets rather aggressive when she wants to be fed. Most of the time I write at night, often falling asleep around 5 or 6 in the morning.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Watching some television, doing research in my genealogy project. Because I am disabled I rarely go anywhere except for doctor's appointments or the rare lunch out. So, I'm writing or editing most of the time.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I look at the books available online. Bookbub is probably my best source for finding books.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I remember writing it but I can't recall the story. I was 10 years-old at the time. I had quite a following of readers through the time I was in school.
What is your writing process?
I start with a blank page, start writing the opening paragraph and let it go from there. Often I do not have a plot in mind when I start. After selecting the time period, I search for the historical facts and use that as the background to the plot. That works best for me until my character’s start doing something stupid, then we argue and decide what to do next.
How do you approach cover design?
I have the image in mind to start with and then go in search for the background that fits the story. I select and purchase the model images, which require tweaking for hair and clothing color. My Cover Artist, Wyckedink does an amazing job of putting it all together. She is a gem!
Describe your desk
That's difficult, I don't have a real desk. I work laying on my stomach, cross ways on my bed and use a touch screen computer that is on a wire rack next to my bed. I guess my bed is my desk top. Resting in front of the computer is Syndi who considers herself my co-author and critic.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
In Sun Valley California, a suburb in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles county. It was a great place to grow up back then. Our neighborhood had just the right amount of kids to hangout with. We spent our playtime using our imaginations, and that helped to stimulate my creative flow. Our parents were great at encouraging us, and supported our crazy building projects. I loved writing plays and putting on shows, our fathers were active in helping build stages and sets while our mothers helped us with costumes and the refreshments to be served. Siblings worked on creating tickets and the programs, and then delivered them around the neighborhood. They were silly little productions with bad acting and writing, but there was always a good audience cheering us on. Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland had nothing on us... except maybe talent.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Fate by Fire
How can a simple errand go so wrong?
It’s September 3, 1666, the great London fire has begun. On an errand for her demanding older sister, Lady Victoria Spenser is caught up in the human current of the panic-stricken citizens. Trapped by a collapsing burning building, her skirts are ignited by the flames. Burned and in great peril, Victoria is rescued from the disaster by kindly Duke Gerald Rothforth. She is taken to his home where he and his wife can care for her. Their eldest son and heir, Taylor Rothforth, Marquess Heritage, had resigned his commission from the Royal Army and taken his place as his father’s assistant in the House of Lords. Discovered in Victoria’s bed under innocent circumstances, he agrees to marry her. Taylor believed that his ability to love had been destroyed by the death of his fiancée two weeks before their wedding nine years prior. Distraught over her death, he served as an officer with the Royal Navy. After serving eight years, he returned to civilian life to prepare for his eventual place as the next Duke Rothforth. To his surprise, feelings for his young bride begin to surface filling his life with a completeness he had never expected. It was truly a fate formed by fire.
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