Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I have had nineteen books published since 2012. Most have been historicals, but I’ve occasionally dipped my toe into this century.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Expressly Yours, Samantha is the seventh book in the re-release of the Cotillion Ball Series. The series is about the nine children of Charlotte and George Fitzpatrick, and the series is set in the United States during the 1850s and 1860s, a time of great westward expansion and great turmoil with the impending civil war. Expressly Yours, Samantha, features the Pony Express riders. The Pony Express only lasted eighteen months total, but has become one of the most colorful parts of American history.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I don’t think I do anything unusual, but in talking to other authors, I’ve realized I can’t write scenes out of order and then fit them in. Maybe it’s because in a lot of cases, my heroines are counting the months until they’re of age and beholden to only themselves, but if I write out of order, my timeline gets all messed up.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series inspired my Cotillion Ball series. I loved the concept of following a large family as each child came of age and found love. But I wanted my series to take place in America, so I had to find out when the Cotillion idea made its way to New York. It’s fortunate that the timeline for that event dovetailed nicely with all the expansion and turmoil that was taking place in this country
What are you working on now?
I just finished a manuscript that takes place during the Revolutionary War. It’s in the hands of my beta readers now.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’m still trying to find the right combination to this question. I promote on Twitter and Facebook, and belong to a lot of Facebook groups. With each release, I try a different promotional tool and continue to hone in on what works.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Put your work out there. Join a critique group, enter contests, let others read your work. The more feedback you can get, the more eyes you can have on your work, the better. Listen to the constructive criticism, but never forget this is your work and your voice.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
I like what Stephen King says about backstory—Everyone has a history and most of it isn’t all that interesting. As an author you need to know what motivates your characters, but it’s best to dole it out a spoonful at a time to the reader.
What are you reading now?
I just finished another thriller by Harlan Coben called Six Years. He’s such a superb author. Next up is the exact opposite from a thriller. It’s by Beth Kendrick and is The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service, where the heroine finds the perfect dog for each of her clients.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’d like to find a publisher for my Revolutionary War story, and I just got the rights back for one of my contemporaries, so I may try to self-publish that sweet book about three sisters who have spent their entire adult lives feuding and now have to get along.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Does the Bridgerton series count as one? And then, of course, I’d need a Harlan book or two, preferably one with Myron in the lead role. And the report from Robert Mueller would round things out completely.