author, A Family Like Hannah's
Give us a bit of your background (where are you from, your family, traveling adventures)
I was born in one of the most beautiful places on this planet – the Pacific Northwest. (Yes, of course I’m being objective. I’ve traveled to almost half the states and several other countries after all.) I am the youngest of five children, which means I didn’t get to sit in the front seat of a car until I was about fifteen. My extended family is even larger. My mom is the youngest of nine and my dad was the oldest of six. Very close families on both sides, which means I still gravitate toward the kids’ table at holiday meals. Lucky for me I’m also short and still fit comfortably in tiny chairs.
Most writers are readers. What are some of the books you have on your nightstand and/or on your "must read" list?
I love it when I get asked this question. I could talk about books for hours. I will spare you that now, but I will confess that I ruthlessly scrape out hours of my life so I can read – sacrificing things like sleep, movies, lunch dates, and even toilet scrubbing for a good book. (Don’t feel sorry for me about that last one. It’s a choice and I choose to make this one.) Of course I adore romance, but I read in nearly every genre. Except horror. As clever as I think some of the plots and premises are, I’m also prone to nightmares. Plus, I’m afraid of the dark. Waking up after having a nightmare is unpleasant to say the least and something I try to avoid. John Sandford, Harlan Coben and Paul Levine are three mystery authors that I “must read” everything they write. Harlan Coben’s, The Stranger, is currently on my nightstand. I have a ton of “must read” romance authors including Julie Anne Long, Julia Quinn, Kristan Higgins, Jill Shalvis, and Colleen Hoover.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
Aside from a reader sharing how much they liked one of my books, this would have to be someone telling me that they feel a character I created seems like a friend. This means the world to me because characterization is my favorite part of writing. I try really, really hard to turn them into real people.
Please don’t tell my therapist that I tend to think of them that way, too. (Kidding. I’m not in therapy. Yet, anyway.)
Do you have a favorite comment or question from a reader?
Yes! I’ve had more than a few people tell me that they want to live in Rankins, Alaska. Crafting a fictional place that seems real is almost as satisfying as creating a person…um…I mean character.
What other things do you have planned with your writing for the rest of the year 2016?
2016 is going to be such an exciting - and busy - year for me! I recently signed a contract with Harlequin for two Heartwarming books that are set here in my beloved Northwest. I’m so excited to be writing about the Pacific coast, the beach, and the mountains that I love so much. Later in the year, I plan to revisit Rankins for two more Seasons of Alaska books. (Seasons of Alaska readers can rest assured that a favorite character who has been in every book so far will finally get his/her own HEA. I’ll share details as soon as I can.)
Please share about your book
This book was so much fun for me to write because it’s about a skier and a snowboarder. I learned to ski when I was about seven years old. In that way that only kids seem able to do, I took to it immediately.
It’s still one of my favorite things to do. The snow, the scenery, spending time with my skiing best friend or my family is just this side of Heaven.
What are your hero and heroine of the story like?
Tate is a retired snowboarder, so certain stereotypes may come to mind here. But, I tried to write him against type. He’s very determined and a little too serious, but he’s also honest, compassionate and grounded. I love the way he turned out.
Hannah is a former professional skier whose career was cut short in a very cruel and devastating way. She’s still dealing with the after effects, both mentally and physically. (Poor thing, I know.) She is an absolute doll though who does her best to stay positive. Maybe a little too much sometimes. She’s also ambitious, clever, and a little sarcastic. These two both tackle some serious and plenty of not-so-serious issues. I’m not sure I’ve written a couple that I wanted to see happy together as much as Hannah and Tate – especially with Tate’s six-year-old orphaned nephew in the mix.