My Give A Damn's Busted, October 1, 2010 & Honky Tonk Christmas, October 1, 2010 - Both from Sourcebooks Casablanca
Please tell us your latest news!
Hello to everyone at Nightowl Romance. Thank you for letting me talk about my Honky Tonk series which started in June with I Love This Bar. Hell, Yeah came out in August and My Give A Damn's Busted and Honky Tonk Christmas in October. It was such a fun series to write with all the quirky characters who visited the old Honky Tonk town in Mingus, Texas. Each book features a bar owner who's sassy, full of spit and vinegar and wouldn't back down from a Texas wild fire; and a hunky cowboy (look at those covers) who finds out that it takes a lot to tame a Texas woman bent on having her way.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not a single word. Honky Tonk Christmas is the ultimate final book in the series. I love Sharlene, the bar owner and an Army vet with nightmares from the classified job she did in Iraq; and Holt, the carpenter trying to raise his niece, Judd, and nephew, Waylon. My characters and I worked hard to get the book just right and sink or swim, I wouldn't change anything about it.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
That might be the toughest question anyone has asked me. I'm an eclectic ready. I like Randy Wayne White, Nora Roberts, Norah Lofts, Margaret Mitchell, Leon Uris, Mario Puzo ... and that's just a drop in the bucket. I also read J. A. Jance, James Lee Burke and Sue Grafton. But if I had to spend a great deal of time on an island with only one author it would have to be LaVryle Spencer. She wrote from the heart about common issues and problems and touched every emotion in my soul.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I don't think so. I write just like I talk. Very southern and very brassy. I love western romance but I've also written historical and contemporary romance and loved it, too.
Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, ma'am. I've sold a total of fifty nine books in twelve years. That doesn't mean they are all written, just contracted. But they will be before the end of the year. My grandmother said that success is loving what you do. With that in mind, I have a very successful career!
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Reading! I loved to read even as a child. When I figured out that those squiggly lines made words I was in love. Then I wanted to write stories so I did.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write, don't whine! Plain and simple. When you get a rejection letter or slip, whine for five minutes, file it and go back to writing. Whining doesn't produce anything; writing does. I have enough rejection slips to wall paper the White House ... that would be the big one on Pennsylvania Ave., not the little two holer down at the end of grandpa's back yard. They are part of the job. If you don't write it, you ain't goin' to sell it, darlin'. So five minutes, tops and go right back to writing another story!
How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books?
They love it and yes they read my books. Right now I have two brand new ones on my dining room table, My Give A Damn's Busted and Honky Tonk Christmas, and they are fighting over who's going to get their grubby little paws on it first. My Aunt Mil, who is a big fan, will probably read it first. She holds the Read-it-First crown right now. But my Cousin Judy might run her some competition this time around. Husband, bless his heart, even reads them and he's a mystery reader.
What did you do before you became a writer? Do you write full time?
I've had many, many jobs! Teacher's aid, apartment management, and for fourteen years I worked at a newspaper where I wrote a weekly humorous column. These days, I'm privileged to be able to write full time and even have my own office in my home. I am blessed!
What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?
I think my writing is more like flying an airplane. I'm the pilot and I let all my characters get on the plane, take a seat and we're off. About half way to the destination, they hijack the plane and we go to the most amazing places! It's a great way to write.
Do you have a favorite object that is pertinent to your writing? If so what is it and please describe it. (Pen, Coffee Cup, Pet, Blanket, Chair)
I have a coffee cup that my brother gave me when he quit the restaurant business thirty years ago. And I listen to country music when I write. Especially if I write myself into a corner. George Jones and Blake Shelton have helped me get over writer's speed bumpitis many times. Floyd Cramer is always a big, big help!
Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? Example..get coffee, blanket, paper, pen and a comfy place
Not really. I try to write five thousand words a day so I never thought about a ritual. Maybe I should ... do you reckon a ritual might melt fat grams, calories and cellulite? If so, I'm definitely getting one.
What main genre do you write in?
Thank you so much for letting me stop by and visit today. I've enjoyed it very much! Anyone got any comments or questions about the Honky Tonk series? Bring them on and I'll try to answer them.