Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’ve always written. Always. I can remember a sixth-grade teacher advising me to explore my talent. I majored in journalism in college (I’m Penn State proud!) and wrote features and sports for major daily newspapers before becoming a full-time novelist. I’ve written more than 35 books, from single-title romantic comedies to emotionally charged family dramas. I’ve been traditionally published by Harlequin (Superromance, Temptation and Duets), Dorchester Lovespell and Avalon Books. Updated editions of my romcoms, as well some romantic mysteries, are available for the eBook market. So is a paranormal serial called Dead Ringers for young adults on up that involves body switching!
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Anything and everything inspires me. I think an author’s subconscious is always at work, looking for material that can be incorporated into a book. I recently epublished Three’s Comedy, a boxed set of three of my single-title romantic comedies. One of the books (Snoops in the City) is about an amateur private eye who’s falling for the man she’s investigating. My sister was the inspiration since she’s a PI. But she’s not an amateur and the only guy turning her head is her husband!
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I write on an AlphaSmart, which is a battery-run writing tool that has a screen showing only four lines. The great thing about it is there’s no temptation to check email or browse the Internet. When I’m through with a scene, I transfer it onto my laptop. While the scene is transferring, it almost seems as though a ghost is sitting at the computer typing the words. I’m fighting the good fight against becoming a procrastinator.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
That’s a tough one. I’ve read so many books in my lifetime and loved so many authors. Oddly, though, one of my favorite genres to read is domestic suspense. Those are the books with secrets and mysterious going-ons set in families, like the books Harlan Coben writes. Maybe one day I’ll write a romantic comedy domestic suspense.
What are you working on now?
I’m writing a romantic comedy trilogy about three brothers with the last name of Devine. They’re all handsome and single so they’re known collectively as the Devine Brothers. The first story is about a hockey player and the female sportswriter whose Twitter reference to him as a #prettyboythug gets lots of traction. The hockey player isn’t too happy about that!
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Honestly, promotion isn’t my strong point. It probably stems from being taught as a child not to brag about myself, which is a pretty good life lesson but not the best advice for an author trying to get the word out about her books.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Don’t give up on chasing your dream. Writing is hard work, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. Hone your craft by attending workshop, going to conferences, networking with other authors and, above all, writing.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
I like that inspirational poem about success being failure turned inside out. The last lines are “So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit. It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.”
What are you reading now?
I’m reading an older book by Sophie Kinsella, an author I’ve never read before and am thoroughly enjoying. It’s called Remember Me, and it’s a romantic comedy about a woman who can’t remember the last three years of her life.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’m sticking with romantic comedy. I just started the Devine Brothers trilogy so that’ll keep me busy. It might also keep me happy. My daughter says I’m always in a better mood when I’m writing comedy.
What is your favorite book of all time?
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I could read it over and over.