Getting to Know You
Tell us about yourself. How did you get into the writing business?
- When my son started Kindergarten I was going crazy being home alone during the day. I didn’t know what to do with all my ‘spare time’ which led to a deep clean of our house. I came across a book I had written while in high school and read what I’d written. It was HORRIBLE! I felt like the characters deserved a better story so I wrote them one and scratched the deep clean. Holding On was the product of that decision and the first book I ever published.
Why did you choose to become a romance writer? Are there any other genres you enjoy reading or writing about?
- I feel like I stumbled into the romance genre because that’s what I’ve always read. Sweet stories with a happily ever after. I’ve broadened my horizons a bit and enjoy a bigger variety of romance now. My personal favorites to read are mafia romance and romantic suspense.
What is your life motto?
- I don’t really have one but I made myself a promise a long time ago that I would always wake up and try my best every day, even when I felt like I couldn’t. Coffee helps make this happen.
What is the greatest piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?
- To write what speaks to me because if I don’t love my own work, no one else will. I’ve tried ‘writing to market’ on multiple occasions but I always end up scrapping the books or changing them because I don’t love the words. I try really hard to stay true to myself, to my words, to the stories I create because at the end of the day, I want to love my work as much as I want others to.
Your Work and Life as as Writer
Which sub-genre of romance is your favorite to write? Least favorite?
- Favorite to write is probably friends to lovers. My best friend was a guy growing up and people always use to think we were dating – they couldn’t believe a guy and girl could be so close and not be romantically involved. I feel like I put a little bit of our friendship in those books and draw the romance from other aspects of my life. It makes for a great combination. As far as least favorite… I don’t think I have a least favorite to write but I can say I’ve tried to write a few books in genres that will never be released because they were horrible. I try to stick with what I do well so I don’t embarrass myself.
You have a lot of book series. How do you plan each series? Do you have an ending in mind already or do you just go with the flow?
- I fly by the seat of my pants every time. I know it sounds crazy but most of the time when I write a series, I have no idea I’m writing one. I’m just as surprised as readers when they get to the end and find out there’s another couple to read about or they reach a cliffhanger. I am currently working on a 9 books series that I have an overall arc for (first time ever) and I’m really enjoying the little easter eggs I’m dropping along the way.
Describe your writing and editing process. What takes up the most time? What are the most enjoyable parts?
- It’s taken me as little as 8 days to write a book and as long as 2 years. It just depends on the story and how well it flows. I love when my characters speak to me and tell me what they want, it moves the process along, but I also enjoy slowing my pace down and really grinding through a chapter – writing, deleting, rewriting. On average I’d say I write a book in 4-6 weeks as long as I’m able to write a little bit each day. When it comes to editing, I have a fairly long process. I print and bind the entire book, read through it and mark it up the old fashion way with a colored pen, then make adjustments in the file. I wait a few weeks, read it again, make more adjustments, and then send it to my beta readers. Once I fix their notes, I send the file to my editor. She receives a fairly complete copy and still marks it up and makes suggestions.
Which of your characters do you relate to most? Which one is your complete opposite?
- Hmmm… I think there’s a little bit of me in all my characters. I do think Becca in Holding On probably resembles me the most. She was my very first character and I created her when I was sixteen so there are a lot of mannerisms and such that remind me of what I was like at that age – young, immature, filled with hope. As far as who’s the complete opposite, I’d probably have to say Ally from the Rumors series. She is the gossip queen, knows how to work the room, loves attention, and is extremely outgoing.
What are you currently working on?
- I just finished edits for my summer release (second chance romance) – the announcement for that book will be late next month – and I’m close to finishing book 3 in the 9 book series (college romance) I plan to start releasing this fall.
Something Extra for Your Fans
Do you believe in love at first sight?
- Yes and No. I think anything is possible but I’m not sure it happens the way we all imagine or write about.
What is your opinion on dating apps and “sliding into DMs”?
- This question made me laugh. Dating apps were not a thing when I was on the market. I did do a significant amount of research on them for one of my books and found them fascinating. They’re not something I would be interested in using but I do think they can be a great tool in finding someone you share interests with if used correctly. Well, made not Tinder.
Current Netflix obsession?
- Jack Ryan. We started last week and are watching one episode with dinner every night we’re able to sit down as a family.
City or countryside?
- I love city life but one day I hope to live in a more rural setting. I don’t necessarily want to smell the cows but I’d rather not have neighbors I can see from my front window either.
50 Shades: Love it or hate it?
- Loved the books, didn’t really enjoy the movies. But I feel that way about a lot of books that have gone to the big screen. You lose something in the transition.
Your favorite romance author?
- Hardest question ever! Um… I’m a huge fan of Rachel Van Dyken (love me some mafia!), I’ve read everything from Molly McAdams, AL Jackson, and Ilsa Madden-Mills. Who doesn’t love some Colleen Hoover? Favorite might have to go to Rebecca Donovan though. Her Breathing Series made me fall in love with reading again.
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