It’s actually a funny story. Not long after I got married, my husband joined a band and he said I might want to find a hobby because he’d be on the road a lot. So, I got interested in the American Civil War, which led to a story idea. I’ve written ever since (and he quit touring a loooooong time ago).
What motivates you now to keep writing?
My daughter is my greatest motivator. I want to make her proud and to know it’s never too late in life to reach goals.
What made you want to write Romance?
I’m a sucker for romantic comedy movies. I just can’t get enough of them. I can’t pass up a movie that includes Meg Ryan, Sandra Bullock, or Reese Witherspoon – gotta pay homage to the hometown gal!! I love sweet romances that make me laugh, so those are the kind of stories I tend to write. I’m also a huge John Hughes fan (say that five times fast), so his movies (The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, etc) have a big impact on my writing.
What inspired you to write Left Hanging?
This story, like most of my ideas, it started with a ‘what if’ moment. I knew I wanted a secret baby story, but wasn’t sure how to pull it off and be a little different. At the time, I worked in a medical center fitness center and yes, we did screenings for all of the new physicians in training (house staff). I got to meet all sorts of people and one of them stuck out among the crowd (he became famous -or infamous- recently for almost dying of a really bad disease, but he’ll remain anonymous here because he’s too cool of a dude to share the real life “Theo” with the rest of the world.) I started to formulate an idea when I had to table my writing for several years due to work, school, having a baby – no free time at all. When I picked back up on the idea, I ran with it and that’s where my character, Isaac came from (Thanks, Keith!). After I finished a few drafts of the completed story, I started working with Kristen House (A Novel Idea) and she really helped me shape the story. She made me “chase my characters up a tree and throw apples at them.” Apparently, I’m too nice to my characters and she helped me be cruel. The idea for what happens in the last third of the book came from another real-life story where I work. Truth is stranger than fiction!
What are you reading right now?
The last book I read was Splintered Souls by Erica Lucke Dean and am about to start the sequel, Scattered Souls. Awesome!
Do you have a favorite book/author?
I love Jennifer Peel, Tracie Bannister and Rich Amooi for sweet romances. But, I read a lot of different kinds of fiction, so some of my other favorites are: Neal Shusterman (Unwind series), Robert Muchamore (CHERUB series), Kate Moretti, Fern Ronay, and Tracy March. It’s hard to have only one favorite.
What author would you want to meet, living or dead?
I would love to meet C.S. Lewis. His Chronicles of Narnia and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series got me interested in reading fiction again.
What advice do you have for people who want to write?
Reach out to other authors, whether it’s in local writing groups or online social media groups. Most are very willing to give you helpful tips along the way and all are there to cheer you own. You don’t have to do it all on your own. Don’t be afraid to reach out.
Who is your favorite character that you’ve written?
I love all my babies, but I think my favorite right now is Andie. No one has met her yet, but they will soon. She is an adorable, hot mess, but with a sweet soul.
Finally, what’s next for you?
I am working on two projects right now. One is a young adult novel about a senior who has to rely on the hottest guy in class to help get a better SAT score. He happens to be a closet genius and her best frenemy.
The other manuscript is a romantic comedy set in a small town in South Georgia. (A cross between Sweet Home Alabama and Brewster’s Millions) I hope to have them both ready by the end of the year.