What television sitcom is most like your family? Why?
Probably the cast of The Connors (formerly known as the Roseanne show,) minus the racist mom. Because we’re loud, messy, middle class, sarcastic, and loyal.
What’s your favorite thing to do to relax?
Hot cocoa, my bed (it moves up and down!) and a chick flick in the DVD player.
If you could go back in time to when you were seven years old, what wisdom or advice would you pass on to yourself?
You’re not stupid, you just learn differently than everybody else. Oh, and don’t get the mullet. It won’t work out the way you think it will.
For what are you grateful?
Air in my lungs, thoughts in my brain, a bounce in my step.
Now about you as an author…What authors had an impact on you growing up and as an adult?
As a child, I loved any picture by Richard Scarry; I devoured anything written by Beverly Cleary; and I still treasure my copy of Poor Gertie, by Larry Bograd. As an adult, I worship the ground Kristan Higgins walks on, I am currently obsessed with Camille DiMaio, and I consider anything written by Liza Palmer to be the Gospel.
Did anyone in your life influence you or encouraged you to be a writer? (teacher, family member, friend)
Honestly, most people I know discouraged it. I have relatives who tried to get published, but failed, and their bitterness and annoyance with my becoming a writer was evident whenever I talked about my work. I was told by almost everyone that getting published was hard, and that I needed to set my sights lower, and just enjoy writing for the fun of it. I probably got my first publishing contract purely to tick off the people that said I couldn’t do it.
Do you have a common theme or item that appears in each of your books?
Of course there’s always the HEA! But also, I really like to write romance that could happen to anyone. Messy romance. The kind where everything isn’t all wrapped up with a neat little bow. There’s still flaws and problems, but the hero and heroine decide they love each other enough to work through it all together. You know, just like real life. In real life, not everybody is hot or rich or madly successful. In real life there are kids, divorces, deaths, accidents, mistakes, misunderstandings, etc. My characters decide that they’re going to face those things together.
What have you learned the most from being in the writing business?
That there is room and a readership for all of us. We don’t need to be as cutthroat and competitive as we sometimes are. There is success to be had by all of us.
Tell us about your latest release:
When opposite worlds collide…
Posey Briggs has a chip on her shoulder the size of Whidbey, the island off of the Washington Coast where she’s stuck with her annoying foster family, and their band of mismatched, screw up kids. The last thing she needs while she rides out these last few months until she’s eighteen and finally free from the system, is to be saddled with some bogus tutoring assignment given by an English teacher with a God complex.
Drew Baxter has the world in the palm of his hands. Best athlete in school, coolest guy on campus, nailing the hottest girl in school whenever he wants. What more could he ask for? Except for his dad to stop making his life a terrorizing game of whose face will get pounded tonight? He’d rather do just about anything other than sitting around listening to the school loser lecture him about Shakespeare every day.
Sometimes the universe has a way of thrusting two people together, even though they’d rather drink poison than sit across a library table from one another. And in this case, the universe knew something Drew and Posey never saw coming: they would become the single most important person in each other’s lives, and save each other from completely unraveling.
Will the explosion, save them or destroy them?
How did you decide on your story plot?
I’d just lost my daughter after a failed adoption from the foster care system, and decided to stop fostering, as it was causing my family so much heartache. I can’t really describe it, I just needed to write Posey’s story. I sat down to my laptop one day after a conference, and the words just poured out of me. I wrote the whole story in like three months, which, for me, is a big deal. It was cathartic.
Do you have a character that you identify with? Who and why?
Drew. He pretends to be perfect and cool and successful on the outside, but on the inside, he is as screwed up and broken as the rest of us. He was a great character to write.