I am from Des Moines, Iowa. I was raised in a small town outside of Des Moines, and I love the Midwest in general. It really is true that you won’t meet nicer people anywhere else in the world. Growing up in a small community was also great. Very close knit, lasting friendships and a lot of field parties and creek swimming.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Oh that looks more like a list! A princess when I was little, then an architect, psychologist. I find interest in so many things, it has always been hard for me to nail down one specific path for my life.
Tell us about your latest book.
I have two very recent releases. The Devil’s Pawn (released 9/17/2012) and Brother’s Keeper (Released 10/22/2012). Blurbs for both follow:
The Devil’s Pawn:
When Ashton is left orphaned after her parents are murdered, her life becomes a hell she could never have imagined. Left to fend for herself, and responsible for a debt she doesn’t owe, she is swept into a life as a gentleman’s escort at a private men’s gaming hall. Her new manager makes it abundantly clear he doesn’t appreciate her inexperience, innocence, and shyness. On the contrary, he despises everything about her.
Derek can be “difficult,” she’s been told. And however dark and handsome he may be, he terrifies her in a way that chills her to the bone, but leaves her begging to understand him. As they are pulled along together, more secrets and threats than either one could ever conceive are revealed, and a common enemy emerges. This enemy will stop at nothing to bring Derek to his knees while using Ashton as the greatest pawn in his torturous game.
Will Derek be able to let down his shield of cold, harsh emotion before it’s too late? Will he be able to sacrifice himself to save Ashton, or will they both be destroyed by the secrets of their pasts?
When Rowan is awarded a ballet scholarship to Michigan State University during her senior year of high school, her life’s dream is finally realized. Having lost her mother at an early age and being subjected to the abuse of a destitute drunken father, she has known unimaginable loss and heartache and been left wanting for a better life—a life now within her grasp. But with one ill-fated phone call, her life is turned upside down.
Logan is Rowan’s best friend’s older brother whose career is taking off as he prepares to graduate law school and move cross-country to the prestigious law firm that has offered him a very lucrative contract. When Rowan finds herself at Logan’s mercy after he inadvertently learns of the abuse she has suffered at the hands of her father, their lives become intertwined in a way neither ever imagined nor wanted.
In an effort to protect her, but with his own hands tied by her unwillingness to report the abuse, Logan strikes a deal requiring Rowan to stay with him whenever there is a chance her father might be on a drunken binge—which is often. For her agreement and cooperation, he will keep her secret. Soon, their time together weighs on them both, and they find themselves constantly tempted to step outside the bounds of their supposed platonic relationship. But there is no point. The devastating fact of the matter is their lives are moving in opposite directions—a relationship destined to die before it even has a chance to live.
The ever present clock plagues them both as it ticks off the days until they are parted. But one all important question remains—after he leaves, how will he protect her from a father intent on hating her until the day he dies … or the day he kills her?
I have a book called Restoring Jordan that will be releasing on 12/17/2012, and I just recently finished a paranormal romance that I hope to have contracted very soon!
Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?
Finding the time. Between my career in Human Resources, raising a four year old and my college education, it’s tough to make time. But I always have, and I can’t imagine not finding the time to write.
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Don’t allow discouragement to sway your course. Sometimes it seems really daunting to sit down and write an entire book, but when you finish and you look back at that accomplishment, it makes it all worthwhile.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
I have small bouts that may last for a day or two and are usually the result of stress in my life. I will typically just put my writing aside for a couple days or even a week if I need to. Then when I pick it up again, I start reading the manuscript start to finish to get back in to that world, and I’m usually ready to start writing again after that.
How did you deal with rejection letters?
So far, I’ve not gotten a rejection. I have gotten a Revise and Resubmit, but I really just saw that as an assignment. Basically it said, we love it, but we want it tweaked. The critiques were valid, and I was happy to revise and resubmit, and it was contracted only a few weeks after I received the R&R. I’m sure I’ll receive a rejection at some point—I think you have to accept that it will inevitably happen, and I hope to see it as a tool I can use to better my writing. It can be hard, regardless of how valid the reasons may be, to receive any type of rejection, and I think you just have to give yourself time to digest it, and then move on.
What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
My tools and my must haves… my trusty laptop—a not so glamorous Toshiba that I love, my note pad that is always with me for jotting ideas and plots when I’m not able to write them, my calendar which is the only way I keep track of everything I have going on and deadlines that I’m up against, and a gazillion different flags on web pages I use to walk me through some of my grammar shortcomings – there’s still plenty left for the editor to do!
Where do you as an author draw the line on gory descriptions and/or erotic content?
I think using any negative, hurtful, degrading erotic or gory description to be titillating is where I would draw the line, but I have to admit that I’ve flirted with that a time or two – nothing severe mind you, but when you’re writing a darker dramatic story, those lines can be difficult… Not because you’re a masochist or want your characters to be degraded and hurt, but because some questionable content lends so strongly to a building relationship that sometimes starts out in a dark place.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?
I’m soooo not answering that question! Read my books, and you’ll get an idea what I may or may not have done… ‘nuff said!
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