I’ve loved reading since age five, but I always thought writing a book was something so special I could not possibly do it. When I’d achieved everything I wanted to achieve in my career as a mental health social worker, though, I took the plunge and started writing romance and I’ve never looked back. I’m lucky enough to have found success at writing what I love to read—Regency Historical Romance—even winning Romance’s highest honor, the RITA for A Reputable Rake, as well as other romance writing awards.
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Did you ever want to quit writing? Why or why not?Never! My only regret is that I started writing late, as a second career. I don’t have the years to build my career that younger writers do. Writing Romance has been a joy in my life.
What are your writing career goals? (i.e. to write 2 books a year? To hit the NY Bestsellers List? To sell 100 books a month?)I always want to have a contract to write the next book. I’d love to hit the New York Times Best Seller list, of course, because that would mean more people like and buy my books, but mostly I want to keep writing.
Have you truly mastered grammar and sentence structure? Do you feel 100% confident about every comma in your book?Yes! At least about 98%. I had a very good foundation in grammar in school and I know what to look up if I’m not sure of something. I’ve caught lots of mistakes made by my books’ copy editors.
How many pages do you think you could write in one day if you had zero interruptions from 8 AM to 8 PM?I polish as I go, so if I write 10 pages a day, that’s a lot for me. And I can’t write from 8 am to 8 pm. My brain gets tired at about 4 pm.
How do you think (take a guess) writers like Nora Roberts write so many books in a year?I belong to Washington Romance Writers. Nora is also a member, so I am a little acquainted with her. I know she has a very strong work ethic and the ability to self-structure. So she works steadily, 9 to 5. I also think that Nora knows her writing process very well and that she’s blessed with a very creative mind. This combination results in several books a year!
(I greatly admire Nora, in case you couldn’t tell!)
What would be easier for you to write, a sex scene or a murder scene?Neither daunt me. It is easier to write a murder scene, I think, because there are dozens of ways to commit murder. For me, it is more of a challenge to write love scenes but only because I need to keep the love scenes in my books fresh and different each time.
My favorite is to write a battle scene, though.If you were allowed to have only ONE book (of yours) for sale on Amazon and B&N, which book would you select? Why do you think readers might enjoy it?
Choose only one of my babies? No way! But if you forced me to choose, I’d choose the latest book, Valiant Soldier, Beautiful Enemy. The newest one is always my favorite.Any advice for new writers just getting started?
Finish the book! You will learn so much if you let yourself write a whole book from beginning to end. Expect criticism and try to learn from it, but don’t take all negative feedback to heart. Trust your own vision for your book and only follow advice if it makes sense to you.
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