1. What are you working on right now?
I’m in the process of outlining the plot for Dangerous Weakness, the third in my Dangerous series. The impeccable Marquess Glenaire appears in the previous two stories as the friend who takes care of everyone, is always right and is never out of control. I am excited to write his story because I want to see him drunk, disheveled, disorderly and dumped in a cell so someone else has to rescue him for a change.
2. How does your work differ from others in the genre?
I enjoy the Regency era but hundreds of romance novels are set in that period. As Alina pointed out in her blog, the era “encompasses everything from sweet traditional to smokin’ hot, from suspenseful spy stories to domestic comedies.” My stories are also shorter than some of the blockbusters but they aren’t quite traditional either. I tire of London balls and drawing rooms, and so I look for settings and situations authentic to the period that are a bit more exotic. Dangerous Secrets, my next book, for example, is set in Rome.
One other difference: In our current era when such things are no longer a given, I insist on happily ever after. I work at emotionally satisfying relationships and emotion centered love scenes.
3. Why do you write?
Would you believe me if I said characters talk to me? The compulsion to tell stories comes as naturally as breathing. The effort it takes to write them down and get the words right almost kills me, but the stories keep coming.
4. What is your process?
I often start with a setting and ask, what can I do with this? What can I put here? I always have an ending in my head, sometimes even the last line. Snatches of dialog and parts of scenes follow, still in my head. I usually plunge in and put some words down by the seat of my pants, but then I have to sit back and do character sketches and plot outlines. I found plot very difficult until I figured out that conflict drives plot. If I can sketch out characters with big conflicts—and then heap more pain and conflict on them—the plot comes more easily. Once I have that done, I can type out the first draft fairly easily.
The next step is to rewrite it, correcting plot holes, adding descriptive detail, and sharpening the emotion. That is harder. Sometimes once is enough, sometimes it takes two or three passes. Hardest of all for me is the final line edit, the one that fixes typos and punctuation. UGH.