Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
What a great opportunity to meet the many readers who call My Book Place home! I'm a romantic at heart, and after experimenting with a few genres early in my career, I've found that I enjoy crafting romances the best. I have a couple of books with a little 'heat' in them (clearly marked in the book descriptions), but of late I've found more satisfaction in telling stories that fit into the Women's Fiction category. I enjoy the challenge of telling a romantic story without graphic sex. Don't get me wrong – sex scenes are great in some books but frankly there are other authors out there who do it better, so I'll stick with my style of romance, which means a more nuanced story, and of course a happy ending. Always a happy ending!!
I've written 32 books, ten of which are novellas.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My most recent is Book Eight in the Forever series. It's the last book in that series, and was gratifying to write. The series consists of eight stand-alone stories, set in and around Victoria, B.C. One of the characters – the main character in the last book – is in each of the stories, acting as a sounding board for the individual women.
The inspiration for this series came about when I learned about breast reconstruction surgery after cancer surgery and I started thinking about all the changes we women undergo in our lives. Each story focuses on the change in a woman's live, and how that change led to love.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Nothing I'd call unusual. I like to be quiet, and to have a clear stretch of time ahead of me (a month or so) once I get started. I work every day which for me keeps the story flowing.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
That's hard to say because I've been reading ever since I could pick up a book. I read some rather strange stuff when I was young; I'm so thankful that my choices weren't restricted.
What are you working on now?
I'm plotting out a five-book series. I need to know the story arc for each character, so it's more work than usual to get it planned out. Hopefully that will make it easier to write. I already have the covers done by my amazing cover artist, so that's an inspiration. The name of the series is called Second Chances.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I've tried everything since I started, and I must say it takes time to realize that the best type of promotion is to interact with readers. I learn a lot from them. As to paid promotion, there are a few advertising sites I use regularly, plus I do some paid promotion on Facebook. I also have a Starter Library (four free books) which is accessible through my website. Four books seems like a lot to give away, but three of them are the first books in series and they give the reader a chance to see if they'd like to buy the rest of the books. The fourth one is a Christmas Story.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Yes. Don't expect to get rich from writing. Don't chase trends. Write what you know – that's an oldie, but it's true. Be ready to accept criticism when you show your work for the first time, and try to find someone other than your family who will give you an honest opinion. Don't try to make your own covers. A professional cover artist will pay for him/herself many times over.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
It's a business. Treat it as such.
…and grow a thick skin. You'll need it.
What are you reading now?
I've been giving myself a break from romances, and I'm reading the Gabriel Allon series by Daniel Silva. Exciting, plus I always learn something.
What’s next for you as a writer?
The series I mentioned above. That should take over a year and I don't like to plan ahead any longer than that.
What is your favorite book of all time?
It's a toss-up between:
Whitethorn by Bryce Courtenay
Blue Horizon by Wilbur Smith