Watch out for G-Ma and Grandbuddy! Read on and find out more…
If you were to write the ‘origin’s episode’ of your writing what would be the most important scenes? What did your early efforts look like? Are they still around to be used as bribes and blackmail material?
My very first novel exists on my laptop somewhere (buried deep). Because it introduced characters for what later became my Dangerous Series, I always wanted to revisit the hero and heroine. I finally figured out that, while the novel itself lacked sufficient weight for a full novel, the characters were prefect for a holiday novella. A Dangerous Nativity (a significant title in more ways than one) is the result.
All super heroes have their mild-mannered secret identity, what is yours? I promise we won’t tell.
My mild mannered secret identity is GMa. That’s what my sidekick, the Grandbuddy calls me. I also hide behind Great Aunt. The nieces who have discovered that beneath the doting aunt mask lurks romance writer have been vastly amused.
Who are your partners in crime? What are their superpowers?
The Bluestocking Belles have so much ability to get their partners noticed by the world it is almost criminal! Their superpowers include abundant creativity coupled with generosity of spirit.
My buds from the Central Ohio Fiction writers have hung in with me for many years since the day that first novel got hidden away. Their superpower is persistence. We never ever surrender.
Where do you get your superpowers from?
My partners in crime won’t let me lag or wander. They keep my nose to the grind stone. I also derive considerable power form travel. I will stand on a spot and ask, I wonder if I can put a story here? One inevitably comes to me.
It is faith that drives me—and helps keep my identities straight.
Where is your secret lair and what does it look like?
I call my lair the Solarium. My prince calls it the library. It has many windows and even more books. My desk faces windows overlooking green space and bird feeders. Birds are great metaphors for grace and for inspiration. You can force either. You have to wait in openness for them to come.
What kind of training do you do to keep your superpowers in world saving form? How do you insure they are used only for good?
Training? Not as much as I should. I look to other authors and try to emulate the good ‘uns.
Granted, you probably don’t’ get to wear your superhero costume a lot, but if you did, what would it look like?
I rather fancy pictures of Athena: long flowing gown to emphasize my curves, a battle helmet, a sword, and, of course, an owl perched on my shoulder.
What is your kryptonite? What are the biggest challenges faced with in your writing?
My great temptation as a writer is to get lost in history and setting at the expense of the romantic relationship. The hardest thing is to stay anchored in the emotion. Romance requires a deep penetration into the vulnerable human heart, and it can be terrifying. My tag line, Love is Worth the Risk, isn’t about external suspense but about the vulnerability of the heart. It is hard to be courageous.
What was the supervillian that threatened to stop your latest project and how did you vanquish it?
For Dangerous Nativity, it was simply time and discipline. Once I set writing goals so that I put the creative work above all else—social networking, blog posting and so on—I have to face the next hurdle which is showing genuine emotion on the page rather than jus slogging out words to meet some artificial goal. Writing is a tough job.
What important lessons have you learned along the way?
- Publishing careers flourish in an atmosphere of generous cross promotion and languish in isolation.
- My job as a newly published author is to make friends and build readership. Concentrating on selling a book is much too narrow.
- Those readers drive me to keep writing. More and faster.
What have been the best/most memorable experiences along the way?
The best, of course, was having Soul Mate Publishing tell me they wanted my little story, Dangerous Works, that had been rejected several times! I love that story and its hero/heroine and I am delighted to have it out in the world.
If you did this again what would you do differently and what would you not change?
My published career happened almost accidentally. If I had it to do over again I would spend more time plotting out an entire interconnected series with deeper links. I would also include short bits of fiction to introduce readers to the series and make them permafree.
What is the best (writing or otherwise) advice you have ever gotten and why.
Don’t give up. Writers face continual rejection, criticism, and failure. Successful writers internalize what has meaning or value, ignore the rest, and keep going.
Tell us about your new book and why we need to drop everything and get it now.
My part of Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem includes a frustrated earl, a brilliantly competent heroine, three mischievous boys, family secrets, an escaped goat, several sheep, an absent minded bird expert, interfering friends, strategically placed mistletoe…did I mention family secrets?
What’s in store for you in the future? Do you have any other big projects on the horizon?
Oh yes—big. I am scoping out a new series and hoping to be deep into the first book for NaNoWriMo. It will involve various settings and events from Victoria’s early reign. That’s the easy part. The heroes and heroines are primarily children in the Dangerous series. The hard part is writing their biographies so I know how life has wounded, rewarded, and shaped them.
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