Q: What got you interested/started in writing?
I’ve just always written. I kept diaries and wrote plays when I was in elementary and middle school. But it was a high school teacher who insisted we keep journals and write every day that really helped me realize how much I love putting words together and create stories. I began really focusing on poetry at that time. Then when my children were born I kept journals in first person of the things they were doing. It’s just something that has been with me.
Q: How long have you been writing?
Seriously writing? About 3 ½ years now. I’m a science teacher by education, but my health made teaching impossible. That’s when I decided I could turn a hobby into a new career. Boy, have I learned a lot since those first days sitting at the computer. But with every book I seem to be enjoying it more and more.
Q: What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Writing is the easy part. Finding a publisher is hard. I’m sure every writer says it … don’t give up. Finish that book and then keep submitting until someone accepts it for publication. Even the big name authors accumulated LOTS of rejections.
In the meantime, take advice to improve your manuscript only if it works for you and ignore the rest. I’m not sure there are two writers with exactly the same process for getting a story down on paper. What works for some, like plotting every detail, may not work for someone who writes by the seat of their pants. Once you have the story finished, don’t necessarily let every critique change your story. Weigh and measure advice to improve your story.
But did I mention … never give up on your dream. Keep pushing forward. Believe in yourself even if others don’t.
Q: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Only about every week. *vbg* I have different techniques that help me get through it. Often if I’m stuck it’s because I don’t know my characters or my story. Which means I jump in the shower or take a drive. You think I’m kidding? Seriously, for some reason running water or traffic helps me work through a tough dilemma. If that doesn’t work I’ve been known to skip to a scene that I know will happen in the next chapter. Then I can go back and write to that scene.
If neither of those things work I switch to another story and work on that for awhile. I also love to “flash”. (Oh, get your mind out of the gutter people.) These are short, 100 word stories. They don’t have to connect, but they’re usually written on a specific theme. Free-writing like this will often get my creativity going and I can go back and focus on my story.
Q: When you are writing, who is in control? You or your characters?
Now that’s an interesting question. Since I channel my characters I’d like to say me. But the fact is, I hear them and see them moving and interacting in my head. I simply translate that “movie” to the page. So they’re in charge?
Q: Do you have a favorite hero in all your books? For any particular reason?
Don’t tell my other guys, but my first hero, Brenimyn from The Healer’s Garden. He had been in my head for so long that I knew him long before he made an appearance on the page. He’s a conglomeration of all the heroes I fell in love with when I was a kid. Not only is he absolutely adorable with blond hair and blue eyes, but he’s just so sweet and gentle and loving … oh, and absolutely the best kisser! And his hands? Well, they can wipe a stray tear or simply wrap your hand in his and make you feel safe. Oh, yeah, Brenimyn’s my guy.
Q: What is the HOTTEST LOVE SCENE you have written to date and why?
Oh, you’ve asked an erotic author that question? I’d like to think my love scenes are all filled with emotion and very hot sex. But I’m working on a new book now that is my first ménage, M/F/M. I’m pretty sure the keyboard’s gonna be smokin’ on that one!
Q: I know you’ve written a story, “Shadows of Fire,” for the upcoming Hearts Afire (Fireman) Series with Liquid Silver Books in the Coming Soon Section. When a new book comes out, have you ever been nervous over readers’ reaction to it? How much does reader reaction mean to you as an author? What do you hope readers get from your books?
I fall in love with all my stories while I’m writing them (and Shadows of Fire is no exception) and of course I hope readers do the same. I’m nervous every time a book is released. I’m learning so much about myself and the writing process. I hope every book I release is that much better than the one before. So hearing from a reader who tells me how much they enjoyed one of my books makes my week! It’s so much better than a five star review, because I’m not writing for review sites, I’m writing to entertain readers.
Q: What do you think is the biggest misconception in erotic romance fiction?
I think people who don’t read erotic romance believe that it’s nothing but sex. I think of my story as a romance or love story (and often a suspense plot) first. It’s all about the relationship between the man and the woman. When I’ve got an interesting plot and love story then I simply throw open the bedroom doors (which actually is a figure of speech since my characters seem to have sex everywhere but the bed *g*) and let the reader enjoy the sexual experience. There’s a lot that goes on in the love scenes between the hero and heroine, they also become an integral part of the story. Erotic romance plots are intricate and complicated. I think sometimes people don’t understand that.
Q: Are you working on any books/projects that you would like to share with us? (We’d love to hear all about them!)
Oh, I’ve always got projects going. I’m working on a shifter series that will include ménages between cougars and wolves. But I don’t have enough information to share any more than that. And if I can pull the story idea together I’d like to submit another story to LSB’s firemen series. That’s looking to be a hot series … all the way around. I do have my first book coming out with Ellora’s Cave in May 2009, titled Divine Deception. It’s part of their “fruit” series and takes place on a vineyard in western NY. And of course, you already mentioned Shadows of Fire from Liquid Silver, which is a vampire firefighter story also coming out in May 2009.
Q: Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Thanks for joining us today Nina. Come back on Saturday when Nina will be sharing an excerpt from The Furry, Fluffy and Wild Anthology “Blue Moon Rising”
Have you been naughty today?