The girls of Night Owl Romance are pleased that you have granted us an interview
We would love to get to know you
Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
I've been a writer for as long as I can remember, and published steadily over the last twelve years. I mostly write erotic romance, but lately, I've turned more toward the romance side of things - in fact, the two novels I'm working on most often right now don't have any erotic content at all. On the personal side of things, I was a single mother for years, but I've just married a wonderful man. We live in a century-old home near Nashville, Tennessee.
Who or what influences you when you write?
More and more, I'm influenced by where I am in my life at that moment. Lately I'm writing more romantic stories, probably because I'm in a very romantic point in my life. I'm also writing about old houses and the mountains, because those things figure prominently in my thoughts as of late. I'm always influenced by those around me, by their life stories and their struggles and their victories. There is such inspiration to be found in everyday life.
What do you do on a typical writing day?
I usually work in the morning, when my mind is clear and there are no distractions. I will write a bit, then go do some chores - finish laundry, perhaps - and come back to the computer and pick up where I left off. If I break it up into blocks of about 1000 words each, I can get in anywhere from 4000 to 8000 words in a typical day. Sometimes those are short stories, but lately, it's more often novel-length works. I take time out in the afternoon to check and send email, and then I'm done for the day.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
I have several books ready to go. The current novella is After All These Years, the story of a woman who loses her Marine husband in the 1983 Beirut bombing, and twenty years later, meets a man who seems to have been her husband's best friend. After that is One Breath at a Time, published by Black Lace Books, the story of a woman's journey through heartache, and trying to make it through the bad parts before she can move on to the good parts with someone else. It's very erotic, with a strong focus on BDSM and the emotional parallels with that exploration.
Please tell us what you have planned next?
I just finished The Green Room, an erotic novel that takes a long, hard look at the pitfalls of the music industry. Then I switched gears for Carolina Hurricane, a straight-up romance about two people thrown together in the heart of a massive storm. After that comes Skipper's Compass, a novel about a woman overcoming emotional abuse and the man who finds his own calling by helping her through it. There are two books in progress beyond those, and of course, half a dozen short stories working at any given time.
In 5 years, where do you see yourself? In general and in you're writing career.
In my writing career, I see myself still doing this, but perhaps heading in a different direction with genre. Lately I'm writing much more general fiction and romance than anything else, and since I'm very comfortable with that change, I'm willing to see where it leads. In general, I hope I'm in this same place - content with my husband, my children, my home, my community. We have our own little paradise, and I can't imagine trading this for anything! I'm happier than I have ever been, more fulfilled, and looking forward to every new day. It's a delightful place to be.
What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?
I do all kinds of research - it's one of my favorite parts! And it's not just the research for the erotic parts that I enjoy, though that is one of the big bonuses of writing erotica for a living. -grin- I really do like to go into a library and read up on certain situations, or time periods, or take a road trip and immerse myself in the world around my characters. It has taken me to some very interesting places. Even putting all that research together is fun, because I love to look at the final body of work, all those reports and photographs and notes. I'm a huge history buff, so that probably has something to do with it. Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?
It depends. Sometimes a deadline is what it takes to get me fired up about a piece. If it's something I am very interested in, I'm likely to work on it immediately, and finish it as quickly as possible. Sometimes I set my own deadlines, and plan to finish projects early so that it doesn't interfere with travel, or the other things I enjoy doing when I'm not writing.
What would you like to tell your readers?
Thank you so much for allowing me to do this. Some of my readers have been around for years, supporting me with every new project, and I can't tell you how great a gift that is. I never let myself forget that the readers are the ones who keep me in business, and for the opportunity they give me, I am forever grateful. Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I start out with some sort of goal, some sort of ending in mind, and then I start writing. Quite often, the story goes in other directions, and the characters have minds of their own. That's why I'm terrible at outlines. How can I possibly tell you what the characters are going to do if I don't know that information yet? I like to go with the flow of the story. What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
There are several ways to contact me. I do have a website, www.gwenmasters.net, and I also have a blog at www.gwenmasters.blogspot.com. Email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit MySpace at www.myspace.com/gwenmasters. Please do write -- I love to talk to my readers!
Thank you for this opportunity!