Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
See? This is the hard question. I think I’m normal, but I guess it depends on who you ask. I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart for almost 30 years; I have two wonderful children who are practically perfect in every way; I’m doing what I love to do as my career – and yet, by the dark of the night, when the moon is full, I have an irresistible urge to break into cemetaries and knock on the tombstones just to see if someone will knock back.
I love reading anything in the romance and suspense genre, which is why most of my novels have a bit of suspense in them. I started writing my Tempered Steel series years ago. Whistlin’ Dixie is book one and is about a family of seven brothers, with the main story of Mac, the eldest, trying to rebuild his hometown after a flood. Once it was finished, I knew I had to write about the rest of the brothers and now it’s seven novels, two novellas and a cookbook! Not to mention the fans that want to know more about the inhabitants of the small town of Grafton, Illinois. I’ve written three of the seven novels and one of the novellas will be coming out at the end of September.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Love, Marriage & Mayhem is my latest installment in the Tempered Steel series. I’ve been studying the Dominant/submissive lifestyle for another series, and I came upon the term ‘sensuous Dominant’ and I realized it described my hero, Brandon, perfectly. From that point, the story simply evolved.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Other than channeling my characters and yelling at my husband? lol Not really. I do the dancing thing a lot, especially when I’m stuck. In the past, I would close my eyes to try and picture the scene, but I usually just fell asleep and I’d wake up when I cracked my head on the keyboard.
Well, like most indie authors, I have a day job. I own an in-home daycare, so most of my promoting is down before 7:00 am, my writing is done when I can get them all down for a nap and at night and on weekends. It’s a bit crazy, but it works for me! I like to consider that it may be chaos, but it’s a controlled chaos!
When I am writing, I listen to classical music, but when I’m plotting, I emerse myself in pop music. I get the beat going, dance around and the ideas just flow from there.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Authors – Hmm, that’s hard because I have discovered so many new indie authors that are truly gifted. Cali MacKay has a similar writing style to mine and we’ve become good book friends. Lexi Blake and Shayla Black have pushed the erotic envelope, so to speak, and allowed all of us to enjoy a little peek into the D/s world. Charlaine Harris built an entire world of vampires, werewolves and fairies in her Sookie Stackhouse series. And Amanda Quick/Jayne Ann Krentz/Jayne Castle, has taken the reader through Regency, Present Day and Futuristic scenarios that all blended together in an ongoing mystery/romance series. And then there’s Nora Roberts, who has such a flare for storytelling that she simply looks at the paper and it’s a bestseller!
What are you working on now?
My fans have been clamoring for the Coalson parents love story, so I’m drafting a novella just for them. then it’s onto book five in the series, plus I’ve got a correlation with another author on an erotic series about Women of a Certain Age….
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Oh that is so hard because I am so bad at it! with Whistlin’ Dixie, I basically wrote it, put it on Amazon and said, “here. Here’s my book. buy it please!” I had no idea about how to promote on Facebook, or other websites. I was basically a go to the library or recommendations from friends reader. I’ve learned so much in the past year!
I just go to all the groups, bloggers, websites I can find and tell them about me and my books. Maybe it’s not the most efficient way to go about it, but for now, it’s what I’ve got.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Plan Ahead. Before you even put pen to paper to publish, get on all the social sites, find groups, bloggers, etc. that are in your genre and communicate with them. Join reading groups, start your own blog, get a website. Do all the prep work beforehand. I didn’t and it’s been so hard to write and catch up with finding groups and promo spots. Take the time to do the research and they will have a much easier time when they are ready to publish. And don’t be afraid to ask other authors you admire for advice or help. Most of us are more than willing to answer questions and steer you in the right direction for answers.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Keep the fights clean and the sex dirty.
What are you reading now?
Love Me Without Regret, by Renee Kennedy, Awesome new author!
What’s next for you as a writer?
Finishing the Tempered Steel series of course, but I’m thinking of a spinoff series involving the paranormal realm as well as an erotic romance series focusing on “Women of a Certain Age”.
I’m tired of all the young women featured in erotic romance. Older women are hot and as the saying goes, “we KNOW stuff.”
What is your favorite book of all time?
The Flame and The Flower – Kathleen Woodiwiss. My first romance book…