Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
Actually, I can't remember exactly when, but it was definitely in grammar school. My most clear memory if of my fourth grade teacher. She used to offer extra credit assignments, and would cut out pictures from magazines and newspapers, and staple them to a piece of loose-leaf paper. We could choose one to write a story about. I must have done close to 25 or 30 of them! I wrote my first complete novel in freshman year of high school. Long story behind that!
What makes writing your passion?
I've been an avid reader since I first learned around 5 years old. And I love words. When I would read books, I would think of ways to make a story better (never realizing then that I was editing in my head and turning it into a romance, every time! lol) Even in my former corporate marketing life, I was always looking for ways to make the product info pop (without the romance, of course!). Bottom line, words are my thing!
How long have you been writing?
As mentioned previously, seemingly my whole life. But as for seriously pursuing a career in romance fiction, I started back in the early 1990's. I played around with fan fiction for years, never realizing back then that was what it was called. But after a while, my own original characters started poking at me and I had to heed the call!
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Ecstatic! Validated! Motivated!
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
There's a story behind every one of my characters – and I'm not sure I can remember where they all originally came from! :D But TV shows, movies and books, and even song lyrics, that sparked my imagination inspired many of my characters.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
First things first - grow a thick skin! Because the best a new author can do is to find a writer's group, one that is composed mostly of authors of your genre choice. Soak up all the info available and accept honest critiques (not necessarily criticism - there is a difference) and be willing to learn.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Here's the flash drive with all the books! Save it! :D
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
I do, and I love to see when readers like my stories and characters. Bad reviews sting, of course, but I tend to let them roll off and not dwell on them.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Thrilled, of course!
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Nah, not so much. My personal life is not conducive to romance fiction. In fact, sometimes, it can be likened to a horror story! lol
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
I don't think any one specific character is based on me, but most of them have at least a few of my traits. Or ones I wished I had.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
Close, actually. It's definitely critical to attracting readers.The cover, IMO, should give a pretty good sense of the characters and the story, an enticement to the readers.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I love to engage with my readers – chat, email, FB and Twitter messages. I can't always keep up, but I try my best.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
Like every author, good reviews are a thrill.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
No way I can name just one - there probably isn't enough to name them all!! I'll share a few - though I'm seriously dating and aging myself here (I read many of their books on initial release!), but here's a bunch from the 70's through the 90's who have been a huge inspiration - Kathleen Woodiwiss, Johanna Lindsey, Catherine Coulter, and of course, Nora Roberts! Since then, there are so many more – Beverly Jenkins, Cherise Sinclair, Alyssa Cole, Kathryn LeVeque. Damn this could take a few more hours! lol
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
Nora Roberts, hands down. She is the queen.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
Absolutely! In fact, I am working on updating a book written/small-press published nearly 20 years ago and hope to have that out again by year-end.
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.
I ignore them. They might piss me off, but engaging never turns out well. Just gotta move on.
What would you say to your readers?
I hope you enjoy my books. I know some of the content is not for everyone, hence the warnings/hints that accompany the blurbs, etc., but if you like them, that's great. If you don't, that's fine too.
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
I'm a born-and-bred Jersey Girl (with Brooklyn roots), and still live in northern NJ, with my two wonderful young adult kids and husband.
What is your day job if you have one?
Lost my day job about 10 years ago, but it was for a global corp that I spent a very very long time at. Honestly, I wasn't disappointed! :D
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
Free time? Ha!
Did you have a happy childhood?
Yes, I did, though there were the usual adolescent bumps and mother/daughter/sister conflicts. Goes with the territory.
Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
Yeah, a few. I have a couple of vampire tales, and one that is connected to The Magiste Chronicles and one attached to Medieval Warrior's Legends.
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
Eh, don't really feel qualified to answer that, other than to say, all books should be accessible to age and grade-appropriate readers and students and let them decide. Some of the book banning going on now is troublesome because it stifles the opportunity to expand minds. Students should grow up learning that there are more ways than one belief or understanding certain folks think everyone should follow. Knowledge is never a bad thing, and reading inspires the thirst for more knowledge.
If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
What else would number 1 be? A million dollars, of course!
Hit #1 on NYT Best Seller list.
Have a stable full of horses.
What is your favorite music?
Classic rock and heavy metal, hands down. I'm a child of the 70's and 80's. I love Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, John Mellencamp, Kiss, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, the Stones, Elton John, The Eagles, the list goes on and on. Then again, I also like a lot of current or more recent artists – Pink, Goo Goo Dolls, Post Malone, Taylor Swift and so many more.
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