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What influenced you to send your first book to a publisher? How long did it take?
I spent four years writing, editing, polishing, re-writing Loving Sarah. It was a never-ending cycle. Mostly because I was so new to writing, I didn’t know you could decide to stop. Then I lost it. I mean, seriously. Lost it. Completely wiped it out of my computer. You can’t begin to understand how devastated I was. The thought of having to recreate an entire 400-page novel from scratch was so daunting, I fell into a deep depression. Then around four months after I lost it, I had to print something and that’s when I discovered that the entire novel, minus the last 85 pages, was still in the print queue. I was elated! And I knew that I had to send it off to a publisher immediately, before my ignorance of computers caused something else to happen to it. So I finished it, sent it off and have written eight more since.
Could you tell us a couple of favorite authors who inspired you to write?
Sure. LoraLeighMayaBanksCheriseSinclairSophieOakLisaMarieRiceLaurenDaneJoeyWHillLeahBrookeEdenBradleyKristenAshleyLexiBlakeShaylaBlackFionaArcherLyndaAicherAsheBarkerMQBarber—and that’s just her first name! My earliest influences, years and years ago, back in the dark ages, were Mary Stewart’s romantic suspense novels and Phyllis Whitney’s gothic novels. And before that? Nancy Drew and Mad Magazine.
If you could collaborate with one author who would it be?
Good grief, there’s no way I could pick just one! Go to the list above, close your eyes and point. I’ll go with her.
Is it easier to write about the characters if you find pictures of them before you write or do you write then find character pictures?
When I first started, I didn’t have pictures for any of my characters and it really never occurred to me to look for pictures that might resemble them—until I became aware of the sorts of pictures of hunky men that could be found on the internet. Now I’m perfectly willing to troll through pictures of half-naked sex gods to try and find my next hero, lol. (This could become addictive). One of my characters, however, is a guy I saw years ago in a fast food joint. He was tall and thin and BALD, with a long goatee and long, drooping mustache. I was fascinated by him and never forgot him. He eventually became Rolf Torgesson, Danish knight and one of my heroes in Dark Warrior, my medieval romance. He was so intriguing I knew on the spot that he was going to wind up one of my heroes.
How long does it take you to write and then edit a story?
Hard to say, since each one has been a completely different experience and because I write such long books. Loving Sarah took me four years to write and edit before sending it off to a publisher. The sequel, Owning Sarah took eight months. I’m now down to around 5-6 months between each novel. Trying to write faster.
How do you go about naming characters?
My entire first book, Loving Sarah, came about because of the primary hero’s name—Jesse Colter. I just knew I wanted to write a book about an alpha-male, former SEAL named Jesse Colter and I spent months just thinking about what he would look like and what kind of a man he would be before I ever put pen to paper (so to speak). Molly Duncan, my newest heroine, was named after my two favorite dogs!
Have You Ever Written Anything You Wouldn't Do In Real Life?
Pretty much everything I write is something I wouldn’t do in real life. I’m 73. If I tried even half the stuff I write, I’d probably break a hip. That being said, if I had discovered BDSM forty or even thirty years ago, I probably would have tried it all.
What are the elements of a great romance for you?
Great characters, a sweet, tender love story, conflict, heartache, and, since I write erotic romances, lots and lots of hot, steamy sex.
Dogs or cats?
Chocolate or Vanilla?
Coke or Pepsi?
Coke. Definitely Coke.
Coffee or tea?
Coke. Definitely Coke.
Leather or Lace?
Lace. And Velvet. And silk. Oh, and satin. Yeah, satin…with lace…mmm.
Coke. Definitely Coke. When the Coca Cola company made their epically boneheaded decision to go with Coke II, I thought my life was over.
What are you working on now?
Oh, I am so glad you asked that! My new WIP is a book I actually wrote over forty years ago at the height of the Gothic novel phase, and never finished. I’m turning it into a Regency romance (with sex, of course). Look for Master of Blackmoor later this year.
Where Heat Meets Heart