Where do you get your ideas? Everywhere. All of life experience, everything I read, see or hear about is fodder for my imagination. I ask questions all the time about everything. My family puts up with me, but I know sometimes my inquisitive nature can be embarrassing.
Who or what inspired you to become a writer? This is sort of like asking what inspired me to breathe. I need to write. Full stop period. But there was a conversation in the bathtub with God at one point…
How long did it take to get published? I wrote for over four years before getting what I call serious and then it took another almost five years to publish. So, about 9 years.
Do you plot your books ahead of time or do you write by the seat of your pants? By the seat of my pants. I start with a story idea, get my characters talking to me and go for it.
Does your husband have any input in your books, i.e. do you talk to him, ask his opinion, have him read any parts of it, or is he strictly hands off? I used to have him read all of my books for male point of view. He still reads most of my books, but sometimes not until they are published. He’s a great resource for technical info and I’ll still ask him about guy type motivations when I’m having trouble understanding why my hero does something. 🙂
Who are your favorite authors? Lori Foster, Jayne Ann Krentz (in all her guises), Emma Darcy, Helen Bianchin, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Therese Madeiros, Christine Feehan, Michelle Reid, Linda Howard, JJ Massa, Lora Leigh, Mindy Neff, Dianne Castell, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Susan Andersen, Amy Lane, Josh Lanyon, Mary Calmes, Sarah Black, Ariel Tachna and I still love to read Agatha Christie, Louisa May Alcott and Lucy Maude Montgomery.
How long does it take you to write a book? Depends on the book. Seriously. All I can say is that I write five days a week.
What do you tell other people who want to be writers? To write. Nothing teaches like doing. To read. Feed the well. Never give up.
Do you get to pick your own book covers, and if not, do the couples on the cover look anything how you imagine them when you write the story? Publishers like to believe that authors have some input, but I’m not being cynical when I say that’s very rarely the case. Just realistic. Even small presses can be very intransigent when it comes to making changes on a cover the art department and marketing agree fits my book. Once in a while the covers hit a home run artistically for me and very rarely they are so far removed from what I envision, I wince, but that is life. Not something I lose a lot of sleep over when I have no control in the process.
How do you stay disciplined and on deadline? This is a personal thing. I am motivated to write my stories. Therefore I write. Sometimes, I have to make myself write when I don’t want to. Sometimes, I have to write when other people wish I would be doing something else, but there are no tricks I know of to make this part easy. You simply have to be willing to do it. And honestly, I’ve struggled in recent years due to my health. I’ve got no magic fixes.
Do you develop a character’s image solely from imagination or do you picture someone you know, a celebrity, etc. to aid character development? Are your characters based on real people? Characters always have bits of people in them, just like we have bits of each other in all of us. Sometimes I find it helpful to search out an image of a person who looks like the character in my head, sometimes I don’t, but I never start writing a character with a conscious decision to pattern their physical or personality type after someone real. To me, my characters are real…or as real as can be inside my head. They are themselves always…not patterncards of someone else.
Do you ever see yourself “retiring” from writing? I used to say absolutely not, but the industry has changed so much, there is so much expected out of authors that isn’t about writing books and that’s not a complaint. Simply a reality. Then there’s the difficulties I face personally. All I can say is, I’ll keep writing as long as I can feed the passion to do so.
What are the books about? This is a series of standalone single titles set in the fictitious town of Cailkirn Alaska (where the snow is cold, but the men are hot), a small town on the Northern Lights cruise route. Sexy contemporary romance…yeah, baby!
Will you be writing another series like Ready, Willing & And Able for Brava? I did. Satisfaction Guaranteed was the first in a several book series about the agents working for The Goddard Project, which I followed with a couple more mercenary books (The Atrati) for Brava, introduced in Close Quarters (my 50th book – Sept 2010).
NB: as of the release of Heat Seeker in Feb, 2013, I currently have no plans to write more books in the TGP or Atrati series.
Will you be writing any more Royal Brides? Maybe. We’ll see. Things have been so crazy the past few years just getting my writing mojo back that I can’t say for sure what series will continue.
Why do your Harlequin Presents come out in England first and sometimes so far ahead of their release in the US? They don’t any longer – they are released simultaneously in both markets now (and often in Aus/NZ as well). 🙂
Now that you are publishing in single title, will you stop writing Presents? No. I love the stories I get to do for Presents and have no desire to stop writing them.
For updates on my Harlequin Presents release dates, click here!
Will you be writing any more historicals? Not at present. I still have a thick file folder full of historical story ideas, but I think my next series will be paranormal – maybe historical too.
Will you write anymore Selwyn books, like their children’s stories? I don’t know. It could happen. 🙂
Is your novella in UNLEASHED connected to MOON AWAKENING? They are both from the same werewolf world, but the novella is a contemporary story about the descendants of the werewolves in Moon Awakening.
Will you be writing Duke’s story? Someday. The published never found a spot for it and then they lost interest the series entirely.
Will you be writing more stories in the series? I really want to, but we’ll have to see what publishers are interested in as well as where my muse takes me.
If the questions hasn’t been asked and you want the answer, email Lucy and she’ll try to answer it for you. If it’s a question that comes up frequently, the answer will be added to this page.