1. What does your writing process look like?
I’m a typical punster. Sometimes something gets stuck in my head that I can’t get rid of and I’ll write it down and a book develops around it. Sometimes a title comes to me and I’ll write a book around it. More often than not, characters speak to me, telling me their stories, fighting among themselves to be heard. I keep two or three books going at all times so that when one stops flowing and another one does, I can just start on it without having to change gears.
I start each writing time out by rereading what I’ve already written and editing it as I go. By the time I reach where I had left off, I’m already immersed in the story and ready to continue from there.
2. Do you have strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
Hmm, not really. I pretty much have to have silence when I write so I can hear what to put on paper. Music tends to distract me. I want to sing along when I hear it. Even classical music is a distraction. My fingers try to play along with the melody even thought I can’t really play the piano. So, it’s silence. Only it isn’t really silent with all of the voices in my head.
When I had my dear Dippity with me, I sometimes had to write around him. I got a baby sling that you wear to carry a child around with you and used it to hold the feline while I wrote. He was quite content to curl up on my chest and sleep that way. I do miss him.
3. What book do you wish you could have written?
The original Anita Blake books, the Laurann Dohner books, or the Lora Leigh books. Not because they’ve made anyone rich, but because to be able to tell a story like these women did with these books amazes me. I strive to create characters and emotion like they have.
4. Just as your books inspire authors what authors have inspired you to write?
When I was very, very young, I wanted to write like Grace Livingston Hill. I loved those books. But then, about eleven or so years ago, I heard Sherrilyn Kenyon’s story and realized that if she could overcome so many odds and continue, never giving up, I could do it too. I idolize her, Lora Leigh for her wicked ability to make you love her characters and Laurell K. Hamilton’s early amazing Anita Blake books. I still go back and re-read each of these author’s books that remind me it can be done.
5. If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaption of your book, who would play your characters?
Okay, that’s a hard one for me. You see, I don’t watch TV or go to movies anymore. I haven’t for many years. I will occasionally go if a friend is adamant about it, but normally I buy DVDs of movies or TV series that are similar to the books I write. I use them to get me in the mood before I work on a particular series. So, I know very few actor or actresses’ names.
My favorite ones will probably date me. J Sam Elliot, Johnny Depp, Vin Diesel, and Clint Eastwood. I’m afraid I don’t know a single actress’s name.
6. How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
The names of my characters are very important to me. They usually reflect their personality unless there is a specific reason for them to have a certain name. Sometimes it only means something to me and doesn’t really relate to the story at all.
I will sometimes use a surname generator to pair one with my first name, but as for my first names, I took a week and dug through name sites and baby books, collecting every name I thought I could ever use without cringing and put them in a spreadsheet in alphabetical order based on if it was male, female, or either. I keep it updated so that when I use a name it gets highlighted with the name of the book next to it. That way I know if I’ve used it for one name I write under but not another one that I use to write.
7. What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
The first book I completed and sent off to be considered because I finished it, I edited it, and I sent it off for consideration. That was an accomplishment that some writers never attain. Then the last book I wrote, because I haven’t stopped writing, even when I get a bad review, a rejection, or a drop in sells. Perseverance is an accomplishment because among those who do finish the book, edit it, and send it off, many will never write another book after they are rejected a few times.