I write contemporary romance with a high heat index to match their American southwest settings. Known by my writing buddies as “Angst”, I have a penchant for making my characters suffer. My stories may be tributes to the old saying, “No pain, no gain”, but my Hero and Heroine always get the happily-ever-after they so deserve.
I love sunny days, hot bread, the ocean, and that fluttery feeling I get inside at the first spark of a great romance. In between being a wife, mom of two teens, editor and writer, I like to read, garden, take morning walks, and make people laugh–probably succeed here when I try to jog.
For me, an excellent book has characters I can sympathize with or hate (sometimes both at once), a story I simply must see through to the end, and realistic dialogue. Give me those key elements, and I’ll read any genre or time period, any author.
1. Can you tell me a little about your book/series?
Trouble Won’t Wait is a lighter take on how one woman handles being jilted, and learns revenge can be spicy as well as sweet. I’ll put the blurb here, since it took me weeks to come up with:
Good things may come to those who wait, but trouble waits for no one…
Cheating is a dealbreaker…or so Mandy’s always thought. But when she catches her husband getting some “strange,” she realizes how hard it is to cut and run, or even file papers. She agrees to a month of counseling, which will give her time to grieve the loss of her marriage before she has to tell the world—and the kids. Then she meets Adam, who gives her a hunky–if mysterious–shoulder to cry on, and that thirty-day waiting period seems like an eternity.
Adam has no problem confessing that he’s watched Mandy from his window for months as she runs by his house. If he told her why, though, she’d freak out for sure. He knows they’ve got a future together, if he can think of a way to explain his past. And he’s sure the rat-bastard who cheated on her is putting the moves on her again, but he won’t be the revenge guy. The month-long cooling off period she agreed to is lasting forever, and might just be indefinite, if trouble keeps getting in their way.
WARNING: Eccentric old lady pushing salt-of-the-earth advice, bossy big brother, kooky counselor, super-secretive hunk, and perfect justice served amidst adult situations and language.
2. What inspired you to write this book/series?
The story began as a short story for a local writing contest. I opened it with Thanksgiving Day, post-dinner with inlaws, a position most women have been in. Only the main character has a bigger problem than her husband’s family: she caught her husband cheating the night before, and is trying to decide what to do next. Her decision is complicated further when a stranger introduces himself and makes it clear he find her attractive. I placed in the contest, but by the night of the awards ceremony, I’d gone on to write the rest of the novel.
3. How did you get started writing?
I started writing novels after I got the idea for one on a drive through the Mojave back to our house in California. I was very homesick for Colorado, hated our new “home,” and writing became my escape. Once I got started, I figured—like all new writers do—this is easy. I can totally do this! LOL (When I joined critique groups and saw how many things I’d done wrong, I realized it wasn’t all that easy.)
4. What was your first memorable life changing book you read and why?
I’m going to be honest. No books I’ve read have “changed my life.” That said, I have read some memorable stories, and had certain character stick with me. My mom and grandma used to pass on their romance novels to me when I was a teen. I can’t recall any of the characters exactly, except for Shanna (Kathleen Woodiwiss). But when I read the Earth’s Children series (Clan of the Cave Bear), I fell hard for Ayla and Jondalar. And they really have stuck with me.
5. Was it always your dream to become a published author?
No. I never considered it until 7 years ago.
6. What are your essentials for writing?
I need a nice uninterrupted block of time (an hour at least; 2 is better), and I have to disconnect from the Internet…no emails, no Facebook updates, no Twitter…
7. Do you have a favorite place to write?
We have this old computer desk for the decrepit desktop nobody uses anymore. I don’t know what it is about that desk, but I can really pound out the pages there. Really, I need to get rid of it—and the gimpy desktop, but I can’t bring myself to.
8. Do you have any words of advice for aspiring writers?
Keep writing, keep polishing, but most important: find a critique group you like, where most of the writers are working at or above your level of experience. You’ll not only learn how to edit, but how to write better, and you’ll get lots of inside info about the writing industry, and the business of writing.
9. Without giving too much away what’s your favorite part of the book and why? Favorite scene or line?
When Adam gets the flu, Mandy gets worried about him being there all alone and sick, and goes to check on him. The scene has some very funny parts. She thinks she’s gathering recon about him while he’s too out of it to keep up his mystery, but she ends up with even more questions, so the suspense ratchets.
10. What can we expect in the future from you as an author? Are you working on any new books?
I’m currently working on the sequel, where Mandy’s (now)ex gets his own happily-ever-after. Which sounds weird, since he’s something of the “bad guy” in Trouble Won’t Wait. But most everyone agrees, he’s not all bad. Since he finds new love at group therapy, I’m calling it Trouble, Anonymous.
11. Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book
Trouble Won’t Wait has humor, romance, intrigue, heartbreak, great sexual tension, and characters we can all identify with.
12. Goals for future projects?
I’d like to get productive enough that I can go back to having 2 releases per year.
13. When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
I wanted to be an artist. Sadly, my skill was lacking. Lol Now I paint pictures with words, and when I want to “create” something tangible, I do some crafty project.
14. How do you react to a bad review?
Roll my eyes, sigh, and mentally try to pick the review apart. If it has grammar and punctuation errors, or inaccuracies about the story, this is easy. : )
15. What’s your favorite season/weather?
Late spring to summer, when it’s warm.
16. Who or what inspires you?
Road trips. All the new sights are a powerful stimulus for my muse, I guess.
Thank you for having me.
On Best of 2012 USA Today list: http://usat.ly/Z1PRUV