What inspired you to start writing?
I grew up in a house where reading was always encouraged. My parents bought subscriptions to monthly book clubs like Dr. Seuss and Walt Disney, and I loved getting those books in the mail. Writing was a natural progression from my love of reading, and I’ve always written in some form, starting out with poems and short stories and leading up to novels. In second grade, I won a prize for my story, Pop Up World of 2000. (Keep in mind it was in the 1970s [bell bottoms, anyone?], so the year 2000 seemed like a really long ways away.)
You’ve written a number of books, do you have a favourite and why?
As most writers will tell you, it’s difficult to pick a favorite. I have a soft spot in my heart for the Dangerous Trilogy, a mature young adult trilogy featuring Stone Hamilton and Dara Golding. Since their story spans over three books, I was able to spend a lot of time with them, and I love the growth they go through as a couple.
I also love the camaraderie in the Whiskey Nights series, a new adult contemporary romance series that focuses on a group of friends who are learning a lot about life as they find their places in the world as adults. Just like real life, this series covers a gambit of emotions from being snarky to your siblings and friends to the struggles of dealing with life, love, and loss.
And Shaman’s Curse (Vampire’s Bane #2), will be releasing soon. I happen to love vampires, so Thane Warwick is one of my faves.
When considered generally, your books are all romances but you’ve actually experimented with different sub-genres such as paranormal, historical and contemporary. Why is that?
I love to read different genres, which also means I enjoy writing different genres. Each genre has its own unique challenges, and I’ve always loved a good challenge. Writing in different genres allows me to push myself and each genre gives me the opportunity to use my creativity in very different ways.
Which sub-genre is your favourite? Why?
Wow! That’s a hard question to answer. I love them all! I absolutely love medieval history, so if I had to choose, I would lean toward historical romance. And I just got back from the breathtakingly beautiful country of Ireland, so I have lots of mental images to inspire me. If I just started writing something strictly for fun, it would probably involve a vampire and a castle and would include romance written for an adult audience. If it didn’t involve a vampire, it would probably include a prince and/or princess.
Here at Page One we love paranormal/supernatural romances, so can you tell us a little bit more about your experience with the genre, what personally drew you to write not one, but two series that fit into this category?
There are no boundaries when writing paranormal, which makes it extremely fun. I’ve lived my entire life in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area, which is rich in Civil War history. The first paranormal book I wrote was Ghostly Encounter, which includes a well-known ghost in this area, Old Green Eyes. More recently, I wrote Vampire’s Bane, which is an ongoing series that encompasses a little bit of everything: paranormal, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, action and adventure. It’s fast-paced, and you never know who or what might pop up. It’s also a bit mysterious. Typically, the reader is discovering revelations at the same time characters do.
You also have a couple of ongoing series, do you find it difficult to shift between worlds?
In some ways, it would probably be easier to stay in one world, but after spending so much time in one world, shifting gives me the opportunity to do something fresh and new. I do sometimes go back and re-read stories in a series to get back in those characters’ heads.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your books?
Characters have minds of their own. I think I know what they’re going to do, but sometimes they’re rebels and they do what they want to do. Kind of like my ShihTzu.
What do you find most difficult about the writing/publishing process?
It’s a lot of hard work. Even if I hire out some duties, I’m ultimately in charge of the finished product, which means I have to oversee writing, editing, formatting, marketing, social media, publishing, accounting, events, travel arrangements, and the list goes on and on. This is why writers, including myself, love bloggers so much! #bloggersrock
Why thank you! Where would we be without authors though?!
What advice, if any, would you give to aspiring writers?
Make sure this is what you want to do because it won’t be easy. For most writers, it’s not really a choice. All we can think about is writing.
If it is what you want, then go for it. You should educate yourself about the industry, network, and never, ever give up.
What have you got planned next?
I’ll be releasing Shaman’s Curse, Vampire’s Bane #2, this month. After that, I’ll begin working on Seduced, Whiskey Nights #5, which is due out in January. I have a new cover in the works for another new adult contemporary romance. I haven’t decided yet if it will be a stand-alone or a new series. I’ve also got another fun story idea bouncing around in my head, which shall remain a secret for now. The possibilities are endless.