Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
Although born in Ireland, I live north of Toronto in rural Ontario but I still manage to travel the world in my mind and in my books. In my books, I like to entwine a love of romance and the exotic as well as a sense of humor to produce stories that will seduce you and make you laugh.
I enjoy playing music and reading and have taken up playing the Scottish small pipes as well as the concertina in the last few years. Of course, Irish music is what I love to play. Being asked to publish with Ellora's Cave ranks right up there with the best things to ever happened to me.
If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why?
I'd love to be Mariah in `Lucifer's Angel'. Who wouldn't want to be rescued by a beautiful man, riding up on his big powerful Harley? He thinks she's petite and shy but she's strong and feisty and takes him on an erotic journey to confront his past and look to the future, a future that includes her. I'd love to be the woman with him as they discover the joys of lovemaking.
What's your favorite genre to read?
I love romance novels and I especially love the paranormal stuff. I buy Sherrilyn Kenyon's books as soon as they come out and J.R.Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood had me spellbound.
Who or what influences you when you write?
I read a wonderful novella by Shannon McKenna and it stuck in my mind. I loved the erotic nature of the story but I also liked the interaction between the hero and the heroine who didn't want to be rescued and really gave him a run for his money. I find that the beginning paragraph for a novel will pop into my head and I have to get it down and then it just flows from there. It's like that paragraph is holding back the book and as soon as I write it down, the rest of the book just pours out. Sounds messy, doesn't it?
What do you do on a typical writing day?
Work all day. I'm a kindergarten teacher so I come home, make supper, do school work then try and write for a couple of hours a night. Sometimes I get more time, sometimes less. I try to spend a lot of the weekend writing, especially in the winter when it gets dark so early and cold too often.
When you have writer's block how do you break free?
Sometimes I step back and leave the story and go to another one I'm working on. Often I'll just start something totally new and sometimes I'll sit down and read someone else's book.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
The next two books are related to Jude's Choice, a futuristic m‚nage … trois, that is due to be released June 8th. King Feldan wants to protect his children from the nasty leader of the Redelians so various bounty hunters are dispatched to find them and keep them safe or to accompany them to safety. Of course the children are adult children and more often than not they are not interested in a bounty hunter's protection and if they are interested, it's not the bounty hunter's protection they're after.
Please tell us what you have planned next?
I have two or three books on the go that I really want to finish. I wish I could type faster, as fast as the ideas come to me! I am retiring from teaching in June so I plan to write full-time and I'm going to the RWA conference in Dallas in July. I'm bouncing off the walls just thinking about it all.
In 5 years, where do you see yourself? -In general and in you're writing career
I see myself writing full-time and traveling to find locales for stories and new heroes. I'm looking forward to spending the day writing without having to work or do lesson plans. That would be a treat.
Who is your perfect hero? And why?
My perfect hero is the hero of each of my books. He's always strong and gorgeous, of course. He figures he can handle the world by himself and any woman he meets will need him but he always gets to discover what that woman can bring to him.
What do you do for inspiration?
Sit down at the computer and start to write. Something invariably comes out. I also have found that if I go for a walk, I always come up with a brilliant opening paragraph which has totally disappeared by the time I get home. I ended up going and buying a little machine to record. I can slip it in my pocket so it's there when I need it. Of course since I started carrying it with me, I haven't had one single good opening paragraph occur to me. I thought that was very funny and kind of pathetic!
Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven't yet?
I'd love to write a book in the vein of the Black Dagger Brotherhood or the Dark-Hunters but with an Irish hero transported to present day America. I have it planned in my head and started but I need to do more research as he will be a hero from Irish mythology not just one I've made up which means research not just writing off the top of my head.
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
After spending five months writing Lucifer's Angel, I decided that I would submit it and see what happened. It took so long to write that I wanted to see if someone would like it enough to want to publish it. I figured the worst that could happen would be they'd say, "Thank you but no". Instead Ellora's Cave said, "Yes thank you." Actually the second book seemed to be more of a blast as it was vindication. It meant that the acceptance of the first book wasn't a fluke.
What would you like to tell your readers?
Please visit my website, enter the contest. It's easy to navigate and I think it's beautiful. They can see what I look like and find out more about me and they can also read parts of my books. I'd love to hear from readers to know if they like my books. They're like your babies and you want them to do well out in the world.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Take 15,000 words out of this manuscript, check it over and see if you want to resubmit. I did all that and resubmitted. Best Advice I ever received. That book, Lucifer's Angel, will be released Friday April 20th. Also my mother always told me to make sure I was wearing clean underwear with no holes in it in case I got in an accident and had to be rushed to the hospital. That's never happened to me but I do try to follow that advice. Not wearing any underwear works well in this situation too. Just kidding!
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I have a plan in my head and places to arrive at in the story but I basically just write. It gives me perverse pleasure to do exactly what my high school English teachers said not to do. They always nattered on about a draft copy and rewriting but the computer makes all that so much easier.
Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
I live in a very rural area so there are no critique groups close by. That would be great to have other writers to share with and bounce things off.
What was your first published work and when was it published?
My very first book which is a contemporary romance will be published April 20th with Ellora's Cave. I am so excited. I'm having a book release party on the 21st and I'm going to wrap some funny things and let people buy tickets and draw for the stuff and I'm going to have some really nice things too for draw prizes. I went to the local librarian and told her I had sold two novels of erotic romance. I told her about the party and asked if I could donate the proceeds to the childrens' section of the library. She was delighted. We decided it was just Literature-to-Literature.
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
How can readers find out more about you and your books?
Thank you for this opportunity!
Interviewed by Tammie King