Tell me about yourself. What’s a day in your life like?
*laughing* No two days are alike. Let’s see…today I got up at 7am and worked for 90 minutes until I had to threaten/cajole my daughter to get dressed so we could go to her preschool. I had to co-op there today (the teacher has two moms helping her each day) and I didn’t want to be late, especially since the teacher is my husband’s aunt. Gotta stay on the good side of the family, you know?
With that task completed, I sat at the bar of a local restaurant and wolfed down lunch while blue collar men drank beer with their lunches and talked about the previous day’s Monday Night Football game. I ignored them and read erotic romance on my Kindle. ;-) Then I went to get a massage for my chronic neck and shoulder problems.
Once home again I did more work, but since I wasn’t able to work for the past few days all I was able to accomplish was getting through my email, sending out an invitation for a sports romance blog a friend of mine, Jami Davenport, and I are starting, and complete two cover art forms.
Now it’s 9pm and I still haven’t written a word. Sometimes the days are like that and there’s nothing you can do about it so I try not to stress. I’ve written a truly ridiculous number of words already this year, so slowing down won’t kill me.
When you were a child, what was your dream occupation?
Oh wow. Do I even remember? I became interested in psychology in high school and that was my undergrad major, so I guess I could say that was my dream occupation. I never wanted to be a therapist, though. I knew I was far too empathetic for that. I cry at eulogies for people I’ve never met.
Describe an incident in your life that’s helped mold you into the person you are today.
Sadly, having cancer. In some ways I guess I should be thankful for being so sick. It made me realize the important things in life, and how few important things there really are.
Who are your favorite authors?
Should I do this alphabetically or by genre? Seriously, I have so many…in historicals, Lisa Kleypas; in erotic romance, Maya Banks, Lorelei James, and a million others I can’t think of right now; in male/male, Tara Lain, KA Mitchell, and LA Witt, plus tons of others. In BDSM, Cherise Sinclair, Kallypso Masters, Sara Brookes…
See what I mean? I read over 200 books a YEAR, so I’ve got a lot of favorites.
What are you passionate about?
Hockey. I don’t know what that says about me, since it’s a sport, but it’s one of the few frivolous things I spend time on, so I figure I might as well be a huge, rabid fan. Stupid NHL lockout, keeping my boys away from me.
What would I find in your couch cushions?
Crumbs from my daughter, but not too many, since I actually vacuumed the couches less than a week ago. And yes, that’s a rare occurrence for me. My house isn’t filthy by any means, but let’s just I prefer to write, read, or watch TV over cleaning. I also prefer root canals. KIDDING. Never had one, so I can’t say that for sure.
What’s your biggest fear?
Huh. This is a tough one. Probably something happening to my daughter. I’m not overprotective and I give my daughter a lot of freedom to play/to fall down/etc, but man, if somebody hurt my baby they better be prepared for the wrath of the mama.
It’s 10:00 on a Friday night. Where are you?
Home, most likely on the computer, either writing or putzing around the Interwebs. My hubby is an IT guy so he goes upstairs to his computer to shoot bad guys and I waste time on Twitter. We’re quite a pair. Hey, at least we’re not rotting our brains in front of the television. Yes, because the computer is SO much better. *grin*
What sets you apart from other writers?
My voice, I think. People seem to like it. I think my, um, quirky sense of humor comes through in my writing, and I’ve been told my sex scenes are very good. It is a compliment to set yourself apart because you can bring the heat? If you’re an erotic romance writer, I guess it is!
We’re in a bar and I’m buying you a drink. What’ll it be?
A Cosmo with top-shelf vodka, thanks! They may look like pretty pink drinks, but they’re almost pure alcohol, just the way I like it.
What are you currently reading?
The Good Fight, a m/m book. I’d estimate about 70% of what I’ve read this year is m/m. Discovered the subgenre last year but when I got sick of ménage and BDSM I started to turn to it more and more. Don’t get me wrong, I still love a good m/f story, but there’s just something to be said for two hot guys falling for each other. Yum.
How do you deal with rejection?
I deal surprisingly well with rejection, for a couple of reasons. First, if we go back to that whole cancer thing and realizing what’s important, a rejection, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t that big a deal. Additionally, I’ve been INCREDIBLY lucky with my career and how far I’ve come in a short time, so while I do still get rejected (got one today, in fact), at this point probably 80% of what I write is already “sold” – subsequent series books, books for publishers I’ve been with for a while, etc.
I also understand this is a subjective business and a rejection is not an attack on my character, etc. They didn’t want my book, for a million possible reasons. Why should I let that make me doubt my abilities as a writer? Yes, rejection sucks, but you pick yourself up and move on.
Where did the idea for your novel come from?
Double Vision, which is my current release, is the third book in my Buffalo Intimidators series. I try to hit different angles in ménage relationships in each book (that sounds dirty, doesn’t it?), so this one is about an established relationship between Fredrik and Liz and their decision to bring in a third, Red. I wanted Red to be sweet as pie, confused as hell, and still horny. From what I’ve heard, the readers love Red, so I guess I succeeded. Red is really the pivotal character in the book. I almost always have one in the ménage books.
Do you have advice for aspiring writers?
Finish the darn book. Seriously. Don’t start twenty different books and never finish them. Finish the darn book. No publisher wants to hear you’ve got twenty incomplete manuscripts. You may think that makes you sound prolific, etc but all a publisher hears is “I can’t complete a book.” So if you say you’re going to write for publication, finish the darn book.
What is the toughest criticism you’ve received as an author?
From Grace Bradley, my editor at Ellora’s Cave. I actually went back to her email for this. The note is regarding a submission I made to her. She rejected it, citing seven separate and distinct problems. Here’s a quote from her email: It may end up being that this particular book just doesn't end up being published. I don't want to discourage you, but it is currently fatally flawed. It would be a huge undertaking to fix.
And do you know what? I fixed it. She was totally right in her criticisms. Here’s a quote from the email when she bought it: I reviewed your sub in full, and you did a great job with the revisions. I think it is a much better fit for EC now and will be happy to submit it for contract. This next part is not a direct quote because I couldn’t find the email where she said it, but she told me it was one of the best rewrites she’d ever seen. So the moral of the story is – even if an editor tells you the book might never see the light of day, if you believe in it, keep working. And as you can see, she bought Collision and it was book 2 in my Buckin’ Bull Riders series. When we were done editing it she loved it.
What does your main character think about you? Would he or she want to hang around you as their author?
Red adores me. I got him laid on a regular basis, and a young guy like him needs that. Liz is happy she’s got two guys to boink AND to take care of her. Fredrik is glad everyone’s happy and that I described him as a Nordic god.
Who would play the starring role(s) if your book became a movie?
Oh geez, I’m not good at this game. Red would be tough, since he’s 6’4” and has bright red hair. I based Fredrik on this guy, NHL player Saku Koivu http://static.iltalehti.fi/viihde/koivu200809PP_vi.jpg - I used the link to avoid copyrighted pic issues. And am I right or am I right? Nordic god. He’s even Finnish just like Fredrik. Or Fredrik is Finnish, like him, since Saku exists and Fredrik does not.
If you had to choose one…which song would sum up your story?
Heh. Funny you should say that. I’m going to let you guys in a little secret. Do you see a theme here? The three titles in my Buffalo Intimidators are:
Cold As Ice
They all work as hockey ménage titles, yes, but they’re also…wait for it…Foreigner songs. Yep. But Double Vision works into the story since there are two guys. See where I went there? So yes, I’m a total geek who named books in a series after Foreigner songs. There is a story behind why…but I’m not going to tell it. *evil cackle*
If you’d like, provide an excerpt and/or back cover blurb:
Everything Red knew about relationships is called into question when he stumbles upon his roommate Fredrik and his girlfriend Liz going at it hot and heavy and Liz invites him to join them. Struggling with recovering from a knee injury, the young defenseman doesn't know what to make of his attraction to Liz--after all, she's his teammate's woman, right?
As an older player, Fredrik's been around the rink a time or ten, and he knows he has an awesome thing going with Liz. He envisions a future with her, but isn't sure how their interludes with Red fit into the long-term picture.
Liz thinks Fredrik's her forever-guy, but her sudden attraction to Red is causing doubts. The more they play together in the bedroom, the more their outside lives--and emotions-- become entangled. When the unthinkable happens, all three must take a hard look at what they want and make some surprising decisions in the process.
Would you like to say anything to your readers / fans?
Just that I appreciate every single person who spends their reading dollars on my books. Writing is a dream come true for me and I hope to never, ever disappoint you guys.
Where link-wise can your readers / fans stalk you?
As a writer, it can be difficult to find enough time in the day to get everything done. Would you like to share your favorite ‘quick and easy’ recipe?
1. Pick up phone.
2. Dial pizza place.
3. Offer generous tip for delivery.
4. Keep writing.
The buy link for Double Vision is http://www.bookstrand.com/double-vision, and if you have a Kindle you can buy it there and just hit the “send to Kindle” button in your bookshelf. It should be on Amazon itself and the other third-party retailers any day now.
Thanks for having me!
Thanks for stopping by today, Cassandra! I wish you oodles of luck with 'Double Vision'! :)