Please tell us your latest news!
I'm really excited about the trilogy I'm writing: The Protectors. Book One-INTO THE CROSSFIRE-just came out a few days ago, on July 27. It's the story of three men who are closer than brothers. They grew up in a brutal foster home and had each other's back while growing up. They spent time in the military-Sam Reston was a SEAL, Harry Bolt was a Delta operator and Mike Keillor was a Marine. Now they run a successful security company, but off the books they run an underground railroad for abused women and children. They're tough as nails and shhh!! You mustn't let anyone know that under those rough exteriors lie tender hearts.
The first in the series, INTO THE CROSSFIRE features the founder of the company, Sam Reston, and his precipitous fall into love with the most beautiful woman on earth in his eyes, the luscious Nicole Pearce. At first, Nicole doesn't have time for the rough man who works across the hall from her. She's caring for a dying father she loves dearly and is trying to keep her young company afloat. But when danger comes calling, the only man she can turn to is the hard-headed and hard-bodied man across the hallway, Sam Reston.
I hate to admit it but (like most writers) I neurotically follow the amazon rankings. Into the Crossfire seems to be doing well in paperback but it debuted at # 2 just behind the Divine Nora on Kindle. I was one of the first erotic romance writers to publish ebooks and I guess readers remember that. Yay Kindle!
But whatever the medium you're reading the story on, I hope Nicole and Sam's story will both warm you up and heat you up!!
I've just finished Book Two, HOTTER THAN WILDFIRE, Harry's story, and I love it.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Hmmm, good question. No. This is the first time I've tried to write a trilogy which was planned as one right from the start and it's not easy. The first book has to lay the ground work for the next two and any mistakes will have a repercussion down the line.
But I wrote Into the Crossfire with my head and my heart and I have a superb editor, so what's in the book needs to be there and Sam and Nicole do what they have to do.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
One of my favorite authors is actually also a close friend, Shannon McKenna. What I love about her stories is the intricate plotting and, above all, the emotional intensity. Shannon takes her characters sometimes into uncharted territory and makes them SUFFER for that happy ending, and you are with them all the way, chewing your fingernails and with your stomach clenched, hoping it all works out.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I guess I do. I think what distinguishes me a bit is that I write completely in `deep third', i.e., when I'm writing in the POV of the character, I am completely in that character's head. And particularly when in my hero's head, I don't pull punches. Most of my heroes' internal monologues are profane and funny. They're tough, no-nonsense and unsentimental. UNTIL.they meet the woman of their heart. It takes them a long time to recognize love through the lust, though, and they are knocked for a loop. They find themselves almost frightened by the intensity of their feelings, and the words they use to themselves to describe what's going on inside aren't tender until the very end. The words aren't tender but their hearts are.
Do you see writing as a career?
I absolutely see writing as a career, and a wonderful one at that. I mean-you sit all day in your pajamas (or something equally comfortable), your daily commute is from the bedroom to the study, and you write exciting, sexy stories. Now THAT'S a career! Sometimes the royalties aren't enough to keep me in La Perla lingerie and champagne and bon-bons and then I fall back on translating. But it doesn't hold a candle to writing.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Probably the thing that influenced me the most was that I grew up across the street from the county library. I spent my entire childhood with my nose stuck in a book. I read so much that I was the story-teller among the neighbourhood kids. I always wanted to be a writer. It's probably a good thing though that I had another career first, a career that showed me a lot of the world, that way I know what to write about.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
The same advice everyone gives: don't give up. As J.A. Konrath says-there's a word for writers who don't give up: published. Keep at it. Join a writers' organization, find critique partners, don't give up. Find the time even when you don't have any, and-don't give up.
What did you do before you became a writer? Do you write full time?
I was a simultaneous interpreter and translator. See? I've always worked with words. I would be unemployable otherwise. Now I write more or less full time.
What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?
Well, I sell my books on proposal, so an outline is necessary. Furthermore, I write romantic suspense and I care a lot about the suspense subplot and its accuracy, so I outline carefully. I know exactly where I'm going. Having said that, I often find that in the writing, a sort of serendipity creeps in. Insights, events from my daily life find their way, suitably transmogrified, into the story. As I write the story, I become aware of hidden symbols and a certain degree of cohesion and circularity that wasn't in the outline. It's an interesting process.
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)
Not a favorite object but a favorite PLACE. My study, which I love. I travel a lot and simply cannot be creative on the road, or in a place other than my study. I know every aspect of it. The light at dawn (I'm an early riser), how the light changes throughout the day, how I look up over the monitor and see my bookshelves. My study also gives out onto a big terrace and around noon and around 7 pm I take a half hour break on the terrace, looking out over a valley. It refreshes me.
Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? Example..get coffee, blanket, paper, pen and a comfy place
Up early, check email, check news websites (favourites: The Guardian, The New York Times, Huffington Post) and favourite blogs (Andrew Sullivan, John Scalzi, Nathan Bransford) to see if the world has blown up. This is probably not a good idea because it takes me a while to get to the writing. I should do all that at the end of the day as a reward. And I imagine that if the end of the world comes, I'd hear about it anyway.