I Think I've Found My Calling in Life--Highlighting Authors
1) What attracted you to writing romance? Life is already way too complicated so if I’m going to escape, it better be to a happy, fun place. Romances always have a happy ending where the boy gets the girl every time. The fun part about writing a romance is the journey of how they make it to that happily ever after. And I do try to make it fun by infusing humor into the storyline. I would rather have my reader chuckling out loud than sobbing and needing therapy while reading one of my books.
2) How do you develop characters? Once I have an idea for a story, I usually already have the main characters in my head. I sit down with my laptop and sketch out the basic story of how they meet and then write down their characteristics so I can get to know them better. I write what they look like, their age, their profession, their family situation, their likes and dislikes, their flaws, basically their backstory that makes them who they are. Over the course of writing the full story, the characters grow and develop naturally but they grow in a way consistent with their personalities because I know them so well. Hopefully I also portray that to my readers.
3) How do find time to write? Do you work full-time? Are you a mommy full-time? I’ve had stories in my head for a long time but with raising five children, I’ve never had time to actually write them down. The age difference between the youngest and oldest is fifteen years so until my youngest was in school all day, I delayed my aspiration to write. That was a very long wait, and I almost gave up my dream many times. The year my youngest started first grade, my older children got together with my husband and bought me a laptop for Christmas and I started writing my first story. Now, I try to write every morning for a couple of hours once everyone is off to school. It doesn’t always happen because I’m still a wife, a mother and now a nana to two adorable grandchildren (soon to be four) and I’m a registered nurse and work about eight to twelve hours per week in the newborn intensive care unit. There are days when I don’t even get to write one paragraph, but I always have scenes swirling through my head so it keeps me connected to the story and it is easier to jump back in and be productive when I can write.
4) How long does it take you to write a novel? How long to edit? I usually can write a book in about four months but editing takes another one to two months. Then I send it out to beta readers and that can take another month or so to get back and make any changes that need to be made.
5) Tell us about your books and what inspired you to write them. My first book, Fair Catch, is about Ellie Garrett, a twenty seven year old divorced, single mother. She’s a little jaded and has no intention to get married again. Ever. Then she meets Nick Coulter—quarterback and MVP for the Sacramento Defenders. Oh yeah, he’s also one of People magazine’s top 100 most beautiful people and America’s most eligible bachelor. She doesn’t want to like him but as Nick and Ellie become acquainted, their mutual attraction is hard to ignore. Still, Ellie’s been hurt before by her womanizing ex-husband and she’s not sure Nick has left behind his playboy reputation. Can she risk falling in love with the celebrity football player or will she miss her chance at scoring big in the game of love?
I guess my love of football and my unattainable crushes on a few popular football players inspired Fair Catch. I mean, hey, how cool would it be if the hot celebrity quarterback fell in love with an ordinary woman, rather than the gorgeous models and actresses he has falling at his feet? (Disclaimer: I am happily married to my best friend and we will be celebrating our 29th anniversary in June. My husband still likes to tease me about my past fascination with what we call my own version of fantasy football)
My second book, Discovering Sophie, tells the story of Dr. Sophie Kendrick, whose father has gone missing in the jungles of Costa Rica. Desperate for answers to his whereabouts, she decides to search for him herself. She hires Jack Mathison to guide her through the jungle, but the two of them seem to be at odds from the moment they meet. Sophie finds Jack conceited, sarcastic and, worse, very good-looking. He is totally not her type, so how could she possibly be attracted to him? Likewise, Jack can’t wait to be rid of Sophie and her optimistic outlook. Seriously, how could someone be that nice? Jack isn’t looking for a relationship, and finds the electrifying chemistry between the two of them completely annoying. His job is to lead Sophie to a remote village deep inside the rainforest—her father’s last known location. Still, the jungle is a dangerous place and Jack does everything in his power to protect Sophie, but who will protect his heart?
I haven’t been able to travel much, but my parents have. A place they have returned to year after year is Costa Rica. One day I was just thinking about them and wishing I could go and visit them for a fun adventure and then my imagination took over and Sophie and Jack’s story came to life. I loved writing this book and was able to use my nursing degree to help make my female protagonist’s role as a pediatrician feel authentic. And I’ll admit that out of all the books I’ve written (I have many more books to come!) Jack is one of my favorite characters.