I had started writing a paranormal thriller and Melisandre, my heroine, really needed a happily ever after. I had a dream about her hero, Vaughn, and the book almost wrote itself. I was surprised at how well the words flowed, and I’m happy with the final product. I think I did the couple and their friends justice.
I have at least two more books planned for the Willow Falls series. SEASONS CHANGE, a romantic suspense that takes place in winter. It’s Teagan and Drake’s book and has plenty of twists and turns. And then at least one more for the spring and/or summer seasons (YOUR MOVE is my fall book), hero and heroine yet to be determined. I’ve also been working on the thriller that spawned these characters, THE RELIC, that I hope will come out in the not-too-distant future. I need to get it right though, and a true thriller is not easy to write. ;-) For sure on the docket, however, is a contemporary sports romance called BLUE FORTY-TWO, a Quick Snap novella through Lady Boss Press set in Kristen Proby’s With Me in Seattle universe. It will (or has, depending on when you’re reading this!) come out on 9/14/20. It’s about a 42-year-old star quarterback who gets injured on his road to the big game, and the gorgeous and successful female injury management doctor who sets him straight and steals his heart. Next year, I hope to put out at least one of the Willow Falls books I mentioned above. I also have another as yet unannounced project I’m SUPER excited about. A paranormal romance thriller about a jaded female private investigator, a Cajun ghost hunter, and a deadly serial killer in New Orleans.
My Willow Falls novellas are all “side stories” that spiraled off from my in-progress thriller THE RELIC. Rhynn (who works with Melisandre, the heroine of YOUR MOVE) and his wife Kingsley are the main characters of THE RELIC—aside from the sadistic serial murderer antagonist, anyway. ;-)
So, Melisandre Watson is the heroine. She’s a detective with the Hudson WI police department. Many years ago, she let the love of her life go to concentrate on her career. Vaughn Romano, my hero, is an investigative journalist turned crime writer who never got over Melisandre, and despite having his heart broken, is determined to win her back. Theirs is a feel-good second chance romance amidst the case of the Valley Voyeur and a strange mystery of an object that ends up in Mel’s purse at the bar.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
Mel needed a happily ever after. In my mind, she spent all her time trying to catch the Dollhouse Killer (the antagonist in my WIP thriller, THE RELIC). She needed someone who was like her but also her opposite, and Vaughn is that perfect guy.
I have a thing for interesting and unique names. YOUR MOVE’s heroine, Melisandre, was inspired by the red witch in Game of Thrones. I met an author with the first name Vaughn once, and have loved the name ever since, so that’s where my hero got his name. Kingsley and Rhynn popped into my imagination on a whim—I even told one of my besties to name her daughter that, though she went with Kensley instead. Brigid is named after my patron goddess, Jaxon in an alternate spelling was inspired by my BFFs boyfriend. Drake was named after an old baseball player. I adore the name Teagan for a girl… I could go on and on. I keep a list of names in my Notes app on my phone and just see what speaks to me. A lot of my names are unisex, but unless it’s a very small, very inconsequential character, you will likely never ever see a character named Bob or Jim or Jane, etc. in my books. LOL
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I enjoyed the challenge of trying to make the side mystery (the item that Mel finds in her purse, which was the writing prompt I was given to tailor a story around) work with the rest of the story that I knew I needed to tell.
How did you come up with the title of your first novel?
YOUR MOVE came about because Mel needs to make a very important decision in this book. The naming convention is two words because I wanted to have it match the other books in the universe, THE RELIC, SEASONS CHANGE, etc.
Who designed your book covers?
The very talented Michele Hauf of Swell Cat Designs did the cover for your move. The full flat for the print version gives me goosebumps every time I look at it!
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Honestly, no. I made some pretty significant revisions when I got my rights back before it re-released in February and those changes made it all come together. Any newbie author will tell you that you grow with each book you write, and while I love YOUR MOVE, BLUE FORTY-TWO, the sports romance that just (or will soon, depending on when you’re reading this) release is even better in my honest opinion.
Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Yes! Writing tight is hard. LOL. I could have easily had another 20,000 words but was given a max and I had to adhere to that.
Fortune Cookie Wisdom makes us think, even the cute ones that talk about how someone’s stink maybe perfume to someone else.
I love people, animals, gardening, and anything to do with nature.
Mitakuye Oyasin means we are all related. (Lakota) We all have a connection with each other. We have been given the gift of life, the earth, plants, and animals. We’ve heard these words many times in our lives, but have we really heard them. Even Disney celebrates the gifts of Mother Earth in the lyrics to Circle of Life.
Which brings me to why multiplying happiness is so important to me.
Sadness is contagious.
Anger is contagious.
Frowning is contagious.
Emotions are contagious.
Smiling is contagious.
And most of all happiness is contagious.
Sometimes when life messes with me, I just have to go outside and let nature envelop me. Let the sunshine on my face and warm my soul. It stimulates peace for me, which in turn makes me happy.
I want to spread happiness. I don’t want to be remembered as that woman who was always unhappy, never smiling, bitter, etc. Life hasn’t been perfect for me. Trust me, I could tell you some things about my life that’d make your soul weep. But I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to hold onto the sadness or anger.
Like I could change what happened anyway…so I’ve accepted it. Allowed it to bruise me, superglued the cracks in my heart and soul, and refused to let the tragedies keep me down. I’ve picked myself up off the ground and wiped off those bloody knees and was determined to not let it ruin me. (Although, I will admit some things took longer to recuperate.)
I found that helping people and keeping a positive attitude is an excellent way to spread happiness. Because, oh my goodness, how well do happiness and contentment feel? Why not share the warmth in your heart?
Smile, and watch people smile back.
Pay it forward.
To you, all my brothers and sisters, I offer a virtual hug. And if we ever meet at an author event, chances are, I’m giving out hugs. They’re free you know!
Have a good moments day,