Give us a bit of your background (where are you from, your family, traveling adventures)
There’s really not too much to tell because in many ways, I’ve lived a fairly ordinary life. I have lived in a sum total of three different places. I grew up in Katy, TX a suburban small town West of Houston with a fabulous school district that I returned to work in after earning a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Texas A&M University. My four years in College Station, TX left me with a great respect for tradition and the love of my best friend. We married while still in college and moved to Katy after graduation. In 2011, my husband’s company transferred him to the Fort Worth, Texas area, so we moved which has been an extremely interesting transition for me. Not only did I leave my family and hometown behind, but my career as well; my husband and I made the decision to live off one income so I could be a full time Mom to our daughter.
Most of my traveling has been in relation to my job as an educator. I have spent time in various states all over the country for conferences and meetings. I also led groups of students and parents to Washington DC and New York City most summers and loved every minute of watching these kids explore our nation’s capitol for the first time.
Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?
Italy. That is my dream vacation and my husband knows it, so I’m patiently waiting for him to surprise me with a trip there in, oh say, 20 years. I don’t know what it is about that country that seems so magical to me but I cannot wait to experience the country and the culture.
What is your favorite genre to write?
Romance is by far my favorite genre to write. There is something delightful about falling in love; as an author, I have the opportunity to relive that over and over again. My characters come to life in my mind, choosing to speak to me at all sorts of crazy times – in the store, during dreams, and even while I’m waiting for my daughter at dance. I’ve learned to just let them have free reign and tell their stories.
What is one silly fact about you?
I have to be the world’s most accident prone person. Seriously! I tore my ACL in high school while I was standing at attention in band (for you non-band people, I was essentially standing still. No explanation for that one!!) Then, during my first year of teaching, I slipped in a puddle of water outside the school and broke my knee cap. A few years ago, we took our daughter roller-skating for the first time and I broke my wrist trying to keep her from falling. Maybe one of my next characters should meet her hero in the ER!
What got you started on your writing journey?
I wrote my first romance short story during my 8th grade year. As part of an assignment for a Civil War project, I completed a Historical Romance. I credit the outside of the box thinking of my teacher for allowing me to do that because it turned me onto the joy of writing. Since then, I have written on and off through the years. Overtime, I found the world of online fanfiction and spent several years writing stories there, taking in the critiques of the reviews to strengthen my writing. Finally, I decided to play with my own characters and write original novels.
Why do you choose to write clean/sweet romance? Do you write steamy romance as well?
One of the main reasons I choose to write clean romance is my daughter. I have an 8 year old who is the light of my life and I want her to be able to know and talk about what Mommy does. While she cannot read the books now, she can easily read them in just a few short years. I also thoroughly enjoy those first phases of falling in love where the emotions are more important than any physical acts of intimacy.
I have written some steamy romance in the world of fanfiction as well as in short, unpublished works but do not feel it is something I will ever really pursue in the published world.
What other things do you have planned with your writing for the rest of the year 2013?
I may attempt to complete a holiday novella featuring some of the secondary cast from Is Love Enough. I’ve had several requests to know more about Danny and Nikki so I may explore them. I also have several new novels in the works that I will continue developing for release in 2013.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
I absolutely love the hours! I can take care of my family, be there for my daughter when she needs something, and still have the time to write.
How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
For this first novel, I’d say that quite a few of my experiences are embedded in the pages. I actually came up with the idea for the storyline while I was in San Francisco for a conference on civic education (much like the heroine in Is Love Enough). We came out of a store and looked across the street to find a mob surrounding Michael Keaton. It got me wondering what would happen if two single people, a teacher and an actor, met each other in similar circumstances. In addition, when I close my eyes and picture the rest of the story, it is the school where I taught that I imagine as well as other elements of my hometown. Of course, all of the characters are fiction but the settings are loosely based off the world I know.
Where do your ideas come from?
Everywhere! Seriously, I have ideas come to me all of the time in the most random places. I’ve learned to jot them down as soon as I have them too so I do not forget them.
Please share about your book
One of the things I most enjoy about this story is that the relationship revolves over a period of time. Yes they meet and have an instant attraction but they do not immediately admit they have fallen for each other, nor do they immediately fall into bed with each other. I am a big believer in love (or at least strong connection) at first sight but also feel it should be realistic and I tried to accomplish that here.
I also enjoyed exploring Rebekah’s hesitancy for love. She has been hurt and truly believes her life is better without a deep love. Of course, for someone who has a huge heart like her that just is not possible. But, she will not give her heart away to just anyone; he will have to be trustworthy, committed, and in the relationship for the long haul. Fortunately, she finds that in Jason.
The official blurb for Is Love Enough captures the essence of the story:
Love is a powerful thing; but, sometimes, love isn't enough. At least, that's what Rebekah Thomas believes. In her younger, more naive days, Rebekah thought love could conquer all; that was before the death of her husband, and high school sweetheart. Now she believes life is easier without it.
Ever the romantic at heart, a failed marriage and cinema glitter is not enough to stop famous actor Jason Taylor from believing the right woman for him is out there somewhere. Tired of his undeserved playboy reputation, he unexpectedly finds the forever kind of love miles away, with a small town teacher.
Rebekah and Jason could bridge their different worlds together, but this sweet and compassionate teacher has trouble letting him in. Just as she is convinced they could have a chance, one moment threatens to destroy everything they have built. Can Rebekah finally see the truth - that sometimes, love is all you need?
Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?
This novel reminds the readers that simple romance and pure love still exist, even in today’s modern world. It is not a story of first love, but one of an experienced love; the kind of love that spans distances, is built on trust, and the kind that many women fantasize they will find.
Do you have a favorite character you have written so far?
I love Nikki. She is a secondary character in this first novel and is just tons of fun to write. My other favorite character is Melissa Smith, the heroine of my second novel. Melissa is both sweet and sassy – the perfect blend for her hero.