1. What made you want to get into writing romance books?
I was a journalism major who kept getting in trouble for elaborating on the truth. My teacher begged me to switch from nonfiction to fiction, where I could make up things to my heart’s content. Romance was a natural fit as it was my favorite genre to read. ☺
2. What gave you the idea for the fountain that grants true love? That’s one of my favorite aspects of the Heartbreaker Bay books.
I was once in a place where I wished such a magical fountain really existed, and that stuck with me. When I was outlining this new Heartbreaker Bay series and setting in San Francisco — one of my favorite cities — I knew it was finally the right time to use it.
3. Who’s your favorite character to write?
It’s almost always the hero whose book I just finished. Being finished is really great. ☺ In this case, I have to say specifically Archer from the upcoming Accidentally On Purpose, who is tough and stubborn and badass, and thinks he’s impenetrable. He gave me hell. Love him madly but I’m super glad I’m done.
4. It seems like you love animals, especially dogs. Reading Sweet Little Lies made me want to snuggle with Thor! Is that a love that carries over into real life?
Yep, I’m a definite animal lover. Right this minute, I have a cat on my lap fighting for space with the laptop, and a dog on each foot. There is almost always an animal in my books of one kind or another. ☺ In the Trouble With Mistletoe, we have a cranky cat who hates the hero and proves it by leaving “presents” in his shoes.
5. The Trouble with Mistletoe features Willa, and Accidentally on Purpose will finally give Elle and Archer the spotlight I’ve been waiting for. But what’s after that? Which other characters can we expect to get the main character treatment?
I’m pretty sure Spence is coming along next. After that, I’m open but I do plan to stick around Heartbreaker Bay for as long as readers have me. ☺
6. What’s up with Eddie the homeless guy? I am convinced that he is more than he seems. Am I on to something there?
7. Let’s talk more about the process of writing romance novels. What’s your writing routine like?
Varied. I write every day when I’m in the middle of a book. I’m happier writing earlier than later, but it depends on the book because sometimes the characters aren’t following my wishes or I write myself into a corner and have to dig my way out. Once in awhile, I can finish my goal for the day by noon but sometimes – more often than not – I’m stuck writing until later in the night.
8. Why should people read romance books?
Why shouldn’t they? You get humor, warm fuzzies, action, suspense, love, angst, sexy times and … a guaranteed happily ever after. Honestly, I can’t think of anything better than that.
9. Do you ever worry that romance novels in general push an outdated system of gender norms, as critics of the genre sometimes say? They claim that romance books don’t reflect what it’s like to be a modern woman.
Have those critics read romance lately? We’re writing modern women with modern problems in the modern day world. There’s diversity and so many different genres now that you can find anything to suit your tastes, “gender norms” or not.
10. In the same vein, how would you respond to those who say romance books are just escapism?
Well it is fiction, after all. Not nonfiction science, for example. Personally, I read sexy romances for exactly that, an escape. A mental break. Reading romances has given me a lot of really great hours and joy. I can only hope that I do the same for other readers, that would make my day.