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?
Hello, and thanks for inviting me here! Let's see, a little about me?I live in Austin with my husband and two Labrador retrievers, I write sexy historical romance, such as the Rogues of Regent Street series, the Lockhart Family series, and The Desperate Debutantes. I also write contemporary romantic comedies, such as The Lear Family trilogy and Thrillseekers Anonymous series. I watch way too much TV and eat way too much chocolate. That's me, in a nutshell. Who or what influences you when you write?
I am influenced by great books, great music, movies, TV, and any other form of art. I don't know what it is about those creative inputs, but when I am in the middle of the book, the more I read and watch and listen, the more creativity I seem to have. I am also a member of a book club in Austin, and it helps me to talk about other books with them. Their perspectives as readers, and not writers, are very useful to me. I guess that influences me as well.
What do you do on a typical writing day?
Oh my gosh, I screw around soooo much. I check email, I walk my dogs, I check email again, I take a snack break. I may write a couple of paragraphs, but something will distract me (probably email?it's amazing that the more you send, the more you get, hahaha). I think part of my wasted day is allowing ideas in my brain to percolate a little, and part of it just pure procrastination because I can. But invariably, late at night, I realize I didn't write nearly enough to keep on schedule and I get a little frantic and end up writing for real?actual book pages and not emails. Every day, I start off vowing to be totally productive. Every day, I end up doing the same thing. Being lazy is a sad and vicious cycle!
Please tell us what you have planned next?
I am finishing up the last book of the Desperate Debutantes series, The Dangers of Deceiving a Viscount, which follows The Hazards of Hunting a Duke and The Perils of Pursuing a Prince. I loved writing this series. Historical romance is definitely my first love, and I will be writing it until they kick me out (whoever ?they' is). I am about to start a new historical series that will begin in 2008. I can't tell you more than that because I don't know more than that. I am still working out the idea. In addition, the last of the Thrillseekers Anonymous series, American Diva, will be released in August, which follows Wedding Survivor and Extreme Bachelor. I am going to miss those extreme guys! But I am moving on and writing a dark contemporary paranormal series that will debut in 2008. It's about witches and warlocks and the legacy of Merlin the Magician.
What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?
My minor in college was history, and I admit to being a rabid Anglophile. I have a fairly extensive library of research materials, and since I usually write books set in the same twenty year period?and have written a lot of them now?I have a fairly good sense for the era. But I still go back and review the politics and social situations for the time before beginning a new book. And of course one of the greatest perks of writing is traveling for research. I really love being in the U.K and wandering through all those fancy Georgian homes where I set my books. I am certain that I was a member of the English aristocracy in a former life. I just seem to have that to-the-manor-born thing in my bones.
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
One of my sisters. I wrote a book and didn't tell anyone but one sister (isn't it funny how many writers start off writing and not telling anyone?). I would have told the other sister if she'd been around that day. Anyway, I had I finished the book, thought it was okay, and theorized over a long summer what my chances were of getting it published. Said sister didn't like keeping The Secret, and she finally told me that she was so tired of talking about it. She told me I had to send the book to someone?she didn't care who?and if I didn't, I could never talk about it again. So I did, and look what happened! I sent the book to five agents at once. I had an agent call me at the end of the week. That agent sold the book two weeks after that. It was Devil's Love, my first book. To this day, I tell people I was in the right place at the right time?my book hit the right agent with the right market. I won the lottery that day.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I outline. I don't have the luxury of time anymore (see previous answer about screwing around) to just follow the story where it takes me. I have to have a framework and I need a rough idea of where the story is going to put scenes together. The first book I ever wrote, The Devil's Love, was just a free-flow of conscious thought. But since then, I have made a footprint of the major plot and romantic conflict, and have filled in from there. I find it helps to clarify and focus my thoughts.
Is there anything you would like to tell your readers?
Just that I appreciate them each and every one, and I know I would not be able to follow my dream of writing for a living without them.