Not in the overall scheme of things. Eight years ago, I was an avid romance reader. It was a New Year’s Resolution/bucket-list kind of thing where I wanted to see if I could write a book. I had NO idea about publishing or self-publishing. I wrote it just to see if I could. I never intended to do anything with it. But then I showed it to my sister who said I had to try and publish it. So I looked into it and discovered it was easy to do it myself. That was my first book, Be My Reason. It took me 3 years to make writing a full-time career. Now it supports my family, and my husband runs the business side of things. Moral of the story: don’t be afraid to do something totally outside the box, it may lead to living your wildest dreams!
When I start a new series, I know who the primary character will be (if it’s a brothers series, I know who each of the brothers are; if it’s a firefighter series, I know exactly which firefighters will appear). I don’t always know the love interest of the second and third books – that will come to me later. I also don’t necessarily know the plot. However, in the upcoming series I’m planning, I DO know the plots for all of the books – which takes a lot of the burden off me to come up with them later.
Not an entire book. I have a few half- or partially-written books that I hope to get back to someday.
Good question. Over the years, I’ve changed the covers of many of my books. When I first started writing, I picked covers to match the story (a piece of abstract art for Abstract Love; a letter on the steps of a building for Purple Orchids). And while that worked eight years ago, today there is so much competition in the romance industry, you really need to go with what’s the most appealing to readers. In my genre that means a very attractive man on the cover. Haha!
I try to write about real problems. I tackle difficult issues in my books such as illness, death of a spouse or child, even sexual assault. I believe happiness can come out of tragedy and I always strive to write about the issues with grace and empathy as I know there are so many readers who have lived through their own battles. Most of my ideas come to me in the middle of the night, so I’ll often hop out of bed and jot notes down so I don’t forget.
That’s like asking which of my children is my favorite. Typically, my favorite couple is the last one I wrote about. So right now, that’s Quinn and Amber from Texas Roses (book to be published in January).
It varies. I’ve written a full-length novel in as little as three weeks. But I usually allow about six to eight just to be safe. Then it takes months of editing, beta reading, proofing, etc. So from start to finish, about four months.
I love reading my own genre (new adult romance), but I also have a weakness for post-apocalyptic fiction, not zombies, just end-of-the-world stuff. And space fiction. Andy Weir and A.G. Riddle are some of my favorites.
That’s a tough one. Maybe Igniting Ivy. She went through so much tragedy. And I love the flashbacks into her past, even though they are difficult. The plot twist, the adventure, the ending! Second to that one, I’d love to see the Reckless Series, because who doesn’t love movies about rock stars?
I write sexy new adult and contemporary romances. My readers love the fact that each series book is written to be read independently (so start with any book that catches your eye) yet all my books remain connected through the characters.
If you’re looking for light and fluffy, my books may not be for you. I deal with real problems. Painful situations. Gut-wrenching issues. But that doesn’t mean you won’t laugh or get those gooey feelings. You most certainly will.
For the most rewarding reading experience, start where everything began: Purple Orchids (The Mitchell Sisters Series). After that, move on to the scorching-hot Stone Brothers.
Like sports? Pick up Catching Caden, the first book in my baseball series. Not only will you laugh and cry, but you might just learn something about baseball!
If firefighters turn you on, pick up Igniting Ivy—but have your tissues handy.
My rock star series follows an up-and-coming rock band and will have you swooning!
And finally, my newest books are small-town cowboy romances. Because who doesn’t love a sexy man in a cowboy hat?
Regardless of where you start, you can count on three things: Every book feels real (you’ll see bits of yourself in each heroine.) Every story has pain (because what’s a good romance without it?) And all my heroines find love (because true romances have an HEA.)