Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m a fantasy romance author living in the Pacific Northwest of the US. I’ve lived all over the country and even spent a year abroad as a kid. I love to travel and see new places and meet new people. Traveling is a little harder now that I have kids, though they are pretty adventurous too. One of the things I’m most exciting to get back to in 2022 is traveling again.
As for my journey to becoming a writer, I’m what some might consider a late bloomer. As a child I wasn’t motivated to learn to read because with picture books I could always make up a story that interested me as much as the “official” one. When I was eight my mom started reading me chapters books before bed and that’s when I really fell in love with the magic of the written word, and was motivated to learn to read myself. Similarly I’ve always been drawn to story telling, but didn’t really start writing stories until I took a creative writing class in college and really felt the magic in that creative process. It was a long journey from those first classes to my first published book twenty years later.
How do you make time to write?
As a mom with three school aged children, I’m used to fitting writing in around school schedules and other kid activities. I’ve written a lot of words sitting on the sidelines of dance class or kiddy soccer. That said, this past year has been a whole new level of challenge in terms of time management. My kids have only recently returned to in-person school and we are all adjusting to the new schedule. One thing I’m really looking forward to is writing in coffee shops again.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
I certainly believe in burn out, and other obstacles to the creative process. Art of any kind takes a certain amount of creative energy, and there are certainly circumstances in a writer’s life that can make it difficult to refill the well.
What genre are your books and what draws you to this genre?
I write fantasy romance novels, because ultimately I want to write the books I most want to read. I’ve always been drawn to the wonder and possibilities of fantasy novels, but I also crave the optimism and emotional resonance of a good romance. With fantasy romance I feel like I have the best of both worlds.
How did you come up with the idea for your series, Hands of Destin?
I spent a long time world building and playing around with a magic system where everyone has a touch of talent, so much so that the idea of magic doesn’t even really exist. I wanted to explore the lives of ordinary people in an extraordinary world. I’m a character first writer, so I really established the friend group that is at the core of the Hands of Destin series before diving into any individual book. I’m a huge fan of found family stories and “buddy novels” as they are sometimes called in romance circles, where a series depends on moving from one couple to another in a friend or family group.
Some my character choices were very deliberate, but my writing is also subject to the whims of the muse. I feel like Madi (the heroine from Deadly Courtship, book two in the series) introduced herself fully formed while I was in the shower one day. And don’t ask me why all the best ideas strike in the shower, but it is surprisingly common!
I see you are Traditionally Published, why was this path right for you?
I’m a perfectionist and a tinkerer who can always see new ways to improve my work, so external deadlines and expectations are really helpful to my writing process. As a new writer, I also really wanted to focus on the writing, without having to account for all the other moving pieces that go into creating a book. I can imagine self-publishing eventually, but for now I really enjoy the partnership I have with my publisher.
How did you deal with Rejection Letters if you received any?
My personal philosophy is that you miss all of the chances you don’t take, so it is important to not let the fear of failure hold you back. Rejection and criticism are part of the business of writing. I also believe that fiction is a collaboration between the writer and the reader, which means that my stories aren’t always going to land the way I intend it to land. Understanding this makes it easier to have the thick skin needed for this business.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write the book you’ve always wanted to read, for two reasons. One: if the idea excites you, then you can bet there are readers out there hungry for the same thing. Two: you are going to be reading your work over and over and over, until there are times when you hate it. If the story doesn’t grab you on some deep level, pushing through those rough patches is going to be that much harder.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
I’ll share the moment before Terin and Aurelia’s first kiss in Crowning Courtship—I think this scene captures some of the tensions of their charade, as well as Aurelia’s inner struggle against their mutual attraction.
Terin chuckled. “Could you be more perfect?”
His toes found hers under the water and his foot rubbed Aurelia’s leg in a subtle caress that filled her with impossible longings.
The smile dropped off her face, as she was reminded of exactly why she was no prize. She looked away, lacking the will to move her foot out of reach. “Hardly perfect.”
His scooted closer, his face serious. “Perfect for me.”
Aurelia’s heart fluttered. He meant she was perfect for his scheme, perfect for his deception, and yet she yearned to take him at his word. To believe that this time, just once, she was enough.
She canted toward him, her breath shallow and her lips parted.
Desire flared in his eyes, visible even in the low light. Would he kiss her? Should she kiss him?
With a groan he pushed away from her. He dropped his head back on the edge of the pool with a loud thump.
She flinched, the hollow thud reawakening the anxiety she had felt on entering the room. Her head flared with a sympathy pain.
He drummed the back of his head against the rock while muttering angrily.
“What’s wrong?” She had never seen him take on so.
“I promised to be good,” he growled, his face still turned up toward the ceiling, though at least he’d stopped banging his head.
Her brow knit. “Have you done something bad?”
He tilted his head to look at her. The heat and longing in his gaze seared right to her core. “I want, rather desperately, to kiss you, but I promised I would behave. That I would wait for you. Wait for your invitation before touching you, and only do what you want me to do. Do you want me to kiss you?”
“Now? Here?” Her eyes darted around the glittering chamber. While they were alone, the room was hardly private.
He was so beautiful it was almost painful. Of course she wanted this man. How could she not? It was time she be honest with them both. With a feeling like she was tossing her fate to the current, she met his gaze square on. “Yes, Terin, I do.”