I started writing when I was 12 by re-writing Archie Comics because I couldn’t stand what a doormat Betty was. In my version, Betty told Archie to get bent and went on to date hotter and nicer guys. I figured I’d be a writer or a stand-up comedian; however, I hate to stand and they don’t have any sit-down-in-a-comfy-chair comedians so I opted for becoming a writer.
How long did it take for you to get published once you had the first book done?
My first novel is hidden in a very dark file cabinet. No one but me will ever see that horrible, horrible thing. Truly, it’s so bad it makes the angels cry. I only keep it around to remind myself of how far I’ve come. I wrote it when I was 16 and riddled with teenaged angst. My first novel was just published this August and I’m 43 so let’s see . . . that’s 27 years! Oh, man, I had no idea I was that old.
You write erotic futuristic historical fantasy. What is that, exactly?
This evolved one day when my editor, the fabulous John Scognamiglio, asked me into what category would I put my novel Wicked Harvest? I was floundering around trying to describe it and that’s what everything boiled down to: erotic futuristic historical fantasy. Erotic first and foremost as the love scenes are vivid, plentiful, and scorching hot! Futuristic in that they are on an alternate world with advanced technology. Historical because the setting is similar to past historical settings on Earth, and fantasy because the culture is unique. RT ran an article on steampunk and that’s very similar to what I write.
Why that subgenre and do you have any aspirations to write any other subgenre?
I write whatever comes to me. For the Sexy Beast VII anthology, I took a classic, Beauty and the Beast, and re-wrote it. Eye of the Beholder is like an erotic fairy tale. That book hits the shelves this month.
Can you tell us about “the call,” when you found out you’d sold your first book?
Oh, boy, was I shocked! I was cleaning the air-intake vent on my heater when the phone rang. Lee Duncan, the wonderful contest coordinator for the Launching a Star Contest, was calling to ask me if she could give my information to Roberta Brown! Needless to say I dropped the vent cover and almost peed my pants! Within a few hours, I spoke to Roberta and signed with her in a week. She had always been one of my dream agents, but I thought her doors were closed to new writers. Still, I thought I’d take a chance on the contest. We’ve since sold three novels to John and a novella.
What’s your writing schedule like?
I write almost everyday. I work from my home so I grab 5-10 minutes here and there so I write morning, noon, and night! It takes me anywhere from 3 months to 9 months to write a novel depending on my work schedule.
What has surprised you most about being an author?
How little money is involved.
What advice can you give aspiring writers?
It’s been said a million times but read, read, read, and write, write, write. Also, be fearless when you write. Just because someone says “there’s too much of this” or “that part of the market is saturated” write what you want to write anyway. Your passion will show through.
You have an anthology coming out this month. How did that collaboration come about?
John asked me if I’d like to contribute and I calmly said yes even though I was extremely excited. I’m a big fan of Kate Douglas so I was thrilled to be a part of the very successful Sexy Beast series. I also really like Shelli Stevens as I’ve read a lot of her e-published work. The only down side was that I had never written a novella. I write 450 page sagas and keeping it to 150 pages seemed impossible! But I managed with the help of a great book by Angela Knight (Passionate Ink). Kensington took out a big, glossy ad in RT, which just tickled me so pink I turned purple!
What are you working on now? Can you give us a favorite line or blurb from your current work in progress?
I’m working on Sinful Harvest, the last in the Onic Empire series about the Harvesters. I’m still going to write novels in the series, but I’ll move on to tales about the Empress and other pivotal characters in the society. My favorite line of this new novel is the very first line:
What Kerrick missed most was his hair.
I love that line because Kerrick is a very vain man and he uses his golden hair to attract women; without it, he’s at a loss on how to flirt! Sadly, for him, he has to be shaved for the Harvest. Yes, I live to torture my characters in whatever way I can!
What do you do when you’re not writing? Any Hobbies? Or other random weirdness you’d like to share?
I am an avid white-water rafter. You can see a picture of me in command of the big raft on my website. I also love to cook. I’m a total DDR freak (that’s Dance, Dance revolution–a dancing game.) I have an unnatural addiction to ChapStick; there are literally tubes of it in every room of my house. I do lots of crafts, everything from cross-stitch to stained glass. I also read so much that I have amassed a huge personal library. Entire walls of my home are filled with floor to ceiling bookcases that are overflowing. On September 15 I will be smoke-free for one year and I will have also lost over 30 pounds, mainly because of the DDR game!