Thanks for taking the time to interview with me. This is a great honor. Your book Gypsy Lord was the first romance novel I read. I was in the 9th grade and prior to romance books was very much into fantasy. It could have been that cool golden cover that first caught my eye- oh and don't forget the picture behind the cover. After reading Gypsy Lord I had a whole new passion for reading and you had me hooked on romances. Money was flying out of my pockets and into the bookstore. Seventeen years later I own a review site dedicated to romance novels. Thanks for putting me on the right path!
To get us started could you please tell us how many books you have out and how you got your start? When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
To date I have written over forty books (lost tract of exact number sometime back). I first started writing after I read a novel that my husband had written. He was unpublished and this was his first book. I loved it but he couldn't seem to get it published. I decided to read the book a second time, not as a reader but as an editor, looking for mistakes. I thought maybe I could help him so I started working on his book and eventually, I thought, "I think I can do this." It never occurred to me not to submit. I wrote the novel to become an author. I got a lot of rejections, but just kept pushing forward until someone bought it.
You have so many books under your belt, but you keep popping them out. What do you have in store for us next? Any special tid-bits you would be willing to share?
Just out this month is the last book in my Heart Trilogy, HEART OF COURAGE. In July, a new historical trilogy begins about three brothers, sons of a duke. Royal's Bride is the first, then Reese's Bride in October, and Rule's Bride end of December. I have a new contemporary romantic suspense series coming out in 2010, featuring the rugged Raines brothers. The first will be Against the Wind (that one is already finished!) So lots of books coming.
Many readers are also beginning writers. Can you give them any advice on how to peruse their writing dreams?
Write, write, write! That is my best advice to young writers. Once you have finished your book, DON'T GIVE UP until you sell it! Or write another one and sell that one. Persistence is the secret.
Do you outline your books or just start writing? Pantster or Plotter? Is there a good book you recommend for writers to help them out with getting their plot figured out?
I write a detailed synopsis, then start writing. I don't know all the scenes, or everything that's going to happen. I do believe the more complex the plot, the more thought ahead of time must go into it. You need to lace in the clues a little at a time so that things don't just conveniently happen. You want the story and its resolution to be believable. As for books on plotting...for me I just work it out (of course I have help from my husband!). I like plotting groups, friends who help you come up with interesting ideas.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
As I mentioned, my latest book is HEART OF COURAGE, the final novel in the Heart Trilogy. It's Thor and Lindsey's story, a murder mystery that, strangely enough, has a lighter side. I like the contrast of dark and light, which fits the hero and heroine and their fiery relationship. He is big and dark and she is feisty and intelligent and won't put up with any guff from him. It's set in 1850's London, around Heart to Heart magazine, a ladies' gazette. It's a light-hearted adventure I'm hoping readers will enjoy.
In 5 years, where do you see yourself? -In general and in you're writing career
I hope I'll still be writing five years from now. I'd love to be a steady fixture on the top 15 of the New York Times bestseller list. I've been working toward that goal for a very long time. I'd like to hope my writing will continue to attract new readers and that I'll be able to occasionally do something different, as I did with a book called THE CHRISTMAS CLOCK, a small, gift-sized hardcover Christmas story that will be out in October of 2009.
What do you do for inspiration?
Travel is my inspiration. In the spring, we'll be going to Austria, Germany, Czechoslovakia, and France. I am excited to see what I'll learn.
What would you like to tell your readers?
I'd like to thank all my readers for their years of support. And for trying some of the new types of stories I've written. I hope you'll continue to watch for my books and that they bring you hours of reading pleasure.
What is the best and worst advice you have ever received?
Best advice--be persistent. Don't lose hope and just keep charging forward. Worst advice--change your writing style to fit what someone else wants. You have to write for yourself first-and-foremost and hope you can find an audience who will enjoy what you've done.
Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
I have belonged to a number of different critic groups over the years. I found them to be greatly beneficial--as long as ultimately you are the one who makes the decision as to what and what not to change. Unfortunately, living in rural Montana, there are no critic groups around.
If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why?
My heroines are usually fairly smart and brave, traits I really admire. I like Catherine in Gypsy Lord, a book Tammie mentioned, and I like Kate Rollins in The Secret, who butts heads with my all-time favorite hero, Chance McClain.
Thanks again for taking the time to tell us all about yourself and your novels. There is so much to look forward to. I'll be keeping my eye open for your latest and anticipating your new series coming out next summer.