Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am a National and International Best-selling Amazon Author and once thought a great mystery or fantasy book with strong romantic themes was the best! After reading my first romantic suspense novel (accidentally purchased because I thought it was a mystery book), I never looked back. I’m the author of six romantic suspense novels, a Christmas novella, and the new McCallister’s Paradise contemporary romance series. In addition to that, I have books involved in several boxed sets with other authors with more to come this year.
I live in the western United States, and when I’m not writing I love playing cards with my family, bowling on leagues, and snuggling with my lazy kitties.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
I just released the first three books in a new contemporary romance series on April 7, 2015. McCallister’s Paradise is about a family who owns and operates a private island with a fancy resort near the big island of Hawaii. The McCallisters are a lot of fun, and I fell in love with this family and the island itself.
Happy Endings (Book 1), Diving Into Love (Book 2), and For Love or Charity (Book 3) are available. Currently, I’m working on books for the two youngest McCallister brothers, Love’s Ride (Book 4) and Cooking Up Love (Book 5). When I finish up with them, I have a lot more plans for romance on McCallister’s Paradise. I think I will be writing books on this island for a long time.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Nothing that I would consider unusual, really. I am a total seat of the pants writer, however, and I never write down ideas. Even when they come to me while I’m doing other things. My theory is that the good ideas will still be in my brain when I’m back at the computer writing. Whatever I thought up but then forgot probably doesn’t deserve a place in the book.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
So many! The whole reason I got into romance books (especially romantic suspense) is because of a book I picked up by Jayne Ann Krentz. She is fabulous! I quickly devoured all her books under that name and also her Amanda Quick historical romances.
Now that I am a published writer, I spend a lot of time reading Indie Authors (and they are the ones who help me with plot issues and really influence me the most). Rachelle Ayala and Michele Shriver are probably the authors I read the most.
What are you working on now?
I’m taking a quick break from McCallister’s Paradise to write a sports novella, Serving Up Love, which will be featured in the Score One For Love boxed set coming this summer. I’ll be joined up with 10 other authors, each of us with a sports-themed romance novella.
In Serving Up Love, Melanie Rush has been in love with her tennis coach, Ethan Patterson, for four years. In this forbidden romance novella, Melanie will have many challenges along the way to romance while she fights to make it to one of the Majors tournaments. Ethan is sure Melanie will be the next big thing on the women’s circuit, so struggles to keep things professional while leading her to greatness.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
There are so many great places. I’m very appreciative of sites that let me list with them for free such as Pretty Hot, Book Goodies, Wanton Reads, and Awesome Gang. As a struggling artist, there is never enough money to go around for promotion. If we are talking places that I have paid and been pleased with, Ereader News Today is probably my top pick.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Never stop. Sit in the chair, write the words, and keep going. Get help from people who know more than you do by finding more experienced authors to critique your work. (Critique Circle is a great place and I learned far more about what makes good writing while there than I did from any of the writing courses I took). This is a hard business. Don’t let yourself get down and discouraged if success doesn’t happen right away. Keep learning, keep writing, and keep dreaming. Everything worthwhile takes hard work! You can do it!
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
“Shut up and write!” I get that from my family – LOL. Now that I am seeing a bit of success with my sales after having released ten books, they are very supportive. They help keep me on track and keep my fingers tapping away on the keys.
What are you reading now?
I’m reading Part 2 of Intercepted By Love by Rachelle Ayala. It’s a great serial romance with a sports theme where the hot-shot quarterback is trying to win over the librarian geek. Love it! Part 1 was amazing too.
Next on my list is “My Favorite What If” by Lyssa Layne.
What’s next for you as a writer?
After finishing Serving Up Love, I’ll return to McCallister’s Paradise to finish off the two youngest brothers’ stories and then I have plans for many other series on the island. In addition, later this summer I am going to work on Book 3 of my Agents in Love series, Love & Compromise.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Hard question! I think it would have to be Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I was ‘forced’ to read that in high school and finished it in two days. I love the style and the story. I’ve probably read it eight times so far.