Some warm-up questions first:
Coffee or tea?
Coffee on a regular basis, tea (herbal) in the fall/winter.
What puts you in a bad mood?
I don’t experience bad moods, per se. If you mean, “What pisses you off?” I would say complainers, people who complain a lot, and bad drivers.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
I would like to be able to walk through walls.
Where is your favorite place you’ve ever traveled to?
I haven’t traveled a lot, but I do like the West coast, Victoria, BC in particular.
I don’t indulge in chocolate much so don’t really have a favourite.
What would you do if you won the lottery?
That would most definitely depend on the amount of my winnings. I would love to purchase a sizable piece of land, 50+ acres, to roam with my dogs and my sweetheart.
And now on to the writing-related stuff:
For how many years have you been writing now, and how did you come to it?
I dabbled in writing as a child/teenager, but nothing serious until I was about 33, when I decided to write the kind of book I wanted to read, the kind featuring strong lesbian characters. I didn’t take any courses, but I’ve always been an avid reader with a keen eye and mind for spelling, grammar, and editing.
Why do you write? What does it mean to you?
I write because it satisfies me, in a way very few things ever have. It’s what I need to do. Writing keeps me grounded and sane, even when, at times, it drives me crazy.
How long does it take you to write a novel?
My first novel, Everything Pales in Comparison, took me ten years. My second, 3 years. I think it’s safe to say it depends on the novel, on the story, the characters.
How much time per week do you spend writing?
Sometimes 5-8 hours, sometimes less than an hour. It depends on how the story is going.
When and where do you write the most?
I write at home for the majority of the story, but I jot down notes frequently, and ideas wherever I might be. I need to always have a notebook with me.
How would you describe yourself?
Difficult to get to know, somewhat aloof, reserved, but with a fine sense of humour and a quick wit, with high standards, morals and ethics.
How much of yourself is in your characters?
Probably a fair smidgen, to varying degrees, depending on the character.
What do you find the most challenging part of writing?
Working through a character’s experiences, her pain, her joys, those things that are all a part of us, but which I get to dissect and expose as a writer.
What are you reading right now?
I just finished Cat Warren’s What the Dog Knows: The Science and Wonder of Working Dogs.
What do you think makes a good romance novel?
A believable storyline, three-dimensional characters, realistic dialogue. If those things aren’t present, it makes for a trying read at best, and a book to be tossed at worst.
What advice would you give new authors?
Read outside of your comfort zone. Pick up fiction and non-fiction, by the best and perhaps not-so-best, to see what works and what doesn’t.
What are you working on right now?
I’ve just submitted my second novel, Falling, to Bella Books, for editing, and have moved on to my third novel. It’s currently untitled, and I’m compiling my notes for the outline.
What future writing projects can we look forward to?
I have a three or four ideas percolating, one a medieval-type story that takes place in the future; another a Western; another featuring a mercenary hired to infiltrate a cult to remove a (supposed) important individual. These are all just rough ideas, skeletons really, that require a lot of fleshing out. But they are ideas that have stuck with me for several years. Stephen King once said about ideas, “Your job isn’t to find these ideas, but to recognize them when they show up.” I understand that. I don’t sit around thinking of story ideas, but when an idea, a good idea, shows up, I’m on it.
Thanks for answering our questions.