On this page, I answer a few commonly asked questions. If you have others, please shoot me an email. I love to hear from my readers!
Why did you start writing and why historical romance?
“Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” –Gloria Steinem
With a few exceptions, this applies to me. I’ve always had the desire to write, to create fantasy worlds and experiences beyond the everyday. I write historical romance because this is what I like to read. For me, lush settings inspired by the past allow for high drama, big emotions, and witty repartee not commonly found in the modern world.
Who are your favorite authors?
There are so many wonderful writers out there who inspire me. More than anything, I’m drawn to voice: if I love an author’s voice, I’ll pretty much read anything s/he writes. Lisa Kleypas, Kresley Cole, Laura Kinsale, Loretta Chase, and Edith Layton number amongst my all-time favorites. For classic romances, I adore Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and North and South and Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell.
Why is there so much sex in your books?
Why not? ☺ Seriously though, the heat level of my books seems to be point of contention for some folks. I respect that heat level is a personal preference, and I would not recommend my books to those who object to explicit sex scenes. For me, sex—and I use to term to include sexual tension as well as all the behaviors leading up to and including the act itself—is part and parcel of the romantic fantasy. A well-written sex scene furthers character development and the courtship arc; it can cut straight to the core of intimacy of both body and mind. If you ask me, the world could use more lovemaking and less of other things … but I’ll save that soapbox for another day.
What’s your writing day like?
Chaotic. As a mom to an eight year-old with special needs, a wife, and a full-time psychologist, I find most days a balancing act. The upside of this is that I’ve become a survivalist type of writer. I can write under the most non-ideal/ harrowing of circumstances. Be it the fifteen minute stretch between getting my kid on the school bus and getting myself ready for work or the hour before midnight, if I have a keyboard, I’ll be tapping away. The important thing for me is to write every single day.
Why don’t you write faster?
See answer to previous question. Seriously though, I wish I could. I’m not a slow writer, but I do have time constraints. I also tend to write longer books, so that adds to the time each book requires. At present, my goal is to release a book every 6-8 months. We’ll see how I do.
Any advice you’d give an aspiring writer?
I find this a tricky question, mostly because I don’t feel qualified to give anyone advice. If you’re a writer, there’s a reason for it. I say follow that instinct. My husband—who happens to be a writing professor, lucky me—tells his students, “Write with your heart and guts.” This is good advice, I think. Other things that I’ve found useful are reading a lot and having good critique partners and editors. Joining a group such as Romance Writers of America can be a good way to connect with like-minded others.
What are you working on now?
Currently, I am working on the fourth book in the Mayhem in Mayfair quartet. Her Prodigal Passion features the romance between Charity Sparkler and Paul Fines. In some ways, this is my most challenging book to write because of the differences between the characters: she’s a quiet, sensible wallflower while he’s a witty, worldly rake. Yet I’m discovering along with the pair how things may be not be what they appear: a demure exterior may hide a tempestuous soul and the most hardened of hearts can be plagued by secret yearnings. Plus, as is the wont with my Mayhem series, there are plenty of secrets unfolding along the way. All of this is making for exciting writing indeed!
What’s going on with the Abigail Jones series?
Oh dear. I was afraid of this question. The truth is I’ve started Abby and Hux’s second adventure, and I’m itching to get back. But my commitment to other writing projects has necessitated pushing the timeline back on the next Abigail installment. I plan to get back to the series after I finish my current book, which means (fingers crossed) we should see Abigail and Hux again in mid-2014.