Today I'm answering a few fun FAQ and sharing a look at my historical/western romance, Love, Lies & Redemption.
When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
I’ve always known I was a writer, and I began writing short stories in high school and college. After college, I took a writing class for fun and I learned a lot about the art of creating interesting characters and telling a great story. After being encouraged to submit my work, I decided to pursue writing seriously. Currently, I divide my time between writing novels, novellas, and short stories.
Where do you write?
I write anywhere I can. When the weather is nice, I like to write outside in my back yard. In the winter, I generally write in a comfy chair in the living room.
Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?
When I’m writing and proofreading I play quiet New Age or instrumental music in the background. (I find silence is too oppressive.) When I’m typing up a manuscript and/or making edits, I listen to all kinds of music: rock, pop, or whatever I’m in the mood for. My musical tastes are very diverse.
How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?
Bits and pieces of my characters come from people I know or people I observe. However, no one character is 100% anyone from real life. I was asked about this a lot when I wrote my wrestling romance, A Deceptive Match. Everyone wanted to know which wrestler the hero, Vinnie, was based on. He’s a composite of a lot of different wrestlers (and other people) all rolled into one.
As far as plots go, 99% of them are just things I make up. I have a vivid imagination and my day-to-day life is not as exciting as the worlds I create for my characters.
Describe your process for naming your characters.
Sometimes this is a hard process for me. When characters “introduce” themselves to me (aka “show up” in my head), I usually learn about them and their problem/situation before I’ll get a name. Usually, I’ll get a first initial or a first name only, and then have to discover more about the character before I get his or her whole name and backstory.
Love, Lies & Redemption is one example. Before I wrote a word, I had the whole opening sequence in my head. I knew Sam and Cassie’s first names, and a bit about their backgrounds, but that was it. Sometimes my characters are a mystery to me until I get to know them better—even though I’m the one creating them!
Real settings or fictional towns?
I set my stories in fictional towns that are loosely based on real places. When I’m writing, I change up the details to make them my own. I can add buildings or rearrange the layout of a town to suit the story. The town of Holloway in Love, Lies & Redemption was my invention, but it was typical of a small prairie town of that time period.
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