I recently had the
opportunity to chat with a very talent author, who took time
out of her busy schedule to chat with us. So, without further
delay let’s hear from
always wanted to be a writer?
Actually, no. In school, I hated
to have to write a report for my English class. I had a hard
time coming up with ideas. Then again, I was never asked to
write a romance. I started reading romances the year after I
was married in 1985, and I think that had a lot to do with
it…that, and my movie-like dreams.
What was the
best piece of advice that you received when you first started out?
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Hmmmm…good question. I received a lot
of advice. Probably the best advice was to learn everything I could
about writing. Don’t stop learning! To this day I follow that
advice. My advice to others would be – Don’t give up! The writing
/ publishing world is a crazy place to be, but very rewarding. Keep
at it and don’t give up your dream!
I didn’t know I ticked…although my
daughters will tell you I can be a time-bomb... If your question is
what keeps Phyllis writing, well, it would have to be the dream I’ve
had since I first started writing. I want to be published with the
big guys. I want my book at bookstores all around the world. And a
nice paycheck would be wonderful, too. What keeps me trying? All
the wonderful reviews I get from my books, along with the
encouragement from my critique groups. I want to do this just to
prove I can! I love competition, and I’m going to be in this fight
until the end.
Your books have
some humorous aspects in them. Do you feel that humor is an
important part of life?
Of course! Gads, what a depressing
place this would be if we couldn’t find something to laugh about.
Right? I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have goofed up a
time or two in my life. I’m clumsy and fall over myself and say the
wrong things from time to time… Hey, it makes life interesting.
Well, I believe there’s got to be a little humor in my stories,
too. I want to hear a reader say, “I laughed, I cried, and I
couldn’t put this story down.” <grins>
How do your
story ideas come to you?
They first started coming to me in
dreams. Not like a whole story, but a scene at a time. From that
scene (or scenes) from my dream, I’d piece together the story. Play
the ‘what-if’ game, and figure out my character’s goals,
motivations, and the conflict keeping them apart. Now my ideas come
from a scene I’ve written from another book, or a song I hear, or
something I read on the internet or see on television. It’s usually
something little, but by the time I’ve figured it out, it’s a very
How does the
writing process work for you? Do you plan it all out or do you write
page by page?
I’m a panster. I rarely plot a story.
Before I start writing, I think about my character’s GMC’s (goals,
motivations, conflicts). Then I decide where I want the story to
take place, and in whose head I want to start…and I write. After
about the fourth or fifth chapter, then I sit down and plot a little
more. I rarely know the ending until I get there. I let my
characters write it for me, and so far, I’ve yet to be disappointed.
How long does
it take you to write a book from start to finish?
When I first started writing ten or so
years ago, I didn’t have a computer. I had thick notebooks and
several pencils. It took me six weeks, sometimes two months. Of
course, I only worked part time, too. Now that I work full time, it
takes much longer. Although…if I get a request for my story and I
only have about half written, I can finish the story in about a
week. I figure I can type approximately twenty pages a day – which
in my books are a chapter. This, of course, doesn’t count the
editing time. I think I work well under pressure!
Tell us some of
your favorites: foods, color, movies, music, books, authors,
holidays, and any other favorites.
Movies: Anything that has a romance in
it and has a Happily Ever After. So far, my favorite is Phantom Of
The Opera, only because I’m a sucker for a hunk who can sing… heehee
Music: I’m an 80’s girl! Anything from
the 1980’s, baby!
Books: Historical romance…Regency,
Victorian, and Western.
Authors: Too many to count, but I think
Kathleen E Woodiwiss will always be my favorite because it was her
book, The Rose In Winter that I fell in love with, which is what
made me start reading romances.
Holidays: I’m a Halloween freak.
Favorite Type Of Man: Tall, Dark, and
Yummy! I don’t know why, but my men must have dark hair – and
If you could
bring one of your characters to life, who would it be and why?
You’re asking the wrong question. You
forget, I have published several stories…and I still have several
that need to find a home. And it wouldn’t just be any character –
it would have to be one of my heroes. Then again, I would have a
hard time picking between Edmund Knight one sexy rogue from my
Victorian Her Knight Of Seduction, and my sexy and lovable Damien
Giovanni from my romantic comedy Ten Ways To Melt A Man’s Heart, and
my very sensual family man, William Braxton from my Colonial,
Pretend I’m Yours. These have been my favorite. Although…that’s
not saying any of my others aren’t yummy, too. They all have
different personalities, so I love them for different reasons.
Do you have a
difficult time letting your characters go when you are finished with
Oh yes!!! And because of this, I
usually write other stories that share my characters. I have a
five-book series, even. LOL I’m very bad for doing this…
Do you enjoy
hearing from your readers and what is the best way to contact you?
Definitely! Good or bad. I want to
know if I’m doing something wrong, too. I know I can’t please
everyone, but I can try. Thankfully, I haven’t heard anything bad
yet… <crossing fingers it doesn’t happen> But my readers can
contact me through my email address:
What would a
perfect day for you involve?
Not having to be at my eight hour a day
job, having the house to myself, and not feeling guilty about not
fixing my hair or putting my make-up on…and especially not feeling
guilty about cleaning the house. A perfect day would be when the
things mentioned above would happen, plus my muse would become like
the Energizer Bunny, and I could write and write and write…
Are your family
and friends your biggest fans? Do they read your work?
Well, I’ve still yet to convince my
husband that my writing is a good thing… But both of my daughters
have read my books, and they are my fans. I will only let my mother
read a few of my books – only because I know I write what she
doesn’t like to read (sex scenes!!) Mainly, I have to rely on
people I don’t know to read my books and become my biggest fans.
There are six ladies who I work with that have read all my books…and
they keep asking for more. That’s a good thing.
Do you believe
in one true love and have you found yours?
Gads, I hope so. I’d hate to think I’ve
wasted twenty-two years with the wrong guy! ACK! But some days I
anything else you would like to share with us?
I want to thank Joyfully Reviewed for
interviewing me. What an honor! Also, I want to encourage those
who haven’t read my books to try me out. Check my collection on my