I was a journalist before I became frustrated with seemingly only bringing people bad news. I still believe it’s an important job, but decided that wasn’t the environment I wanted to be in every day. So I moved from being a romance fan, to a romance writer. Now I bring people happy ever afters, and hopefully an entertaining thrill along the way!
Tell us about your latest book.
Hawaiian Heartbreak is the first in a trilogy, about a holiday fling unexpectedly turning into so much more. Some of the reviewers have said the Hawaiian setting is like a character in itself, which is exactly what I wanted! Love and wanderlust all in one, but of course, with complications along the way.
What do you have coming out in the future?
The rest of the trilogy, Hawaiian Healing, and Hawaiian Homecoming. Hawaiian Healing is almost ready to go to my editor now. I know that people need resolution, so I’m aiming to get all three out by January next year. No rest for the wicked!
Why romance and what makes your particular brand of romance special?
Romance is what I love reading, and I really believe in writing what you love. It shows in your writing if you genuinely care about the story and the characters. My brand of romance is ever-changing, but currently it’s about rediscovering yourself, finding your place in the world and what you want from it. Falling in love with someone might be the catalyst for that, but rest assured, these are strong women in their own right!
Is romance the only genre that you write in or do you write in other genres? If so what other genres do you write in?
Only romance for now, although never say never. I’m enjoying getting to write in a longer form than when I was a journalist, and focus on happiness and new beginnings. In the future? Who knows.
Kayla had her life all mapped out, before her ex-boyfriend tipped her world upside down by cheating on her. But she's had her time licking her wounds. Now she's ready to take time out for herself on a dream vacation in Hawaii. If that won't pull the shattered pieces of her heart back together, nothing will.
What she hadn't planned on was falling for someone new. Especially someone tall, tanned, and distractingly sexy. What starts out as a fun holiday fling quickly turns into a full-blown love affair, with neither wanting to face up to the fact that the clock is ticking until Kayla has to return home.
The first book of three in the Hawaiian Heartbreak trilogy. This book is recommended for readers over the age of 18 due to explicit sexual content.
Anywhere and everywhere – a holiday, problems that a friend is dealing with, a movie. The important part is sitting down and not feeling too beholden to the original idea. Start with that grain of a story, then think, if that’s true, what else is true?
Do you ever base your characters on real people in your life?
To a certain extent. Jay in Hawaiian Heartbreak was originally based on a real life tour guide on a real life tour, but as I worked out the story, he took on a life of his own. Now he’s very far from that original tour guide. And much hotter!
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Going out with friends, going on a long walk, curling up with a good book. Anything to break the cycle of staring at my computer, and willing the story to come!
What was your road to publishing like? Tell us about it.
For me, I’m a control freak. I’d had enough of being bossed around by big companies, so I researched indie writing and went for it, without ever trying the traditional route. The biggest challenge was finding a good editor and cover designer. I had to trust them to help me put out something that was top quality. Being a control freak doesn’t mean I get to ignore constructive criticism!
How did you come up with the title of your book?
I knew the basics of my story, and I knew the first book was all about heartbreak. It percolated for a while, and I kept a list of maybes on the first page of the book. And then one morning I switched on my computer and I knew. Which makes it sound a bit magical, but believe me, there was a lot of thinking to get to that point!
Do you read romance or do you prefer other genres?
Romance is definitely my preferred genre. You can find so many different stories within romance that there’s something great for any mood. But I also make sure I break out of my rut sometimes, read something new, give myself a fresh perspective on what makes good writing.
Have you joined any writer’s groups?
Through Wordpress and Goodreads I’ve been lucky to meet some really wonderful writers. Every time I’m online someone’s offering some great advice, an insight, or even just talking about a struggle I hadn’t considered that now I can try to work out in advance. So nothing structured, but I really couldn’t go without my online author friends.
What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
Whichever part I’m currently working on! When I’m writing that first draft, working out what’s next, I’m certain that’s the most difficult thing. When I’m on round five of editing, and I’m sick of reading the same words over and over, I think that’s the worst. Then when it’s ready for release and I’m waiting to see what readers make of it – that’s torture!
What is the easiest part of the writing process for you?
Coming up with ideas. My ideas list is enormous, so I’ve certainly got plenty more books coming. Turning them into a proper book though, that takes time and sweat.
What is your preferred writing environment?
Kitchen table, cat on my knee, and absolute silence all around me. If anyone else is home I can’t manage anything useful.
Do you have a careful plan when plotting your stories or do you just go with the flow?
I have a page of plot points when I start, a loose skeleton of things that will happen, character reactions, and the outcome. But I certainly don’t do a full chapter-by-chapter breakdown. I like to just get going and get it on the page.
With many publishing routes available today, which felt the most reliable to you when it came to the many choices?
For me, I’m currently an Amazon/CreateSpace loyalist. They know what an indie author needs in terms of promotion, their systems are user friendly, and they reward loyalty. As I continue, I may branch out, but that’s likely to be a few years from now.
Wild Card Question.
Answering this question is not required, but I would really like to see what your answer is.
As an author, what is the one question that you wish people would ask you, but no one ever has and what would your answer be to that question?
I hear a lot of people say that love scenes in romance novels are unrealistic. And sure, some are. But I try to write things that are realistic – as long as you’re in the right hands! So I wish those people would ask me where I get THAT inspiration from. There are some great non-fiction books out there that will change your perspective. Start with I Love Female Orgasm, by Dorian Solot, Marshal Miller, and Shirley Chiang. It’s friendly, funny, and I guarantee you’ll learn something.