Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What made you decide to become a romance writer? I’ve always been a creative person. My career choice was to be an artist. I worked as an art director in the advertising field for many years. When I stopped working outside of the home, I began reading everything in sight to fill my days. I found that I loved reading romance novels. Soon I began developing my own ideas for stories and eventually decided to tell them.
Q. Was it difficult to get your first novel published? When taken in perspective, it wasn’t very difficult at all. When I first decided to write, I parked myself at the local library and learned everything I could about the business. I also joined writer organizations like Washington Romance Writers and Romance Writers of American to help hone my writing skills and to network with professional writers. With the basic knowledge gained, I turned my attention to writing the best romance novel I could. After sending my completed manuscript out, I immediately went to work on my second novel. Then halfway through I received “the call”. So, in essence, it wasn’t difficult because I was prepared. I certainly wasn’t an overnight success. It took time, patience, persistence and a lot of dedication.
Q. What’s your favorite part of the writing process? I enjoy creating memorable real characters that my readers love and in some cases, even hate. I also enjoy it when the characters begin to take over the storyline to suit their personalities. It’s a total surprise, particularly when a “bad guy” suddenly transforms into a “good guy” and vice versa.
Q. Do you have a favorite character? This is really a tough question. I love them all, particularly the male characters, they’re all modeled after my husband. But I guess if I had to choose one, it would be Louise “Mamma Lou” Gates. She’s just plain lovable.
Q. How much of your writing is from real life? Hardly any, I keep everything very separate.
Q. How do you choose the settings in your novels? Most of my novels are set in places I’ve visited, lived or worked. My YA Kenisha Lewis Novel Series and Only You are perfect examples. I lived in Philadelphia and travel to Washington, DC often. Others are straight out of my imagination, like Crescent Island from Priceless Gif and the Mamma Lou Matchmaker Series. Still others are hours of internet and library research, like Reflections Of You in Puerto Rico, Sultry Storm and Cross My Heart in Key West, Florida, Heart’s Choice in Sag Harbor, When It Feels So Right in Alaska and Come Away With Me in Arizona. As to which location is chosen for which book, I let the storyline and characters dictate that.
Q. Tell us about your young adult novels. I really love writing young adult novels. My first one, Pushing Pause, was a great success. I followed it up with more stories about Kenisha Lewis and her friends. I also wrote a wonderful novel with my daughter, Jennifer entitled, She Said, She Said.
Q. Will your backlist be available for reissue? Yes, I plan to reissue them myself. My first release will be Priceless Gift of course. I’ll be adding extended scenes, updated material plus many more surprises, so watch for it this fall 2011.
Q. What are you working on next? Everything!