About the Author
I literally owe my writing career to a few editors at Harlequin, and what I like to call “a series of fortunate events.” A few years ago, before I was published, I sent a query to Harlequin’s American line. An associate editor contacted me and I sent a partial, and eventually submitted the full manuscript. The senior editor ultimately declined the story for American, but I was thrilled to receive the nicest, most encouraging letter from her. Later, I was contacted by the same associate editor who was now working for a new line (Heartwarming) to see if the story was still available. Under yet another editor (who is fabulous and, thankfully, remains my current editor) and with some revisions this story became my first published novel, Mountains Apart. A three book contract followed, and here I am. Humble and very, very grateful.
As far as my inspiration to become a writer in general, I would have to give the credit to all the amazingly talented romance authors I read as a teenager. Jane Eyre, Jude Deveraux, Julie Garwood, Colleen McCullough, Penny Jordan, LaVyrle Spencer, Danielle Steele, and Nora Roberts were some of my favorites. I was the kid who would hide my book inside my math text during class.
2. How many books have you written and in what genres?
I have written four books for Harlequin, all for the Heartwarming line. If Not for a Bee is book three in the Seasons of Alaska series. Book four is done and I’m waiting on revisions. I have a few manuscripts gathering dust in my computer as well. All romance - I’ve only ever written romance. I like to read in just about every genre (except horror). Along with romance, mysteries and legal thrillers are my favorites. I can’t imagine writing anything else.
3. What writing projects are you currently working on? What can you tell us about these projects?
I just finished a Thanksgiving short story for Harlequin that will be available as a free read some time in November. The story is set in Rankins, but with some never-before-seen characters that I love. Oh, and a dog! Book four in the Seasons of Alaska series, A Family Like Hannah’s is finished and will be out February 1st. I’m hoping that readers will be excited to learn that Hannah, Shay’s sister in A Case for Forgiveness is getting her own story. Excited to be working on a proposal now for some new Heartwarming books.
4. What does your writing process look like and where is your favorite place to write?
Imagine a hurricane… There you go. That’s pretty much my writing process. I’m kind of messy. I throw everything out there and then clean it up. But I always start with the characters. They form and grow in my head until they become like real people. I know their personality traits, how they’ll react in situations, and most importantly, what they want. Then I’ll write some dialogue and a scene or two. The story evolves as I write, which means I go back and layer things in as I figure them out. My process is probably slower than most. I’m a little jealous of those writers who plot out the story before they ever write a scene.
I do most of my writing sitting on my sofa with my feet propped up on the table in front of me. My dachshund Lucky is glued to my left hip. And I drink coffee by the pot. (I take my coffee black, but my tea with cream and sugar. I have no explanation for this.) I dream of having a “real” office someday, but for now this is it. I just got up and took this embarrassingly honest photo of what my work space looks like… (Please excuse Lucky’s inattentiveness - he’s recovering from the surgery he had a few days ago.)
Normally I’m not one to picture famous people when I write. I know authors who create collages or Pinterest boards around their Hollywood-looking hero and heroine. I can see how this would be helpful, but I always feel like I should be writing instead. Not that I am writing necessarily, just that I feel like I should be. But Aidan, the hero from If Not for a Bee is an easy one. He’s Matthew McConaughey. He’s a bit older than Aidan, who is in his early thirties in the book. Imagine Matthew in the films Sahara or Fools Gold. Even his personality reminds me a bit of Aidan.
I love to be outside. I enjoy hiking, running, fishing, snow skiing, kayaking, and walking with my dog. I really enjoy exercise and would consider it a hobby. It’s my anxiety reliever. I attend piyo (a cross between pilates and yoga) classes at a studio in a little neighboring town. I also love to read. I would spend hours every day reading if I could get away with it. (Okay, sometimes I do this anyway at the expense of less important things like house work, grocery shopping, or cooking dinner.) I also like to cook, travel, and spend time with my family.