How long have you been writing? How did you get from a legal career to writing romance? I’ve been writing since about the second grade. That was when I discovered my love of poetry, anyway. But I wrote my first full novel as a senior in high school. It has only been read by one other person besides me and she’s been sworn with a blood oath of absolute secrecy.
But, seriously, I began navigating the road to publication about a decade ago. Started taking classes, then joined RWA and various chapters, then attended conferences and finally caught my break in 2009 and now my main goal is to stay published with new material every year.
My college degree is in Criminal Justice and so most of my books have some sort of legal or law enforcement theme to them. I, originally, wanted to be the female version of a John Grisham-type-legal-thriller-author. But then discovered that I could write the same romance I loved as a reader AND add some legal suspense to it, too. I found the best of both worlds, really.
Who is your favorite author(s) and why? I know everyone says this…but I have so many faves! I’ll just name off a few that I’ve read recently and are fresh on my mind. Here we go:
Lisa Gardner—just read “Love You More” by her and was swept away by this story. I cried and any words on a page that can make me cry are pure gold.
Tess Gerritsen—just read “Ice Cold” and since I live in the hot, sultry south where our version of winter weather is to get below 50 degrees outside. This book’s portrayal of being lost in the frigid cold and then trapped there terrified the icicles out of me.
Allison Brennan—just read “Speak No Evil” and I’m now nearly panic stricken about how easy it is for creeps to target young girls (or anyone) on the Internet. Yikes! She writes wicked, evil so well.
Tell us about your new book. Paisley Barton was already having a bad day before she turned her husband into a rat.First, she was fired by her boss and then came home to find hubby in the shower with a naked blonde chick. They say that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned but this break-up may just unleash hell on Earth when Paisley casts a spell of vengeance against her philandering husband.
After her spell casting inadvertently opens a portal between dimensions, Paisley finds her family home transformed into a nightly courtroom for settling disputes between demons of the underworld and she’s the judge! If that’s not enough, she’s got to deal with a charming, ancient demon named Camden who wants to be her personal bodyguard while trying to explain her husband’s sudden, mysterious disappearance to sexy police Detective Dalton Briggs.
But Paisley will show them all that an everyday working mom is better equipped than most to deal with the mystical mayhem…and with a tempting demon hottie and a flirtatious young detective vying for her affection, she soon learns that being single again isn’t so bad after all.
What is the appeal of writing urban fantasy or paranormal? The obvious appeal is in being able to create your own world where you have total free reign to establish rules without being “called out” on it. Because, I’ve been wanting to complete this huge Victorian era romance for some time now and I’m really worried about getting the historical details correct. It really plagues me and hinders my creativeness while struggling to get it done.
But with an Urban Fantasy or paranormal story, it is your world where your creatures roam the pages free to do whatever they like. Then you can break rules, kill people off, bring them back to life, and cause all sorts of chaos at the click of a keyboard. The more creative, the better…and it is just so much fun to have that freedom as an author.
What kind of writing turns you off? What stops you from writing? As a reader, when a particular scene gets too in depth and descriptive of every item on a table or every item in a cabinet or every crack in the sidewalk, I get bored. I like the action to move a little faster. Then again, when there is too much dialogue or the dialogue seems forced or unreal, the author can force me out of the mood to read as well.
As a writer, what stops me from writing is the occasional “self defeatist” moment. Even with the most positive attitude in the world, everyone has a moment when they stop and fret over whether or not the words they are typing are pure drivel or not.
How have you shocked your readers? Well, in this book, I think there are at least 3 really pivotal shocking turns to the story that they won’t see coming. But I can’t really reveal any details about those here. Hmmm…
I think the other way I shock readers is when I tell them that I write everything from young adult inspirational to paranormal erotica. I get a lot of puzzled faces at that revelation. Of course, I write my “good girl” stuff under another pen name. But what I tell them is that it is not about what type of writer I am as but about what story is currently begging to be told by the current crop of ideas in the brain garden of my mind.
How do you get your ideas? What is your writing day like? My ideas come from every single thing around me. From people-watching at the grocery story, to billboards on the roadside, to funny things my children say every day. My ideas are countless and bountiful—if only I had that many hours in a day to actually get them down on paper.
My writing day varies because of the menagerie of young children I have vying for my attention. Two of my children are under the age of 3 and they require quite a bit of Mommy time. Plus, I also teach classes and do a lot of volunteer work, oh and run an author promotions company, too. But I absolutely make time (most every day) to write.
If the day is fairly uneventful with distractions, I’ll write anywhere from 1000 words to 4000 words on average. I’m a big fan of multi-tasking so I’ll write small increments in between other chores and duties throughout the day. I can’t be picky about my atmosphere if I want to get anything done around here.
Can you share three writing tips? 1. Always treat your writing as a career and not just a hobby, if you intend to reach your publishing goals. 2. Don’t forget to make time for you and your writing during your day. Mom’s often put their wishes last on the list. Don’t let this be true of your writing. 3. Never let a rejection make you doubt yourself. They will come and you might cry but they will pass and you’ll get by. Forget them and write on!
Fill in this blank: Your ideal fictional hero would think you gorgeous if I forgot to change into my outdoor shoes and accidentally wore my leopard print slippers to drop off my daughter at school.
How much do you love cake? You have no idea. I bake cakes for a hobby. Seriously, I decorate them for fun. I recently made a “vampire bunny” cake because it struck me as a cool idea. LOL. And every time I’ve had a baby, I’ve gone on a “no dessert” diet for a full year after giving birth. To help me cut the baby weight back down. That is torture, my friends. Pure torture at its most basic level. Sigh.
Thanks for hosting today, Vicki and the Plotting Princesses! Can’t wait to hear what you all think of the book.
Giveaway for the day: Leave a question or comment to be entered to win today’s prize: An autographed, print copy of Courting Demons!
Then, enter to win my book tour Grand Prize Kindle by following me on tour and e-mailing me the answers to each question of the day at the end of tour. The more questions you answer, the more entries you gain. Question of the Day: Who taught Paisley all about magic in high school?
Details on how to enter to win the GRAND PRIZE Kindle at the end of my “Dark Days of Demons Tour” located here:
Book Title: Courting Demons
Buy Links (print and e-book versions available 9/15 wherever books are sold but here’s the publisher link—free gift available with purchase of print copy—while supplies last):