This is the third installment of answers to questions from Facebook friends. Enjoy!
What is your relationship with your characters and how do you hope your readers will relate to them?
I adore my characters. I never write “the end,” because I love these imaginary people and I miss them when the story ends. Writing the last sentence of a book is bittersweet. Happy that I finished the story but sad to let them go. I’m happy people are loving Renate and Tony so much.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Write, write, write. Write short, write long. Flash Fiction. Short Stories. Novellas. Write long. Read a lot.
Learn what you can about writing. Attend a writer’s conference! I also recommend On Writing by Stephen King and The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell. There are so many more wonderful books out there on the craft. Connect with the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) or some other writing group to find other writers who can help you grow.
Some people live a hundred years, and some people write novels. Is there a particular food that keeps you going strong? lol…
Right now, Wild Cherry Pepsi is the beverage of choice but food changes. Occasionally chocolate. Right now my fave is Lindt Strawberry Cheesecake chocolate stick but sometimes I only need one small square to satisfy me. It’s good stuff! Having said all that, my great-grandmothers lived to be over 100 and my grandmothers are in their 90’s so there’s hope for me yet, regardless of diet and sedentary occupation.
How many books do you have in the works?
Thirteen, if you include the one published and those already contracted.
In the Orchard Hill (contemporary romance) series there are five written and one in my head waiting: Pesto and Potholes, Salsa and Speedbumps (Dec 2015), Feta and Freeways (2016), Root Beer and Road Blocks, Bratwurst and Bridges and Donuts and Ditches.
In my Rose Hill (Regency romantic suspense series) there are five novels: The Virtuous Viscount, Lord Phillip’s Folly, Sir Michael’s Mayhem, Lord Harrow’s Heart and The Captain’s Conquest. My agent has this series.
In my Lady Warriors (contemporary romantic suspense) there are two: Madi’s Secret and Whitney’s Redemption (incomplete).
I also have a Christmas novella (historical) releasing out as part of an anthology this December.
Besides explicit sexual content, is there anything you wouldn’t write about?
As for content? Beyond swearing or romanticizing sin, I don’t know that anything is off limits.
As for genre? I refuse to write Amish fiction. I won’t contract them either. That’s more for theological reasons as I think there are some cultish aspects to that faith and I don’t want to romanticize that. I also don’t write Biblical Fiction. I don’t want to mess with Scripture. I don’t despise anyone who does choose to write or read those genre’s but they are not for me.
What/who has been your biggest support?
My Grandmother, Doris. My first content editor and dear friend, Elisabeth. My pastors David and Ken. Other writers and mentors especially Lisa and Beth.
If you could describe yourself using only three words, what would they be?
Silly, encouraging, weird.
What percentage of your books reflect your own personal story?
I’ve never been very good at math. My heart bleeds all over the pages but I’m not going to share what parts are right out of my own personal life.
What kinds of subjects/topics have you researched while writing your stories?
Football schedules,restraining orders, medical issues, how to disarm a bomb, oil carriers, geographical data, weather reports, cancer types and treatment, rape laws, human trafficking, FBI, fetal sizes, burn injury and recovery, medications, foreign and/or cultural foods, car repair, and maps, among other things I can’t think of right now.
Any other questions you have? Leave them in them in the comments below!