When did you first fall in love with romance as a genre? Probably in my teens, when I was meant to be studying and instead was lured away by the pictures of women in beautiful dresses on the front covers. My first exposure as a reader was Georgette Heyer and I’ve been an addict ever since.
Who are some of your authorly inspirations? I have so many. I am constantly learning from the authors around me, and just as constantly amazed by their incredible minds and the stories they create. I approach my writing as a job, so I have very set word counts and goals I need to accomplish every day. I admire writers who have a similar approach – Stephen King, Nora Roberts, J R Ward.
Fill in the blank: romance is never where you most expect it to be.
What makes a good romance novel, hero or heroine? Authenticity. It’s in their flaws that we learn to love characters and recognize parts of ourselves in them. Nobody is all good or all bad, and in fact, some of the most compelling villains are those who you like despite their nastiness. It’s the same with our heroes and heroines; if they’re too good, we can’t relate, and if everything in their lives is perfect, it wouldn’t make much of a story.
Tell us about your newest book? Positively Pippa releases on May 30th and is the first in the Ghost Falls Series. Using “What Not to Wear” and “Love, Lust or Run” star, Stacy London, as inspiration, I created Pippa Turner. When we first meet her, she is rapidly on her way to becoming America’s most hated celebrity. She goes home to her outrageous, larger than life diva grandmother, Philomene St Amor, to regroup and lick her wounds. Also in her hometown of Ghost Falls is local hottie and all-around good guy Matt Evans, who has always had a thing for Pippa. With Pippa home and rebuilding her life from the ground up, Matt is determined to work his way into her future.
What’s your all-time favourite fictional love story (it doesn’t need to be a book!)? I’m going to go with a classic here. It’s hard to beat Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy in Pride & Prejudice.
What are you reading now? The Sea Haven series by Christine Feehan. I have no idea how it’s taken me this long to stumble across it. I’m really loving these books.
What are some common misconceptions people have about romance readers or writers? Well, as anyone who’s ever admitted to either reading or writing romance in public knows, we are pretty much always guaranteed a smattering of derision. Either we are accused of writing “girl porn” or those books with all the “heaving bosoms” and thus must be brainless, or we’re encouraged to read a “proper” book, written by someone who knows how to write. As frustrating as all that is, I’ve stopped defending either my reading or my writing tastes. I love reading romance novels, and have so much respect for the writers in my industry who keep creating the stories that transport me to my happy place. I also am so proud to be one of those writers who get to transport my readers to their happy place. As far as I’m concerned, if you’re not into romance novels you’re missing out.
Describe your dream date (and your dream date partner). Dear God! I’ve been married for eighteen years, dating is something that has been lost in the mists of time. Our idea of a good evening is falling asleep in front of a movie we love, together.
Speaking of dates, if you could choose anyone, living or dead to have a coffee with, who would you choose? I’m so fickle, this changes constantly. I’m smitten with Tom Hardy at the moment. That aside, Women in history who have successfully co-existed in a male-dominated world fascinate me. From that perspective I would love to meet Eleanor of Aquitaine, Elizabeth l, and even Queen Victoria. These were women who were underestimated by the men around them—to their own detriment.