- Where were you born? Where did you grow up?
I’m a California girl through and through. I was born here and raised in San Francisco, in the heart of the Sunset District. I LOVED my childhood. I had the small town feel of the neighborhood of Irving Street and the mix of cultures and the most awesome used bookstore which is where I bought bags upon bags of romances when I was a teen. It was idyllic and definitely helped shape me into who I am today. We moved north to Sacramento the day after I graduated from high school. I love the valley, too, in some ways more than SF, but I honestly can’t think of someplace else I’d rather live than California. Except maybe Hawaii. 😊
- Where did you come up with the concept and characters for GUARDING HIS MIDNIGHT WITNESS?
I came across an airing of Rear Window, Alfred Hitchcock’s classic movie with Grace Kelly and Jimmy Stewart. In my mind, I wondered what I would do if I witnessed a murder and if anyone would ever believe me? Then I thought about GASLIGHT, a movie I watched when I was a kid (I was raised on Shirley Temple, Abbott and Costello, and classic Hollywood films). That movie had a huge impact on me—the idea that you aren’t seeing what you’re seeing, or hearing what you’re hearing. So I combined the two and came up with this book. I love the old gothic, noir type films and really wanted to branch out with my writing and try it in romance form. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.
- Do your characters highjack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story? (Convince us why this is a must-read book)
There are times the characters definitely take over. When it gets to that point, provided I can keep a hold of the conflict and the story itself, I let them go. I don’t plot most of the time. I have a general idea for the story, but I don’t outline or anything like that, so I’m an anything can go kind of author. When the characters take hold and I almost don’t even have to think? For me, that’s what I call “The Zone” and it’s my favorite place to be as a writer. You just start writing and next thing you know, two or three hours have gone by. There really is nothing better than that and I can say Greta and Jack both gave me that opportunity. They just belong together, even when they doubt one another (or more importantly, themselves).
- Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
Since I don’t plot, they pop in when they pop in, LOL. It tends to drive me a bit nuts because then all I want to know about is this new character who has shown up. It also allows me to have more books in a series. Most of the time I know the main characters, but take Kyla Bertrand in my Honor Bound books, who we see in all of them (including GUARDING HIS MIDNIGHT WINTESS). I can’t not tell her story because I need to know what her story is! She does get one in a few months by the way. Finally! In fact, I’m writing it now.
The flip side to that is, I didn’t know Jack McTavish had a sister until I got to sit down and begin writing, then she wanted to take over. She’ll be the next book (out in July/21) and that’ll be my prison break story (and it is one crazy roller coaster ride!).
- Do you believe in writer’s block?
If you had asked me this question prior to 2020, I would have said no, I don’t. I believed in wrong turns that have you crashing into a brick wall and that stops progress and the words hitting the page. But now?
Yeah. I do. I’ve been having a horrible time feeling creative and inspired since going into lockdown in March. One would have thought this would be great for writers, that we have all this time to spend writing except…we, or at least I, can’t get out of my own head, my own thoughts, my own fears. It’s been really difficult and I’ve had to make some deadline adjustments because I just can’t seem to focus. It’s finally getting better I think. Mainly because I can’t afford NOT to write. It’s just that I need to push harder.