Give us a little bit about your background and when you first started publishing.
Kids and animals have always pulled at my heartstrings. I taught for 25 years and was a volunteer humane investigator for my state for 10 years. Almost every story I write involves a child or animal as a secondary character. They say write what you know… My first novella came out in 2013 by a small publisher, followed by two short stories. I am a history geek, so I read and write mainly historical romance. When I was invited to participate in a multi-author Regency series in 2017, I found my niche as an author. I am thrilled to be writing a Scottish Regency series for Dragonblade.
Historical Setting Related:
Have you visited the places you’ve written about or just read about them?
- I’ve visited many of the places I write about. Travel is my passion and I find stories wherever I go. Scotland, England, and Ireland are on my list for return trips now that I’ve retired.
What interesting settings have you used (homes, battlefields, events in history, etc)?
- My favorite is the setting for my MacNaughton Castle romances. MacNaughton is my grandfather’s clan so I researched the background. The castle (and surrounding area) described in the books is the original seat of the MacNaughton clan. Dragonblade’s fabulous cover artist was even able to include the clan crest into the series brand. It is the badge on the sword with the original round castle and motto: In God We Hope.
Why did you choose the particular period you write in? What is it about that era that speaks to you?
- I have always been an avid historical romance reader. One of my favorite genres to read is Regency. The slang, the clothes, the romance, the complicated societal rules. Some of my favorite authors wrote in this period.
What inspires you to create a certain character (give example)? Have you ever changed the character arc because it didn’t work with the storyline?
- First, my characters often change. I have an image of a person in my head, but like any acquaintance, I get to know them over time. In both real life and fiction, my first assumptions are not always right, so I’ve learned to keep an open mind.
- My characters are born from so many places. Some are based on real people and real events. Two of the books in my Christmas series were life inspired. Many secondary characters resemble someone I know. Other times, a story comes to me and create the type of hero and heroine that I would imagine in that situation.
Do you have a certain quirk in your writing process? Do the stars have to be aligned or do you have to have your favorite tea? Where do you do your best writing?
- I can’t just sit and write. I need to “warm up” first, whether it’s by answering emails, writing a post for my newsletter, or engaging with my Facebook group. Then I often text a friend, who is also an author, and we have a virtual 30-60 minute sprint. And I’m off…
- I can write anywhere, but I’m most productive where I have a nice view. At home, I sit by my picture window or in my Air-stream camper/office and look out on a grove of pines. We live along the river, so there is always some four-legged or winged visitor passing through.
From all your books, who is your favorite hero and why?
- From my own books, I’d have to say Rolf from Rolf’s Quest. There is just something so utterly sexy about a man in armor, brandishing a sword and sitting on a horse. Add a bit of magic (he’s related to Merlin) and a suspicious duke, and the stage is set for a swoon-worthy hero.
Outside of your own genre, what’s your favorite genre?
- Outside of historical romance, I love any kind of holiday romance and historical fiction.