Many thanks to fellow Samhain and Ellora’s Cave author, Lynne Connolly, for inviting me to do this blog hop! Please take a moment to visit Lynne’s blog and find out about her books and her writing process.
Here are my answers to some often asked questions. Be sure to check out Margaret Ethridge, Holly Gilliatt and Karen Booth’s blogs later this week to see their answers! (And stay tuned for a special offer on a box set of all four of our novels…)
*1) What are you working on?
That’s not an easy question to answer! I have several projects under way at the moment. They’re at various stages of completion and I don’t want to give away all my secrets yet so I’ll just say I’m working on a sequel to one of my existing titles (Joey gets his own book), two NA contemporary projects (friends to lovers stories, my favorite), a 4-book contemporary series (featuring some smoking hot brothers), and one super secret project that’s not only a different genre but is my first time writing first person point of view. I’m hoping to have some news to share on some of these in the near future. I’ll keep you posted!
*2) How does your work differ from others in the genre?
The biggest difference between my books and a lot of the books in the genres in which I write (erotic romance/contemporary romance/NA) is that my stories don’t feature alpha heroes. The majority of my heroes are beta heroes (the long term best friend or the sweet sexy neighbor). You’ll never find a MMA fighter or a billionaire CEO or a dark Dom as the lead in one of my books. That doesn’t mean my heroes aren’t strong. Quite the opposite. Sensitive and caring doesn’t equal weak in my eyes. My heroes are passionate, witty, charming and know how to romance their heroines. They’re just not traditional macho alpha men.
Likewise, I enjoy writing characters who go through serious emotional growth in the course of a story but I don’t tend to write the kind of angst that leaves you sobbing your eyes out for half a book. My goal as a writer is to pen relatable characters that readers fall in love with—people they will feel as if they know by the end of the book. My favorite compliment is when readers tell me that they’ve made that kind of connection with someone I’ve written, where the characters feel like their lifelong friends. Those are the characters I love to find when I’m reading. They’re the reason I write. To meet them, get to know them and introduce them to my readers.
*3) Why do you write what you write?
I write character-driven love stories because those are my favorite kind of books to read. I write romance, specifically, because in real life you’re not guaranteed a happy ending, but in my books, where I get to make the decision about how things work out in the end, I can give every character the perfect happy ending in a way that’s still believable. If I could figure out a way to do that for real people I’d do it in a heart beat. Until then, I’ll do it for my fictional friends and let everyone live vicariously through them until they find their own happily ever afters.
*4) How does your writing process work?
My writing process is very simple. I try to write as much as humanly possible. And then I write some more. One of the most important parts of my process involves making sure I take notes when I have an idea. Scenes, plot points, lines of dialogue, sometimes even entire stories, tend to come at me fast and furious in my mind, often when I least expect it. If I’m on line at the grocery store or at a meeting or in a waiting room I know I need to find some paper—any paper—ASAP and get the thoughts down as I’m having them. If I don’t, I never recapture it quite as clearly as the first time I’ve had it. It’s like waking up and remembering a dream with total clarity and then a half hour later you can barely recall it. The idea has faded, the specifics are blurry. Once I’ve captured those ideas it’s really just a matter of sitting down and writing. I’m a cross between a planner and a pantser. I don’t write out elaborate outlines but I do see a story in my head, from beginning to end, before I write. If I can’t see it all play out in my head, I can’t write it. But at the same time I can’t say “Okay, I’m going to have x number of chapters and this will happen here and that will happen there”—I have to just write and let the story unfold as it wants to unfold. I guess that makes me a plotser.