Check out my Q&A with Booklover Sue. You’ll find out my favorite scene in I Should Have Said Yes and what I learned at a psychic reading. Wish it was the lottery numbers!
What is your writing environment?
My life is filled with chaos, so when it comes to writing I like the quiet of my office. I can shut the door and with it all the distractions from my day. I don’t listen to music or have the TV on as background. I prefer to be alone with my thoughts. In most cases I have a general idea thought out before I begin typing and let the story take over from there. I typically write small sections at a time and title them in a way that will be easy for me to sort through later. In this case it was dates such as “The Professor” or “The Mama’s Boy.” These begin as separate, random snippets and the magic happens when I’m able to weave them all together. While I do my best work at my computer, I also carry a notebook with me so that when I’m out and inspiration strikes, I can capture it. These days it seems I have a terrible memory, so I find if I don’t write things down they escape me.
Who is your perfect hero/heroine and why?
Someone who is real vs. ideal. I believe a hero should be flawed in order to be relatable, but not so much so that he/she isn’t aspirational. I think readers need to be able to find a piece of themselves in a hero—something they recognize as true that makes them feel a connection. If I’ve failed to do that then readers won’t be invested in the fate of the character. With Tara, she is juggling a lot of things between school, work, her blog, and of course, dating. So she sometimes screws up. I would too if I had all of that on my plate!
What authors have caught your interest lately and why?
I recently finished the Divergent series by Veronica Roth and the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. What I loved about them both was their ability to paint a vivid picture and immerse the reader into these very unique worlds. The plots were action-packed and took me along for the ride. I wanted to read them at any spare moment because I was hooked. As an author it’s a challenge to keep a reader engaged throughout the entire book. But there were no lulls for me. I will say I hated the ending of Divergent and it made me frustrated that I invested so much time in the series. But it was definitely thought-provoking.
What type of book have you always wanted to write?
A mystery. I love trying to figure out “who done it.” I usually hone in on the obscure characters because I assume the author won’t go for the obvious. I think this would be one of the hardest genres to write. The author must always be three steps ahead, map out intricate plotlines with lots of twists, and drop clues along the way that still ends up leaving the reader surprised. I love an ending that I didn’t see coming. This is not my area of expertise, so for now I’m hoping that by soaking up episodes of “CSI” inspiration will strike. I did try to throw in a few surprises with this book. We’ll see whether or not I was successful. 😉
Top 3 things on your bucket list?
- Visiting Australia
- Seeing Ellen DeGeneres live (my husband writes in for tickets every year on my birthday)
- Writing a novel – glad I could check one off my list!
How did you get the idea for this particular novel?
The inspiration for I Should Have Said Yes started with my first novel, Out in the Open. My protagonist’s younger sister, Tara, always had some sort of dating drama. I thought, there’s an idea there. I liked the premise of writing about dating during a time that’s heavily influenced by social media. So that’s what I did. It’s a candid and entertaining look at a singleton’s dating journey when she must say yes to any guy who asks her out because of a pact, all documented on her Adventures in Dating blog.
What is your favorite scene in your new release?
That’s a tough one. Tara gets herself into all kinds of interesting situations. Each chapter follows a new guy that she goes out with, ending with Tara’s assessment of the date on her blog. One of my favorites is when she meets a guy at the gym. I should preface that Tara does not do gyms. She hates working out in public because with even the slightest exertion, she sweats profusely and her face turns beet red. So she’d rather do it in the privacy of her own home. But she went there because her friend was trying to pick up a personal trainer and needed moral support. Instead, Tara met a guy on the bikes and he asked her out for a gym date. She was going to say no but couldn’t turn him down because of her dating pact. Turns out, he worked at the gym and was inviting her to a trial class, not a date. Here is how Tara summed up her evening: I thought I was going to shake my booty on a fun night out, but instead I got my booty kicked at boot camp. How I get myself into these situations is beyond me.
What are you working on now and when can we expect it to be available?
I haven’t formally started it unless you count having it all in my head. It’s a romance about a cynical event planner, Lucy, who shares a passionate weekend with a mysterious stranger as a result of losing a bet. It’s so out of character for her that she wants to keep their names anonymous. She falls hard only to never hear from him again. Lucy struggles with moving on and finally meets an incredible new guy who is perfect for her. But can she let go of her “Mr. Anonymous?” And is she in love with a ghost because it’s easier than facing the possibility of having the real thing? Along Lucy’s search for love her loyalty will be put to the ultimate test.
I’m working toward a summer 2017 launch. I try to release my books in summer because aside from it being my favorite season, I think people are more relaxed and perhaps have more time to indulge in a book.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I love spending time with my two kids, ages six and nine (and my husband)! I left my corporate job last February, so I’ve been trying to organize the house. It’s my first break in seventeen years, so as you can imagine, I’ve got lots to do. I’ve also been volunteering for the PTO at my kids’ elementary school. Essentially trying to do all the things I wanted to do before but never had the time. But my break was short-lived because I’m starting a consultant job in January. I had been planning on writing book number three during my work hiatus. I’ve got about 4 weeks left. Umm, that’s doable, right?
What is one interesting fact about you that readers don’t know?
It’s funny because when I had my day job being a writer was always my surprise fun fact. I guess it would be that I’m an eternal optimist. Even when times are tough, I like to think that everything has a way of working itself out. My friend once hosted a group psychic reading. The whole experience was fascinating and the psychic told that I have three spirit guides watching over me. One’s a dog, one is an Indian Chief, and I can’t remember the third. It’s funny because like Tara, I don’t own any pets aside from a fish. So I wouldn’t consider myself a dog person, but it’s nice to know that one is looking out for me! This was a few years ago but it’s always stuck.
So I choose to create my own happiness. That’s why I love writing uplifting books. We are all too often inundated with news of tragedies. I’m a big believer in Happily Ever After. Real life is hard enough, so I like books that offer an escape from reality and give women hope that happiness is attainable.