author, Meetings of Chance
Most writers are readers. What are some of the books you have on your nightstand and/or on your "must read" list?
I generally have something interesting for my book club in my stack. We take turns choosing, and read a little bit of everything, including non-fiction. I recently led a discussion of Kent Haruf’s Benediction. I read just about anything from
Barbara Delinsky. She’s one of my favorites.
What is your favorite genre to write?
I’ve written contemporary romance, fiction with romantic elements, and women’s fiction. Since I like to focus on relationships, and I enjoy stories that have multiple threads going, I think I enjoy fiction with romantic elements the most. I like to weave multiple plots together. While the dynamics between people falling in love offer a lot of material for a story, I think family relationships add a lot of depth in terms of emotion.
What is one silly fact about you?
I have a serious case of arachnophobia. I hate spiders, and I can spot them a mile away. In my family, we call this spider radar (my sisters have it, too). I can walk into a room, give it a quick scan, and zoom in on any spider lurking on the walls, ceiling, etc.!
Why do you choose to write clean/sweet romance? Do you write steamy romance as well?
I write clean romances because that’s what I’m comfortable with. I have young-adult children, and I wouldn’t want to embarrass them. Plus, I enjoy story and relationships between characters more than play-by-play sex. Most of the time, it’s just not necessary. We all pretty much know the basics!
Do you have a favorite comment or question from a reader?
Just recently I had a funny comment in a review of one of my other novels (Unexpected Legacy. It’s clean in the romance department, but has a high-school setting, and thus, a few f-bombs). The reviewer said: I was really surprised to find that I liked this book. This was so different from what I normally read, that I got really into the plot. I finished it in two days, and I’m still confused why I liked it, but I did.
I love that she had to give it some serious thought and that when all was said and done, she simply “liked it.” Sometimes all you want to do is just enjoy a story.
Where do your ideas come from?
They come from everywhere! I honestly have to say, things just pop into my head at any time. I don’t follow a strict outline for my books, because ideas come as I’m writing. Of course, as a writer, I try to be observant and pay attention to what’s going on around me. I do tend to notice and remember details. I’m not good at remembering names, but I can tell you what the cashier at the grocery store was wearing, or what song was playing in the restaurant.
What are the elements of a great romance for you?
I think for a romance to really engage me, the hero and heroine have to have some little element that they each admire in the other. More than physical attraction, more than being there for each other during the circumstances of the novel.
It can be a quirk, a kindness, a way of talking, whatever – just some little thing that really appeals to them.
What are your hero and heroine of the story like?
The heroine is ready for life to happen to her! She’s been in business with her mother who has recently died, and now she’s dealing with change and feeling a little lost. She has career decisions to make. She’s worried about her father, and she’s slightly jealous (though they have a good relationship) of her sister who seems to have it all. Megan is a young woman who’s well known in town, and well-liked. She’s always followed a safe path, and likes routine. Things are about to change for her!
Tom, the hero, is a genuinely nice guy. He’s already seen a lot of life in his 35 years. He’s the youngest son in a family that owns a mega-successful corporation, and he’s recovering from a high-profile divorce. He moves into Megan’s town for an escape. He’s broken off from the family business to start his own project that involves research and development.
He wants some peace and quiet. Yeah, right.
Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?
I think you’ll feel as though you were spending time with friends, people you can like and relate to. Who doesn’t like to hang out with friends?