Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’m a die-hard romantic who writes a sexy, cozy mystery series and just sold a 3-book romance deal. I started writing the Valentine Mysteries because I love romantic mysteries, but hated that I never got to see the couple after one book, and cozy mysteries, even those with a couple, don’t have the level of romance that I enjoy. So I wrote what I want to read. Currently there are five books and one novella in the Valentine Mystery series. Each book has all the intrigue of a cozy mystery, plus the passion of a romance.
I’ve also finished two out of the three books to be published by Penner Publishing in 2016. These books are romances set in the south, each with one southern and one northern protagonist.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My most recent published book is a novella, Death Under the Mistletoe: A Valentine Christmas Mystery, which I wrote as a thank you to my fans who’d waited patiently for a year for the fifth book in the Valentine series to come out. I started with the premise; what if Santa was murdered in Tess’ (my female protagonist) couture lingerie shop.
I just submitted copy edits on Southern Comfort, a romance for Penner Publishing. I wrote this book so long ago (it sat unfinished for years), I don’t remember where the idea came from. The second book in this series is Southern Persuasion, which pays homage to my favorite Jane Austen book, Persuasion.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I think I’m typical in my writing. I like to listen to music while I write. I do my best writing in the morning.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I love J.D. Robb’s In Death series and Janet Evanovich’s Fox and O’Hare series. I also like Sandra Brown and Linda Howard. And as previously mentioned, I enjoy Jane Austen, in particular Persuasion.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently prepping book two for Penner Publishing due January 1, 2016, but after that I want to start a new cozy (no sexy) mystery series involving a Harvard grad who can’t get a job and an airplane repo guy. Plus I need to write book three for Penner (due in July 2016), which will be a marriage of convenience romance. And I’m plotting book six of the Valentine Mysteries.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Getting reviews or interviews on book blogs is a big help. I’m still developing my launch and marketing plan. It seems to be an ongoing, learning process.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write and start building your author platform now, even if you don’t have a book. Especially if you want to be traditionally published, having a readi-made audience is helpful. But for self-published books too, having a platform makes it easy for fans to connect with you and share your books.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
In terms of writing, avoiding adverbs and dialogue tags has really improved my writing. In terms of marketing, build your platform now and market every day.
What are you reading now?
“Writing With Gentle Hands” by Paula Munier
What’s next for you as a writer?
Turning this part-time gig into a full-time career.
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?
Persuasion by Jane Austen, Naked in Death by JD Robb, and a book on how to survive on a desert island.