What inspired you to write your first book?
“It was a combination of things really. The heroine came first, Bailey Khane, and she simply would not leave me alone. Yet, I didn’t have a story for her yet – lots of ideas but those are easy, I didn’t have a plot so I put it on a backburner thinking I’d write it during that mythical time frame of ‘later’.
Shortly after my grandmother passed away and I realized, wow, what if later never comes? I also realized if grandma knew I was putting something off – she’d kick my rear even from the great beyond!
Whether it was her influence or sheer coincidence, I was browsing the news (which I almost never do) because I was too deep in mourning to do much of anything useful…when…bam. Right there, front page was the story of a brutal murder.
After that everything just ‘clicked’.”
What books have most influenced your life most?
“Hands down top is Jillian Michaels’ “”Unlimited”" she’s a fantastic inspiration and I revisit her book each year to get my head in my ‘A’ game.”
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Oh tough one. There are so many incredible authors out there and each have their own specialty and allure that really it’d be a list!
What genre do you consider your book(s)?
I write in what I call my tripod of doom! Ahem, that would be horror/supernatural suspense, urban fantasy and fantasy. They all overlap, more or less, and each of my books has a strong mingling from the other genres. They all also have elements of romance in them with Primal being the sauciest of them.
What book are you reading now?
Water – Tales of Elemental Spirits. I’m generally not keen on short stories and can’t write them to save my behind, but I loved the cover and couldn’t pass it up. So far it’s been a lot better than I expected.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Maybe… *grins* My most current release is Primal, which is the first book in a gritty, saucy urban fantasy series that features beautifully nasty werewolves. I particularly enjoyed working with the hero and heroine of Primal – they’re so dynamically different from each other and facing so many obstacles that sometimes we (Lain and I) wondered how we’d manage to get them to survive.
Who designed your covers?
I’m not sure, my covers are designed by my publishers.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
“Each book I’ve written has faced it’s own trials, all of them are different and some involved some serious brainstorming to figure out.
With Primal the biggest issue we faced was what to put in and what to leave out, what subplots to show and which to hide in the shadows – yes, *evil grin* there are several other diabolical hands at play in that story that will be revealed later in the series.
All of the aspects were so intriguing that it was vexingly difficult to make those choices. In the end, we decided to show the ones the reader would most enjoy at this portion of the story.”
Do you write an outline before every book you write?
“My first book, Apparitions, I did without any sort of outline – pantster style. With Wendigo I upgraded to what I call ‘headlight’ outlining, where I’d outline 2-3 chapters ahead. What I found was I ended up wasting a lot of time this way writing myself down dead ends, straying off on side tangents that really didn’t fit the over-all novel and various other problems. What it all amounted to was a ton of time soaked into re-writing, revisions, lots of edits and general frustration.
Needless to say that wasn’t working for me, so I switched to a general outline using 3×5 cards and the wall. After breaking a multitude of tacks and creating a mess of our drywall (not fond of cork board), we finally created the Plot Wall with sheet insulation – works great!
Basically it’s a system that allows us to have maximum ability to shape the plot as we go, but there’s still a skeleton there to keep things on track.”
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never give up!
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for continuing to read despite the flood of games, movies, iPods and other media. Without you, authors would wither, our souls dwindle, for what purpose is there in a story without the grace of a reader’s eyes?