1) When did You start writing?
The year was 1993. We'd just purchased our first PC. I was working nights, and often in the middle of the night nothing is going on at the hospital. I'd finished the book I'd been reading. Since I don't drink coffee I read to stay awake. So I decided to write a scene for a book. For years I'd been toying with the idea of writing a romance novel and had several discarded pieces.
This scene just seemed to fly onto the paper. A mail order bride, 8 months pregnant flees the clutches of a killer by riding up into the Colorado Mountains. Good story! So I took the pages home the next morning, typed them into the computer, and OMG! I had an entire 10 page chapter. Problem was, the scene was in the middle of the book! Needless to say, I was hooked.
2) What books/authors have influenced you?
By far, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Johanna Lindsey, Julie Garwood (my all time favorite!), Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy, Iris Johansen, Lorraine Heath, Jodi Thomas, Linda Howard, Sandy Blair.
3) Describe your writing process.
Complete pantser! Usually I can visualize a scene in my head, hear what the characters are saying, and then "we're off!". Sometimes it's like a day at the races, and other times it's like an archeological dig. Often their are things that get tweaked throughout the story and I'm not afraid of rewrites, but in the end, when the hero and heroine get their emotionally satisfying ending, I'm thrilled with the end product.
A friend always tells me she "sees the book like a movie reel". I don't. The funny thing is, I "hear" the cadence of the story, the rhythm, the dialogue, each character's unique story line. Weird, isn't it?
4) Tell us about your current Work In Progress and what is next for you?
Which one? I kid you not, I'm not happy unless I have two or more projects in the works.
WIP "A"--206 pages into a small town romance with a sexy reluctant sheriff hero, a novice teacher-turned-PI heroine, a town-full of well-meaning crazies, and oh yeah at least one murderer on the lose.
WIP "B"--60 pages into the third in a romantic suspense trilogy about the Edgars family. KIDNAPPED, my 06GH finalist is the first in the series and features Sami Edgars and Jake Carlisle. HUNTED, also an 06GH finalist is the second in the series featuring Matt Edgars and Katie Myers. The third book, MISSING, features the youngest brother and charmer, Luke Edgars, and a six foot tall computer-geek desk agent, Abby Whitson.
WIP "C" 20 pages into a Regency-era historical about a wounded soldier who returns to England a war-hero only to find himself the guardian of two school-room age sisters and their independent minded governess.
*see all too tempting not to work on!*
5) Any advice for others or personal observations?
If you look at a blank page and have the urge to fill it with words, want to describe the interaction of characters and tell their stories, then you are a writer. This isn't for the faint of heart. Rejections come quickly and acceptance is rare, but once the bug bites you, beware, you can do nothing but write to make you happy!