Where do you get your inspiration?
Inspiration can come from anywhere. I’m a proficient eavesdropper, collecting tidbits of other people’s conversations for use in my writing. I love to travel, so the places I’ve been sometimes become a setting for a scene in one of my books. My Colorado series is set in one of my favorite parts of the country, southwestern Colorado. When I was traveling through Arkansas, I saw an abandoned house sitting high on a hill. I got the idea the house could be haunted. That house became the inspiration for my upcoming release, Laurel Heights. Sometimes, a movie or a song will get me thinking “what if...”. Almost every one of my stories has begun with a “what if” question. Like Deceptions Of the Heart began with the question, “What if you awoke in someone else’s body?” Inspiration ferments in a mind that is open to seeing the usual from an unusual perspective.
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
Marketing is the hardest for me. Once I was published, it wasn’t difficult to continue to have my work published. Actually, because anyone can self-publish, it’s no longer difficult to become a published author. Writing comes naturally to me. When I’m in my writing cave, the words seem to flow from my fingertips with ease. I’ll have an occasional bout of writer’s block, but that usually happens when my other life pulls me away from writing for a while and when I can write again I have to get back into it. No, by far marketing is the worst of the three. There are so many different ways to promote my work, but it is hard to know what works and what doesn’t. I’m still in the process of a lot of trial and error to find out what works best for me. It’s frustrating, because promotion is time-consuming, and I’d much rather be writing.
Do you plan to publish more books?
I figure I have a few more years ahead of me. I plan to publish books until the day I die or until my mind doesn’t churn out plots any longer. In 2014, I anticipate adding four books to my published works. In 2015, I plan to publish a series of five books, as well as another stand-alone book. I have enough completed manuscripts on my hard drive to polish and publish for years with new ideas forming in my mind all the time. I won’t run out of material any time soon. As long as I can find an outlet to publish my work, I will be publishing my books.
What else do you do to make money, other than write? It is rare today for writers to be full time…
I graduated from LSU with a degree in accounting. I have a part time job with a local CPA firm where I keep books and prepare tax returns for our clients. Accounting is a skill I learned that makes me a few dollars to feed my writing habit. I think of accounting as my second job.
If you could study any subject at university what would you pick?
If I could have a do-over, I’d go back to school and study forensics. I would love to be a criminologist.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
Colorado. When I was young, my mother would show me picture albums of the trips she and my father took to Colorado before I was born. I dreamed of being able to go to the places she had been. We were eventually able to take a family vacation there and I fell in love with the mountains. After I married, I discovered my husband loved the mountains just as much as I did. We have traveled to different parts of Colorado many, many times. We love day hiking and I think we’d love to be able to do some more of that before we get too much older. So retiring to the edge of the mountains would be my heart’s desire.
How do you write – laptop, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
Well, right now I’m sitting on my living room sofa tapping away at my MacBook Pro. This is my typical writing position. I have my feet propped on my coffee table. My red blanket is nearby in case I get cold. Usually I have a cup of coffee close by, but as it’s past 11 pm right now, I think I’ll skip the cup of coffee.
Where do you get support? Do you have friends in the industry?
I have made some terrific friends in the publishing world and what’s so weird about that is that I’ve never met anyone of them face-to-face. I’ve made connection with other writers through Yahoo publisher groups, my Twitter feed, and Facebook. There is a group of writers I can ask for support, and they don’t hesitate.
How much sleep do you need to be your best?
At least eight hours. It seems like the best sleep I get is the nine minutes between snoozes. A good day is one where I can string at least four snoozes together.
Every writer has her own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?
I am well aware that the odds of making a lot of money in this business are slim, so my goal is not to achieve fame or fortune. I want to keep writing because I love to write. But I think deep in every writer’s heart is the desire to be read. Nothing makes me feel more successful than when someone tells me she loved my book and wants to read more of what I write. That is why I write.
Sometimes the end is only the beginning.
Almost a year after her husband dies, Ellie Marston opens the file for Tab’s last manuscript, a thriller so compelling it reads like a true story. His manuscript needs an ending, so Ellie writes the obvious conclusion. The same morning she types The End, her career as an assistant district attorney falls apart. Accused of throwing the high profile Patterson case, she resigns in disgrace. The only friend she has left in the criminal justice system is Det. Paul Santiago, a man she has worked closely with on numerous cases. While she was married to Tab, she squashed her growing feelings for Paul, determined to make her deteriorating marriage work, but circumstances after Tab’s death bring Ellie and Paul together.
Ellie’s paranoia increases as she becomes convinced Patterson is harassing her, certain that someone is searching her belongings for any hidden evidence she might have that would reopen his case. It becomes clear there was a conspiracy to release Patterson. She seeks help from her former co-worker, Presley Sinclair, but soon discovers Presley is deeply involved in the subsequent cover up. Worse yet, Tab’s affair with Presley drew him into the twisted conspiracy as well.
Together Paul and Ellie attempt to uncover the conspiracy in the District Attorney’s office, the set up that forced her to resign. The key to the mystery is hidden in the pages of Tab’s manuscript. Once Paul and Ellie come to the correct conclusion—Tab’s manuscript is a true story and Ellie’s added ending is the only logical outcome—Ellie attempts to reveal Patterson’s hidden partner in the District Attorney’s office, but the co-conspirator she uncovers is not whom she suspects. Danger swirls around her as she steps further and further into the conspirator’s trap.
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Genre – Romantic Suspense
Rating – PG
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