I can pretty much answer both of these in one answer. When I started writing, I had several influences. Now, don’t laugh because they don’t write like me and I don’t write like them, but they were my loves at the time and they were the ones that, little known to them, are what gave me that one ‘I can write this’ moment: Julie Garwood (historicals), Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas (historicals), Linda Howard (when she was writing really HOT romance like After the Night and Kill and Tell and Now You See Her), Susan Johnson (historicals). My English 101 professor in college was also a very big encouragement to me.
UTC: Oh! A historical romance fan! I adore you even more now! I love Lisa Kleypas as well! If you could collaborate with any other author, who would you want to work with?
Just one? I can’t choose just one. There are several…
UTC: What is your normal writing routine?
I don’t have normal. I try to write every day. I try to write a certain amount of good words a day. I don’t often succeed. What works best for me, to get me moving, is timed writing. I will put 20 minutes on the clock and write as much as I can. I will do this 4 times or more until I get to a place I feel good about stopping at. I try to write in the mornings and early afternoons, but sometimes it’s not until late afternoon or around 10pm at night that get the gumption to sit my ass down and concentrate. I have to have the voices talking to me, the dialogue. I have to see the scene playing out in my head before I can write. I want a normal writing routine, but so far I just haven’t found it yet.
UTC: In Stick Shift, the heroine Lily is older than the hero, Cam Carter. Is there a reason behind this? Do you believe that age matters in a relationship?
At the time, and even still, I have an incredible fascination with younger men/older women. It seems such a, if not taboo, a subject that people are finicky about. For years the older man/younger woman dynamic has been more or less accepted, but an older woman and a younger man…there’s always much talk and speculation about it. I wanted to explore that some and I really enjoyed writing it. I have several books written in that particular sub-genre. I like it. I know younger men that are much more focused and mature than men my own age or men older than me. I find that curious and interesting and worth researching.
I don’t believe age matters. I believe personalities matter. Belief systems. Morals and that overall cosmic connection.
UTC: Well said and I totally agree! Vinter from Simple Need is my favourite hero out of all your books! I’m trying to hold back my fan girl squeals (and failing). How did his character come to be? Why do you think fans adore Vinter so much? What makes him so irresistible?
Vinter came to be because he’s a real guy. I met him online a few years ago on an adult bulletin board site. He had some pictures of…parts of himself (yes, I mean the piercings)and well, like any red-blooded woman, I was intrigued. I asked questions, we became friends, I asked more questions, saw some PG-rated pictures of him, all the tattoos, more piercings, and knew I had struck gold. I asked him if I could write a book around him and he said yes.
He has since gotten married, to an older woman, no less. He did read the book and was very pleased with my tale. I kept the character very true to him and that made me and him happy.
I’m not sure why Vinter holds so much appeal for readers. Everyone, save one or two, loves him. He really does embody the bad boy and Elise really does embody the every day, normal, average woman. I think putting him with her is a fantasy many women like her have. He’s awesome. He takes care of her from the moment he meets her until the end of the book. He’s concerned about her. He’s blown away by her realness. In our fantasy lives, we dream about a man like that accepting us for who we are.
And, feel free to squeal as much as you need to. I understand…grins.
UTC: VINTER IS REAL?! I can’t...I can’t function now. *squeals* In books like Charming Lucy where there are three main leads, how important is establishing a character’s personality?
Lucy was my second book and not as tight a book as I’d like it to be. I’ve gone back and read it and found that it needed a lot of help, help I didn’t realize at the time, help I could give it now. I think in ménage or more books, the character personalities of all involved need to complement one another almost to perfection. There needs to be development and depth to each one that is tangible and real. I think it’s very hard to do and create a storyline around them. If you just want multiple people having sex, then little info is fine, but if you want more from those characters, personalities that mesh and connect for and through all parties involved, I think it’s very, very important to make sure they are well established and grounded.
UTC: I think you are very successful in establishing those concrete personalities for each character. When writing erotic romance, do you find it difficult to keep things fresh and sexy? Where does an idea for a book come from?
Yes, I do find it difficult, but I think it depends on the characters as to how fresh and how sexy it can or will be. Not every book will be a good book for spanking. It doesn’t fit every characters personality. I like to write characters that have a little something that is irresistible to the other. A love of lingerie, or sex toys, or spanking, or food. I like to write characters that can surprise one another and even surprise me. That’s how I keep it fresh and sexy.
Ideas for my books come from a variety of places. Stick Shift came from my love of racing and that I am a huge fan of Kyle Busch. He is hated by many in the sport. I love that. It makes for great atmosphere. I love writing characters around people I know like Vinter. My new book that will be coming out with Samhain Publishing later this year, Twisted Up, came from my friendship with a hot, young cowboy and a line in a SheDAISY song. Simple Need, Carnal Ecstasy, Ink Spot all came from the song S.E.X by Nickelback. Music is a big influence for me when it comes to my books. A line. A title. Scenery is big too. Mountains, water, snow. Heck, things just from my life… I have a book I’m working on called Get Lost about a wedding planner whose cousin keeps changing her wedding date and the planner goes off on everyone. This is somewhat derived from real life as my cousin kept changing her wedding date.
I’m kind of all over the map with where ideas come from, huh?
UTC: That’s quite interesting to hear all the different influences! When writing a sexy scene, how do you know when something is too much?
I’ll feel it. I’ll read it and feel whether it should or shouldn’t be there. It’s dependent on the characters too. Does it fit them? If it doesn’t, then it shouldn’t be there. Just because you want him to tie her up, doesn’t mean it fits with their personalities or their story.
UTC: If your life were made into a movie, what genre would it be? What channel would it be aired on?
The genre would be drama. The channel would be HBO or Showtime.
UTC: What fact about you would surprise your fans?
Probably that I don’t sleep with the coffee pot. LOL… I honestly don’t know what would surprise my readers about me. I am fairly open about who I am. Most know my quirks and addictions and tastes.
UTC: And we love you for it! Once again, thanks so much for being part of our Burning Up July event!