author, What Not To Say When You're Running Away
Give us a bit of your background (where are you from, your family, traveling adventures)
I am an Arizona girl. I grew in Mesa, and I currently live in Buckeye, Arizona. I met my husband at Eastern Arizona
College. After we were married we both worked and attended Arizona State University. I have a Bachelor’s degree from ASU in English Literature. My husband and I both come from large families and it’s really fun for our kids to grow up around their cousins. We have three boys and they love all things superhero. I think their dress-up box could rival any girls.
Most writers are readers. What are some of the books you have on your nightstand and/or on your "must read" list?
I am bad about picking just a few favorites. I read a ton as a kid. I think every American girl should read the ‘Little House on the Prairie’ books. The first book with any romance in it that stuck with me was ‘The Ordinary Princess,’ by M.M. Kaye. The illustrations are so amazing. I used to stare at the picture of the prince lounging across the refreshment table eating ice cream.
Lately I’ve been reading Janette Rallison’s books. I love her characters and her comic timing. Her books are light and fluffy, perfect for reading in doses while I chase three wild boys around the house.
Why do you choose to write clean/sweet romance? Do you write steamy romance as well?
I read a post by another author about this subject, and she mentioned she writes clean romance because of her daughter. Knowing that people I admire will be reading is definitely a factor, but the main reason I write clean/sweet romance is because I like to write about courtship. While that includes sex for many people, there are still a lot of us who wait until marriage, whether for religious reasons or as a personal decision. I write for them.
What other things do you have planned with your writing for the rest of the year 2013?
I have a lot of projects in various stages. Now that my first novel is done, I am trying to decide what to focus on next.
I am working on a Princess book called, “Silly Bedtime Stories for Silly Girls,” and an untitled YA novel aimed at 12-15 year olds. I am working on a zombie romance parody novel poking fun at dystopian novels. It’s more of a writer’s block exercise at this point. I have a love/hate relationship with dystopian novels that take themselves too seriously (The Hunger Games is exempt, of course).
How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
I am surprised by how often I am asked this question. My roommates in college will not see any version of themselves or me in ‘What Not to Say When You’re Running Away,’ but everyone else seems to think I wrote it about myself. It may sound nuts, but these characters are truly alive in my head. Your life experience helps you create them, but they are 100% imaginary.
What are the elements of a great romance for you?
A great romance needs a mix of instant attraction, conflict, friendship, and realizing how much the two main characters mean to each other.
If you could sum your main character into five words, what would they be?
Sara is shy, feisty, loyal, misunderstood, and a closet romantic. (oops, did I go over 5?)
What are your hero and heroine of the story like?
Matt and Sara both wish they had met under different circumstances. They attend a small college where secrets are hard to keep. Matt has an older brother who goes through relationships like tissues. Sara just happens to be his latest ex, and they broke up in a very public way. It takes Matt a while to get Sara to even want to be friends with him. Matt is the ultimate good guy, and that’s hard to resist in the long run.