Did being an only child inspire you to become a writer?
Absolutely. I learned how to entertain myself at a very early age using
only my imagination. I may have been alone at times but I was never
lonely. I was always surrounded by a constant parade of imaginary friends.
I also "pretended" a lot with some of my best friends who
shared my healthy imagination. And reading was a huge part of my life.
I made so many other "friends" between the pages of my favorite
books. I was also an Army brat so we picked up and moved every five
years or so. As difficult as it was to leave my real friends, I was
always able to take my books and my imaginary friends with me.
2) You were only 21 when you got your first
novel published. How old were you when you wrote your very first book?
Actually I was 21 when I started my first book LADY OF CONQUEST
and 26 when it was published. It took me a year and three months to
write the book, another year and three months to sell it, then the publisher
took 3 years to publish it. (I didn't know at the time that it should
have only taken them a year.)
3) Why did you choose historical romance as
I love the passion of the historical era. You're allowed to be a little
less politically correct in a historical. A hero can throw the heroine
on the back of his horse and sweep her off to his castle. In a contemporary,
if a hero stuffs the heroine in the back of his Corvette and sweeps
her off to his condo, he's probably going to end up with a restraining
order. I also love that I can switch between different time periods
in historical romance instead of being stuck in the same time period.
It's like having my own personal time machine!
4) Did anything in your youth work as a source
of inspiration for your later books?
I was always a romantic. I first fell in love with Kurt Russell in THE
COMPUTER WORE TENNIS SHOES when I was six and so many of my fantasies,
even at that age, revolved around a romantic relationship. I was always
more interested in movies or TV shows if they had a romantic element.
Two of my favorites were BEWITCHED and I DREAM OF JEANIE.
I loved the combination of paranormal and romance.
5) How do you go about the research for your
Since I've written in just about every time period, I buy a lot of books
to keep at my elbow because I never know what specific details I'll
need. I tend to return to my favorites over and over again like THE
REGENCY COMPANION by Sharon Laudermilk and Teresa L. Hamlin and
JANE AUSTEN'S TOWN AND COUNTRY STYLE by Susan Watkins. The
internet is fabulous for looking up quick details but you have to make
sure the site is accurate. Sometimes it can be like looking for a needle
in a haystack.
6) How does it feel to be a best selling author?
Fabulous! If you're like me, you've dreamed about seeing your name on
the cover of a book since you were a child and the thrill of that never
really goes away. Achieving bestseller status just gives you a way to
validate that dream. But I try to never forget that the people I meet
and the readers I reach with my work are far more important than any
number on a bestseller list.
7) What do you do about criticism?
To be honest, it stings. I don't think any of us could do what we do
if we weren't a little sensitive. But if I go back and read some of
the negative reviews for some of my absolute all-time favorite books
and movies, then it helps to remind me that not everyone shares the
same taste and that some people have no taste at all <g>.
8) In A KISS TO REMEMBER cats play an important
role in the storyline. How fond are you of cats?
I adore cats! We had four of them for fourteen years. We're down to
two right now, one from the first lot and one "transitional kitty."
I got the little one, Buffy, when I was struggling with the deadline
for ONE NIGHT OF SCANDAL. She came into my life just when I
needed her and I don't know if I could have finished the book without
her. She was a constant source of mischief and amusement and she brought
so much desperately needed delight into my life.
9) Are you planning on writing more books
around fairy tales, like CHARMING THE PRINCE, THE BRIDE AND THE BEAST
and the above mentioned A KISS TO REMEMBER?
My first semi-comical Regency vampire historical is coming out in September
AFTER MIDNIGHT and I'm currently working on a sequel to that
one, but after that, who knows? I try to bring a sense of whimsy to
all of my books and you can certainly get away with that when you're
doing a fairy tale theme.
10) Besides reading and writing, what do you
love to do?
I love to ride my bike, play my piano, and bake. If I weren't a writer,
my fantasy occupation would be "master pastry chef" (But I
hate to cook!).