As a kid I hated to read and avoided it if I could, but I loved the Saturday movies, and Tarzan was my introduction to the concept of hunks. Now, I live in a little log house located in the woods of Oregon. Still loving to write, I spend my time living a life of romance and adventure through my fictitious characters, and the hunks are in my stories. Being published in both contemporary and historical, I vacillate between wanting to write both, but I love whichever I’m writing at the time. Right now I’m 10 books into my 14-book (eventually) Dancing Moon Ranch series, and I’m loving writing about cowboys!
What inspires you to write?
I get a lot of inspiration for later books when I’m researching, and once I start into a book I don’t need any further inspiration because I love every minute of every day that I’m at the computer, which is most of the day since it’s my full-time job. My inspiration right now is in writing my Dancing Moon Ranch Series. It started out as a single-title book and just kept going. It’s a series that spans 30 years, so readers can watch the babies and kids of the first three books grow up and become the heroes and heroines of the last 11 books. It’s a great inspiration, seeing the changes in these characters, just like in real life.
Tell us about your writing process.
As an author, I’m definitely a panser. I start with an idea, which I write into a blurb or brief description, and then wait for the opening scene to emerge. I don’t know much about my characters at this point, other than what will be driving them throughout the book towards their goals (hero and heroine both have goals, which are always opposing), but by the end of the first chapter my characters have distinct voices (at least they do in my head), and the story just keeps going with surprises along the way as the characters continue to take on lives of their own.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My characters pretty early on take on personalities and voices of their own. I don’t talk to my characters, but I tend to get lots of dialog between them, especially at inopportune moments, like when I’m driving somewhere and can’t write it down. That’s frustrating, so a lot of the time I walk in the front door and tell my husband not to talk to me, and I sit down at my computer and start writing.
What advice would you give other writers?
If they are indie authors I STRONGLY recommend they learn to do all their own formatting and uploading so books can be easily revised when necessary. I have twenty titles on Amazon and other indie sites, and I re-read all of them every 6-8 month and make minor changes. It’s always good to go back and see how a book reads. Sometimes things just pop out at you after some time has gone by.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I sold to Harlequin and Avon many years ago, but then I lost a son and I didn’t write for almost fifteen years. When I started writing again everything was different. Editors took AGES to respond to proposals. So one morning I woke up, and it was like a big bright light went on in my head. I realized I could sell these books on my own, and to heck with editors, and synopses, and proposals, which I HATED doing. I have not regretted a moment of that decision. My books are selling extremely well and I love having control of the complete process from story to title to cover to back-cover blurb.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Ebooks are definitely in. When you see senior citizens with their Kindles at coffee houses, and while sitting in the waiting rooms of clinics, and kids as young as three with their “notepads” with books on them, you know digital reading is here to stay.
What genres do you write?
Historical Romance, Contemporary Western/Cowboy Series, and Contemporary Romance
What formats are your books in?
eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print
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