Getting to Know You
Tell us a little bit about yourself
- A bit about me? Hmm … Well, I should start with the obvious—I’m a reader, writer, and lover of books and romance, specifically! I married my high school sweetheart and we have four teenage boys. It’s as fun as it sounds. Ha! I live in Ohio with my family and two dogs and two cats. I’m not sure why I live in Ohio, as I prefer coastal climates and sunshine, but here we are. *winks* Also, I feel like I should mention my love of pizza, boxing, and football.
Why did you choose romance as your genre? Were you an avid romance fan before you became a writer?
- I’ve always been an avid romance fan! I took a break in my twenties—mostly because I was busy having babies and changing diapers. I barely had time to shower. I’m sure y’all can relate. But romance has always been my jam. I’m very drawn to the idea of things working out and ending happily. The world needs more of that vibe.
As a full time author, how do you balance your personal and professional life?
- Not well? LOL My focus is always, always on my personal life. It’s probably why I’m terrible at deadlines—if it comes down to my book or one of my kids, I pick my kid. I’m getting better at closing my office door and ignoring them on the other side (even when they push their faces against the glass and mouth words like the girl in Waterboy).
Describe your perfect writing day
- I need (prefer?) a really quiet room to write. I also need the house to be (relatively) clean and the dishes done. It’s a thing. So, I would start my perfect writing day off with waking up to the sun streaming through the windows with a hint of rain. I’d get a cup of coffee and walk downstairs and sit at my desk and just have the words flow until I couldn’t type anymore. Also, if someone could slip me grilled cheese and fountain Cokes with the good ice throughout the day that would be fab.
Your Work and Life as a Writer
With so many characters, how do you manage to create a completely different and unique persona for each one?
- I try so hard to do this. Usually, the characters take on their own personalities depending on their backstories and what they’ve been through, much like we do in “the real world”. To be safe, I try to give each one a characteristic of their own. That might be something they say or wear or a habit—but that one thing makes them memorable and makes them their own person.
What is your favorite romance trope to read? To write?
- I love, love, love a good enemies to lovers! And if a dark romance is done a certain why, I’m obsessed. But I’m super, super picky about dark romances. It’s not a trope, but my favorite books are trilogies. I LOVE THEM. In all caps. To write, though? I really like opposites attract—specifically when the characters are from different “worlds”. It’s fun.
Do you have any advice for budding romance writers?
- Write. That’s the first thing. You can’t learn how to do it, get better at it, or get experience if you don’t write. I would also say to remember that your first draft is called a draft for a reason. It is NOT your final product. You’ll need an editor and you’ll need to tweak, revise, rewrite—but that’s a part of the process. Also, and maybe most importantly, trust your gut. Always. You have to see yourself in the mirror every morning. Make sure you stay true to yourself so you like what you see while you brush your teeth.
What is the best compliment you have ever received from a reader?
- The best compliment is that I helped them through a hard time. I really write to make people smile. There’s enough bad and negativity out there—I want to give people another option. When someone says they found a glimmer of hope while sitting with their husband during chemo or that a book helped them work through grief or made them feel seen or not alone in something—that makes me the happiest.
Something Extra for Your Fans
If you could date any of your characters, who would it be and why? Don’t say “Lincoln” because he belongs to Abby.
- Ha! I wouldn’t say Lincoln because he takes up too much space in my brain! I have to fight him in every single book because he wants included. It’s crazy! To date … *taps chin* I think dating Fenton Abbott from Wherever It Leads would be fun because he has the world at his fingertips. I’ll go with him.
If you weren’t a writer, what career would you want?
- Ooh! I’d want to be a talk show host or a sideline reporter for the NFL. *BIG WINKS*
Morning person or night owl?
- I’m really good at 11 AM. *shrugs*
Beach or mountains?
- Mountains. I love the calmness and fresh air and peace. Now, I know I said I prefer a coastal climate and that’s true. But I really dislike dark, deep water. What is down there? We don’t know. *I* don’t know, anyway. So my heart really is a mountain girl.
What was your favorite book as a teenager?
- Honestly? It was a biography of the Kennedy women. LOL It was my grandmother’s and I got it after she died. It was fascinating to me and started a lifelong infatuation with the Kennedy’s.
If you could have any author write your biography, who would it be?
- Oh, crap. This is hard. (I’m staring at my bookshelf right now, pondering this question for far too long.) I’m going to go with Mandi Beck. She’s a great writer and she knows me better than anyone (besides my family). She’d know what I wanted to include and what I’d rather her not say … and I’m pretty certain she’d take some creative liberties to make me smarter, funnier, and curvier. Ha!
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