Where do you hail from and what do you love most about your hometown?
I’m originally from Connellsville, Pennsylvania, and I love the mountains. Since I live in the on the very flat and frozen shores of Lake Erie, I miss looking at the horizon and seeing them rising up to touch the sky.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I planned to be either an astronaut or the president. Neither has worked out yet but as an author, I get to be everything. Other than not being in zero g, it’s even better than I planned, really.
Tell us about your latest book.
Hypnotist is a story about what happens when someone who is very prone to hypnotic suggestion, because artistic types use theta waves—the same part of the brain used for hypnotism—was advised to dare to do what they wanted. Carnie does what she wants…coincidentally, she wants the hypnotist!
Do you have anything new in the works and can you tell us a bit about it?
I’m working on a paranormal BDSM that features bounty hunters and grim reapers. It’s been a blast to write so far because the heroine, Bianca, is rather spirited.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?
Constantly stumbling over fans while I’m just trying to buy a gallon of milk…No, seriously, I have to say I love the whole process. I get to write and talk about books for a living—how cool is that?
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
You’re only competing with yourself. Build up a network of other authors because they’re the only ones who are going to understand what you’re really doing. They’ll be your best cheerleaders and understand when you need to have a good cry. Oh, and when you do have a good cry, be it over a rejection, review or whatever, dry your eyes and get back to it. You don’t have time to revel in your misery. Feel sad, get over it.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
I sometimes joke that I would love a good case of writer’s block so I could catch up and get all my wips done. I generally have a few pots on the stove at a time and even more ideas pinging around in my head, waiting their turn. My best advice if you do have writers block is write. Every day, just write. You’ll eventually get so accustomed to doing it, you’ll feel weird if you don’t.
Who is your favorite author and why?
I love Heather Long for her Fevered Hearts books. They’re a blend of the paranormal in a time before electronics ruled the world. She also has a new superhero book, Yesterday’s Heroes that is amazing!! SarannaDeWylde has long been a favorite of mine and her Darkyrie series has got to be my favorite although her How To books are a hoot. I also love Kristan Higgins, especially My One and Only because she made me laugh and cry in one book…repeatedly.
What books have most influenced your life?
Robin McKinley and Anne McCaffrey taught me that girl characters didn’t have to wait to be rescued. I liked learning women could rescue themselves.
I get sad for a minute, call my friends and whine, cry if it was an important enough sub and then move on. One book, one rejection from one person. Books are subjective. Keep trying.
What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
Thick skin so you can let stuff roll off your back. Imagination and determination. Oh, and a computer.
Where do you as an author draw the line on gory descriptions and/or erotic content?
It depends on the story. I’ve written characters who would be appalled by some language or gore and others that are more comfortable being crass than even I am. To keep them true to their characters, I’ve got to write them how they are.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?
Probably researching death erections. That google search still makes me wonder if I’m on an FBI watchlist somewhere…
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