What books have most influenced your life most?
I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on, but I was always drawn to the paranormal. When I had my wisdom teeth out and I stayed with my brother for the day he gave me Piers Anthony’s On a Pale Horse, which is the first book in the Incarnations of Immortality series. I was hooked and fascinated. Piers Anthony has written over 50 books (I don’t even think I’m exaggerating!) and I proceeded to read them all! I’m absolutely sure he was the main reason I wanted to write paranormals. Then I found Ann McCaffrey’s Dragonrider’s of Pern series and my sister introduced me to Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series and a ton of others. I just couldn’t get enough! Then I went on vacation with a friend and ran out of books….and she loaned me the first book in Nora Robert’s Born In series. It was the first true romance I had read since stealing a few of my mom’s when I was younger. But those all had weak heroines and forced sex (the man got his way and then she magically started loving it! Ugh) But Nora Robert’s stories opened up the possibility in me of a romance novel having a strong heroine who was an equal to her hero, and who wasn’t a doormat. That’s when I started being more open to the romance genre. So when I started writing, it was natural for me to start with paranormal romance! I’ve branched out from there just recently, but most of my books are some form of paranormal romance, and I still LOVE that genre!
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I had an actual writing mentor, Judi Thoman, who writes as Brit Blaise and started our critique group –The Butterscotch Martini Girls. Judi was just getting published when we started our group and was way ahead of me on learning the business of writing. She was patient and kind, yet honest in a way that helped me grow as a writer. She passed away earlier this year after a long battle with breast cancer, and she is sorely missed. But if I had to choose a new writing mentor out of everyone possible, I think I would choose Cheyenne McCray (who has become a recent critique partner!) I really want to be her when I grow up! She’s an amazing writer and has written over a hundred books so far and she’s still going! And like Judi, she offers start honesty, but in a way that allows me to grow as a writer and make my stories shine! I’ve been so blessed to have so many terrific writers in my life!
What book are you reading now?
I recently had surgery, so I reached for a paperback on my shelf that I knew I would love and that would distract me in the hospital. So I grabbed The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie by Jennifer Ashley and am now going to HAVE to finish the series since I’m nearly done with that book. I’ve read the series a few times before, but every time I re read it I get lost in the characters and the story all over again! Jennifer is another writer I’d love to be when I grow up!!
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
There are way too many to list! I’m impatiently waiting for the next story in Lisa Pietsch’s Task Force 125 series! And when I’m on a deadline (like I currently am) I limit my reading time to a reward for a good writing day! But I’m always on the lookout for new books and new authors. It’s a catch 22! There are great books and authors out there just waiting for me to discover them, but I’m also trying to write a great book that others will want to discover as well! So those are constantly vying for my attention. What a great problem to have, right??
What are your current projects?
My current project is the 2nd book in my Club Desire series. It’s called My Addiction and is about a woman who has been a sub to the rich and powerful, but has grown disillusionedwith the Doms who are entitled and selfish. She wants more and is looking for a change. Dex is an FBI agent who is trying to take down a terror plot. Someone is planning to kill Congressmen who are standing in the way of passing bills that will help funnel money to terrorist organizations. Kate may know more than she realizes, and Dex needs to find out. But as a Dom, he also needs to show her the wonders and pleasures of a real D/s relationship! Dex was a Dom in book 1 of the Club Desire series and stood out as needing his own book, so this book flowed naturally from that one! He needed a heroine who was strong enough to be his equal, but also cold be tender and open enough to be a great sub! On the back burner after the Club Desire series is done I have a short story I started called Panther Ink. It’s about a man whose tattoos are so lifelike that he won the coveted Ink Master award and is now a highly sought after tattoo artist. But when his tattoos start coming to life and acting as vigilantes, protecting the innocent and helpless, he feels like he has gone crazy. It’s a fun and sexy foray back to my paranormal romance roots, but when I was offered the contract from Random House, Loveswept, it got put on the back burner along with my 2 series that need to be finished. The Maiden series was orphaned when Triskelion imploded and the Succubus series was orphaned by Berkley when they decided not to pick up book 3 & 4 in the series. But I WILL get back to those someday. I promise!! I still have people ask me every single week when I’m going to get those written. But until I can figure out how to clone myself I’ve got to juggle and write the paying up front projects first.