1 – Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I started writing poetry when I was a child, but didn’t consider writing fiction novels until I was about nineteen. I put the “hobby” aside when I joined the military, and considered screenwriting school after my enlistment. In 2015, I had my first full-length novel published.
2 – When you start a book series – do you know the couples who will appear in the following books? Do you know what the plot will be?
Yes, for the most part, but sometimes the additional plots evolve as I write. For my Grand Valley series, I wrote a Beauty and the Beast adaption as a standalone. However, while writing it, I came up with six other stories from the supporting characters and decided in the end that the Beauty and the Beast adaptation would be the last installment.
3 – Did you write a book and decide not to publish it?
I have one I decided not to publish. It does not have a typical HEA and is very eclectic. The working title is called Here Again Tomorrow. It’s about a woman who agrees to live in an underground survival habitat for the company she works for.
5 – By what do you choose a cover for a book?
I like to have some story element on the cover of a book, or a certain look in a cover model’s eyes that portrays the character or a specific emotion the character experiences in the story.
6 – Where did you get the inspiration for the stories?
I kind of like a challenge. I like to see what hasn’t been done or put a new twist on an existing trope. I get a lot of inspiration from joking around with friends over memes and GIFs, as well. The inspiration for You Again came from a post in a book recommendation group from someone asking for a dating app story where two characters kept getting matched repeatedly.
7 – Who is your favorite couple you wrote about?
That’s a close tie between Max Hartwell and Jack Spears from The Shutout and Damiano Andropolis and Graham Brandt from Tough Love. I think I enjoyed the special brand of humor between Damiano and Graham a bit more.
8 – How long does it take you to write one book?
If I was uninterrupted, I could write a book in a week or two. I wrote The Weeping Books of Blinney Lane under my old pen name, Drea Damara, in one week. However, that was when I was working a job where I had three days off a week, and I was not a parent at the time. Now that I’m a mom who works 40+ hours a week, it takes me about a month or two to write a story, usually during any free minute I have and by finger typing on an app on my phone. So, it’s slow going these days! It takes me about a month to proofread, edit, and incorporate the editors edits as well.
9 – What is your favorite genre to read?
I love MM Romance and mostly read contemporary in that genre. If I read MF romance, I prefer to read romcoms.
10 – If you could turn one of your books into a movie – which book would you choose?
I think You Again or Tough Love would be good laugh-out-loud gay romcoms. There aren’t enough of those produced into films, so those would be my votes to give to the folks who deserve to see some representation on the big screen.
Hobbies: I like to garden, sew, write, read, and spend time with my family. I used to love to run, but some injuries prevent me from doing that, and I miss it.
I’m 41 and have been writing novels since 2015. I wrote my first novel when I was 20 years old, but didn’t pursue publishing it until 2015. I live in northern Illinois a few hours west of Chicago in the rural area where I grew up.