1. When did you fall in love with books?
When I was a little girl. I have always loved the written word. My mother loved to read and I must have been influenced by her. I remember bringing home books from the school library, as many as I could. One summer when I was in the fourth grade, I was inside reading a book when my father came in and told me to go outside and play because it was a beautiful day. I told him I was reading a book about the great baseball player, Babe Ruth. The minute my Dad heard that he said—“Oh, that’s all right then!” (We were a big baseball family, with my father playing, and an uncle in the major leagues, etc.) Books take you to unseen worlds. They are the way I explored new places and ideas, and the way I added to my knowledge of people.
2. When did you realize you wanted to write?
I’ve been writing since the fourth grade. I started writing seriously in book length fiction in 1990. I sent to Harlequin in London and they asked me to revise it. I did and they rejected it, but I’d gotten the bug.
I never really thought about being an author, although I’ve always written. My goal, education and training was focused on acting and directing. It wasn’t until my husband and I left some major metropolitan areas that I changed my direction, focusing on producing and writing for television, video, and interactive websites, and on children’s literature. 3. Tell us about yourself.
I live in Ohio. My husband and I have three daughters who are all married and causing chaos in someone else’s life now. After years of having dogs and cats, and one psychotic love bird who kept having false pregnancies, I now have only one little cat named, Piglet. He was a rescue. My daughters are always rescuing something and pawning pets off on us. I am now writing full time; so after years of starting and owning businesses, it is a thrill to be able to look out a window in the middle of the day and know I can reorder my priorities if I need to do so.
4. Who are your favorite authors?
For Romance: Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I love her combination of humor and emotion. I also like the big plots in areas that supposedly didn’t sell to a romance readership, like pro sports and acting. Her characterization is dense and her dialogue is sharp. I also like Nora Roberts, Karen Robards, Lori Foster to name a few.
For Thrillers: Preston and Childs, Tami Hogue, Jeffrey Devers.
Fantasy: Laura Resnick, George Martin, JD Robb.
Overall Favorite: James Herriot
5. What are your favorite books?
I read everything from non-fiction to fiction, from suspense and thrillers to romance to fantasy to historical sagas. I’m currently reading Book Two of the Century Series by Ken Follett. I just finished Discovery of Witches and the Sequel, as well as Susan Elizabeth Phillips.
However, one my all time favorite authors is James Herriot. His books about a vet in the late 1930’s Yorkshire are some of my favorites. His skill with characterization and observation are breathtaking. He makes me laugh and cry and see everything he is talking about so vividly that I am awed by the artistry of his writing.
6. What would you like for readers to get out of “Million Dollar Mistake?”
Life is a time of continual learning, so embrace it. Learn to accept yourself for who you are, but never close your mind to possibilities. Also, be able to ask for help when you need it. That’s hard for independent women to do, but it is a lesson we all must learn. This book is about personal growth, and discovering that a person can change course in life if they want to do so.
When the book starts Raven Rutledge is the ultimate tabloid bad girl. Nicholas Demetrious is the very distant family connection who has always been the one designated to get her out of trouble, while trying to avoid falling into trouble with her. After all, a bad girl is just as appealing as a bad boy when she looks and acts like Raven. She’s impulsive, wild to a fault, and secretly hoping someone will stop her before she destroys herself. Nicholas on the other hand is forced to rescue her because she is messing up a very lucrative business deal that his family is counting on him bringing to fruition. I agree that it’s not the most noble reason for him to be involved. But, when you consider he’s always been half-way in love with Raven, it is understandable.
Anyway, the two of them spar, fight and use witty humor to get through the situation. AND, this book actually offers two romantic stories in one. Did I mention there is another man and woman involved when they are all snowed in by a blizzard in the Adirondacks? If not, well I hope you will all want to find out more about it by yourselves.
7. What makes you unique as an author and what sets your book apart from other books in the same genre?
My writer’s ‘voice.’ Voice is one of those things you can’t describe. It just is. It’s a result of the way I see a situation, develop a character, and hear them speak. It’s also a result of my phrasing and structure. I write fast paced novels with a lot of humor, and a great deal of dialogue. People have told me they always know it’s my novel when they start reading it.
When it comes right down to it though, I’m still learning. I learn from each character I develop, from each situation I create. I learn from reading others and from living life. My goal is to keep on improving, telling each story in a unique way, in a way that readers will enjoy.
8. What is your writing process?
I don’t really have a process other than put my ‘bum in the chair’ and write. I write every day, generally setting a number of pages I must accomplish. Sometimes that is easy to accomplish and sometimes it’s a lot more. I generally write a book from beginning to end. I know a number of writers who will do episodic scenes and then find a place to put them. I don’t do that, or if I do have an idea of a scene for later, I’ll jot notes about it, but I won’t write the scene. Generally by the time I get there, my characters will have decided something else anyway. I do rely on a three act based system, with plot points that lead to a climax. I generally plot these out. I always know where a book starts and the end scene. It might change as I write, but the intent is always very similar.
The great thing about the way I approach writing is the unexpected developments, the time when the characters come to life and do their own thing, create their own action regardless of my initial intention. That’s frustrating some times, but it’s also thrilling.
9. Are you currently working on anything new? If so, please give a brief synopsis and when should we expect it?
Yes, I’m currently working on two projects under contract. “Something’s Cooking” is a romantic comedy, due in August, 2013, from Entangled Publishing. It’s about a lifestyle maven, ala Martha Stewart, who can’t cook and a reporter who intends to reveal her secret to his readers.
“The Sparrow and The Vixen’s Three” is due during the summer also. It’s Book Two in the Tales of the Sparrow paranormal romance series. Book One, “The Sparrow and The Hawk,” came out in Sept. 2012. “Sparrow and the Vixens” is a continuation, with the Sparrow, an agent for the NAS Agency, (Normal, Abnormal and Strange) still looking for the choker that has the ability to destroy the world. She’s helped by The Hawk, a shapeshifter with his agenda, and they are foiled by Three Kitsune (Japanese Werefoxes) who turn into beautiful women and try to seduce The Hawk from good to evil.
10. How can readers connect with you?
I am holding a giveaway to celebrate Million Dollar Mistake with terrific prizes including, books, products from “For Every Home,” and “Jamberry Nails.” I hope all of your readers will register on my website or facebook page.