- Have the main character of your last novel introduce you to our readers.
This is Hope. She’s alright, I guess, but she damn does she makes you work for a happily-ever-after. If you’re a fan of nerdy, swoony characters, inappropriate humor and gratuitous sex, she’s your girl.
- Without giving us spoilers introduce your latest and greatest novel or work in progress and let us know which it is and if it’s a WIP let us know when it goes live.
Before and After You is an oh-so-satisfying slow burn featuring a smoldering, smooth-talking hero and a take-no-prisoners smart-ass heroine. Prepare yourself for simmering sexual tension, banter galore and SPARKS.
- What do you like best about your main character in your latest and greatest or WIP from above?
Leigh D’Alessandro is strong-willed and fights like hell to do the right thing for everyone around her. She’s been hurt in the past, badly, and must find the wherewithal to hope for a second chance. Watching her find the strength to confront her past, acknowledge her vulnerabilities and build a better life made me so very proud of her.
- Tell us a little about one of your side characters from your latest and greatest or WIP?
Adesola Rojas! She’s wise-cracking professor/gynecologist who keeps it real and won’t let her friends hide their heads in the sand for long. Miles Green, Walker’s bestie, has his own charm too.
- How did you come up with your idea for the above story?
During my postdoc at a cancer center, I met a young patient with a remarkable story. Walker’s journey mirrors some of the experience that patient shared with me.
- What was your writing plan for this book or WIP?
I told myself I’d plot this book out, but that didn’t happen. As much as I’d like to believe I can be a plotter, I’m a pantser at heart. I was just as clueless as the characters when it came to the ending. It’s way more fun that way!
I work by day and write by night. I try to tackle the meatier scenes or lay groundwork before I leave for the gym. 8pm to midnight seems to be the magical window for me.
I fully embrace Stephen King’s advice about leaving a first draft in a drawer for a few months before returning to it. ‘Before and After You’ benefited from that. By the time Future Me reviewed the draft, she had an even better grasp of the characters and their journey. It strengthened the book that much more.
The challenge is getting done in time to build in that resting time.
- How do you handle writers block?
If I haven’t started the book, and the issue is firming up the story or characters, I’ll give myself space (within reason) to let them play around in my head. In this early stage of development, I find my creativity does better when I allow it to breathe. I’ve also learned how to whisper notes into my phone in the middle of the grocery store or write quick notes on my hands. Those little impressions or throwaway quotes in your brain can be a huge starting point.
For writer’s block occurring in the middle of a draft, I try to push myself along. I’m less likely to have this happen and I try to coax myself to write a little every day, just to stay in the habit of writing. I think there’s a small kernel of truth about needing to persist past writer’s block (thank you, Shonda Rhimes). A newly evolving approach that’s working really well for me is taking a small break and spending time in nature. Having distance from a plot problem can help, especially if you’re mulling it over during a hike or walk on the beach.
- Do you have a secret writing ritual and what is it?
I love watching The Twilight Sage: Breaking Dawn Part I while writing. It never gets old, ever. Don’t tell anybody.
- What is your writing snack?
Things I can pick up easily up and eat while wearing carpal tunnel braces. Popcorn, Doritos. A square of chocolate if things are really humming.
- What do you do when you’re not writing?
When I’m not working, and if it’s not too hot, I love long walks on the beach. I’ve also picked up kayaking, and I’m hoping to learn how to crochet soon. I’m looking for a calming, creative habit, so I’ll also take suggestions.
- What is your favorite season and why?
Autumn! I miss it so much. I’m noticing my books are often set in autumn now. It’s such a beautiful transition. When the sky is gray and gloomy, it just makes the autumn leaves that much more vivid by contrast.
- What is your favorite genre to read and what do you like about it?
Romance, and some of my favorite romance authors, will always be favorite, forever and ever, world without end, amen. Some of the hardest times of my life were made bearable by the happily ever after delivered from a romance novel.
If I’m not reading romance, I’m reading horror. Stephen King is my absolute favorite horror author. The mounting tension, tense pacing, horrifying reveal . . . it’s delicious.
- What do you spend your music so you listen to when you write? How does it help to put you in the mood?
I have a playlist specifically for sex scenes. It’s very effective. ;-p I think I’m most likely to listen to classical music in a lost of cases, matched to the energy of the scene. Depending on how stubborn the scene is, I may stick to silence.
MAY QUESTION OF THE MONTH
May is full of hope and new beginnings what do you hope spring brings you?.
I hope May sees me making further inroads with one publication, while also saying goodbye to the beloved characters in another book I’ve just finished.
Great books to curl up to this spring and summer Check them out and enjoy.
These are special books that are only available through this Blog for a limited time so check them out.
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