This month, I had an opportunity to chat a wonderful author
who took time out of her busy schedule to chat me. So, without
further delay, letís hear from
When did you begin writing and did you
always know you would be a writer?
I began writing as a teenager, and
was published pretty young. That was the first indication that
what I was putting down on paper might turn into a career. By
the time I was off to college, I was certain this is what I
would do for the rest of my life. Iím fortunate to be able to
do it full-time now.
Tell us some of your favorites (i.e. foods,
authors, books, movies, music, colors, and any others you would like
Oh, my goodness, a favorites list! I could
go on and on. Iím always a big fan of Mexican food, but Chinese is
good, too. The latest book Iíve really loved is Open House by
Elizabeth Berg. I donít watch many movies, but the latest to really
get my attention was Michael Clayton. I do watch all the episodes of
House, M.D. on Fox. Iím always listening to country music, but I
like the harder-edged stuff, like Gary Allan and Jack Ingram. My
favorite car is the Aston Martin, my favorite season is autumn, and
my first choice for a good drink is always the Lemondrop Martini
with extra sugar on the rim.
When writing, do you have a schedule that
My schedule has become much more
streamlined since I got married. Now I try to work in the early
mornings, stopping for a while to get the kids off to school, then
working until two or so in the afternoon. Once the husband or the
kids get home, Iím done. Itís impossible to work with such a
boisterous family anyway!
I read you like to take road trips. Where is
your favorite place to visit?
So far, my favorite road trip has been
through the Appalachian Mountains. Our honeymoon took us through
Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky. But we also love
ManhattanÖand New OrleansÖand the Natchez Trace ParkwayÖand the
Pacific Coast HighwayÖyou get the picture.
How do your stories develop? Do you stories
start with just an idea of do you know the whole story from the
My short stories almost always begin with a
flash of inspiration. I usually donít know where they are going
until at least halfway through. The books take a bit of planning,
but I still let the story take me where it wants to go. I canít tell
you how many outlines have been completely decimated by one random
idea that said the book should go in another direction!
What do you consider to be one of the most
interesting things about yourself?
Hardly anybody knows thisÖIím really handy
around the house. My toolbox gets a lot of use! I can do everything
from hang drywall to shingle a roof to fix a leaky sink. From the
time I was old enough to have a memory, I remember tagging along
after my grandfather while he built something, and I guess thatís
where it began. Anything that requires elbow grease, tools and
concentration is fun for me.
Do you believe in happily ever after and
have you found yours?
I absolutely do believe in it. I think
there are certain people who come into your life to guide you toward
that, and Iíve been so fortunate to have those people around me. Iím
at a point in my life where happiness is the rule, contentment is
constant, and every day is exciting, fresh and new. Every now and
then I think, ďit canít get better than this,Ē and then it does. If
thatís not happily ever after, I donít know what is!
How do you promote your work?
Any way possible? Iím reading a fantastic
book right now: The Frugal Book Promoter by Carolyn Howard-Johnson.
Itís filled with so many ideas for promotion, I donít know where to
start! I thought I was doing all I could do, but Iíve been educated
on that point. Now Iím gearing up to promote half a dozen novels in
the next few years, and Iím trying all sorts of new things.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
What was the most invaluable piece of advice that you received when
What Iíve learned over the years is to just
keep going Ė keep writing. Write about anything and everything.
Write what makes you happy, what makes you sad, and especially what
makes you nervous. The more you write, the more you learn, the
better your writing will be.
A big piece of
advice I got from the very beginning: Build a reputation. Always be
professional, always deliver as promised, and never balk at making
adjustments. Treat deadlines like your entire career depends on
them. People talk, and potential publishers and editors will have
heard of you long before you get around to contacting them about
that novel you want to publish! Make sure that first impression is
the right one.
I read you have a few other jobsÖweb editor
and that you write an online columnÖhow did you get involved in
I serve as the web editor for Clean Sheets,
and I love every minute of it. Iíve always wanted to be involved
with them, but I didnít know how to go about it Ė I finally just
sent an email to the Editor-in-Chief and said I was interested.
Luckily, they had a position that was perfect, and Iíve been there
forÖthree years? Four? Time flies when youíre having fun!
I also write a
monthly column at For the Girls, which is just so much fun. I
approached the Editor there with a proposal for a feature story,
which she rejectedÖbut she said, ďThereís something elseÖĒ and I
jumped at the chance.
Itís funny how it
all worked out. One of my goals was to be involved with Clean
Sheets, and another goal was to write a monthly column. Iím so happy
I got the chance to do those things, and to work with such great
people along the way. Iíd be happy to be working with them all ten
years from now.
How would you spend a perfect day?
My husband and I love to travel, and we
love antiques. A road trip to find antiques is perfect! Just
thinking about it makes me smile. We love to go to places off the
beaten path, find great deals, then eat somewhere nice and get a
hotel room wherever we happen to end up. Sleep late, then take all
our antiques home. That feels like the perfect getaway for us.
Is your family supportive of your writing
and do they read your work?
Absolutely, yes. My family has been
supportive from day one. At first I was worried about what my mother
would think, but she surprised me with her enthusiasm. Now sheís my
go-to person for bouncing ideas around, or clearing up a plot that
doesnít seem to work. My husband listens to my ideas and encourages
my work. Itís great to have such a support system.
I will say this: my
grandmother was the toughest one to convince, because she
automatically thought ďeroticaĒ was synonymous with ďporn.Ē But then
she read one of my books and called me up to say, ďItís not just
about the bedroom. Itís about the emotion, too. I think thatís
beautiful.Ē She became my strongest supporter.
Do you have a favorite genre that you write
in and is there one that you would like to try?
Iíve written erotic romance for a long
time, but I do write other things. I also write in the contemporary
romance genre, and I am working on a crime novel right now, a kind
of mystery that has nothing at all to do with romance. As a
ghostwriter, Iíve worked on everything from a cookbook to an
Do you enjoy hearing from your readers and
what is the best way to contact you?
I love talking to my readers! My email
email@example.com, and itís always
open for questions and comments. You can also leave a comment on my
Is there anything else you would like to
share with us? Any current or upcoming releases?
My current release is One Breath at a Time,
published by Black Lace. It is the story of a woman who embarks on a
journey of Dominance and submission, and the man who encourages her.
Itís on the shelves now at your favorite bookstore, so get out and
get a copy! If youíre in the Nashville area, some bookstores will
have autographed copies. I hope you enjoy it!