The Arrangement | Amira Press | Contemporary Romance | November 12, 2010
Please tell us your latest news!
My debut novel, The Arrangement, is due out today from Amira Press! I'm very excited. It's an interracial romance about a Brazilian millionaire and his African-American wife.
I'm also working on another book, entitled Private Acts. It's about a Cuban painter and his temporary housekeeper.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. For the most part, I'm pleased with the finished product. I've made so many changes, I believe this is it. At some point, you have to leave it alone.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
It's hard to say because there are so many authors whose work I enjoy, and I go through different phases. Right now I'm in a historical romance phase. Beverly Jenkins is at the top of the list. She writes African-American historical romances. I become engrossed in the stories from the beginning, and I learn so much from her books. Indigo is an excellent read.
Running a close second is Tracey Anne Warren's Tempted by His Kiss, which I read in one day. I couldn't put it down. I'm looking forward to reading the other books in the Byron family series.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I've been told I have a strong voice, but I'm not sure what that means (lol). I try to write what I like to read--emotion-filled stories with plenty of sexual tension.
I also occasionally incorporate some type of philanthropic issue into my stories. In The Arrangement, my heroine (Alexa) runs a clothing store named Second Chance Closet, which is a consignment shop that provides clothing to women from women's shelters, prison outreach programs, and government assistance programs. In October, I provided a free read--Model Behavior--where the heroine left her modeling career to start a women's center, which focused on helping victims of domestic violence.
Do you see writing as a career?
I do. I'm self-employed now, and part of my income I earn from freelance writing. I hope to eventually earn all my income through freelance writing and/or romantic fiction writing.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
No, but it probably started because I was such an avid reader when I was younger. ""Avid reader"" is my polite way of saying book worm. The school librarian and the public librarian used to set aside books for me. No kidding. I was that bad.
I read just about anything I could get my hands on. I would stay up past my bedtime just so I could sneak and read books. My first romantic fiction book was written when I was 14 years old. I tapped it out on a typewriter and named the finished product Captured Heart.
I won some writing contests in high school, and I even earned scholarship money to go to college from an essay I wrote. Still, I studied business and got a ""real job"" after I graduated. Earlier this year I tried my hand at romantic fiction, and The Arrangement is the result of that effort.
The floodgates are now open. I have so many ideas and not enough time to get them down.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
1. Read, read, read. It improves your writing.
2. Join the Romance Writers Association. The knowledge I've gained and access to information were instrumental in helping me get published.
3. Get a critique partner(s). It's important to have someone other than friends and family give you an honest critique of your work.
What did you do before you became a writer? Do you write full time?
I was an administrative manager. I do not write full time. I wish! As a self-employed person, I provide freelance copyediting/proofreading services and freelance administrative support to small businesses.
What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?
A combination of both. Fly by the seat of my pants is mostly how I write, but I have learned that a short outline can help me hit my word count targets and keep the story flowing smoothly.
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 notebook that I keep nearby to jot down ideas as they come to me. I never leave home without it, either, because I always have story ideas, dialogue, or plot points I need to jot down and don't want to forget.
Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? Example..get coffee, blanket, paper, pen and a comfy place
No. I can write anywhere, as long as it's quiet. Sometimes I'm in my office, sometimes at the kitchen table. Sometimes I'm sitting crosslegged on the sofa. All I need is my laptop and brain cells.
What main genre do you write in?
Thank you, Night Owl Romance, for this wonderful opportunity!
To the readers, remember to get your copy of The Arrangement today from Amira Press. Go to my website and enjoy the free read Model Behavior. And join my distribution list to receive notification of contests, promotions, new posts, and new releases. If you like my work, tell a friend. If you don't, tell me! Enjoy!