- What sort of stories do you write?
- Why do you write?
- Where did you go to college?
- What has been your favorite job?
- Least favorite job?
- What is the best writing advice you were ever given?
- What is your ultimate dream for being a published author?
I’m currently working on a romantic fantasy series that spans 1000 years. My main characters are witches and shapeshifters and the villain is immortal. It’s fun! I have works-in-progress that are contemporary and/or paranormal romances, but they’ve been set aside for the time being while I work on the series. I’ve been told my “voice” is better suited to fantasy or historical romance because I tend to write a bit formally. I love romances, but I’m not much of a rule follower and with the romance genre there are certain expectations you just have to adhere to. Fantasy allowed me to write this story my way, but the romance is still a major part of the tale.
Most authors get asked this question and most of them answer it the same way: we write because we have to, or because of the voices in our heads, the stories that need to be told. I think that’s true. It’s a compulsion. I’ve always written, whether it was a short story or journaling or letter writing. Now it’s email and blogging. That’s not the same as fiction, of course, but the need to write out those thoughts is the same, and some of that bleeds into the fiction. In my degree program I wrote short stories and a couple of plays, which I found I have no talent for whatsoever. My stories were much better, although I strained the definition of “short.” Most of my classmates handed in 10 page stories when it was their turn for critique. Mine were always 25 to 30 pages. They hated me, LOL.
I jumped around a bit before I found my place. I started off at San Diego State University, moved home and went to Cal State San Bernardino, then moved out again and changed to UC Irvine. After taking a little over a year off to have my first daughter, I finally settled at UC Riverside, where I graduated. I was on the “seven year plan” as my dad likes to say.
Other than writing? I owned and directed a children’s cheerleading group that I just loved. I taught cheers and dances to kids from preschool up to about 8th grade in eight week sessions, then we performed at community events, parades, high school halftime shows, things like that. I miss it. I still get letters from some of my cheerleaders, who are very special to me.
Clearing the yard of tumbleweeds when I was growing up! My parents even paid me to do it, but there’s just no compensation worth dealing with the stickers on those things, or stepping on the cactus hidden underneath them.
Sit your rump in the chair and write. Nora Roberts has said that you can’t fix a blank page, and that’s the truth.
To know that I made a difference for someone. My favorite books have helped me through some tough times, and I would love to be able to do that for others, to give that back. I can’t think of anything better than for a reader to say, “I read your book and it made me forget all the junk for a while.”