Since I had the opportunity to do a live question and answer following my reading at the Alachua County library this past weekend, I decided to also open it up to my readers on the internet. Thank you to everyone who participated. Below you will find my responses.
Also, I have to thank Terry Fleming from the Pride Community Center of North Central Florida and Linda Cue from the Alachua County Library for setting up the event.
Where did you acquire your sense of story?
I am not really sure, to be honest. It’s just something I have always done. Even in school, I just had a sense of order and how I wanted things to go when I wrote for the newspaper, yearbook, or even a class assignment. It is a skill I am still working on and actively learning, as well as so many other writing skills, through seminars and talking with other writers. I can only hope that my growth as a writer shows in each new book.
Do you meticulously plan your story or are they ideas you flesh out as you’re creating?
I’ve tired plotting a story out, but it just doesn’t seem to work for me. I end up spending so much time staring at the page and deciding what goes where and nothing gets written. I’m not much of a planner in life either, so I guess that carries over. I am very much into going with the flow and seeing where it leads.
Typically, I’ll have a starting idea and an ending, possibly some scenes in the middle that I picture clearly or a dialogue to work around, but the rest just happens. I’m not sure how. And when I’m done and read it later, sometimes I’m think, “Where did that come from?” That can be good or bad, but as they say, you can’t edit a blank page.
How do I develop new characters, give them life and avoid repeating myself?
I fear I probably do repeat myself more than I would like, but I am working on it. Characters come from people I see in real life or on the web. For my next book, physical appearances for one character came during a night out at a club and another is a mix of celebrities and a woman I know. As for their inner drive, it’s something that comes from their motivations or perspective on life. Often, my own ideas or views come into play as well.
Of all my stories, what one’s are your favorites?
The Sarah Sawyer series is definitely up there. Switchback I love because it has so many of my favorite things in it, but going back to my fanfiction, My Savior would have to be tops. It was my very first story and I love it because it still gives me the feels and it is still relevant to the show Lost Girl even now that it’s over. I love it so much that I had even gone back and re-written it, which I haven’t done for any of the other fics. I am really proud of that one.
Do you have a favorite character you’ve written?
Sarah Sawyer. No competition. I love westerns and I love that character and her journey. She is trying to find her way and is always looking to make herself better, even when she doubts that it is possible. She is strong and loyal, with a dry wit and a semi-pessimistic outlook on life, though it doesn’t keep her from striving for more when she finds what she wants. I hope to write some more of her in the future.
How did you decide to write romance?
I think it just came naturally. I’m a hopeless romantic at heart, despite my outward protests. I love a “happily ever after” and want the world to have more of them. Life is hard and surrounded by negatives and angst, which are so much easier to get absorbed in than fighting for positives. I love “light and fluffy.” I love “feel good” stories. Some people say that’s boring and that’s fine. There is room for everyone and certainly plenty of wonderful writers for any mood. For me, I just want to help spread more smiles.
How did you get started in writing fiction?
My initial inspiration to write was the Bo and Lauren relationship in Lost Girl, which was, in my opinion, one of those great forbidden love stories. It just reached a different level for me. I had never been stirred to the point where I had an idea that I just had to let out on paper, but when I finally did, it just took off. I’ve never been more thankful for giving in to an urge in my life and I have so many of you to thank for supporting me in this endeavor. So, a huge thanks to you all!
Do you have plans to try science fiction or fantasy?
I do have an idea for a scifi/dystopian novel, but we’ll see. While I do love to read and watch that genre of story, I envy the creativity of writers who can create who worlds, languages, and species. That particular talent doesn’t come easily for me and as a part-time writer, the real world often claims a large amount of my attention that I feel I need to achieve such a feat. I am working on it though, because I enjoy challenging myself. Writing has been a most wonderful experience, so I look forward to learning and growing even more.
My next novel will be a soul mates reconnecting in the next life story. There’s a few details to work out, but I hope it will be out either by Christmas or early 2018. I am also working on a screenplay, which has been a ton of fun since it is a very different thought process than novel writing. From there, who knows? I know I never do.
Thank you all for the questions. They certainly made me think and that is always enjoyable for me. I look forward to hearing from you all again in the future. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter, Facebook, or through the website with any comments or questions. I love hearing from you.
Remember, Switchback is now available on Amazon, as is Love By Design in audiobook. If you have taken the time to read any of my books, please consider leaving a review. They mean so much to the authors.
Until next time, all the best to you and thank you for reading.