Please tell us your latest news!
RAPTURE UNTAMED, book four in my Feral Warriors series, is out now! Here's the blurb:
The most combative - and tormented - of all the Ferals, Jag is a predator who hunts alone - until daemons terrorize the human population. To stop them, he partners with Olivia, a flame-haired Therian temptress as strong as she is beautiful. But Olivia is no ordinary immortal. The survivor of a vicious supernatural attack, she possesses a deadly and forbidden skill - one that must remain hidden, especially from the powerful Feral Warriors.
As Jag and Olivia's sensual dance of dominance and seduction gets wilder and hotter, a dark force sets its sights on Olivia, threatening to destroy everything she has vowed to protect. And the only one who can save her soul is the arrogant jaguar shifter she lusts for but dares not love.
Book 5 in the Feral Warriors series, HUNGER UNTAMED, will be out 2/22/11. And I'm currently working on book 6.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There's definitely a theme to RAPTURE UNTAMED. "Before you can love another you have to learn to love yourself."
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
At this point, no. I had a great time writing RAPTURE UNTAMED. Jag is such a bad boy, but he's so much fun! When I typically start having regrets is a few books down the road when I'm plotting one of the later books and realize that I'm stuck with something I set up a few books back - something that wasn't important to that book, but is going to be a nuisance for me going forward. When that happens, I deal with it just as I deal with any other nuisance in life - suck it up and find a way to work with it or work around it.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I'm not sure I have just one, but one of my favorite authors these days is Nalini Singh. I adore her Psy/Changeling world. Slave to Sensation was one of the best books I'd read in a long, long time, and I've since read every book in the series. What strikes me about her work? The sheer inventiveness of the Psy world, for one. But ultimately it's her characters I come back for over and over again.
Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely. It's my full-time work and then some. When I'm close to deadline, I'm working twelve hours a day, seven days a week. But when I'm deep in a book like that, there's nowhere else I want to be.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I was a reader first, and a daydreamer, but I never had any interest in writing in school and avoided it like the plague. I wound up with an engineering degree from college. What finally drove me to writing was a daydream that got too involved and complicated to keep in my head. I started typing it into the computer on a whim and discovered the more I got into it, the more fun it became. I had a lot to learn, but I loved every minute of it and discovered a new career in the process.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
The most important thing is to write, which is sometimes the hardest. Finding the time can be very difficult when you have a hundred other things/people demanding your time and attention. But if you're truly a writer, you have to make time to write. The second thing is to expect rejection. The road to publication can be long and hard. Keep writing, keep learning, keep submitting. It's all a matter of getting the right project in front of the right editor or agent at the right time, which can take a lot of luck. The more times you try, the better your chances of success.
How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books?
My family has been one hundred percent behind me from the beginning. Most of them even read my books. My mom shares my love of books and romances, in particular. My dad, a retired Air Force colonel is more of a U.S. News and World Report kind of guy. But when I started writing, he borrowed a couple of my mom's romances and read them so that he'd understand the genre. They both read everything I write, as does my husband. In fact, my husband's usually the first one to read my finished books. My publisher usually sends a copy a couple of weeks before the book actually comes out. My husband grabs it the moment it comes in the door. After he read my first book, he gave me the finest of compliments one evening when I decided to take an evening off. "Aren't you going to write?" "You want me to go write?" "I want to know what happens next."
What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?
Definitely a combination of both. I used to try to plot the books out entirely before I started, but I'd invariably get to a point, usually a few chapters in, where one of my characters turned to me with that `you've got to be kidding' look and I knew they were about to take the story in a direction other than the one I'd planned. Now, I do very basic plotting up front. Before I start a book I need to know who the two main characters are, in depth, who the villain is, and a rough idea of the external plot. I like to understand the main 2 or 3 turning points. Then I start writing and see where it goes.
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) - Feel free to send along a picture if you like.
The only things I need to write are my laptop and my ipod. I hate being confined to one workspace and I find that my muse likes a view, so working at a desk with a wall or hutch in front of me is creatively stifling. I tend to move around a lot with my laptop - the sofa, the dining room table, the kitchen table, the deck. I wrote the climax to my latest work on the stairs with the soundtrack of Pirates of the Caribbean blasting from the stereo. What can I say? The muse wants what she wants.
Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? Example..get coffee, blanket, paper, pen and a comfy place
When I start writing, I fix a cup of hot tea and turn on my writing music. Usually I listen to Keiko Matsui, new age jazz instrumentals, though on occasion the muse will demand something different (like the Pirates soundtrack). The music puts me right into the story world and focuses all my attention on the book -- even that part of my brain that's trying to recite my toppling to-do list. The moment I stop writing, even for a moment, even to refill my cup, I pause the ipod. When the writing music is on, I'm writing. Period.