We would love to get to know you Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
Well, I live in New Zealand. I recently moved back home after three years of teaching English in Japan. Japan was an awesome experience - I lived in small town, drank copious amounts of green tea (still do, actually), rode a bicycle through rice fields (I had no car) and knew pretty much every child in a several kilometer radius!
I've also had a few other jobs along the way to becoming a writer, including as a lawyer and in a chocolate factory. What else? I love traveling and have been to China, Tahiti and the US among other places.
If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why?
Oh wow, this is SUCH a difficult question. I absolutely cannot, cannot choose. My books are very character based, so each character is this fully formed individual to me. I don't think I could ever take them over, even a little. But I do think it would be cool to be a Psy and have all those psychic abilities. But then again, being a changeling shapeshifter would be pretty awesome, too. Too many choices!!
What's your favorite genre to read?
Romance, definitely. I read very widely but all the books I love tend to have a dash of romance, even if they're fantasy or thriller novels. And I have to say - I love happy endings.
Who or what influences you when you write?
Anything I see, hear, touch, even smell could do it. I pick up things all the time and I might not use it for years but one day, I'll be sitting there thinking and a light will go off in my head. And sometimes, it's a character who inspires me. I see them inside my head, hear their voices and realize I need to-I have a passion to-tell their story. That's what happened with Slave to Sensation - Sascha was just this incredibly vibrant personality and I was fascinated by her. Then I met Lucas and wow!
What do you do on a typical writing day?
I could pretend I have a super-organized typical day. But what I have are messy, fluid days. And I love it! I love that I can structure my writing days as I like. What structure there is, goes like this - in the morning I do emails, admin stuff, answer interviews etc. In the afternoon, I write and/or edit. At night, I either take a break or keep going depending on how much work there is and whether I want to carry on because I'm really into a scene. But in that semi-structured day, I spend time online (a few minutes if I'm working and just checking emails/longer if I'm procrastinating!), run personal errands that can't wait and occasionally meet friends for lunch or coffee.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
Visions of Heat releases in March and is about Vaughn, a jaguar shapeshifter, and Faith, an F-Psy, a woman who can see the future. It's a very intense book about two different and contrasting characters - literally fire and ice, and it asks the question of whether seeing the future is really a gift.or a curse?
Then in September, I have Caressed By Ice, which is about Judd Lauren, a male Psy, an ice-cold assassin. This man is so controlled, it's going to take a very, very determined woman to break through his emotionless outside to the man within. But let me just tell you - when this man loses control, it's going to be an inferno unlike any other.
And in October, I have a novella in An Enchanted Season, about Nate and Tamsyn, a couple who were mentioned in Slave to Sensation.
Please tell us what you have planned next?
I'm currently working on book 4 of the Psy/Changeling series, which is Clay's story. After that, I have a feeling I'll be writing a proposal for Dorian's story - he's a very damaged character, but he's telling me he's ready. I adore Dorian so I truly hope he is.
In 5 years, where do you see yourself? -In general and in you're writing career
I want to be writing wonderful stories that capture people's hearts. I want to be becoming stronger with each book in terms of my writing. I'd also like to have travelled a little more, perhaps to parts of the world I haven't seen yet. I'd love to go to India and Peru for starters!
Who is your perfect hero? And why?
You know what, it's my Mum. She is an inspiration to me - she's always encouraged by storytelling but aside from that, she's just such a strong woman and a great Mum. I want to be her when I grow up * g *
What do you do for inspiration?
I read, recharge my batteries by going out to sit on the beach or just in the garden. And sometimes I sit down and write things without an end goal in mind, things that meander and wander. I suppose it's my version of playing. It's very important, I think, to free your creative muscles like that. J
Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven't yet?
Never say never - who knows what I'll write in the future? But I think whatever I write, it will always have an element of romance.
What type of book have you always wanted to write?
The books I do actually write! That's how I began writing - wanting to read those kinds of stories. So now I write them and to my delight, other people want to read them too.
What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?
I do a lot of research but it depends on the book. For example, when I wrote a novel set in winemaking family, I had to do a massive amount of research about the whole winemaking/vineyard process. For the Psy/Changeling books, I do research on leopards and jaguars among other things. I enjoy research, but I have to be careful not to get so caught up that I put too much information in the book! Sometimes things I think are super-cool aren't really - not in a novel LOL
Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?
I like deadlines. They give me a direct goal. Even when I don't have a contracted deadline, I give myself deadlines to get my work done by. It stops the procrastination.
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
This is a funny story. I decided I could write a romance novel after I finished high-school. So the summer before I entered University, I wrote a story set on a tropical island and then sent it off to a publisher. It just never occurred to me not to send it - which might seem odd, but at the time, I didn't know much about things like rejections and submission processes.
When I did get rejected, I moved on to the next story. It wasn't because the rejection didn't hurt. Of course it did. But I wanted so much to be published - it was my passion - that I just kept trying.
What would you like to tell your readers?
I hope my stories give you hours of joy. I adore you all - every time a reader writes to tell me they loved my work, it brings a huge smile to my face. Thank you!
What is the best and worst advice you have ever received?
Best: Move on to the next thing. I received this advice when I was submitting and getting rejected. Another writer told me to always have more than one thing out there in the submission process. That way, if one got rejected, I could still have another thing out there to feel positive about. :)
Worst: Actually, I have a selective memory. If I don't think something will work, I delete it from the memory cells * g *
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
Just start writing.
Do you belong to a critique group?
If so, how does this help or hinder you? No. I write alone and it seems to work for me. I have some beta readers who'll read through a book and give me feedback if I ask for it, but that's about it.
What was your first published work and when was it published?
Desert Warrior, a Sil Desire novel. Published August 2003. It was a sheik story, very romantic, almost like a modern fairy-tale. It still makes me smile to think about it.
How can readers find out more about you and your books?
I have lots of information on my website, including Behind The Scenes info. I also have a special page for the Psy/Changeling series! Please drop by and visit.
Thank you so much for the interview! I had a great time.